City lights, cattle drives, craft breweries, and one of the country’s fastest growing areas in the tech industry makes the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex an enticing place to live or visit these days! I have lived in and around the Dallas area my entire life – including attending The University of Texas at Dallas for my college education.
As a child, I felt as though all Dallas was known for was the 6th Floor JFK Museum and the Dallas Cowboys. Texas has always had a reputation for bigger being better and I felt like everything in my surrounding area was supersized sports and theme parks. But raising my own kids here has given me a new perspective on just how full and rich the experiences are in DFW. It has been so fun to witness changes over time and explore new areas right before my own eyes. The magic of sharing some of my favorite family-friendly places with my own kids is next level. I absolutely love when friends ask for recommendations to eat/play/do in the DFW area because I love exploring and helping the ones I love enjoy their experiences!
If you are planning a trip to the Dallas area anytime soon or you are looking for a fun, family trip location – let me tell you all about my hometown of Dallas, Texas!
Stay & Relax
- Gaylord Texan Hotel & Convention Center: The Gaylord is truly a resort style experience with water parks, plenty of onsite restaurants, and entertainment for the whole family.
- Hilton Anatole: The Hilton Anatole is in the heart of downtown Dallas with views of some of Dallas’s beautiful skyline and a short walk or ride share away from some fun destination experiences. Their website even has a family fun itinerary that I 100% recommend!
- Omni Dallas: The Omni in downtown Dallas is now one of my favorite facets of our downtown skyline. A beautiful pool and the central location of this hotel make it very family friendly and easy to experience downtown Dallas.
- Eiland Coffee Roasters: This is our favorite local coffee roaster and personally where we buy all of our coffee beans! This location is currently counter service or drive up only, but the coffee will make a lasting impression. I recommend a cortado or their cold brew! Odds are the owner will be there too and can show you the roasting room!
- Staycation Coffee: Staycation is a newer coffee establishment in downtown Richardson, Texas. In a remodeled historic home it is casual, cozy, and very family friendly. They have a huge, fenced backyard area for kids to run around while you caffeinate and enjoy one of their pecan sticky buns.
- LaLa Land Kind Cafe: Lala Land Kind Cafe is a Dallas staple and will be sure to start your day off right with their happy yellow cups and deliciously thick and filling avocado toast.
Eat & Drink
- Lockwood Distilling Co.: We are regulars at Lockwood Distilling Co. in Richardson, TX (they have recently opened a location in Fort Worth as well!). They have a huge patio, live music on the weekends, delicious food and the best cocktails made with all of their own spirits and mixers. Brunch on Sunday is one of our favorite things to do as a family!
- Lockhart Smokehouse: Can you even say you’ve been to Texas without getting some true Texas Barbecue? I think not. Lockhart has some of the best brisket around, a casual family atmosphere and local brews on tap (my favorite: Peticolas Velvet Hammer)!
- Sueno Modern Mex-Tex: If you’re in Texas you need to get some authentic Mexican food and a margarita. Sueno is relatively new but I can already tell that it is swiftly becoming one of my favorite places for date nights with my husband or dinner as a family. Their seared queso fundido and a Godfather Old Fashioned cocktail (that comes to your table in a smoking dome!) are two of my current favorite things!
- Bishop Arts District: Bishop Arts is a funky, family friendly, exciting area. Lots of local shops to buy local artisan goods, craft brews, and yummy food. Once you park the whole area is very walkable.
- Lone Chimney Mercantile: Located in Richardson, Lone Chimney Mercantile is one of my favorite shops to visit for gifting fun and original presents to friends and family! An assortment of clothing, homegoods, and knickknacks galore.
- Interabang Books: Everyone loves a cozy local bookstore! I love talking to the employees at Interabang because I always come away with several book recommendations and a stack of exciting adventures ahead to read. They offer kid story times and a bonus is that it is walking distance from a Lala Land Kind Cafe!
Outings & Experiences
- Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden: The Dallas Arboretum is one of the most beautiful places in Dallas. Sixty-six acres located on the edge of White Rock lake with multiple gardens to walk through and enjoy as well as a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden.
- Perot Museum of Nature and Science: We are long-time members of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Five floors filled with 11 exhibit halls and rotating themed exhibits – there is truly more to see than you can fit in one visit! We are always going and learning as a family. Parking is easy, there are both indoor and outdoor experiences, and almost everything is hands-on and interactive. It’s one of my favorite, family places in Dallas!
- Fort Worth Stockyards: This is an all-day event filled with cattle drives and lots of history. It’s truly a Texas experience for the whole family.
- DART: Dallas Area Rapid Transit is our local public transportation system. Grab a bus or hop on one of our super fast trains to get where you need to go!
- Alto: We are one of a few cities who offer Alto as a ride share service. Easy, quick, professional, and clean. A great alternative to Uber and Lyft!
- McKinney Avenue Trolley: The trolley is located along a lot of restaurants and a fun way to get to dinner! During the day your driver may even give you a little, mini tour of their downtown route.
For the longest time I was so jealous of friends who have lived outside of our hometown and the experiences they had exploring new cities and locales. But the longer I live here the more I love discovering and rediscovering the excitement, diversity, and depth my own city has to offer. I would love to know if you visit any of these places on your trip through Dallas-Fort Worth. Another wonderful resource is the Dallas Moms Collective Out-of-Towner Guide to Dallas. Happy traveling!