Looking for an easy family road trip? Spend a weekend in Dallas! It’s well worth a visit to see world-class museums, large aquariums and zoos, and professional sporting events that we don’t have here in Austin. While I love calling Austin home, it’s fun to get away and see what other Texas cities have to offer.

There is so much to do in Dallas with kids that it would be impossible to fit it all in one weekend. But you can try!

Here are our recommendations for the best things to do with kids in Dallas, Texas. 

Perot Museum of Nature and Science – This world-class museum has five levels of scientific wonders and a lot of hands-on learning opportunities. There’s a children’s area similar to the Thinkery, a sports hall where you can race against a cheetah, a gem exhibit where you can crack open an enormous geode, plus exhibits on weather, fossils, human anatomy, robots, and more.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Dallas World Aquarium – Not your typical aquarium, as this place also takes you on a journey through various habitats full of exotic birds, sloths, crocodiles, manatees, flamingos, and penguins, as well as aquarium displays featuring sharks, rays, and jellyfish.

Texas Discovery Gardens – At this 7.5-acre botanic garden inside Fair Park, you can explore the butterfly house, see reptiles and snacks, and watch the model garden trains that run on 1,500 feet of toy train tracks. Also inside Fair Park is the Children’s Aquarium, which is much smaller than the Dallas World Aquarium but great for younger kids.

Dallas Zoo – The largest zoo in Texas has your favorite animal exhibits, plus up-close animal encounters, chat with zookeepers, shows, and a mini-train and carousel.

Klyde Warren Park – This is a truly unique downtown park that is actually built over an eight-lane highway. It features a great playground and fun climbing structures, a huge lawn area, outdoor games like ping-pong and foosball, and a huge selection of food trucks and restaurants. The Nancy Best Fountain, the world’s largest interactive fountain, is on every day, and each night from 7-10 p.m. the fountain performs to music with water movements and lighting.

Klyde Warren Park

Frontiers of Flight Museum – For kids who are curious about air and space, Texas’ premier flight museum is a must-see. There are more than 40 air and space vehicles, over 35,000 historical artifacts, and 20 galleries and displays that explore how aviation and flight have evolved throughout history.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center – Located in Grapevine, 25 minutes from downtown Dallas, this indoor playground is LEGO® heaven. Featuring more than two million LEGO® bricks, plus themed rides and a 4D theater.

Old City Park – Explore this 20-acre park, one of the largest green spaces near downtown, to see what life was like over 100 years ago for Texans. As you stroll the grounds and walk down Main Street, the impressive collection of beautifully preserved 19th-century homes and commercial buildings really makes you feel like you are traveling back in time.

Meow Wolf Grapevine – Located in Grapevine, this family-friendly exhibition is an immersive and interactive art experience. A collaboration between Santa Fe and Texas artists, this mesmerizing and fantastical artscape will transport visitors of all ages to a new and inspiring realm.

Photo via Facebook / Meow Wolf

Dallas Farmers Market – On weekends, visit the Shed, an open-air pavilion where you can shop from regional vendors for produce, meats, eggs, and handmade arts and crafts. The Market Building is a food hall open every day, where you can grab a bite from local artisanal vendors while enjoying the view of the skyline.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden – One of the top botanical gardens in the world, the Dallas Arboretum covers 66 acres on the shores of White Rock Lake. The displays change seasonally, including an impressive holiday display and Christmas Village. The Children’s Garden has interactive exhibits and trails for all ages, including the Incredible Edible Garden, and features like huge kaleidoscopes, a rooftop garden, the Texas Sky Walk, and a 3-D flower puzzle.

Photo via Facebook / Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Reunion Tower – Get the best panoramic views of the city from 470 feet in the air at Reunion Tower. From the GeO-Deck, the indoor/outdoor observation deck, you can see for miles in any direction.

Dallas Museum of Art – Located in the Dallas Arts District, the largest contiguous arts district in the country, the Dallas Museum of Art is home to over 25,000 works of art from all cultures. They have a ton of family programming for all ages, including classes and workshops, toddler groups, and free open studio time featuring different hands-on art activities.

Pioneer Plaza – The highlight of this downtown plaza are the huge bronze statues of longhorn steers being driven by three cowboys. A free, fun, and very Texas thing to do that makes for a great photo op.

Pioneer Plaza; photo by Chloe T. via Yelp

Sporting Events – If you’re a sports-loving family, Dallas is a great place to see major league teams: the Dallas Cowboys (football), Dallas Mavericks (basketball), Dallas Wings (women’s basketball), Dallas Stars (hockey), Texas Rangers (baseball), FC Dallas (soccer).

Dallas Stars hockey game at American Airlines Center

ArtPark at Trinity Groves – This is a super cool AND kid-friendly place to get dinner, with a lot of room to run, picnic tables, graffiti art from local artists, fire pits in colder months, outdoor TVs, downtown views, and a bar for the grown-ups. It’s located in the middle of several restaurants that you can easily order from and pick up to eat in the ArtPark.

ArtPark at Trinity Groves

Other kid-friendly dining options in Dallas:


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