Visiting Dallas, Texas with the kids? Here are five things to do in Dallas, courtesy of the Dallas CVB!
Located just off White Rock Lake, the 66-acre display garden offers admission to the public seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Displayed at the Arboretum are more than 10 architect-designed gardens, multiple rotating plant collections and a plant trial garden. Families will enjoy the “Fairy Tale Castles”exhibit that runs through December 2011. During the summer months the Arboretum features outdoor, evening concerts each Tuesday and Thursday. For those visiting in the month of August, generaladmission is $1 every day!
Bishop Arts District
Take a 10-minute drive out towards West Dallas and experience the amazing cultural renaissance underway in Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood. Renovations over the past 20-30 years have turned these four city blocks into an eclectic entertainment district full of restaurants, bars, small boutiques and coffee shops. Originally built in the 1920’s as a warehouse district, the historic district’s new atmosphere appeals to a wide audience and has a little something for everyone. Enjoy a casual lunch at the organic bistro Bolsa, or opt for a traditional Central Texas “no sauce, no forks” barbecue plate at Lockhart Smokehouse. For fine-dining, Hattie’s offers a traditional white tablecloth meal, while Lucia (if you can get a reservation…plan at least 6 weeks in advance) serves up a different menu of 5-Star rated Italian cuisine each evening. Kids (and adults) will love The Soda Gallery, complete with all the nostalgic candies and sodas of childhood.
Texas State Fair (September 30, 2011 – October 23, 2011)
No family trip to Dallas is truly complete until you’ve experienced the Texas State Fair. With more than 120 years of experience as the “Fried Food Capital of Texas,” the month long carnival at Fair Park draws droves of tourists and locals each fall. Vendors compete for the Big Tex Choice Awards, handed out to the most creative and best tasting fried food entries new to the fair. Previous winners have included Deep Fried Butter, Texas Fried Cookie Dough and even Fried Beer. The Texas State Fair lays claim to the invention of the Fletcher’s Corny Dog and draws more than 3 million visitors each year. In addition to food, games and rides, the Texas State Fair includes the Chevrolet Test Track, auto shows, stockyard shows, a wine garden, nightly parades, all-day concerts and more! Each fall, visitors’ expenses on fair food, rides and concerts bring nearly $350 million to the Dallas economy.
The second LEGOLAND Discovery Center in the United States (and fifth in the world) opened in Dallas’ Grapevine Mall on March 30. The Discovery Center includes a 4D cinema, the Kingdom Quest chariot ride and
build-it-yourself race zone. Younger children will enjoy DUPLO Village (complete with soft and starter Lego bricks) and the Princess Parlor’s dance and karaoke. Miniland will include reconstructions of Dallas landmarks such as the State Fair and Cowboys Stadium, with airplanes, helicopters and trains moving throughout the exhibit. The City Play Zone anchors Dallas’ LEGOLAND with opportunities to explore the everyday life of a firefighter, coast guard or construction worker through Legos. Dallas’ LEGOLAND Discovery Center is geared at families with children up to age 13, although all ages are welcome.
Dallas Arts District
Located in the heart of downtown, Dallas boasts the largest contiguous urban arts district in the U.S. with five cultural venues designed by Pritzker Prize winning architects. Take the entire family to a show at the Wyly Theater – or leave the kids at home for a trip to the Winspear Opera House or I.M. Pei-designed Meyerson Symphony Center. The Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Museum of Art and Crow Collection of Asian Art all offer daily tours and house both private and traveling collections. Relax and enjoy a meal in the nearby One Arts Plaza – a stunning juxtaposition or urban architecture and commerce. John Tesar’s new burger joint The Commissary is a can’t-miss!