With warm or mild weather all year-round, Southern hospitality that can’t be beat, a mouthwatering food scene filled with barbecue and Tex Mex and a plethora of family-friendly activities, Dallas is a sure win for parents seeking a kid-approved domestic getaway.
A good choice when visiting Dallas is a car rental, so you can see everything the city has to offer from end to end. If you go this route, one of the spots to add to your itinerary is the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. There are 66 acres and 11 gardens with something new going on each season. Dallas Blooms Spring is the Southwest’s largest outdoor flower festival; Christmastime brings extravagant light and gazebo displays; and an annual pumpkin village arrives each fall.
The Dallas Zoo is the largest in Texas, with 106 acres and more than 2,000 animals. One of the show-stopping exhibits is the Giants of the Savanna display, an award-winning habitat, the only one of its kind in the United States, where elephants, giraffes, zebras and other African species all coexist in one space.
An acclaimed museum, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science offers five floors and 11 exhibit halls that bring engineering, technology and conservation to life. The building itself, with its state-of-the-art sustainability and eye-catching architecture, is at least worth a quick stop. Plus, the downtown location makes it an easy trip from any hotel or on the way to other attractions.
One of the best parts? All of the three above attractions are available using the Dallas CityPASS. Other attractions included with a CityPASS are the Reunion Tower GeO-Deck, George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum and The Sixth Floor Museum. The latter is definitely worth a visit for older children. The site of the Kennedy assassination and the audio guide through the historic space are both riveting and thought-provoking.
Want to dive even deeper into the history and heritage of Dallas? Right across the street from The Sixth Floor Museum is the Old Red Museum where you can find more localized exhibits and artifacts celebrating the cultural, political and economic history of Dallas.
If you have a football fan on your hands, an AT&T Stadium tour is certainly called for. Home to the Dallas Cowboys, the stadium’s guided tour for small groups takes you through the inner workings of the giant complex, including a walk on the field. Self-guided tours are also available. Art tours are offered for those interested in exploring the stadium’s collection of contemporary art.
Of course, if you visit during the summer, a trip to the State Fair of Texas, a 24-day event that welcomes more than 3 million visitors annually is in order. With an amazing midway and some of the craziest fair food you’ve ever seen, it’s the perfect place to find your inner child.
This summer, family travel at The Peninsula receives an upgrade with the debut of Camp Peninsula, a children’s experience that recreates the spirit of camping right in the heart of Beverly Hills. The journey begins with a special welcome from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot, at check-in. After taking a picture with the life-sized teddy bear, kids will be whisked away by a Peninsula Camp Counselor to a luxurious guestroom where a charming teepee awaits. An afternoon of camp-themed games and activities, including a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, rounds off the family-friendly experience, fun for children of all ages. Whether it’s a luxe staycation or an extended holiday, Camp Peninsula is an ideal way to ensure the little ones are happy campers.
The zoo is the perfect place for children to see and potentially interact with wildlife. Whether your family is filled with animal lovers or you just need a good excuse to get out and about, here are some of the country’s best zoos for your next family adventure:
The mad bobbing of sunny yellow toy ducks vying for the finish line has become a popular community event and fun family activity around the world — with many events staged to benefit local or national charities. Event-goers “adopt” a brightly colored, numbered rubber duck, pop it into a water source (usually a river or a stream) and wait to see which duck crosses the finish line first. Winners typically are awarded a prize donated by a race sponsor, while proceeds from the duck adoptions go to benefit a specific cause.