Summer is here (although some days it may not feel like it), and after weeks of being inside we're all ready to venture out for a few days. Flying may not be the first option for a lot of people, but luckily Dallas is the perfect staycation destination for families. With its interactive museums, green space and diverse neighborhoods, families are bound to rediscover favorite spots in the city, and we have a few recommendations to get your staycation planning started.
What to Do
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a nature jewel in the midst of the city. Visitors will find a beautiful garden no matter what time of year the visit. Take a stroll through A Tasteful Place, a 3.5-acre garden where sustainable fruits and vegetables are grown or admire the architecture of the DeGolyer House on the opposite side of the garden. Pack a sack lunch or some local snacks to make a morning out of it.
You'll feel on top of the world at Reunion Tower's GeO Deck, the tower's observation deck that sits at 470 feet high where visitors can take in the views of the Dallas skyline. Reunion Tower's Constellation, a digital experience that lets visitors leave their digital mark on the Tower and add to their Constellation every time they visit, is a great way to leave a memory of each of your visits.
The Dallas Zoo is another great option to enjoy the outdoors and for kids to see some of their favorite animals. Families can take a break and enjoy one of the zoo's daily keeper chats to learn about the various zoo animals or head to the Wild Encounters stage to get up close to a variety of animals. Take a break with some barbecue at Bantu BBQ inside the zoo (open weekends only) or grab a cold one at the Craft Beer Garden.
Where to Dine
HG Sply Co.
For families looking for a healthier dining option, we recommend heading to HG Sply Co. in Lower Greenville. The restaurant's menu is both equally nutritious and delicious. Bonus: Check out the rooftop for views of the Dallas skyline and head a few doors down for a sweet treat at Steel City Pops.
Families looking for a laidback lunch, can't go wrong with Truck Yard and its mouthwatering cheesesteak sandwiches or rotating food trucks. It's large outdoor seating area offers plenty of space to enjoy an outdoor lunch safely. Keep an eye on their website calendar for live music information if you're looking to enjoy some local tunes.
Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park is the ideal dining location to recharge after a day of exploring downtown. Just a short walk from the museum, the park has several food truck options to enjoy al fresco. If you're looking to escape the heat, Savor is a great alternative! The restaurant's large glass walls will give the sense of the outdoors in the comfort of the cool indoors. We recommend the Savor Burger and garlic parmesan frites!
Because who doesn't love pizza? From their soppressata pizza, Ella or CBF, their chicken, bacon and farmhouse pesto pie, to their popular Honey Bastard, there are plenty of pies to choose from at this Deep Ellum pizza joint. Want to create your own? Build your own with the Margherita pizza and three other toppings. Afterwards take a stroll through Deep Ellum and its colorful murals.
Start off your day exploring Bishop Arts with breakfast or brunch at Jonathan's Diner. You won't want to miss out on their famous chicken and waffles or peanut butter jelly time waffle, that will fix the biggest sweet tooth. Stop here on a weekend to enjoy the diner's Bloody Mary Bar and Bloody Marias.
Where to Stay
Located in the Design District, the Hilton Anatole is the ideal summer family-friendly hotel. The hotel's resort pool, JadeWaters (only open to hotel guests) is the perfect way to beat the Texas heat – let the kids choose between the water slides or a trip around the lazy river. Parents, take advantage of the swim up bar to cool down! Afterwards, grab dinner at Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ or Rodeo Goat, a local favorite burger joint a few minutes down the street.
Situated in the heart of Downtown Dallas, the Fairmont Dallas is located within walking distance of the Arts District and Klyde Warren Park, and close to other Downtown attractions like the Sixth Floor Museum and Reunion Tower. The hotel is also within short distance of the McKinney Avenue Trolley, a fun and free way of getting around the city.
Canopy by Hilton Uptown Dallas
Within walking distance of a variety of restaurants and the Katy Trail, the Canopy by Hilton in Uptown Dallas is another great option for families. The hotel's complimentary bikes are a great way to explore the neighborhood. And this hotel gets brownie points for being pet friendly – after all, our furry friends are family too.
Check out our running list of hotels currently enrolled in the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) program, an accreditation designating Dallas hotels as sanitary and safe!