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.