Big City Family Fun

30 Top Things to do in Dallas with Kids

Big D. Things to do in Dallas with kids.
Head to the Big D for a weekend pack with fun. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Located in North Texas Dallas, or Big D as Texans call it, is ripe for a  weekend getaway with kids. Familes will find an array of  museums (some free), parks, historical sites, amusument parks along with zoos and aquariums. With a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, Dallas makes for an easy trip with kids, no matter the season or weather.  Here are the 30 Top Things to do in Dallas with Kids.

Top Things to do in Dallas with Kids

AA best aviation museums across the U.S.
The DC-3 was the first aircraft AA used for passenger service. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

American Airlines CR Smith Museum

Did you know that airline’s operate museums? Yes, for aviation buffs, the American Airline CR Smith Museum is a must. Visitors walk through a 1940 Douglas DC-3, the first airliner American Airlines used for passenger travel. Additionally, guests will see all the flight attendant uniforms from the beginning. And the cockpit simulator is another must.

Located at 4601 Texas Highway 360. Open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission is $12 and kids 2 to 17 are $6 with discounts for seniors and military members.

African American Museum of Dallas

See one of the largest collections of African American folk art in the country.  The “Facing the Rising Sun” collection features historical documents, photos and found objects  from the North Dallas community called Freedman’s Town.

Located at 3536 Grand Avenue in Historic Fair Park. Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

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Belo Garden

This downtown garden marries native plants with Texas granite. And an interactive water feature will be a win for the kids.

Located at 1014 Main St., a few blocks north of Pioneer Plaza. Open year round. Free

Bishop Arts District

Find a collection of boutiques, restaurants and galleries in an eclectic neighborhood. It’s near the Texas Theatre, a place to introduce your older kids to a classic movie.

Located southwest of downtown Dallas in the North Oak Cliff area. Free

Crow Collection of Asian Art

Visitors will see collections from China, Japan, Vietnam and India among other countries at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, located on the University of Texas at Dallas campus. Guests will find ancient works to contemporary along with screens, lacquerware and samurai items among its permanent exhibits.

Located at 2010 Flora St. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free general admission though donations accepted.

Dallas Arboretum, Things to do in Dallas with kids.
Stroll the garden room at the Dallas Arboretum. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Along the shores of White Rock Lake, explore the 66-acre Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden with its rainbow-colored blooms throughout the seasons. In fact, it’s one of the Top Things to do in Dallas with Kids.

Each garden feels like a unique room that flows into another. The Sunken Garden is a favorite. The Crape Myrtle Allée is a sight in full summertime bloom. Remember, to most kids a botanical garden feels like a park, and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden offers a Children’s Adventure Garden ($3 additional).

For fall foliage, the Maple Garden offers 80 varieties of Japanese maples. The Pecan Grove is home to the Pumpkin Houses, fanciful gourd getaways.

Located at 8525 Garland Road. Open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $20 and kids 2 to 12 are $12. Parking is additional. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden offers a reduced admission during slow seasons: $5 general admission in January and $3 in August.

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Dallas Farmers Market

Since 1941, shoppers have gathered at the Dallas Farmers Market. Now visitors can stroll among the stalls at the Farmers Market. This area has been reinvented over the years and offers produce, farm-raised meat, diary and eggs along with artisan made food and crafts.

Addtionally, visitors will find a food hall along with The Shed, an open-air pavillon with produce, open on weekends. There’s boutique shopping in the complex as well.

Located at 920 S. Harwood St. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free and parking nearby.

Dallas World Aquarium

Located in the West End Historic District, the Dallas World Aquarium offers more than marine animals. As a part of its conservation efforts, visitors find endangered land animals, like the Orinoco crocodiles. During your visit see the kid-favorite, two-toed sloths. Of course, jellyfish, sharks, crabs and fish all live at the Dallas World Aquarium.

Located at 1801 North Griffin St. Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission is $29.95, kids 3 to 12 are $19.95 and free for 2 and younger. Parking additional.

Deep Ellum Mural. Things to do in Dallas with kids.
Take your teen to Deep Ellum for a mural selfie. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Deep Ellum Murals

East of downtown Deep Ellum offers a vibrant arts and entertainment community. Driving down the streets, the murals pop out and perfect  for selfies.

Find several murals on Elm Street or Main St. Free

Dallas Firefighters Museum

Kids can learn about what firefighting was like over 100 years ago in an original 1907 fire house. Since horses were used, this is the location of the first horse hospital in Dallas.

Located at 3801 Parry Avenue. Open from Wednesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission is $6 and kids is $4.

Head to the Young Learner’s Gallery at the Dallas Museum of Art. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Dallas Museum of Art

Art museums can be hit or miss with kids, so walk a gallery or walk a floor at the Dallas Museum of Art (or DMA). It offers an extensive permanent collection and is one of the top things to do in Dallas with kids.

Visitors should check out the special exhibitions for more to see. Best of all, the Dallas Museum of Art is part of the arts districts with several art museums within walking distance.

If the kids need a break, head to the Center of Creative Connections for a space just for families. The Sculpture Garden offers another space to explore outdoors. Find restaurants for dining inside of the museum.

Located at 1717 North Harwood. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free for collections, special exhibitions are extra.

Dallas Zoo

Opening in 1888, the Dallas Zoo is the oldest and largest zoo in Texas and is one of the top things to do in Dallas with kids. With 106 acres, zoo goers find over 2,000 animals from 406 species with lions, elephants, gorillas and hippos.

Located at 650 S R L Thornton Freeway. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. in winter and fall). The Dallas Zoo uses flex pricing and adult admission ranges from $8 to $21 daily. Parking is additional.

The Tail of a 737 grabs the attention at the Pioneers of Flight museum. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Frontiers of Flight Museum

With a Southwest 737 sticking out of the building, the Frontiers of Flight Museum  grabs a kid’s attention. This museum features aircraft hanging from the rafters and parked outside with a total of 40 air and spacecraft on display.

As a bonus head around back to see the Southwest jets take off and land at Love Field, one of its hubs. And don’t forget to walk through the Southwest jet that sticks outside of the building.

Located at 6911 Lemmon Avenue, at the Dallas Love Field Airport. Open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $12 and kids 3 to 17 $9.

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George W. Bush Library. Things to do in Dallas with kids.
Get a presidential selfie at the desk. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

As one of the top things to do in Dallas with kids, the presidential library walks visitors through recent history. At the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum guests will walk through the Nation under Attack exhibit and learn more about 9/11. The replica of the Oval Office is a hit with kids and they can take a picture behind the president’s desk.

Located on the Southern Methodist University Campus at 2943 SMU Boulevard. Open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $16, kids 13 to 17 $14 and kids 5 to 12 $10 and must be reserved in advance.  Or use your Dallas CityPass.

The Giant Eyeball
Stop by and see a 30 foot tall eyeball. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Giant Eyeball

Everything is bigger in Texas, even the eyeballs. The Giant Eyeball is a 30-foot tall fiberglass eyeball, designed by Tony Tasset. For its novelty, it’s one of the top things to do in Dallas with kids.

Located at 1601 Main Street. The eyeball sits on private property though see it from the sidewalk.

Klyde Warren Park

Downtown parks are an oasis for families. Bridging Uptown and Downtown Dallas, the Klyde Warren Park offers five acres to roam. Perched above the Woodall Rogers Freeway, find a green spacewithlive music and lawn games.

FInd food trucks on the side so grab a bite. Then head to one of shaded green bistro tables.

Find a multi-dimensional playground in the Children’s Park. And the Imagination Playground features kid-sized foam blocks.

Located at 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Open dawn to dusk. Free

Lakeland Hills Park Skatepark

Head to this eight-acre park if you have a skater in the car. It’s located in a neighborhood south of White Rock Lake.

Located at 2600 St. Francis Ave. Open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Free

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

You’ve seen it, you just didn’t know the name of it. The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge transformed the Dallas Skyline when it opened in 2012. Spanning the Trinity River, the cable stayed bridge offers a sculptural element to downtown Dallas.

Located next to the Trinity Groves, a 15-acre restaurant and entertainment district southwest of Downtown Dallas. Open 24-hours a day. Free

McKinney Avenue Trolley

Take the vintage street car, the McKinney Avenue Trolley travels in-between popular Dallas destinations, like Klyde Warren Parkand the Dallas Museum of Art. The vintage cars are air-conditioned and heated for comfort year-round.

Find a stop designated by a maroon sign labeled with M-line Trolley. Free

Meadows Museum

With 66,000-square feet, the Meadows Museums offers work like Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and Diego Velazquez in its permanent collection. The Meadows Museum also offers a sculpture garden.

Located at 5900 Bishop Blvd on the Southern Methodist University campus. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Thursday, and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $12 and kids 18 and under are free.

Nasher Sculpture Center

FInd an indoor and outdoor space, with contemporary and modern sculpture. See Giacometti, Matisse and Picasso among others. Nasher offers student tours and family programs to introduce kids to sculpture and conveniently located next to the Dallas Museum of Art.

Located at 2001 Flora Street. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $10 and kids 12 and under are free.

Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture

In a restored courthouse from 1892, find exhibits that start with prehistoric times through the boom days when railroads arrived in 1872 and 1873. Get some details on colorful Dallas residents too.

Located next to Dealey Plaza at 100 S. Houston St. Closed for renovations.

The Perot Museum. Things to do in Dallas with kids.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science offers lots of hands-on activities. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

If you only have time for one museum, the Perot is it. Stroll the exhibits covering energy, the earth, dinosaurs and minerals. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science offers a movie theater and lots of hands-on activities for kids and their adults. Additionally the facility features the Moody Family Children’s Museum though this facility is geared for younger kids.

Located at 2201 N. Field St. Open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along with Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Tuesday) Adults admission is $25 and kids 2 to 12 are $15. Or use your Dallas CityPass.

Pioneer Plaza

Dallas was a rough and tumble place with awesternflavor 150 years ago. Relive its cattle driving past with a larger-than-life bronze sculpture depicting the Shawnee Trail. Kids marvel at the longhorns and their massive horns.

Located at 1428 Young St., next to the Dallas Convention Center. Open year round from dawn to dusk. Free

Reunion Tower

With 360-degree views of Dallas and Forth Worth, it offers a bird’s eye view, up 470 feet. Find an indoor and outdoor space.

Located at 300 Reunion Blvd. Open Monday  through Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Adult admission ranges from $19- $35 and kids 4 to 12 are $9 -$15.  Or use a CityPass.

Self Guided Walking Tour of Downtown

Download the Pegasus Urban Trails, a free app, for seven free DIY walking tours. It covers all the downtown districts and you can go at your own pace.

Explore the Dallas Arts District for all the top museums. Or learn some Dallas history with the West End Historic District trail. Then head to Deep Ellum, the entertainment district for a walking tour of its murals.

Sixth Floor Museum. Things to do in Dallas with kids.
From this window, Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza 

Back in 1963, shots rang out from the sixth floor of a quiet building in downtown Dallas. By the end of the day, history changed course and the U.S. had a new President.

Visitors will learn more about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald from the sixth floor of the former book depository overlooking the parade route. It starts with events leading up to JFK’s visit to Texas and the morning of the assassination.

Located at 411 Elm St. Open Monday from noon to 6 p.m. and Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adult admission is $18, kids 6 to 18 $14 and kids 5 and under are free. Or use your Dallas CityPass.

Due to the mature nature of this subject best suited for tweens and teens. Though for older kids, it is one of the top things to do in Dallas with kids.

Six Flags Over Texas

Head to Arlington, in-between Dallas and Ft. Worth, for 45 amusement park rides including El Diablo, the world’s largest loop coaster. Find rides for everyone along with live shows.

Located at 2201 E Road to Six Flag St. Seasonal hours and days of operation. Admission varies.

Trinity River Audubon Center

What started as an illegal dump site is now 130-acre site. Stroll among through the bottomland hardwood forest or the wetland prairie habitat and see how the animals have returned to the area.

Located at 6500 Great Trinity Forest Way. Open Wednesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. From January to June 2023, th Trinity River Audubon Center is free. Reservations required.

White Rock Lake

Enjoy the day exploring White Rock Lake or pack a picnic for a mid-day escape. Built in 1911, find a 9.9-mile walking path along with lots of green space.

Located at 8300 East Lawther Dr. Open from dawn to dusk. Rental boats available for a fee. Free

Where to Stay

Stay in an Art Centric Boutique Hotel just south of the Dallas Convention Center featuring 600 original works of art. The Lorenzo Hotel offers 237 rooms with dining, valet parking and a pool with a bar. Located at 1011 S. Akard St.

Where to Eat

Kids love burgers so head to Burger House for solid burgers and seasoned fries. Located at 6248 E. Mockingbird Lane.

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Disclosure: Consideration for brands mentioned.

ead to Dallas, Texas, for a getaway packed with museums, parks and more. Got all the fun along with murals, street art and food trucks along with where to find the best view of North Texas. Where to go in Dallas Texas | Best Museums in Dallas #Dallas #Texas

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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