Welcome to the Neighborhood
To many outsiders, this is Dallas: stately homes, high-end shopping, star high school athletes, celebrity neighbors (including a former president and at least half the current Mavs lineup) and a Texas-size serving of style and swagger. But true locals know that while Preston Hollow resides within the city of Dallas, its neighbors are the independently run town of Highland Park and city of University Park. With the Park Cities boasting a thriving school district and its own police departments and exclusive family amenities, there is a lot of competition to live in this prestigious enclave and the neighborhoods just north. If you can afford to call one of these ZIP codes home, your family can enjoy everything from the luxurious (like retail at Highland Park Village and NorthPark Center) to the picturesque (like horse-drawn carriage rides to ogle the neighborhood’s elaborate Christmas lights).
152 elementary schools; 40 middle schools; 42 high schools
Highland Park ISD
4 elementary schools; 1 middle school; 1 intermediate school; 1 high school
BLUE RIBBON SCHOOLS
Akiba Academy of Dallas, 1985-86
Christ the King Catholic School, 1993-94; 2015
St. Mark’s School of Texas, 1986-87
Ben Milam Elementary School, 2008
George Bannerman Dealey Montessori Vanguard
& International Academy, 2016
Highland Park ISD
Highland Park High School, 1984-85; 2007
Highland Park Middle School, 2005
McCulloch Intermediate School, 1990-91
John S. Armstrong Elementary School, 1985-86
John S. Bradfield Elementary School, 1989-90; 2005
Robert S. Hyer Elementary School, 1991-92; 2005
University Park Elementary School, 1987-88; 2006
Dallas Public Library System
Bookmarks at NorthPark Center
This library exclusively for children has fun murals, kid-approved furniture and an impressive slate of story times, crafts and other events. Open till 5pm Wednesday–Monday; closed Tuesday.
8687 N. Central Expressway, Suite 1514, Dallas, 214/671-1381
Preston Royal Branch Library
Open daily; Tuesday–Thursday open till 8pm
5626 Royal Lane, Dallas, 214/670-7128
Highland Park Harvery R. "Bum" Bright Library
Open Tuesday–Saturday till 5:30pm
4700 Drexel Drive, Highland Park, 214/559-9400; hplibrary.info
University Park Public Library
Open Tuesday–Saturday; open till 8pm Tuesday–Thursday
8383 Preston Center Plaza, Suite 200, University Park, 214/363-9095; uptexas.org/library
Health & Fitness 101
Moody Family YMCA
Monday–Thursday 5:30am–9pm, Friday 5:30am–8pm, Saturday 7am–6pm, Sunday 2–5pm
6000 Preston Road, Dallas, 214/526-7293; ymcadallas.org
Located next to Sudie Williams Elementary School, this park has a soccer field, playground and basketball court. Benches are located in front of the playground for your convenience.
4524 Pomona Road, Dallas, TX 75209; dallasparks.org
Stretching over 14 acres along Turtle Creek, the town’s largest park is the most tranquil spot for strolling along the water’s edge and tossing crumbs to the ducks. Cross the footbridge at Lakeside Drive and Lexington Avenue to find a family of stone teddy bear statues for a sweet photo op. (Footbridge is undergoing repairs and should be back open later in the summer.) Plus, this is a great spot to catch the fireworks on the Fourth of July.
4601 Lakeside Drive, Highland Park, 214/521-4161; hptx.org
Saint Michael's Farmers Market
Open each Saturday from 8am–noon April–September.
8011 Douglas Ave., Dallas, 214/363-5471; saintmichaelsmarket.com
Saint Thomas Community Garden
6525 Inwood Road, Dallas, 214/352-0410; thedoubter.org/church-and-grounds
Bubba's Cooks Country
For some home-cooked Southern fried chicken, visit this diner complete with checkered floor and lots of red vinyl. Family-pack chicken dinners make it easy for you and the kids to share.
6617 Hillcrest Ave., Dallas, 214/373-6527; bubbasdallas.com
Highland Park Soda Fountain
With a reputation older than a century, this soda pop shop in Highland Park is definitely an icon. Grab a seat at the bar stools and slurp down a malt or milkshake made the old-fashioned way.
3229 Knox St., Dallas, 214/521-2126; highlandparksodafountain.com
Highland Park Swimming Pool
Only open to Highland Park residents and their guests.
Highland Park Village
Peruse luxury offerings from Fendi and Tory Burch, grab lunch to go from Royal Blue Grocery or spend the afternoon catching a movie with the fam at Highland Park Village Theater, which shows current flicks and kid-friendly blasts from the past. The third Saturday of each month, vendors and entertainers gather for LOCAL, an upscale market with offerings for the whole family. And during the holidays, take a horse-drawn carriage ride to see Christmas lights around the Village.
47 Highland Park Village, Dallas, 214/443-9898; hpvillage.com
Holmes Aquatic Center
Only open to residents of University Park and the Highland Park Independent School District.
3501 Lovers Lane, University Park, 214/987-5488; uptexas.org/government/parks-recreation/pool
For a nice long walk with your brood, hit the paved Katy Trail that runs from downtown to SMU—the best place to find parking is near the intersection of Knox Street and Travis Street.
Luxury retail shopping, lots of dining options (Breadwinners, La Duni and The Theodore, to name a few), a movie theater and a spectacular art collection for the kids to ogle, plus plenty of family events—there are so many reasons Dallasites love NorthPark Center. One of the many rotating art works on display is pictured above: Clean Slate, by the artist KAWS. Be sure to visit Bookmarks (located on Level One next to La Duni), a Dallas Public Library outpost just for kids.
8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, 214/363-7441; northparkcenter.com
The Original Pancake House
In addition to delicious pancakes, the restaurant has a build-your-own kids’ menu that includes strawberry cakes, apple stackers and fruity water (with real fruit!).
4343 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas, 214/351-2012; ophdfw.com
Dallas Moms Club (DMC)
Stay-at-home moms with kids in preschool and younger connect through playgroups and outings. Annual dues are $50.
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) of Lovers Lane UMC
Meets the first and third Thursdays of the month at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. Dues are $100 per year. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for membership inquiries.
9200 Inwood Road, Dallas; llumc.org/mops
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) of Northwest Bible Church
Meets every other Friday morning from September–April. Annual membership dues start at $125 (excluding child care). Contact Kristen Wallace at email@example.com for more information.
8505 Douglas Ave., Dallas, 214/549-7521; northwestbible.org/mops
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) of Park Cities Baptist Church
Every other Monday morning from September–May, moms meet on the third floor of the church’s Community Life Center. The MOPS chapter hosts social activities, philanthropic events and a member-led podcast. Membership fees start at $130 per year. For inquiries, email Kristen Cimorelli at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3933 Northwest Parkway, Dallas; pcbc.org/mops
Mothers of Preschoolers of Wilshire Baptist Church
From September–May, join 80-plus moms every other Friday morning from 9am–noon. Contact email@example.com for information about membership.
4316 Abrams Road, Dallas; 214/452-3100; wilshirebc.org
Preston Hollow Early Childhood Association
Membership includes monthly meetings, playgroups, children’s parties, moms night out events and more. Dues are $40 per year.
Dallas, 949/338-6531; pheca.org
North Dallas Early Childhood PTA
Members get access to a private Facebook group, plus family outings, playgroups, moms’ night out, service projects and more. Visit the website for membership information.