181 Places to See & Things to Do in Dallas-Fort Worth / (Before You’re 5 Feet Tall)


Everything really is bigger in the Lone Star State – and that includes family-friendly fun. We’ve compiled a Texas-sized summer survival checklist that includes all the must-dos for your growing brood – all within a day’s drive of Dallas Fort Worth. So get out your No. 2s, fill your tank with gas and start checking off these essential North Texas attractions.

Texas culture: You’re not a true Texan ’til you’ve been here and done this

  • GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower, Dallas
  • Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth
  • National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth
  • National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth
  • Old Red Museum, Dallas
  • Resistol Arena, Mesquite
  • Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, Dallas
  • Southfork Ranch, Parker
  • Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Fort Worth
  • West End Historical District, Dallas
  • Western Currency Facility, Fort Worth

Science spots: Places to bring out their inner Einstein

  • Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science at Victory Park, Dallas
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, Grand Prairie
  • Sci-Tech Discovery Center, Frisco

Cool transportation: Get your ticket to ride (so Mom can sit down for a change)

  • DART, Dallas area
  • Forest Park Miniature Railroad, Fort Worth
  • Grapevine Vintage Railroad, Grapevine
  • Interurban Railway Museum, Plano
  • McKinney Avenue Trolley, Dallas
  • Museum of the American Railroad, Dallas
  • Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth
  • Trinity Railway Express, Dallas-Fort Worth

Aviation museums: Where dreams take flight … literally

  • Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison
  • C.R. Smith Museum, Fort Worth
  • Founders Plaza Plane Observation Park, DFW International Airport
  • Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
  • Vintage Flying Museum, Fort Worth

Animal encounters: Some moms do eat their young – but not here

  • Dallas Zoo, Dallas
  • Fort Worth Zoo, Fort Worth
  • Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose
  • Frank Buck Zoo, Gainesville
  • In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center, Wylie
  • International Exotic Animal Sanctuary, Rhome
  • Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch, Pilot Point

Aquariums & fishing: In the event of Sponge Bob overload

  • Bass Pro Shops, Grapevine
  • Cabela’s, Fort Worth
  • Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, Dallas
  • Dallas World Aquarium, Dallas
  • SEA LIFE Aquarium, Grapevine
  • Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Athens

Astronomy centers: Indulge in a cavity-free milky way

  • Noble Planetarium, Fort Worth
  • Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Gallery, Fort Worth
  • St. Mark’s School of Texas Observatory, Dallas
  • UNT Sky Theater, Denton
  • UTA Planetarium, Arlington

Lakes & water parks: Places to sport an extra layer of SPF

  • Burger’s Lake, Fort Worth
  • Dallas Classic Gondola Cruises, Las Colinas
  • Eagle Mountain Lake, Fort Worth
  • Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark, Grand Prairie
  • Fort Worth Water Gardens, Fort Worth
  • Hawaiian Falls, Garland, Mansfield, Roanoke and The Colony
  • Keller Pointe, Keller
  • King Spa & Waterpark, Dallas
  • Lake Arlington, Arlington
  • Lake Benbrook, Fort Worth
  • Lake Grapevine, Grapevine
  • Lake Joe Pool, Cedar Hill
  • Lake Lavon, Wylie
  • Lake Lewisville, Lewisville
  • Lake Mineral Wells, Mineral Wells
  • Lake Ray Hubbard, Rowlett
  • Lake Ray Roberts, Pilot Point
  • Lake Worth, Fort Worth
  • NRH2O Family Water Park, North Richland Hills
  • Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Arlington
  • Trinity River Kayak/Canoe Expeditions, Dallas area
  • Wet Zone, Rowlett
  • White Rock Lake, Dallas

Ice skating: Mittens in summer? Only at these icy escapes

  • Allen Community Ice Rink, Allen
  • Dr Pepper Star Center, Euless, Farmers Branch, Frisco, McKinney and Plano
  • Galleria Ice Skating Center, Dallas
  • Ice at the Parks, Arlington

Amusements parks, entertainment centers & sports: Because they’re sure to nap afterward

  • Adventure Landing, Dallas
  • Alley Cats Entertainment Center, Arlington
  • Bowlmor Dallas, Addison
  • Canyons Climbing Gym, Frisco
  • Celebration Station, Mesquite
  • Cowtown Cattlepen Maze, Fort Worth
  • Dyno-Rock Climbing Center, Arlington
  • Katy Trail, Dallas
  • Lone Star Fencing Center, Dallas
  • Lone Star Park, Grand Prairie
  • Main Event, Fort Worth, Frisco, Lewisville, Grapevine and Plano
  • Medieval Times, Dallas
  • Pilot Knoll Hiking Trail, Highland Village
  • Top Golf, Allen, Dallas and The Colony
  • Trinity Trail, Fort Worth
  • Sandy Lake Amusement Park, Carrollton
  • Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington
  • Strikz, Frisco
  • Summit Climbing Gym, Dallas, Carrollton, Denton and Grapevine
  • Wiggly Play Center, Frisco

Professional Sports: Where family-friendly sports and, ahem, beer collide

  • American Airlines Center, Dallas
  • AT&T Stadium, Arlington
  • AirHogs Baseball, Grand Prairie
  • Dr Pepper Ballpark, Frisco
  • LaGrave Field/Fort Worth Cats Baseball, Fort Worth
  • Pizza Hut Park/FC Dallas Soccer, Frisco
  • Rangers Ballpark/Rangers, Arlington

Farms & petting zoos: ‘Mommy, what’s a cow patty?’

  • Fritz Park Petting Farm, Irving
  • Grisham Farms Petting Zoo, McKinney
  • Latte Da Dairy, Flower Mound
  • Nash Farm, Grapevine
  • Trinity River Farm, Fort Worth

Pick-your-own farms: Kids are expert pickers … of fruit, that is

  • 3 Vines Vineyard, Ponder
  • Blase Family Farm, Rockwall
  • Duck Creek Blackberry Farm, Sanger
  • Gnismer Farms, Arlington
  • Henrietta Creek Orchard, Roanoke

Horse-back riding: Yeehaw fun found here

  • Benbrook Stables, Benbrook
  • Dallas Polo Club, Red Oak
  • Marshall Creek Ranch, Southlake
  • North Dallas Equestrian Center, McKinney
  • Park Lane Equestrian, Dallas
  • Prestonwood Polo & Country Club, Oak Point
  • River Ranch at Texas Horse Park, Dallas
  • Storybook Ranch, McKinney
  • Windmill Stables of Spring Park, Richardson

Art museums: For mini monets in training

  • Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth
  • Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington
  • Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas
  • Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas
  • Irving Arts Center, Irving
  • Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
  • Meadows Museum at SMU, Dallas
  • Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth
  • Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas

Historical sites & museums: Round-trip ticket back in time

  • Chestnut Square Historic Village, McKinney
  • Dallas Firefighters Museum, Dallas
  • Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas
  • Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas
  • George W. Bush Presidential Center, Dallas
  • Heritage Farmstead Museum, Plano
  • International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame, Arlington
  • International Museum of Cultures, Dallas
  • Log Cabin Village, Fort Worth
  • Mary Kay Museum, Addison
  • National Videogame Museum, Frisco
  • Texas Civil War Museum, Fort Worth

Nature & outdoors: It’s OK to get a little bit dirty … dig it?

  • Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Plano
  • Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve, Southlake
  • Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth
  • Cedar Ridge Preserve, Dallas
  • Connemara Meadow Preserve, Allen
  • Dallas Arboretum, Dallas
  • Dinosaur Valley State Park, Glen Rose
  • Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Cedar Hill
  • Elm Fork Nature Preserve, Carrollton
  • Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth
  • Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, Fort Worth
  • The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, McKinney
  • Klyde Warren Park, Dallas
  • River Legacy Living Science Center, Arlington
  • Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, Dallas
  • Texas Discovery Gardens, Dallas
  • Trinity Forest Adventure Park, Dallas
  • Trinity River Audubon Center, Dallas

Theaters & music: Shakespeare never saw so many …

  • Artisan Center Theater, Hurst
  • Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth
  • Casa Mañana, Fort Worth
  • Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, Richardson
  • Circle Theatre, Fort Worth
  • Creative Arts Theatre & School, Arlington
  • Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas
  • Dallas Summer Musicals, Dallas
  • Frisco Area Children’s Theater, Frisco
  • Grapevine Opry, Grapvine
  • Hip Pocket Theatre, White Settlement
  • Kids Who Care, Fort Worth
  • McKinney Performing Arts Center, McKinney
  • Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas
  • Plano Children’s Theatre, Plano and McKinney
  • Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Dallas
  • Rover Dramawerks, Plano
  • Slappy’s Puppet Playhouse, Dallas
  • Theatre Arlington, Arlington
  • Teatro Dallas, Dallas
  • Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie
  • WaterTower Theatre, Addison
  • Winspear Opera House, Dallas




Information Courtesy of DFW Child 

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