There are so many fun things to do with family around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Activities range from chill and relaxing to ultimate thrill seeker! If you are looking for Dallas family fun, you have come to the right place!
It’s kind of funny that it has taken us so long to write an article discussing all of the things to do around Dallas and Fort Worth. We have lived here for nearly 11 years. Before kids, we lived in Uptown/East Dallas. When we had our first kid, we did the whole “burbs” thing and moved to Plano. Then when the second was on his way, we realized we weren’t digging the whole suburb thing and moved down to Midlothian, which is only 30 miles south of both Dallas and Fort Worth. So we know this area WELL.
The purpose of this article will be to assist people in finding some fun things to do with your kids around the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. This guide will be useful if you are a local and looking for something new to try. Our guide will also be useful if you are looking to travel to the Dallas area for a trip or vacation.
The primary focus will be activities. Theme parks, touristy stuff, great playgrounds, tours, museums, and more. We will still have a section for lodging to help those who are traveling to the Dallas area. And of course…food. There are plenty of restaurants to check out that are ideal when dining with kids.
No sense in delaying…so let’s dive right in!
Things To Do When Looking for Dallas Family Fun
This is the crown-jewel park for Dallas and the region. Built on a deck covering Woodall Rogers freeway, this 5 acre park draws people of all ages. The park sits at the border of Dallas’ Uptown and Downtown neighborhoods.
Check out their calendar to see their daily calendar of events, most of which are completely FREE. Yoga, workouts, STEM classes, and many more. Ever wanted to learn ballroom dancing? Come to Clyde Warren during their free workouts and you may be in luck! On the weekends, they have a large game cart with many free games to check out. Games include Jenga, Big Boggle, Uno, Trouble, Sports Balls, Chess, and many more!
The west end of the park includes a 35 foot climbing tower with slide, a kid appropriate climbing wall, water features (perfect for those hot summer days), and a variety of other play equipment. There are restrooms located nearby. The play area is adjacent to the family lawn. This large grass area is perfect for running around, playing frisbee, or having a picnic. Be sure to check the calendar for free family movies in the park!
If all that activity makes y’all hungry, there are many dining options. The onsite restaurant is Mi Cocina Mexican restaurant. In addition to this brick and mortar restaurant, the park hosts 10+ food trucks each day. In addition to the lawn, the park provides plenty of tables and chair for enjoying your meals.
Perfect if you have science and nature enthusiasts (or inquisitive minds). Located just a few blocks from Klyde Warren Park in Dallas’ West End, The Perot has been providing wonder and amazement for a decade.
Some of the permanent exhibits include topics such as sports/sports medicine, a children’s museum, and engineering and innovation hall, Discovering Life Hall, Dynamic Earth Hall (with an awesome earthquake simulator), a Gems and Minerals Hall, and many more.
From November 16, 2022 through September 4, 2023, The Perot museum will be hosting a special exhibit called “The Science Behind Pixar.” Guests can learn all about their favorite Pixar films, how they are made, and the role science plays in the making of these films.
Locals lovingly just call it “The Ball” and for good reason. Reunion tower is a geodesic ball with an observation deck inside perched 561 feet above the ground. A short elevator ride up to the GeO-deck will provide you and your family with a unique view of the Dallas area. You get 360 degree views and can see for MILES. The observation deck is both indoors and outdoors.
During the summer months, they offer plenty of additional family fun activities. Magic shows, crafts, and special guests add to the already fun experience. Normally there are restaurants, but they are currently closed for renovations.
Located in Dallas’ Historic West End, the Dallas World Aquarium has been entertaining locals and visitors since it first opened in 1992. It has expanded twice since then with the most recent expansion coming in 2020.
The Dallas World Aquarium has seven exhibits. They are Cloud Forest Trek, Mundo Maya, Orinoco, Aquarium, South Africa, Borneo, and Photo Ark. There are three restaurants located inside the Dallas World Aquarium.
Located just 10 minutes south of downtown Dallas, the Dallas Zoo is a fantastic way to spend a morning or afternoon. Make sure to have comfy walking shoes, as the Dallas Zoo encompasses 106 acres of different encounters, attractions, and experiences.
Some of the more unique experiences are Keeper Chats, Giraffe Feedings, and Wild Encounters. Attractions include the T-Rex Mini Train and the Endangered Species Carousel. The Dallas Zoo also boasts three delicious dining restaurants in addition to a large zoo gift shop for those vacation souvenirs.
If you are lucky enough to visit during the winter months, you will be able to witness the Dallas Zoo’s Zoo Lights celebration. A walk-through event, the zoo is lit up with over a million lights. There are also 3D lanterns, Santa’s workshop, photo ops, holiday treats, and live music performances.
This would be a great time to talk about how much we recommend CityPASS! We have used it here and in other cities. It saves you a TON of money! A Dallas CityPASS is great for both travelers to Dallas or even locals looking to do a staycation.
With the Dallas CityPASS, you save 49% off normal pricing for four activities. With the Dallas CityPASS, you get admission to The Perot Museum and Reunion Tower GeO-Deck. You then can choose two more attractions. Your options are the Dallas Zoo, George W Bush Presidential Library, or the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.
Pick up your Dallas CityPASS HERE.
Arlington, TX is home to both the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers. Their stadiums are located basically right next to each other. Both stadiums are open for tours during non-game days.
The Dallas Cowboys home field is AT&T Stadium. They offer both VIP Guided Tours and standard self-guided tours. AT&T Stadium tour info is HERE.
The Texas Rangers home field is Globe Life Field. They offer three levels of tours. The Standard Ballpark Tour gets you to most areas of the ballpark. The Clubhouse Tour adds the player’s clubhouse area. The Premium Tour gets you all of the above, but also gives you 30 minutes of field access where you are free to play catch! Globe Life Field tour info is HERE.
Adjacent to Globe Life Field is a cool area called Texas Live! Texas Live! is an entertainment district with restaurants, bars, live music and shopping.
A National Historic District, the stockyards works to preserve the area of Fort Worth the way it was in the late 1800’s. Through World War II, the Fort Worth Stockyards was one of the busiest stockyards and meat processing areas in the world. But as reliance on trains became less important, so did large stockyards such as the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Luckily for us, some savvy investors created a plan to merge the legacy and historic feel of the Stockyards while transforming the area into an entertainment district. Today, this area is rich and alive with dozens of restaurants, bars, shops, museums, petting zoos, and a twice a day cattle drive down the main street.
The Cowtown Coliseum regularly hosts rodeo and bull riding events. PBR Championship events regularly stop here as well.
There is a train depot in the Stockyards. From this depot, you can purchase tickets for rides on historic steam trains!
Located just west of downtown Fort Worth and adjacent to the Trinity River, Dream Park was originally designed to be a park for children of all capabilities. Our boys love taking the 30 minute drive to visit this park. There are wide varieties of play structures, slides, swings, climbing areas, zip lines, and more!
White Rock Lake
One of the busiest parks in the Dallas County Park system and for good reason. The trail system around this lake is very well maintained and offers beautiful views of the lake and the Dallas skyline in the background. There are outfitters around the lake that offer rentals. One rents kayaks for on-water fun. The other rents bikes for those that would rather look at the water than be IN the water.
Everyone knows about the Six Flags family of theme parks! With all the thrills and adrenaline rushes of exhilarating roller coasters, Six Flags Over Texas is a thrill seekers dream! Normally associated with the warm weather months, Six Flags Over Texas actually has plenty of events all around the calendar. They have an extended Oktoberfest that runs from mid-September through mid-November. Then their holiday program picks up on November 19th through January 1st. They do take a few months off until a brief opening for Spring Break.
We love baseball. We especially love Minor League baseball. More intimate stadiums, lower ticket prices, and tons of fan friendly fun nights, Minor League baseball is the place to be! The Roughriders are the AA affiliate of the Texas Rangers. It is cool to be able to see the Rangers rising stars play in Frisco before the move up to the bigs in Arlington!
See our article on the best arcades around Dallas. There are some GREAT ones! Check that article out HERE.
Located in Grand Prairie, Epic Central is a massive development that is still being built today. But don’t worry, there is already PLENTY to do here. Here is a list of some of the notable, family friendly attractions located just a short drive from either Dallas or Fort Worth.
- Epic Waters- Massive water park with a retractable roof, meaning it is open all year round!
- The Epic- Fitness, arts, and entertainment venue. Concerts, classes, camps, and more!
- PlayGrand Adventures- Huge park and playground with some pretty wild structures that you don’t normally see at parks. We have been here and our boys LOVED it. It is a great park for kids to build confidence in their abilities.
- Bolder Adventure Park- Just opened in October 2022, this indoor park focuses on adventure based attractions. Think ropes courses, rock climbing, zip lines, tubing slides, synthetic ice skating, and more.
- Chicken N Pickle- Part restaurant, part bar, part indoor/outdoor entertainment complex. We have been here twice and LOVE it. Food is solid. Drinks are delicious. They have corn hole, shuffleboard, giant jenga, giant battleship, foosball, ping pong, and of course, pickleball. They have dozens of pickleball courses, both indoor and outdoor.
- Shopping and restaurants.
Search for hotels near Grand Prairie HERE.
Similar to Epic Central, Grandscape is a massive mixed use development north of Dallas in The Colony. Here are some of the attractions for the whole family at Grandscape.
- Andretti Indoor Karting and Games- Indoor go-karts, bar, arcades, and more.
- Fountain- This isn’t just a normal fountain. This thing integrates light, synchronized sound, and computerized 3D projection to take things to the next level!
- Grandscape Wheel- Massive 200 foot ferris wheel. Each car can hold up to 8 people
- Immersive Gamebox- Enter an interactive digital room featuring projection mapping, touch screens, motion tracking and 360-degree surround sound to immerse yourself and a group of friends in a 30- to 60-minute digital adventure. From sightseeing on mars to archaeological adventures, Immersive Gamebox has made it a mission to bring people together through technology and play.
- Stage and Lawn- Stage for live music performances
- Shopping and restaurants
Search for hotels near The Colony HERE.
Dining Around Dallas/Fort Worth
There is literally no way to even start to cover all of the great dining options around the DFW Metroplex. But we will list some of our favorites that we have found over the years that find us coming back again and again.
- The Truck Yard– Several locations around Dallas and Fort Worth. This place is wild. Imagine your somewhat crazy Uncle Dave’s place in the country with junk thrown over the property. Add some tables. A stage for music. An old Airstream camper converted to a bar. Food trucks. Tons of friendly people and their pets. Seating that encourages you to meet new friends. That is the Truck Yard
- Hat Creek Burger Company– Locations all over the metroplex. All Hat Creek locations have outdoor but enclosed playscapes for the kids. Add in really good burgers, chicken fingers, and ice cold craft beers, this place is a recipe for success.
- Magic Time Machine– A restaurant that is probably MORE for the kids than the adults, but the adults will still have a great time. This place is wild. Servers dress up. No two tables are alike. Dinner becomes an adventure!
- Woodshed Smokehouse– On the banks of the Trinity River in Fort Worth, this place has great food, live music, lots of outdoor seating
- Chicken N Pickle- See above section for Epic Central
Where To Stay
There are literally hundreds of hotels in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. I will highlight a couple highly recommended hotels in several popular areas.
- Springhill Suites Downtown/West End– Good for families, free breakfast
- Residence Inn Dallas Downtown– Good for families, indoor pool, free breakfast
- Hyatt Place Dallas/Arlington– Free breakfast, outdoor pool
- Live By Loews– Outdoor pool, good for families, right next to Texas Live! and Globe Life Field
- Hampton Inn and Suites Dallas Arlington Entertainment District– Good for families, indoor pool, free breakfast
Downtown Fort Worth
- Hampton Inn and Suites Fort Worth Downtown– Great for families, indoor pool with kid play structures, free breakfast
- Aloft Fort Worth Downtown– Great for families, indoor pool
When Should You Visit?
If you are looking to have Dallas family fun…you can do that ANY time of year. Dallas is great in the Spring. Summers have all the great activities both outdoors and indoors (for those that don’t like a little heat). Fall here is beautiful. Winter is pretty great too. Being able to enjoy holiday activities with only jackets or sweaters is pretty awesome.
Use our guide and make your plans to have some great Dallas family fun. And Fort Worth. And Arlington. And The Colony. And Frisco. This whole area is pretty great…