Family Attractions in Dallas

Dallas is a great city for a family vacation as it’s loaded with things to do for every age. As they say, everything is bigger in Texas and this definitely applies to the list of Family Attractions in Dallas.

Dallas World Aquarium

The Dallas World Aquarium is pretty amazing for a landlocked city. The building was a warehouse until 1992 when it was turned into an aquarium and opened to the public. This family attraction was so popular that in 1996 adjacent buildings were purchased and the Dallas World Aquarium expanded. Since there were several buildings a unique opportunity arose, the alley between the buildings was transformed into ORINOCO: Secrets of the River and now serves as an exhibit between the freshwater and saltwater exhibits. The exhibits seek to give you a greater understanding of certain areas that are water based, but not necessarily just fish. The Wilds of Borneo is a 200 foot entrance ramp with plants and animals that represent this part of the world. Inside the aquarium there is a South Africa Exhibit, a Madagascar display that is opened seasonally, a Mundo Maya exhibit with a 40 long tunnel surrounded by sharks and rays, and an upper level with the Tree of Life.

Frontiers of Flight Museum

The Frontiers of Flight Museum walks you through the dream of aviation from the original quest to the success of the Wright brothers and beyond into today’s outer space exploration in their Flight Thru Time. The Frontiers of Flight Museum is most noted for its Lighter Than Air exhibit which features artifacts from the historical blimps of the past, including pieces from the Hindenburg. There are also a load of war related aviation machines and information for those military buffs who would like to learn how this area of the country did their share during times of strained foreign relations. The Dallas/Fort Worth area is claiming to be the current aviation capital of the world so it’s a great place to explore the legacy of aviation in the world.

Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo is the largest zoo in Texas with 95 acres to explore and thousands of animals to examine. And, believe it or not, the zoo is about to expand. The City Council voted for constructing a 10 acre Giants of the Savanna habitat which will open to the public sometime in 2010. Founded in 1888 the Dallas Zoo is the first zoological park in the Southwest and features several different ways for you and your family to get involved and learn more about the creatures who share this world with us. There are Animal Adventure Summer Camps, a 4D Adventure Theater, a new alligator exhibit, preschool hands-on clinics, a behind the scenes video tour, a children’s zoo, and many, many exhibits full of wonderful and awesome animals.

Observation Station

If the Frontiers of Flight Museum was a big hit with your family then you’ll want to take them over to Observation Station at Founders Plaza in the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. This very busy airport typically sees more than 2,000 takeoffs and landings a day. From the Observation Station you can watch the air traffic above and use the binoculars provided to get a better view. The graph board and control tower audio let you in on the action. It’s the perfect addition to the air museum as it gives you a unique perspective of modern commercial aviation.

Museum of the American Railroad

The Museum of the American Railroad features one of the most comprehensive heavyweight passenger collections in the United States. The Museum of the American Railroad is home to a pre World War II passenger train, a Railway Post Office and baggage car, coaches, lounge cars, Pullman sleeping cars and a dining car. In addition to the magnificent large car displays the museum also features smaller artifacts that make the collection more complete. Throughout the year there are events designed specifically for children so if you have a train junkie in the family make sure to stop by during their special events.

Dallas Heritage Village

Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park gives visitors a unique look at Dallas as it was from 1840 to 1910. The Dallas Heritage Museum is actually a collection of 38 historic structures on 13 wooded acres filled with different exhibits, including a working Civil War era farm, a traditional Jewish household, several Victorian homes, a school, a church and many commercial buildings. Look to see if they’re holding a special event, such as their Living History where actors bring that period of time to life.

Dallas Nature Center

The Dallas Nature Center is a 633 acre preserve and one of the only remaining natural areas in the entire county. Spend a good deal of your day wandering through the 10 miles of hiking trails visiting the native plant nursery, taking pictures in the butterfly gardens, exploring educational areas or having a family picnic in one of the designated spots. The Dallas Nature Center is a great way to look at the natural environment of this region and get some physical activity outdoors with your family.

Dallas Farmers Market

If you enjoyed the Dallas Nature Center then the Dallas Farmers Market may also be something you and your family would enjoy. In 1941 the farmer’s market started and currently is one of the largest in the country. Take advantage of the local harvest by purchasing your own treats and goodies for a special picnic or bring some treats home as an inexpensive souvenir.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

If you have older children then a visit to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is an incredible experience that brings history to light in their eyes. The museum is located where Lee Harvey Oswald sat while he stalked and then shot President John F. Kennedy but they do a good job of not focusing on the assassination but rather on the life and legacy of an American president who captured the nation’s heart. This homage is a great way for you and your family to get a firm grasp on the situation while standing in the exact spot where history happened.

McKinney Avenue Trolley

While you’re running about Dallas, trying to take in all the highlights with your family, use the McKinney Avenue Trolley to get you from here to there in style. The McKinney Avenue Trolleys let you sit back and absorb the sites of the town for no charge at all. A free ride through the city of Dallas, who can beat that. The trolleys are antique electric cars that have been carefully restored and still run on the original streetcar tracks. Five of the cars are in operation, but look for the Winnie which is the only air conditioned one.
By: Billy Bob BainCC BY 2.0