We’ve lived in the Dallas area before, so we didn’t feel like we had to hit all the attractions, but I’ll list some of our favorites for those who are traveling this way with kids.
1. Dallas Arboretum – This was my favorite beautiful place in Dallas, along White Rock Lake with gorgeous landscaping, a playhouse village, frog water fountains, and plenty of space to run and roll down “hills.”
2. Animals – The Dallas World Aquarium is a multi-story “rainforest-like” aquarium, unique because of all the other animals you get to see in addition to fish. Our kids love both the Dallas and Ft. Worth Zoo, and we could spend a whole day at each!
3. Science Museums – We’ve visited the Children’s Museum at the State Fair Grounds multiple times, but this time we also visited the new Perot museum. If you have toddlers, you can hang out on the bottom floor the whole time. With elementary age kids, I’d start on the 2nd floor first and then make your way to the other exhibits. In McKinney there is also a nature preserve called the Heard Museum.
4. Water Parks – Great Wolf Lodge is at the top of our kids’ list for sure. Hawaiian Falls parks are fantastic. But if you are in the mood for something even smaller and less expensive, you can hit many of the Plano Rec Pools, in particular Tom Muelenbech, off the Tollway and Parker Rd. And lastly, there is a big water spray pad and park in Allen at Celebration Park.
5. Outdoor Fun – We have enjoyed Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano with sidewalk trails and creeks. Erwin Park in McKinney is great for mountain biking and campfires. There are even some great trails in the Rockwall area for running or biking. White Rock Lake, of course is also great for all sorts of water activities and a 9 mile trail around to run or bike. In Allen, our boys have also enjoyed a skate and dirt bike park.
6. Malls – It’s kinda the stereotype that Dallas is known for its malls! And I have to admit that when the kids were younger, we spent much time hanging out at the soft play areas there! Not so much anymore, but we still love the American Girl Doll store, and ice-skating at the Galleria.