Dallas is a big city with a BIG personality. You’ll feel the energy as soon as you arrive.
There’s no shortage of things to do, with activities that will please kids and adults alike.
If you’ve been thinking about taking a trip to this city rich in cowboy culture, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together a list of our 20 favorite things to do with kids in Dallas, along with 6 great places to shop and eat.
Overall, the city is not that expensive to visit, with food and lodging being about half of what you would expect to pay in a large city. There is also a great selection of Airbnb’s.
Navigating the city is fairly easy by car, so a rental car is always a good choice. You can also choose to get around on foot or by using DART with its combination of buses and rails.
What to Pack
What to pack depends on when you go.
Springtime means pleasant temperatures but also heavy rains so bring comfortable layers as well as rain gear. Summertime is beyond hot, so pack breathable fabrics along with swimwear and plenty of sunscreen. Fall tends to have the best weather, but you’ll want to prepare yourself for anything from a burst of heat to a rainstorm. Winters are quite chilly, so be sure to pack warm layers as there’s always a chance for rain or snow.
Whenever you decide to travel, make sure to pack comfy walking shoes, refillable water bottles, a daypack, and a light jacket.
6 Kid-Friendly Places to Shop & Eat
- Wild Bill’s Western Store – Shop for authentic western apparel and accessories and become a cowboy from head to toe. Kids will love trying on cowboy hats and boots, leather belts, and bolo ties.
- Dallas Farmers Market – This colorful market is open seven days a week, all year round, and has been in operation for more than 80 years. Nestled in the heart of Dallas, it offers farm-fresh eggs, seasonal fruits and veggies, pasture-raised meats, and artisanal food vendors.
- Trinity Groves – This spot is perfect for all kinds of appetites. You can find Texan staples along with food options from all over the world. Chow down on some famous Texas barbecue as well as TexMex favorites.
- Celebration Restaurant – This farm-to-table restaurant is all about home cooking. Open for more than 50 years, you can eat on their gorgeous patio or in a cozy booth. Serving sizes are generous, and you don’t want to leave without trying their banana pudding!
- The Truck Yard – This come-as-you-are spot has a little something for everyone, including tacos, burgers, cheesesteaks, and more, depending on what food trucks are there that day. Kids have space to run around in the huge backyard and there is live music and drinks for the adults.
- Froggie’s 5 & 10 – Froggie’s is by far one of the best toy shops in Dallas. The selection will appeal to both kids and adults, with plenty of options from nostalgic to just plain weird. Your inner child will jump for joy!
20 Things To Do with Kids in Dallas
This list of 20 things to do with kids in Dallas is guaranteed to keep you busy with everything from gardens and outdoor spaces to museums and nature centers.
- Dallas World Aquarium – Aquariums are always a kid favorite, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Surround yourself with colorful fish, visit endangered animals like the Orinoco crocodiles and two-toed sloth, or explore the Cloud Forest Trek.
- Klyde Warren Park – You’ll never run out of things to do at this 5.2 acre greenspace. Check their calendar to see what’s going on on any given day – from games and exercise classes to outdoor movies. Kids will love the Children’s Park and Imagination Playground. You can also grab a bite to eat at one of the food trucks surrounding the park.
- White Rock Lake – Experience nature and wildlife in an urban setting. Walk or bike the nearly 10 mile long walking path surrounding the lake, enjoy a picnic lunch, or rent a boat or kayak and get out on the water.
- Play Street Museum – This spot is just for the littles with an indoor play area, educational activities, and a kid-friendly museum. Kids will get a kick out of a world that has been shrunk down to their size where they can be free to explore and get creative.
- Perot Museum of Nature and Science – There’s something for everyone at this hands-on museum, from stargazing and fossils to geology and engineering. Explore the Moody Family Children’s Museum, experience the power of an earthquake, or watch a movie in 3D.
- Reunion Tower – Feel like you’re on top of the world 470 feet above the ground at this iconic Dallas landmark. Take in breathtaking 360 degree views of the Dallas-Fort Worth area on the Geo-Deck and enjoy activities just for families all year round.
- McKinney Avenue Trolley – Take a ride on a vintage street car through Dallas’ vibrant uptown neighborhood. Each one of the seven historic trolleys has fun names like Matilda, Rosie, and Petunia. Best of all, the rides are free!
- Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden – Explore over 20 different gardens and take part in exciting activities year round. Enjoy puppet shows and science lessons at the Children’s Adventure Garden, have a picnic in Pecan Grove, or meander waterways and flower gardens in Magnolia Glade.
- Dallas Zoo – The oldest and largest zoo in Texas is home to over 2,000 animals. Take a ride on the carousel or the T-Rex Express Mini-Train, feed the giraffes, or get up close and personal with a variety of animals at the Wild Encounters Stage.
- Trinity Forest Adventure Park – If your family includes thrill seekers that love to climb, this 7-acre park is sure to please. New and experienced climbers alike can explore zip lines, cargo nets, wobble bridges, and ropes courses. There’s even a Little’s Course for climbers 4 and up.
- Dallas Children’s Theater – Take in a Broadway-like play and be entertained with histories, biographies, and magical stories at this comfortable, airy theater. Kids will be inspired to explore literature and the performing arts with shows that promote integrity and social values.
- Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark – Just 20 minutes outside of Dallas, this waterpark is the largest in Texas. Float on the lazy river, slide down one of 11 massive water slides, or splash in the wave pool. Little ones will love the geysers, splash pads, and water slides on a smaller scale.
- Cedar Ridge Reserve – This park focuses on preserving nature and protecting its native plants and wildlife. Pack a picnic lunch and drive just 20 minutes outside of Dallas, where you’ll discover wildflowers, native trees, butterfly gardens, and plenty of native wildlife.
- Medieval Times – Cheer on the knights while you enjoy a show full of jousting, falconry, sword fights, and hand-to-hand combat. Take part in a four-course meal while you are taken back to a time of kings, queens, and brave knights.
- Texas Horse Park – What better way to feel like a true Texan than by exploring tree-lined trails and pastures on the back of a horse. Those 9 and up can ride through the Trinity Forest while taking in the sights and sounds of nature. Younger ones can enjoy horse riding lessons and pony rides.
- Dallas Museum of Art – One of the largest art museums in the U.S., it houses more than 25,000 pieces from Texas to points all around the world. Little kids will love Arturo’s Nest where they can crawl, climb, and explore art. And the whole family can enjoy the Center of Creative Connections and the Sculpture Garden. Best of all, admission is free.
- Crayola Experience – Worth the drive, this colorful space located in Plano will keep your art-loving kids entertained for the better part of a day. Melt and mold crayons, design your very own crayon label, learn how crayons are made, or climb the giant play structure.
- National Videogame Museum – Video game lovers will enjoy learning all about the video game industry’s rich history. Explore tons of video game memorabilia, including the world’s biggest Pong game. Best of all, you can get in on the fun by going head to head on some of your favorite games like Donkey Kong or Space Invaders.
- Texas Discovery Gardens & Butterfly House – Explore over seven acres of native gardens along with an amazing butterfly house where you can interact with hundreds of different butterflies. The snake sanctuary allows you to get up close with both venomous and non-venomous snakes. You can also take a ride on one of three different trains.
- Frontiers of Flight Museum – Explore galleries and displays including over 30 aircraft and space vehicles like the Apollo 7, the Flying Pancake, and the Wright Flier. It’s the perfect place for anyone that loves STEM with the opportunity to learn about aerodynamics, spacecraft design, and space survival.
Everything is bigger in Texas – and Dallas is no exception. You’ll never be bored with this list of 26 places to shop, eat, and play.