Children & Family

10 Things to Do in Dallas With Older Kids

Fun things to do with your tweens and teens in Dallas.

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Kaitlyn Grekoff
Posted on Apr 4, 2022

While I'm not a mom, I've worked with middle school and high school students for years, and I frequently host my pre-teen nephews when they visit Dallas. It can't just be me that feels like most "family-friendly" travel tips are geared towards those with young children right? So, what do you do with those pre-teens and teenagers to make it a trip to remember? You'll be the GOAT if you take your older kids to do these 10 things. 

 

  • Tell your pre-teen there's a place in Dallas called Rainbow Vomit and they'll probably be into it, no questions asked. For those inquiring further, it's a seriously sick experiential art installation. More than just a social media selfie spot, it's a place they'll love to joke around, play and get creative with their photo or video skills as this curious location is full of surprises, props and clever twists. With eight different rooms to explore, plan between 45-60 minutes to take it all in and capture all of the off-beat selfies and hilarious TikToks they want.  
  • Zoos are always a great time for kids and kids at heart. Mix up your zoo visit and challenge your tweens to prove how brave they are by getting up close and personal with the reptiles or even dinosaurs! When you purchase your Dallas Zoo tickets, don't forget to add on tickets to the Dino Safari - an experience that goes back in time to join a field team as you hop on board a shuttle for a tour of our research camp, observe dinos from close-up and search for what is rumored to be a newly-hatched Amargasaurus!
  • To feed those growing hungry, hungry hippos, I mean, kiddos, stop by Lower Greenville for a patio picnic of delicious sliders, fries and milkshakes at Son of a Butcher. They sell these tasty little burgers by the "butcher's dozen" along with a side sleeve of onion rings or waffle fries, which are perfect to either feed the family or even your hungriest teenager. They offer all sorts of flavors to choose from to serve both your pickiest and most adventurous eaters from wagyu pb&j sliders to the old-school veggie slider. Dine outside at the picnic tables on the front lawn to give them space to let them be their wild selves. If you're into desserts, order a swanky chocolate brownie milkshake for them with the option to make any shake boozy for yourself.
  • While you're in Lower Greenville, let them feel oh-so-grown up by ordering their own coffee or matcha at La La Land Kind Cafe. (For those not quite ready for coffee yet, they also serve teas, lemonades and incredible chocolate chip cookies.) This coffee shop with the purpose of hiring foster youth and normalizing kindness is located in a former home and has just the aesthetic their friends will be DMing about when they post their camera dump on Insta. While you're there, show them you're a cool adult that already follows the cafe on TikTok - their drive-by-kindness episodes always offer a hit of positivity and good energy we all need.
  • If you feel like your kids spend too much time playing video games, it's time to get competitive and show them the grown-ups know a thing or two about gaming! Head to the Bishop Cidercade to challenge your family to see who's really the biggest competitor! School your youngest in a round of skeeball or see who of the group can rank the highest in Guitar hero. There are classic soft drinks for the kids and has countless kinds of Dallas' local Bishop Cider on tap for those over 21.
  • If the weather is warm, a stay at the Hilton Anatole is a must. Jade Waters is their own on-property two-acre pool with a waterpark feel complete with slides, a lazy river and a swim-up bar for the adults. The hotel is also home to several restaurants, an extension art collection and a large lawn for more fun and games outside.
Credit: Galleria Dallas
  • With kids that are all about shopping, a night or two at the Westin Galleria Dallas couldn't be more perfect. It's attached to the Galleria shopping center which features over 200 stores and an indoor ice-skating rink, and the hotel itself has restaurants, a video-game room and a heated rooftop pool.
  • For the kids that are old enough to have had world history assignments that cover World War II, the Holocaust and Human Rights Museum will tie in what they've learned in school while creating unforgettable memories of experiencing this breathtaking museum for the first time. If your teens or tweens are mature enough to ask thoughtful questions, they shouldn't leave the museum without having a conversation with a hologram of a holocaust survivor with the Dimensions in Testimony? technology from the USC Shoah Foundation. This groundbreaking tech allows your family to interact with virtual Survivors in a specially designed space where these incredible people respond to questions from the audience.
  • If your crew has an artistic flair, then a visit to the Winspear Opera House for Dallas Summer Musicals or the Dallas Museum of Art would slap. (Iykyk.) Your budding performer or theater kid will have the time of their life watching the craft and excellence of the talented performers at the Winspear. For those with more tactile artistic gifts, the Dallas Museum of Art offers such a wide variety of mediums of art that they'll be enthralled for hours. They even have a hands-on Center for Creative Connections where they can get crafty with their own art projects at the museum.
Credit: Alamo Drafthouse
Credit: Alamo Drafthouse
  • Because everyone needs chill time, catch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse to really wow your crew. Choose an age-appropriate movie and prepare to watch their jaws drop when they see the plush seats and a full menu to choose from. Don't sleep on the insanely delicious pizza and unlimited popcorn! Bonus: no juggling for you - the staff brings your order right to your seat!