Children's Aquarium

Kid-friendly attractions in Dallas-Fort Worth are just as entertaining and inspiring for adults as they are for their littler counterparts. (©Christos Tsoumplekas/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Top Things to Do With Kids in Dallas-Fort Worth

By Jaimie Siegle on 08/25/15, updated 03/07/16
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Stomping in rain puddles, climbing trees, spinning around the carousel: It goes without saying that being a kid can be a lot of fun, and the sprawling array of kid-oriented entertainment in Dallas-Fort Worth is proof of that. Whether the occasion is a family-friendly weekend outing or a chance to get in touch with your inner kid, you'll find options for outdoor and indoor adventures that make for a memorable experience in the Metroplex.

More than just kid-friendly, these attractions are tailored to the interests of today's kiddos, and are located throughout Dallas, Fort Worth and everywhere in between, meaning any activity is a short drive from pretty much anywhere. Animal lovers will have a blast at the Fort Worth Zoo and the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park, both located mere minutes from downtown. And while making a splash at these kid-friendly hot spots may be frowned upon, it happens to be the name of the game at parks like the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine and Sandy Lake Amusement Park in Carrollton, a longtime theme park that also offers a large outdoor pool outfitted with water features and lounge chairs.

For family entertainment with an educational twist, visit the Perot Museum of Nature & Science, located right in the heart of Dallas. Its 11 exhibits are full of hands-on demonstrations related to space, technology, anthropology, meteorology and more. Nestled in between Dallas and Fort Worth is the entertainment hub of Arlington and Grand Prairie, where the National Scouting Museum houses one of the most expansive collections of memorabilia plus a variety of workshops and activities for scouts of all ages. Down the road from this state-of-the-art center is Ripley's Believe It or Not!/Louis Tussaud's House of Wax, an emporium of odd artifacts plus a population of lifelike historical figures and pop culture celebrities made entirely out of wax. 

For families looking to find a less-intensive activity or a few hours of laid-back fun, head to Medieval Times or the Dallas Children's Theater for an evening of entertainment that offers tuckered out kids (or parents) the opportunity to simply sit back and enjoy the show.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

(©Jason Janik)

Attractions

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

With an impressive range of exhibits, moving parts and educational topics, this multi-level museum offers a full day of fun. Visitors can learn what it feels to fly like a bird, discover the depths of the universe and marvel at modern technology—plus more—at the Perot, located in the heart of Dallas.

Sandy Lake Amusement Park

Find carnival classics and kid-friendly entertainment this Carrollton fun park. (©Charlie Llewellin/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Attractions

Sandy Lake Amusement Park

Located in Carrollton, this longtime theme park plays host to classic carnival rides like the carousel and Tilt-A-Whirl, plus attractions like bumper cars, miniature golf, paddle boats, picnic areas and an impressive selection of kiddie coasters for all-day amusement.

National Scouting Museum

(Courtesy National Scouting Museum)

Attractions

National Scouting Museum

With historical archives, documents and artifacts like the first-ever Eagle Award from 1912, this building pays tribute to the legacy and future of the Boy Scouts of America. Adults and art enthusiasts need not skip the Norman Rockwell gallery, an extensive display of some of the artist's most iconic paintings.

Great Wolf Lodge

The industrial-sized bucket atop this indoor water park structure reaches its tipping point. (Courtesy Great Wolf Lodge)

Attractions

Great Wolf Lodge

A trip to this indoor water park and resort can last for as little or as long as you like. Spend the weekend or a few hours on family-sized raft rides, thrilling water slides, a decked-out treehouse and a lazy river. In addition, check out on-site activities like a 4D theater, an outdoor ropes course and an ice-cream-themed kids spa.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! & Louis Tussaud's Palace of Wax

(Courtesy Ripley's Believe It or Not!)

Attractions

Ripley's Believe It or Not! & Louis Tussaud's Palace of Wax

Don't miss Ripley's quirky display of shrunken heads and other historical artifacts and life-sized wax figures at Louis Tussaud's. The fun doesn't have to end there, though, with activities like the Ripley's Enchanted Mirror Maze and Laser Maze Challenge.

Children's Aquarium at Fair Park

Find schools of clownfish, the species made famous by the brave, little-finned character from Pixar, along with kid-centered activities and exhibits at the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park. (©Jamie Bernstein/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Attractions

Children's Aquarium at Fair Park

Located at the site of the State Fair, this just-for-kids aquarium offers hands-on activities and curated exhibits tailored toward younger (and shorter) visitors. Check times on the aquarium's website for stingray feedings, during which children can touch and feed these ever-smiling sea creatures.

Dallas Children's Theater

Storybook favorites take to the stage at Dallas Children's Theater. (©Bruce Croft/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Entertainment

Dallas Children's Theater

Holiday faves like "Miracle on 34th Street" and characters from childhood classics (including Roald Dahl's BFG and amphibious friends Frog and Toad) come to life on stage at the renowned Dallas Children's Theater, a diverse family arts center that also features kid-approved productions such as puppetry shows and circus performances.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
Activities, Attractions, Entertainment

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

Get the royal treatment at Medieval Times, a revival of renaissance entertainment featuring an old-school jousting tournament and a full-course meal served throughout. Cheer on the knight on horseback representing your seating section to join in on the excitement and engage in some friendly competition.

Fort Worth Zoo

(©Fort Worth Zoo)

Attractions

Fort Worth Zoo

A Texas favorite for more than 100 years, this family attraction is much more than your average zoo. The park’s other attractions are worth exploring, too, from the Safari Splash play area to the rock-climbing wall, petting yard and outdoor theater.

Map of Top Things to Do With Kids in Dallas-Fort Worth