If you’re planning a vacation with the kids and want them to have fun while (Shh!) absorbing a few facts, Dallas, Texas, has much to offer at any time of the year. Grown-ups shouldn’t worry, as they also find plenty to interest them. Here are our tips for the best places to visit:
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Described as a living science lesson, a visit to the Perot Museum in downtown Dallas will stimulate your curiosity and allow you to explore new worlds of technology and engineering. The museum also provides family discovery days every second Saturday and features exciting programs, ranging from animals to science, and encourages a hands-on approach to learn about science. The museum also offers well-supervised sleepovers for kids aged 6-12, presenting you and your children the chance to explore behind the scenes before dozing with the dinosaurs.
Sea Life Grapevine
Sea Life at Grapevine near Dallas provides visitors with the fabulous experience of walking through a glass tunnel with 360° views of sea creatures, ranging from sharks to seahorses. Other popular inhabitants are clownfish and green turtles. Children will further love the submarine-themed play zone – don’t forget to bring spare socks! Sea Life is also a popular venue for birthday parties, when each child gets a full day’s admission, pizza, birthday cookies, soda and the services of a birthday host. Toddler Tuesdays offers the best value for one adult and up to two pre-schoolers. Top tip: buy your tickets online to get a 25% discount.
The Sixth Floor Museum/Texas School Book Depository
The sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository is where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots that killed President John F. Kennedy. The museum’s exhibition reflects JFK’s life, death and legacy, recreates the social and political context of the 1960s and chronicles the impact the assassination has had on American culture. The museum is accessible to all ages, with audio guides, films, photos and artifacts. Buy tickets in advance online as holidays and weekends can be busy.
White Rock Lake Park
When you need to recharge your batteries, head to White Rock Lake. Known as the Jewel of Dallas, the park that surrounds it is a beautiful green oasis, perfect for having a picnic and letting the kids stretch their legs. You can run along the waterside trails, fish, sail, walk or just sit and people-watch.
Dallas Zoo offers the whole family an educational, fun and entertaining experience, along with a chance to get close to wild animals. The zoo is beautifully laid out on a 106-acre site that offers many varied environments for creatures that include elephants, giraffes, koalas and alligators. One of the focal points is the Giants of the Savanna, where helping to feed the giraffes is a highlight for many visitors. Top tip: during busy periods you might consider arriving by DART Red Line, which delivers visitors straight to the Zoo’s main entrance.
Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park
For older children who are looking for an adrenaline rush, the Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park offers five different extreme rides that include bungee jumping, Skycoaster and the notorious Texas Blastoff. Staff at the park excel at engaging with kids and provide just the right amount of encouragement to reassure the most hesitant. Each ride is quick, so queues are short. Top tip: check meteorological reports before going, as some rides will close in bad weather.