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Courtesy of Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau

181 Places to See & Things to Do in Dallas-Fort Worth

the ultimate guide to family fun destinations to experience 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 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. 2 pencils, fill your tank with gas and play tourist by visiting these essential North Texas attractions.

TEXAS CULTURE

You’re not a true Texan (sorry) ’til you’ve been here and done this:

1. GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower, Dallas
2. Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth
3. Mesquite Arena, Mesquite
4. National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth
5. National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth
6. Old Red Museum, Dallas
7. Ruth Paine House Museum, Irving
8. Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, Dallas
9. Southfork Ranch, Parker
10. Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Fort Worth
11. West End Historic District, Dallas
12. Western Currency Facility of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Fort Worth

SCIENCE SPOTS

Places to bring out their inner Einstein:

13. Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth
14. Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas
15. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, Grand Prairie
16. Sci-Tech Discovery Center, Frisco

RELATED: THE BEST (AND MOST FUN) LIBRARIES FOR KIDS

COOL TRANSPORTATION

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

17. DART, Dallas area
18. Forest Park Miniature Railroad, Fort Worth
19. Grapevine Vintage Railroad, Grapevine
20. Interurban Railway Museum, Plano
21. McKinney Avenue Trolley, Dallas
22. Museum of the American Railroad, Dallas
23. Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth
24. Trinity Railway Express, Dallas-Fort Worth

AVIATION MUSEUMS

Where dreams take flight … literally

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

ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

Observe, meet and, in some cases, even touch exotic and domestic animals at these major zoos, safari parks and local petting farms:

30. Dallas Zoo, Dallas
31. Fort Worth Zoo, Fort Worth
32. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose
33. Frank Buck Zoo, Gainesville
34. Fritz Park Petting Farm, Irving
35. In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center, Wylie
36. International Exotic Animal Sanctuary, Rhome
37. Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch, Pilot Point

AQUARIUMS & FISHING

In the event of Sponge Bob overload…

38. Bass Pro Shops, Grapevine and Garland
39. Cabela’s, Allen and Fort Worth
40. Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, Dallas
41. Dallas World Aquarium, Dallas
42. SEA LIFE Aquarium, Grapevine
43. Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Athens

ASTRONOMY CENTERS

Indulge in a cavity-free milky way

44. Noble Planetarium at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth
45. Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Gallery, Fort Worth
46. UNT Sky Theater, Denton
47. UTA Planetarium, Arlington

LAKES & WATER DESTINATIONS

Places to sport an extra layer of SPF

48. Burger’s Lake, Fort Worth
49. Eagle Mountain Lake, Fort Worth
50. Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark, Grand Prairie
51. Fort Worth Water Gardens, Fort Wort
52. Gondola Adventures, Irving
53. Hawaiian Falls, Garland, Mansfield, Roanoke and The Colony
54. Keller Pointe, Keller
55. King Spa & Waterpark, Dallas
56. Lake Arlington, Arlington
57. Lake Benbrook, Fort Worth
58. Lake Grapevine, Grapevine
59. Lake Joe Pool, Cedar Hill
60. Lake Lavon, Wylie
61. Lake Lewisville, Lewisville
62. Lake Mineral Wells, Mineral Wells
63. Lake Ray Hubbard, Rowlett
64. Lake Ray Roberts, Pilot Point
65. Lake Worth, Fort Worth
66. NRH2O Family Water Park, North Richland Hills
67. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Arlington
68. Trinity River Kayak Co., Coppell
69. Wet Zone, Rowlett
70. White Rock Lake, Dallas

ICE SKATING

Mittens in summer? Only at these icy escapes

71. Allen Community Ice Rink, Allen
72. Children’s Health StarCenters, Euless, Farmers Branch, Frisco, McKinney and Plano
73. Galleria Ice Skating Center, Dallas
74. ICE at The Parks, Arlington

AMUSEMENT PARKS & ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS

Because they’re sure to nap afterward

75. Adventure Landing, Dallas
76. Alley Cats Entertainment Center, Arlington
77. Bowlmor Dallas, Addison
78. Canyons Climbing Gym, Frisco
79. Celebration Station, Mesquite
80. Cowtown Cattlepen Maze, Fort Worth
81. Dyno-Rock Climbing Center, Arlington
82. Katy Trail, Dallas
83. Lone Star Fencing Center, Dallas
84. Lone Star Park, Grand Prairie
85. Main Event, Fort Worth, Frisco, Lewisville, Grapevine and Plano
86. Medieval Times, Dallas
87. Pilot Knoll Hiking Trail, Highland Village
88. Top Golf, Allen, Dallas and The Colony
89. Trinity Trail, Fort Worth
90. Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington
91. Strikz, Frisco
92. Summit Climbing Gym, Dallas, Carrollton, Denton and Grapevine
93. Urban Trampoline Park, multiple locations

PRO SPORTS

Where family-friendly sports and, ahem, beer collide

94. American Airlines Center/Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars, Dallas
95. AT&T Stadium/Dallas Cowboys, Arlington
96. Dr Pepper Ballpark/RoughRiders, Frisco
97. Globe Life Field/Texas Rangers, Arlington
98. Toyota Stadium/FC Dallas Soccer, Frisco

FARMS & PETTING ZOOS

‘Mommy, what’s a cow patty?’

99. Cathy’s Critters, Princeton (or they bring the farm to you)
100. Fritz Park Petting Farm, Irving
101. Latte Da Dairy, Flower Mound
102. Nash Farm, Grapevine
103. Preston Trail Farms, Gunter
104. Trinity River Farm, Fort Worth

PICK-YOUR-OWN FARMS

Kids are expert pickers … of fruit, that is

105. 3 Vines Vineyard, Ponder
106. Blase Family Farm, Rockwall
107. Gnismer Farms, Arlington
108. Henrietta Creek Orchard, Roanoke

RELATED: WHERE TO PICK YOUR OWN PRODUCE

HORSE-BACK RIDING

Yeehaw fun found here

109. Benbrook Stables, Benbrook
110. Dallas Polo Club, Red Oak
111. Hillcrest Farm, Argyle
112. Marshall Creek Ranch, Southlake
113. North Dallas Equestrian Center, McKinney
114. Dallas Equestrian Center, Dallas
115. Prestonwood Polo & Country Club, Oak Point
116. River Ranch at Texas Horse Park, Dallas
117. Storybook Ranch, McKinney
118. Windmill Stables of Spring Park, Richardson

ART MUSEUMS

For mini monets in training

119. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth
120. Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington
121. ArtCentre of Plano, Plano
122. Crow Museum of Asian Art, Dallas
123. Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas
124. Irving Arts Center, Irving
125. Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
126. Meadows Museum at SMU, Dallas
127. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth
128. Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas

HISTORICAL SITES

Round-trip ticket back in time

129. Chestnut Square Historic Village, McKinney
130. Dallas Firefighters Museum, Dallas
131. Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas
132. Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, Dallas
133. George W. Bush Presidential Center, Dallas
134. Heritage Farmstead Museum, Plano
135. International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame, Arlington
136. Museum of International Cultures, Dallas
137. Log Cabin Village, Fort Worth
138. Mary Kay Museum, Addison
139. National Videogame Museum, Frisco
140. Texas Civil War Museum, Fort Worth

NATURE & OUTDOORS

It’s OK to get a little bit dirty … dig it?

141. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Plano
142. Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve, Southlake
143. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth
144. Cedar Ridge Preserve, Dallas
145. Connemara Meadow Preserve, Allen
146. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas
147. Dinosaur Valley State Park, Glen Rose
148. Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Cedar Hill
149. Elm Fork Nature Preserve, Carrollton
150. Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth
151. Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, Fort Worth
152. Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, McKinney
153. Klyde Warren Park, Dallas
154. River Legacy Living Science Center, Arlington
155. Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, Dallas
156. Texas Discovery Gardens, Dallas
157. Trinity Forest Adventure Park, Dallas
158. Trinity River Audubon Center, Dallas

RELATED: KID-FRIENDLY FARMERS MARKETS

MUSIC & THEATER

Shakespeare never saw so many …

159. Artisan Center Theater, Hurst
160. AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas
161. Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth
162. Casa Mañana, Fort Worth
163. Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, Richardson
164. Circle Theatre, Fort Worth
165. Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas
166. Dallas Summer Musicals, Dallas
167. Frisco Area Children’s Theater, Frisco
168. Palace Theatre, Grapevine
169. Hip Pocket Theatre, White Settlement
170. Kids Who Care, Fort Worth
171. McKinney Performing Arts Center, McKinney
172. Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas
173. North Texas Performing Arts, Fairview, Frisco, Dallas, Plano and Southlake
174. Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Dallas
175. Rover Dramawerks, Plano
176. Slappy and Monday at Galleria Dallas, Dallas
177. Theatre Arlington, Arlington
178. Texas Trust CU, Grand Prairie
179. Teatro Dallas, Dallas
180. WaterTower Theatre, Addison
181. Upright Theatre Co., Euless

This article will continue to update with up-to-date information periodically.

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Top photo courtesy of Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau