25 Free, Fabulous AND Fun Things To Do In Dallas With Kids

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Disclosure:  Hotels.com asked me to share my ideas on free fun things to do in Dallas with kids.

In Dallas, everything is swanky right? Dallas is a great city to visit with lots of world-class museums, green spaces, shopping and architecture. But is Dallas Texas for kids? The answer would be a resounding yes. Thanks to lots of really rich resident, their love of philanthropy, and a flush government, there are also lots of fun free things to do in Dallas with kids that won’t break your bank. Dallas attractions for kids only start with amazing Dallas hotels for kids (with waterparks!). From there, Dallas attractions for kids include everything from museums in Dallas for kids to green spaces for exploring.   Following up on our suggestions for free things to do with kids in Fort Worth, we thought we would go through free things to do in Dallas, Fort Worth’s neighbour.

Dallas Hotels For Kids

If you are looking for the best hotels n Dallas for kids, how about a choice of hotels that include entire waterparks. Dallas is so OTT you actually have a choice of fun hotels in Dallas for kids (waterpark optional).

Here are some Dallas hotels for kids that include waterparks:

  • The Hilton Anatole is located in the design district and has a waterpark on site complete with slides and a lazy river.
  • If you choose to stay outside of Dallas itself, check out that family favourite, The Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine Texas.
  • The Gaylord Texan has a waterpark, arcade, zip lines and a lazy river. In winter, they also have an ice exhibit similar to the Gaylord ICE Exhibit our children loved in Washington, D.C..

The best Dallas hotel for kids doesn’t necessarily need to be a resort. If you think just a nice pool with kids will placate your kids, these are two great Dallas hotels for kids.

  •  The Westin Galleria is located near the Galleria Dallas, a ginormous shopping mall with an American Girl store.
  • The Omni Dallas Hotel pool has a heated rooftop infinity pool with fantastic views over the Dallas skyline.
NB: If you are in Dallas for Christmas, make sure to stop by Galleria Dallas which has largest indoor Christmas tree in the USA. The Galleria Dallas also has an indoor ice skating rink, a rain forest themed soft play center and loads of shopping.

To find the best hotel deals in Dallas Texas for these and other hotels, check out Hotels.com.

25 Free Things To Do in Dallas TX With Kids

There are plenty of things to do in Dallas Texas for kids that will have you opening your wallet frequently, for example theme parks like Six Flags and Hurricane Harbor. It’s refreshing to have some options that include free things to do in Dallas with kids.

Explore History in Dallas With Kids

Attractions in Dallas Texas for kids include historical attractions that include local as well as national history. Monuments and log cabins could make fun activities in Dallas for kids.

The JFK Memorial is located near Dealey Plaza, the site where President Kennedy was assassinated. Created by architect, Philip Johnson, the JFK Memorial was dedicated in 1970 and shaped like an open tomb.

Dealy Plaza in Dallas Texas
One of the must do Dallas things to do kids is visit Dealy Plaza and the JFK Memorial

Nearby there is Founders Plaza which has a log cabin reconstruction of the city’s founder, John Neely Bryan.

Top Tip!  If you have an aviation geek child like I do, make sure you stop by the Founders Plaza Observation Station. Dallas fun for kids includes two places where you can watch planes take off and land (Founders Plaza Observation Station for Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Bachman Lake Park for Dallas Love Field Airport).

New York City may have its one famous bull statue on Wall Street but everything is bigger in Dallas. Artist Robert Summers has created a sculpture of a herd of Longhorn cattle and 3 cattle riders driving them to market. The Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive sculpture is located on the actual historic 19th century Shawnee Cattle Drive which is now in front of the Convention Center.

Pioneer Plaza cattle crossing
Free things to do in Dallas include taking photos with the sculpture of longhorn steer herd crossing complete with cowboys.

Note that if your kids are into cowboys, Fort Worth is an easy day trip from Dallas that is totally worth doing!

You may not think libraries provide fun Dallas activities for kids BUT the J. Erik Jonsson public library has one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence. You may also want to check out William Shakespeare’s first folio from 1623.

Locations

  • JFK Memorial (646 Main Street)
  • Founders Plaza (600 Elm Street)
  • Founders Plaza Observation Station (1700 Airfield Drive)
  • Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive (Downtown, Young & Griffin Streets)
  •  Central Library (1515 Young Street)

Check Out Public Art & Architecture in Dallas With Kids

 

Dallas City Hall is an impressive piece of modern architecture done by  I.M. Pei who created the famed pyramid entrance to the Louvre. It’s located on a 7 acre plaza with sculptures by famous sculptor, Henry Moore.

Dallas City Hall designed by architect I.M. Pei
When you are in Dallas with Kids, check out the the contemporary City Hall designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei.

NorthPark Center is a fun mall with food, shopping and an art collection. The art collection has works by such famous artists like Andy Warhol and Frank Stella.

Locations 

  • Dallas City Hall (2014 Main Street)
  • NorthPark Center (8687 North Central Expressway)

What to do in Dallas with Kids: Dallas Museums For Kids

Dallas is chock full of museums and there are even some free entry ones.  Most of these museums are located in the Dallas Arts District which spans some 68 acres. No need to worry about paying a lot of money for museum entrance and having to cajole children into staying somewhere they don’t like.

Among the free museums in Dallas for kids to enjoy are:

The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the country. Among the museums in Dallas for kids, this museum would be the most prominent.

Downtown Dallas Texas and the Dallas Art Museum
Stuff to do with kids in Dallas include several museums in Dallas for kids with free entrance and family-friendly activities

Located in a former elementary school, The Samurai Collection at The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, has displays of 10 centuries of samurai gear from armor to weaponry.

The Crow Collection of Asian Art is another great Dallas museum for kids. It has a small but exquisite collection that covers art from all of Asia (China, Japan, India and South East Asia). Bonus:  There’s a shaded sculpture garden at the Crow Collection of Asian Art.

African American Museum displays art important to African American history such as folk art, quilts and photographs.

If your kids like contemporary art like the Tate Modern or MoMA, check out the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art as an alternative Dallas attraction for kids. The art is cool, colourful and I’m sure you’ll think your kids could have done something similar.

While you are in the Dallas Art District, swing by and see the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony also designed by I.M. Pei.

Top Tip!The Dallas Art District is near Klyde Warren Park if you need an outdoor park breather.

Although the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is not free to enter, its lobby and plaza have a one acre forest with oversized musical instruments to play.

Locations:

  • Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood Street);
  • Samurai Collection (2501 North Harwood Street)
  • Crow Collection (2001 Ross Avenue)
  • Meyerson Symphony (2301 Flora)
  • Perot Museum (2201 N. Field Street)
  • African American Museum (3536 Grand Avenue)

Dallas Attractions For Kids: Urban Oasis

There are small (by Dallas standards) parks as well as parks and recreation facilities that would make great things to do with kids in Dallas.

Fountain Place is a 60 story skyscraper in downtown Dallas also designed by I.M.Pei in the Dallas Arts District. The architect designed lobby and plaza are an amazing oasis of waterfalls and fountains set on nearly 2 acres.

Pegasus Plaza is another public park in Dallas with a fountain and stream fed by a mineral spring. The Pegasus sign has been a landmark since 1934.

There’s also a landscaped garden at CenterPark, NorthPark Center’s green space which runs community events amidst more artworks and foliage.

There’s a really well done accessible playground at Kiest Park.

Downtown Dallas cityscape
Dallas activities for kids include plenty of things to do outdoors in urban parks and larger green spaces.

Not all Dallas open spaces are urban parks. Check out fun things to do in Dallas for kids that are more free-range in style.

One of the best things to do in Dallas with kids is a visit to the Klyde Warren Park is a 5 acre urban park built over a freeway. It’s very family-friendly with a playground, food trucks, and water fountains.

White Rock Lake is a 1000+ acre man-made water and park area which lends itself to water activities like kayaking and SUP as well as strolling around its nine miles of paths.

Locations:  

  • CenterPark (8687 North Central Expressway)
  • Galleria Dallas (13350 Dallas Parkway)
  • Kiest Park (3080 S. Hampton Road)
  • Fountain Place (1445 Ross Avenue at Field Street)
  • Pegasus Plaza (Main at Akard Street)
  • Klyde Warren Park (2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway)
  • White Rock Lake (8300 East Lawther Drive)

Attraction in Dallas for Kids: Transportation Fun!

Ever since we discovered that my children find public transportation fascinating when we rode around Venice on the waterbuses, we try to use local transportation where we can.

Who can resist those pretty trolleys that add to the allure of New Orleans and San Francisco? In Dallas, you can take the free restored vintage M-Line trolleys of that go from West Village through uptown and downtown which helpfully take you through past the many cool things to do in Dallas for kids.

The D-Link is another free shuttle that takes you through some of the Dallas things to do with kids mentioned above, including the cattle drive statues in front of the convention center and the Dallas Arts District with its fab free museums.

Dallas Texas skyline at Dusk
Although known for glam and glitz, you can find plenty to do in Dallas for kids that’s family-friendly wholesome fun.

We took eco-friendly golf carts in Miami, and my kids had a blast. The Dallas version is called E-Frogs Dallas and you can text them for pick up.

NB:  E-Frogs are a free service but tips are appreciated.

My kids also love model railroads which are also fun things to do in Dallas. Located at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, the display in Dallas with 8 trains running continuously is the largest permanent display in the USA.

Location: 1935 Medical District Drive

Map of Fun Free Things To Do With Kids in Dallas

 

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25 Free, Fabulous AND Fun Things To Do In Dallas With Kids
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This article has been done in collaboration with Hotels.com. As ever, all opinions are remain my own.This site generates income via partnerships with carefully-curated travel and lifestyle brands and/or purchases made through links to them at no extra cost to you. More information may be found on our Disclosure Policy.

 

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