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1 day in Dallas with 2 small kids

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posts: 134
reviews: 64
1 day in Dallas with 2 small kids


This is our plan for a one-day trip to Dallas. The date is going to be 12-Dec (Thursday). We are a family of 4, with 2 children of almost 6 and almost 3.

1. About 10 AM: Drive into Dallas. We are spending the previous night in Temple, TX, and plan to start from there by 7:30-7:45 AM.

2. Drive to the Dealey's plaza and park there. Visit the Sixth Floor Museum, JFK Memorial and the Old Red Courthouse there. Plan to get these done by 11:30. (Is that reasonable?)

3. Walk to the Dallas World Aquarium. Spend about 4 hours there, including lunch. Leave by 4 PM. (Is that reasonable)?

4. Cab to the Reunion Tower. Go to the top, enjoy the view. Come down by 5:30 PM.

5. Take a walk - Union station, Pioneer Plaza, Dallas City Hall.

6. Have an early dinner.

7. Take cab back to the car by 8 PM. Drive to hotel. Next morning, we drive to Stockyards in Fort Worth and then drive down to San Antonio in the late afternoon.

Questions (any tip will be helpful):

1. Is this a reasonable plan? Is there anything important/big that I am grossly missing, giving the non-compromisable time constraint? I included the aquarium purely for the kids' entertainment.

2. The Sixth Floor Museum website says $ 5 daily rate parking is available at the location. Is this a good place to park? Anyone knows if they will remian open till about 8 PM, or will they close when the museum closes?

3. Is the plan ok for kids of that age, or too hectic/tiresome?

4. Are the time estimates ok? About 1.5 hours for Dealey Plaza, Sixth Florr museum, JFK Memorial and Old Red Courthouse. About 4 hours in the aquarium, including lunch. About 1 hour for the Reunion Tower.

5. Any suggestion regarding a good place for a quick bite (vs an elaborate restaurant) - in the walk between Pioneer Plaza and the Dealey's Plaza?

Thanks for all the help.


8 replies to this topic
Dallas, Texas
posts: 94
reviews: 3
1. Re: 1 day in Dallas with 2 small kids

Since you have a 3 and 6 year old, I would highly recommend Perot Museum & Science. It is new & people of all ages are fascinated by it. Buy tickets online, as it is always sold out at the door (unless going on a week day).

posts: 168
2. Re: 1 day in Dallas with 2 small kids

I would pass on the cab and take DART light rail. It's right there on all your downtown stop. Spaghetti Warehouse

with in the block. Aquarium is well worth it.

Dallas, Texas
posts: 1
reviews: 24
3. Re: 1 day in Dallas with 2 small kids

You can probably do The Sixth Floor and surrounding areas in 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. Parking is easy-right beside the museum. The Perot Museum is great for older kids. We took our twin 6 year old grandkids there this summer and spent the entire day but I think the three year old would enjoy the aquarium more. I would drive to the aquarium, though. Parking is right beside it. With all the walking through museums, etc., I know our kiddos would never make it. You will probably only need about 30 minutes to get into Reunion Tower and see the view, 45 at the most. I agree that Spaghetti Warehouse would be a great dining choice. Our grandkids love it!

Honolulu, Hawaii
posts: 30
reviews: 12
4. Re: 1 day in Dallas with 2 small kids

It's been a couple of years since I've been there, but it seems that the recent reviews of Eighteen-oh-One (one of the restaurants at the Aquarium) are in line with my experience.

It's one of the best lunches that I've ever had in a museum or similar attraction. The (shaped like a) fish pizza was just right for the young ones with us. The prices were very reasonable. Service was quick and classy. And we were off our feet and refreshed before tackling the rest of the aquarium.

Dallas, Texas
posts: 94
reviews: 3
5. Re: 1 day in Dallas with 2 small kids

Susie...that sucks your 6 year old grandkids didnt get much out of the museum. I recently had a bday party for my son's 5th bday with all his 10 friends there and we all had a blast. The museum has activites for children involvement.

Big D
Destination Expert
for Tulum, Dallas
posts: 10,526
reviews: 6
6. Re: 1 day in Dallas with 2 small kids


You have smaller kids so I'm going to try to respond with their consideration.

They will not enjoy the Sixth Floor Museum. It's lot of reading, a film, historical artifacts. It is fascinating for us adults. Not so much for kids. When I have visited, it has taken about 2 hours to see everything just inside the museum.

Same with Old Red. It's an historical museum. I found it to be very interesting. My son couldn't wait to leave. He was 9 at the time. I spent about 90 minutes there with my mom.

Yes! Dallas World Aquarium - great for all ages and 4 hours will be about right with lunch included in that time frame.

Reunion Tower will be nice during that time frame with the sun setting.

But afterward, it will be dark. I would not rec walking around City Hall at dark - lots of homeless in this area due to the location of shelters. Pioneer Plaza might be ok but I personally wouldn't do it.

A better option is the arts district that evening. Dallas Museum of Art is open until 9pm on Thursdays. You can safely walk around this area. Klyde Warren Park is next to DMA. Food options are the cafe inside the DMA, food truck at KWP or Lark in the Park (also at KWP).

posts: 134
reviews: 64
7. Re: 1 day in Dallas with 2 small kids

Thanks to everyone for the valuable suggestions. Here is what I will do, based on the inputs.

1. Sixth Floor Museum/Daley Plaza/JFK Memorial first thing in the morning. About the kids - looks like they have to cooperate to earn the visit to the aquarium/Perot museum :-)

2. Aquarium / Perot Museum after that. From what I could figure out, the Perot museum seems more like an all-day program. If that is the case, should I rather just go to the aquarium?

3. The Reunion Tower after that. Sunset there.

4. Take it easy, have dinner, go back to the hotel and prepare for the next day. If time permits, we can take a quick drive of the area (Union station, Pioneer plaza, City Hall etc.) the next morning before heading towards Fort Worth.

How does that sound?

Big D
Destination Expert
for Tulum, Dallas
posts: 10,526
reviews: 6
8. Re: 1 day in Dallas with 2 small kids

I think the aquarium would be better suited for your kids. Otherwise...sounds good.

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