Maybe you’re a newcomer to “The Big D” (if so, welcome!) Or maybe you’ve only recently decided to raise a family. While there are plenty of adult-friendly attractions in the city where “big things happen”, you can sometimes get lost in all of the sights and sounds without realizing there’s a downright plethora of family activities in Dallas from which to choose… which shouldn’t be surprising in the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country. But it can be frustrating. Sure, you might know about the museums. You probably know about the nightlife — and chances are you definitely know about Dallas’s college football. However, when it comes to family activities in Dallas, how well do you really know your own backyard?
Whether it’s summer, spring, fall or winter, here are ten of the best family-friendly activities in Dallas that you’ll have a hard time saying no to:
What’s a more family-friendly activity than walking through a park? How about walking through a 5.2 acre public park! Originally opened in 2012, Klyde Warren isn’t just a park. It’s a virtual town square, hosting weekly child-friendly activities year-round, including yoga, playgrounds, children’s theater, and music and story time.
Admit it – you’re as much of a thrill-seeker as your fearless child. No summertime family activity in Dallas would be complete without a visit to America’s favorite theme park — Six Flags! Sure, there are plenty of thrill rides for the daredevil in all of us. There are also plenty of family-friendly safe rides including antique cars, go-karts and even a host of toddler appropriate rides from which to choose.
If you’re not too tired out from Six Flags, why not make a weekend out of it at this Richland Hills full-scale water park? Featuring wave pools complete with cabanas, water slides, river simulations, Dive-in movies and seasonal fireworks, this is one summertime Dallas family activity that’s bound to be relaxing and fun — and always wet!
For the Duke and damsel in all of us, Medieval Times is a not-to-be-missed Dallas essential that’s fun, tasty and educational. Transport yourself back to the 1400s with live horseback jousting, hand-to-hand combat and a four-course meal fit for a king. And for the truly curious, both kids and adults can even visit and pet the horses in their very own stalls.
Originally built in 1888, the Dallas Zoo isn’t just the oldest zoo in Texas. It’s also the largest, playing host to over 2,000 different animals that will amaze and delight the entire family. This zoo’s animals include hippos, giraffes, lions, elephants, zebras and a special walkabout designed for the only koala bears to be found in all of Texas — and who can say no to a koala bear?
Whether your child is a budding aviator or a future astronaut, let his or her imagination boldly go to this one-of-a-kind attraction, located at Dallas Love Field. Detailing the lives and history of the pioneers of aviation, from the Wright Brothers to Neil Armstrong, the Frontiers of Flight Museum features over 30 exhibits and replicas from the Wright Brothers Flyer to the Apollo 7 Spacecraft — including a giant Flying Pancake!
Penguins, sharks and manatees — oh my! Opened in 1992, the Dallas World Aquarium hosts a variety of animals from around the world that have been threatened or endangered by extinction, including monkeys, toucans, sharks and crocodiles. This aquarium is a Dallas institution that’s as enlightening as it is fun for the entire family.
Eleven different exhibit halls, which include virtual dinosaurs, 3-D films, wild weather simulations, hands-on construction models, and natural Texas history, may be the highlight of this one-of-a-kind natural history and science museum. Additionally,the museum cafe, owned and operated by Wolfgang Puck, offers a variety of gourmet, nutritious, and fun snacks and meals to delight both kids and parents.
Widely considered to be the most beautiful outdoor attraction in Dallas, the Dallas Arboretum is a sprawling 66-acre garden that teaches children about the beauty and wonder of the natural world. With a specially designed eight-acre Children’s Adventure Garden featuring over 150 different activities, this is a first-class family activity you simply can’t afford to miss. They also offer a special Overnight Experience featuring a nighttime hike followed by a sleepover at the arboretum’s Exploration Center.
Dallas may be an urban wonderland, but it’s also home to one of the most breathtaking hardwood forests in the country. What better way to experience this wonder than at an aerial adventure park? With six aerial obstacle courses and over twenty zip-lines spread out over seven acres, this Dallas family activity is as adrenaline-pumping as it is an opportunity for family bonding. For the less adventurous, there are plenty of more sedate weekend activities to choose from, including paddle boats and rock climbing.
At Handprints Academy, we know the value of both play and learning in bringing families together in Dallas. And with fourteen different locations, there’s plenty we know about family activities in Dallas, and beyond. For more great ideas, visit us at Handprints Academy.