Brandy raises her boys in Dallas, Texas. She is also a travel blogger at Kid Allergy Travel who focus on allergy related topics. Today, she has shared her top tips and top picks on her city for parents who are visiting Dallas with toddlers.
Tell us a bit about your family. What are your kids ages, how long have you lived in Dallas, which part of the city are you at.
My name is Brandy and I am a gluten free & family travel blogger for Kid Allergy Travel . I am a former software engineer turned mom, and have the privilege of spending my days with my two young boys ages 10 and 5. We have lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for over 10 years. Our family currently lives in the city of Fort Worth which is about 30 minutes away from Downtown Dallas.
How is the perfect day in Dallas with toddlers?
As the heat index in the summertime can be extreme, we often look to indoor activities that can keep both toddlers and parents happy. We love that we access to various air conditioned museums and play spaces throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
What are the best activities parents with toddlers can experience? Parks, zoos, theme parks, museums…
Park: Three favorites include: Klyde Warren Park (Dallas), Dallas Arboretum (Dallas) has a Children’s Adventure Garden and there are 5 different playgrounds spread out amongst the 1,000 acre Park at White Rock Lake (Dallas).
Zoo: We have two highly acclaimed zoos in the Dallas/Fort Worth area: Dallas Zoo (Dallas) and Fort Worth Zoo (Fort Worth)
Aquarium: Again, we have two excellent aquariums worth a visit: Dallas World Aquarium (Dallas) and SeaLife Aquarium
Museums/Play Spaces/Theme Parks: So many to choose from: Legoland Discover Center has a Duplo block area for little ones (Grapevine), Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas) or Fort Worth Museum of Science (Fort Worth 30 minutes away) both have great toddler areas, Crayola Experience (Plano) is good for older toddlers who can hold and use crayons without frustration, Texas Discovery Gardens (Fair Park/Dallas) has a beautiful butterfly house, Frontiers of Flight Museum near Love Field (Dallas) has a great toddler play area, and The Coop (Frisco) which has a ball pit and a fun play space for toddlers.
What are your favourite toddler friendly restaurants and cafes in Dallas?
Pizza: Cane Rosso is one of our favorites. Although there is always a wait at the Deep Ellum location (Dallas), you and your toddler can enjoy scribbling on the chalkboard walls located near the restrooms to pass the time. Or, try one of the Fireside Pies locations throughout the Metroplex for tasty pizza pies or homemade pastas. Or, try Campisi’s to get in touch with the history of the Dallas mafia and the Kennedy assasination.
Sweet treats: Grabbing a popsicle from the Steel City Pops cart located inside Klyde Warren Park (Dallas). Don’t worry, they provide paper boats and plenty of napkins to capture all of your toddler’s melting popsicle mess when they happen to be distracted! Or, experiencing getting a cupcake from the automated cupcake ATM at Sprinkles Cupcakes in University Park.
Show: Rainforest Cafe (Grapevine) provides an animal themed anamatronic show for the kiddos.
Mexican Cuisine: Meso Maya serves authentic upscale food near the Perot Museum and has one of the oldest and most beautiful patio courtyards in all of Dallas. Or, try Yucatan Taco Stand for counter service that serves up kid friendly and casual dining.
Breakfast/Brunch: Dream Cafe and Breadwinners Cafe & Bakery (Dallas).
Southern Food: Babe’s Chicken Dinner House serves up a limited menu in a fun family style way in a great farm themed environment. We love the Arlington location because of the choo choo train that circles the main dining room.
What kind of accommodation would you suggest to parents traveling to Dallas with their toddlers?
Five hotels stand out as good family friendly hotels for those traveling with young kids in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Gaylord Texan is a Marriott property located in Grapevine only 6 minutes from DFW airport and about 30 minutes northwest of Downtown Dallas. With rooms overlooking Lake Grapevine, this resort and convention center gives families self-contained fun. There is a ten acre outdoor waterpark with a toddler splash pad, 6 restaurants with kids menus, and cabana rentals available for the outdoor pool perfect to shade baby. Plus, the miles of enclosed landscaped gardens will give your toddler plenty of space to stretch their legs. Don’t miss their seasonal kid events like Lonestar Christmas featuring the ICE exhibit or their SummerFest.
Great Wolf Lodge is also located in Grapevine and the biggest draw here is the indoor waterpark with toddler area that can be enjoyed year round. We love the wilderness themed rooms, character visits, Build a Bear, and mining for rocks experience also make for great toddler activities too.
Hilton Anatole is centrally located in Downtown Dallas giving your family the convenience of a great location plus a massive resort complex filled with non-stop activities. The pool area boasts a lazy river, luxury cabanas to shade your little ones, and a kiddie-sized splash zone. Plus, there are 9 restaurants on-site. Got an American Girl Doll lover? Don’t miss their American Girl Experience.
Four Seasons Dallas is located in Las Colinas roughly 25 minutes from downtown. This is the place to go if you are looking for relaxation and luxury outside of the city but don’t want to sacrifice family fun like two outdoor pools, luxury pool beds, lawn games, family seasonal organized activities and top notch service and dining. Plus, they feature a sand beach.
Hyatt Regency Dallas is located right in the heart of downtown amongst the buildings that make up the Dallas skyline. This is for those who don’t care for the mega resorts or water related amenities. The draw for families here is that it is attached to Reunion Tower and Wolfgang Puck’s 560 Revolving Restaurant making it a built in tourist destination.
What is the perfect day trip from Dallas with young toddlers?
The Historic Fort Worth Stockyards was established in 1876 and is one of our favorite day trips for toddlers from Dallas. You can give your toddlers a real Texas experience by watching a cattle drive make its way though the center of the cobblestone streets complete with longhorns and cowboys. You can also eat authentic Texas BBQ, take a carriage ride in a horse drawn carriage, find your way through a cattlemen maze, see an authentic rodeo, and watch others try their hand at riding a mechanical bull. The best part? You can actually take a train ride to get there via he Grapevine Vintage Railroad.