One of the great things about Dallas is that it is super kid – and dog! – friendly, and less than an hour from Fort Worth. Dallas is the posh, cosmopolitan cousin to Fort Worth but don’t let the shine and modernity fool you: There is something to suit every taste, from modern to grunge to earthy to outdoorsy to artsy to historic. It’s a great place to visit for a romantic weekend getaway, a fun girls trip, or a learning adventure for the whole family.
What to Do
Klyde Warren Park // This park is built over a highway and has things to do for every age. Check out its calendar of events or just stroll around, play on the playground, and grab some food from one of the many rotating food trucks.
Dallas Museum of Art // Across the street from Klyde Warren Park is the iconic Dallas Museum of Art, one of the largest art museums in the country and voted one of the best for kids. Exhibits change regularly so be sure to check the calendar of events.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science // The Perot (as it’s fondly referred to by locals) is a natural history and science museum in the heart of downtown Dallas. The primary campus is in Victory Park, and was named in honor of Margot and Ross Perot.
Dallas World Aquarium // Littles and adults alike will love exploring and experiencing all the wildlife at the Dallas Aquarium located downtown.
Dallas Zoo // The Dallas Zoo is a 106-acre park a few miles south of downtown Dallas, and is home to more than 2,000 animals.
Dealey Plaza and the 6th Floor Museum // History buffs will want to see the “X” at the intersection of Elm and Houston Streets where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and to take a guided tour through the museum to learn more about the event.
Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum // The Dallas Holocaust Museum is located in the West End Historic District and seeks to teach the history of the Holocaust, as well as to combat modern-day prejudice, hatred, and racism.
White Rock Lake // White Rock Lake is a gorgeous gem nestled just five miles east of downtown Dallas. There are trails for hiking, biking, and running, as well as several dog parks and docks. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards through White Rock Paddle Company (advanced reservations are required).
Ride the trolley around Uptown // A ride on the M-Line Trolley will give a great overview of the Uptown/Downtown areas of Dallas and will thrill Daniel Tiger fans.
Visit a brewery // Dallas has so many local breweries we’re likely to miss one but here are some favorites: Four Corners Brewing, Deep Ellum Brewing Co, Celestial Beerworks, Pegasus City Brewery, Community Beer Co., Oak Highlands Brewery, Lakewood Brewing Company, and Vector Brewery.
Shopping // There are so many places to shop in Dallas but here are a few of the highlights: NorthPark Center, Highland Park Village, Mockingbird Station, The Shops at Park Lane, The Galleria, West Village, and the original Neiman Marcus, to name a few.
Coffee // Just as there are many local breweries and places to shop in Dallas, so are there local coffee shops. Try Toasted, LaLaLand Kind Cafe, BIRD Bakery, Ascension Coffee, Houndstooth, Brewed+Pressed, Magnolia Sous le Pont, White Rock Coffee, Wild Detectives, or Merit Coffee Co.
American Airlines Center // Cheer on the Dallas Mavericks or Stars at a game, sing along to your favorite band in concert, or see one of many other live shows at the American Airlines Center.
Where to Eat
60 Vines // Wine on tap – need we say more? 60 Vines offers a variety of wines in a range of portions. This industrial meets California wine country restaurant is perfect for a date night or girls night but totally suitable for children.
Food trucks at Klyde Warren // With an ever-evolving cast of trucks, everyone in the family is bound to find something they like at one of the many food trucks at Klyde Warren Park.
Jimmy’s Food Store // A hidden gem in East Dallas, Jimmy’s Food Store is reminiscent of a New York/Northeastern Italian deli. You can grab authentically Italian groceries or order a delicious (and big!) sandwich from the counter in the back of the store.
Katy Trail Ice House // An Austin-style beer garden and restaurant, The Ice House is right off the Katy Trail and has plenty of outdoor space for large groups (i.e., children) and is dog-friendly. A great spot to catch an afternoon game.
Lockhart Smokehouse // The iconic Dallas barbecue restaurant is, according to their website, the only place in DFW to serve Kreuz Market Sausage, served on brown butcher paper, just like the original.
Maple Landing // If you love brisket, you will love brunch at Maple Landing. It’s a laid back kind of dive bar with a nod to Love Field Airport and Southwest Airlines.
Mercat Bistro // For a French-inspired brunch or dinner, check out Mercat Bistro in the Harwood District. It’s perfect for a day-date or brunch with the girls.
Miriam Cocina Latina // With a great view of Klyde Warren Park and downtown Dallas, this modern Mexican-style restaurant is led by Chef Miriam Jimenez, who makes delicious Mexican (and a few Tex-Mex) favorites.
Oddfellows // The perfect brunch and coffee spot nestled in the heart of the Bishop Arts neighborhood. There’s no bad seat in the joint — inside is cozy and warm, outside is breezy and blooming. Perfect for the whole family.
Paradiso // A trendy new restaurant in Bishop Arts, Paradiso serves coastal Mediterranean fare in a lush garden setting.
Pecan Lodge // Pecan Lodge is Dallas’ most award-winning BBQ and for that reason, prepare to wait in a very long (but oh-so-worth-it) line.
Sundown at the Granada // A health-conscious season farm-to-table restaurant and patio where the food is always fresh and the drinks are ice cold. Service is European-style, meaning guests wanting to linger and languish will be happily unbothered.
Toller Patio // Plenty of space for dogs and children alike, Toller has a lengthy list of beers, cocktails, and bites for a casual afternoon hangout.
Toulouse // For a truly romantic date-night splurge, check out this authentic French-style restaurant. Highly recommended for a feeling of being transported to Paris.
Truck Yard // Another great spot for a warm weekend afternoon, Truck Yard has ample seating and an expansive yard with several food trucks and a treehouse.
True Food Kitchen // Grab breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner at True Food Kitchen. Their chef-driven seasonal menu is always fresh yet filling.
Where to Stay
The Belmont Hotel // A funky Spanish-style hotel built in the 1940s, this hotel has a pool with a view and is totally ‘Gram-worthy.
CANVAS Hotel // This industrial modern hotel is worth the rooftop pool alone.
Hotel Zaza // If you’re looking for a luxury splurge, Hotel Zaza is it. Lounge poolside in the afternoon, hit the spa, and then walk over to one of many fantastic restaurants nearby for dinner and drinks.
The Joule // Another historic boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Dallas, The Joule is dog-friendly and boasts several coffee shops, restaurants, a spa, and a high-rise pool.
Stoneleigh (Le Meridien Dallas Hotel) // This 1920s Art Deco hotel is nestled in the heart of the Uptown neighborhood, walking distance from great restaurants and shopping.
There are tons of chain hotels for any budget. Check out:
For more driving destination ideas, check out Fort Worth Moms “Guide to Road Trips from Fort Worth.”
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Chelsea is a writer for Fort Worth Moms, as well as a community group leader for HEB Moms. She has been a writer for as long as she can remember. She blogs about sustainable fashion, clean beauty, sewing, and intentional living. A Northeastern native, Chelsea now calls the mid-cities home with her husband, Travis; son, Logan; daughter, Alba; and rescue dog, Argos.