Dallas has a ton of kid-friendly activities in and around the city. Whether you're looking for something educational or just want to find a place where your kids can run around and blow off some steam, Dallas has you covered. There are museums, green spaces, trails, and one-of-a-kind events throughout the city to keep both you and your kids happy.
The Nasher Sculpture Center features indoor and outdoor galleries and gardens that your family will love exploring. While toddlers may not appreciate the artwork, school-aged kids and teens will find a lot here to spark the imagination. The Center has free admission on the first Saturday of every month and hosts family-friendly activities and educational opportunities throughout the year. Their biggest event is the Great Create that happens every spring and features guest artists, live music, hands-on activities, and kid-friendly food.
If you're looking for a way to spend some time in nature with your kids, you can't do much better than the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. It covers 66 acres next to White Rock Lake. While there is plenty to see here, don't miss the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. It focuses on education and interaction between kids and nature and features 17 galleries, 150 hands-on science games, and an edible garden.
The best thing about the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park is that it was truly designed for kids. There are plenty of hands-on experiences here—kids are encouraged to touch lobsters, sea urchins, conches, stingrays, and more. Stick around to feed the stingrays yourself or stop and watch the staff feed the sharks. Don't forget to meet MJ, a young loggerhead sea turtle that calls the aquarium home.
Klyde Warren Park is a downtown green space connecting the Arts District with Uptown. Play outdoor games, grab a bite to eat from a local food truck and catch a concert at the pavilion. Don't miss the Children's Park where little ones can play in the interactive fountains, run around the playground, or catch storytime or a children's theater performance at the kid-sized amphitheater.
At the Dallas Heritage Village, kids can experience what it was like to be an early settler in Texas between 1840 and 1910. There are 21 historic buildings in all, including a general store, school, church, doctor's office, saloon, and bank. Actors in period-appropriate clothing give first-person accounts of life back then; listening to these stories will give your kids a better understanding of local history.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science covers a whopping 180,000 square feet full of kid-friendly displays and hands-on activities. There are 11 halls to explore and they focus on everything from space, weather to robots. Activities include exploring a mini version of downtown Dallas, building model skyscrapers, racing a virtual T.rex, and experiencing an earthquake. There are also educational films and an outdoor leapfrog garden to keep you busy.
If you're willing to explore a little further out, check out the Fort Worth Water Gardens. There are three pools here. The large active pool features running waterfalls and is the highlight of the gardens for most visitors. There's also a calmer, shallower tranquility pool and an aerating pool with spray water features. Some parents let their kids splash around in the active fountain, but note that swimming is not permitted. Still, this is a great place to take family photos and the kids will love the waterfalls and fountains.
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the State Fair is no exception. Every year on the last Friday in September, the fair kicks off with a parade that rolls right through downtown Dallas. Guests at the fair can enjoy a nightly Starlight Parade and light show, full auto show, bird flyovers, gondola rides, dog and pig races, and BMX bike show. All of these events are kid-friendly, though there are activities specifically planned for younger kids, too, including puppet shows, a barnyard, and storytimes.
The Frontiers of Flight Museum is one of those places that is equally as fun for kids as it is for parents. There are 18 historical galleries here, highlighting aviation and space exploration. This museum has a vast collection of aircraft, including biplanes, military planes—with an entire exhibit of aircraft from World War II—and the Apollo 7 command module. Walk through the history of aviation, starting with Leonardo da Vinci's early inventions and all the way to the space age.
White Rock Lake Park is arguably the best park in Dallas. It covers more than 1,000 acres and is one of the best places to experience the outdoors in the city. There are nine miles of trails around the lake, ideal for walkers, cyclists, and runners; the lake is also available for kayaking and boating. Kids love running around the trails, but there are also five playgrounds scattered around the park where they can play, climb, and swing to burn off energy.