Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and around the Mid-Cities
2021's Best Places for Kids in the Mid-Cities!
The best places to take kids around the Mid-Cities, based on KidsOutAndAbout's annual reader survey (May-June each year). Of course, there is LOTS more to do in our area! Get great ideas below, make sure to check out the Everything That's Free page, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter packed with things to do, and then explore the rest of KidsOutAndAbout.com for lots more!
1. Fort Worth Zoo
The mission of the Fort Worth Zoo is to strengthen the bond between humans and the environment by promoting responsible stewardship of wildlife and ensuring diverse, high-quality educational and entertaining family experiences through effective and efficient management of its resources.
2. Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark
Epic Waters is TX's Largest Indoor Waterpark! Located in Grand Prairie, TX, the park showcases 80,000 sq. ft. of year-round weatherproof family fun. Epic Waters is home to thrills from mild to wild, including 12 waterslides, the longest indoor action river in Texas, an outdoor wavepool, a children’s play area that’s equipped with an aquatic fort, a double FlowRider® surfing simulator, an arcade, a café, a full-service bar, private cabanas, and much more!
3. Urban Air Indoor Trampoline Park
Urban Air Trampoline Parks are the perfect venue in Dallas Fort Worth for some good old family fun, kids birthday parties, church events, corporate events, or any other event you can dream up.
4. Nash Farm
Grapevine’s agrarian traditions are preserved at Nash Farm, which includes the original 1869 farmhouse, historic barn and other structures. The farm raises heritage breed livestock including Gulf Coast Sheep, turkeys and chickens and grows heirloom field crops and produce.
The farm grounds, historic structures and exhibits are open for self-guided tours during regular business hours. Pack a picnic and enjoy your lunch with pastoral views. Beverages and memorabilia are available for purchase at the Farm Store.
Throughout the year, Nash Farm hosts interpretive events and guided activities such as First Fridays, Farm-to-Fork dining experiences and Victorian Christmas. With advance planning, Nash Farm offers group tours and field trips that may include hands-on activities and demonstrations of historic skills and trades.
5. Putt-Putt Fun Center
When you visit a Putt-Putt Fun Center, you choose fun for you and your family. At a Fun Center you may find go-karts, batting cages, game rooms, lazer tag, miniature golf and more.
6. Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Dedicated to lifelong learning and anchored by rich collections, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History engages the community through creative, vibrant programs and interactive exhibits. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History houses a variety of traveling and permanent exhibitions. Permanent exhibits include DinoLabs & DinoDig, Energy Blast, the Fort Worth Children’s Museum and the Cattle Raisers Museum. Innovation Studios— a five glass-walled studio that houses Inventor, Doodler, Designer, Imaginer and Explorer—is where imagination, curiosity and creativity are encouraged and nurtured. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is also home to the Noble Planetarium and the Omni Theater, which is currently under renovation.
7. My Local Library
Of course, the libraries in the Midcities area are not really ONE place, but MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication. They're proud that locals voted them #3 in best places to take kids this year!
8. Stockyards Museum
The Museum features artifacts from the Stockyards and the Swift and Armour Packing Plants. You will also find saddles and other cowboy collectibles from the cattle drive era to contemporary times. Learn more about the Fort Worth Stockshow, American Indians of the area and Camp Bowie.
9. Kimbell Art Museum
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth is internationally renowned for both its collections and its architecture. The Kimbell's collections range in period from antiquity to the 20th century and include European masterpieces by artists such as Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Poussin, Velázquez, Monet, Picasso and Matisse; important collections of Egyptian and classical antiquities; and the art of Asia, Africa and the Ancient Americas. Admission is always FREE to view the museum’s permanent collection. Special exhibitions require a ticket. For more information, visit kimbellart.org/visit.
10. Grapevine Vintage Railroad
Head to the Grapevine Vintage Railroad in Historic Downtown Grapevine and climb aboard an authentic 1920's Victorian coach for a train trip along the historic Cotton Belt Route that travels from Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards most weekends throughout the year.
11. Artisan Center Theater
Artisan Children’s Theater at Artisan Center Theater is well known for using children (18 and under) in productions designed to entertain, inspire and educate other children and families. This unique opportunity of children performing for children provides youth of all ages a chance to learn and master performing arts on-stage, in front of live audiences. The enormous success of this inspired program has impacted thousands of children throughout the community and continues to grow each year.
12. Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center
Located 16 miles south of downtown Dallas in Cedar Hill, Dogwood Canyon is part of the White Rock Escarpment. Nowhere in North Texas can one find a greater variety of rare species than in Dogwood Canyon. Plants and animals from east, west and central Texas converge here, making the canyon the only place in the world where one can find the Black-chinned Hummingbird of west Texas nesting in the flowering dogwood tree of east Texas.
Audubon owns or manages over 200 acres of nearly pristine wildlife habitat in the canyon, and because the property neighbors university, county, and state lands, it is part of a nearly 3,000 acre greenbelt in southwest Dallas County.
From its inception in 2011, Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center has been welcoming visitors to its sanctuaries and inviting them to participate in nature education programs. This innovative approach—preserving open space not just to protect wildlife and native habitat from people, but to actively engage people in its conservation through learning and exploration—served as a model for Audubon and other nature education centers nationwide and influenced the development of place-based experiential learning as a highly effective pedagogical practice.
13. Mountasia Family Fun Center- CLOSED 2021
Come on by and visit our newest attractions! No where else in the metroplex will you find Go Karts, Mini Golf, an Arcade, Rock Climbing and Bumper Boats all in one location!
14. SEA LIFE Grapevine
SEA LIFE is the world’s largest family of aquariums and includes SEA LIFE Aquariums in North America including SEA LIFE Arizona, Carlsbad, Charlotte-Concord, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, Mall of America, Michigan, New Jersey (opening soon), Orlando, and San Antonio (opening soon). From its origins in 1979 in Oban, Scotland, SEA LIFE now provides immersive marine experiences in nearly 50 locations in 17 countries around the world. We aim share our passion for the creatures of the oceans and to make our guests fall in love with them.
15. Mainstay Farm
During October our farm offers a great selection of pumpkins and a variety of fall activities. Each November and December, Mainstay Farm is bustling with families selecting their perfect Christmas tree. We are also open to the public during Spring Break days each year.
16. Pump It Up of Arlington
Who wants to wait for the next birthday party? Check out our Event Calendar to put some jump into your normal routine.
17. Ripley's Believe It or Not - Grand Prairie
Come explore the unexplainable at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! With 5 unique attractions, there is something for everyone of all ages! Take selfies with the stars in our Louis Tussauds Palace Of Wax, see unique artifacts and artwork from all over the world in our Ripley’s Odditorium, get lost in our Enchanted Mirror Maze, test your senses in our new 7D Moving Theater, and duck under lasers to beat the clock in our Impossible Laser Race. You can even make custom wax hands and green screen photos, see you there!
18. National Videogame Museum
This isn't your traditional museum. To parallel the industry we represent, exhibits feature loads of interactivity. There will be plenty of game systems to play from Pong to present, including a full reproduction of an 80's arcade.
The museum is the evolution of the world-famous Classic Gaming Expo museum exhibit which is comprised of over 20,000 items spanning numerous collections and over 25 years of historical document and data archiving. The ultimate vision of The National Videogame Museum is to have a physical research and reference facility that will also serve as an interactive educational exhibit to the industry and general public alike.
19. The Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch
The Pumpkin Patch is located on a small farm, so depending on the weather it could be hot and dusty or wet and muddy. But regardless of the weather it is always beautiful...and ALWAYS FUN! Be sure to bring your camera so you can capture all the great smiles!
20. UTA Planetarium
UTA Planetarium is one of the three largest planetariums in Texas located in Arlington on The University of Texas at Arlington campus. With its 60-foot dome projection surface, fully digital projection system, and advanced software, UTA Planetarium provides unparalleled views of the night sky, the solar system, stars, and distant galaxies — all complemented with Dolby® surround sound. The theater provides comfortable reclining seats for an audience of nearly 150, is wheelchair friendly, and can provide radio headsets for the hearing impaired.
Winners in Special CategoriesIn the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in three categories. Here were their choices.
Top Arts EducatorGrand Prairie Fine Arts Academy
GPFAA is a school of choice intentionally focused on creating a unique school experience for the artistically and academically talented student.
The Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy, GPFAA, is a 6th to 12th grade, multifaceted campus that provides a rigorous academic environment while encouraging artistic excellence through integration with multiple arts disciplines and authentic assessment. Daily, GPFAA students study with a unique staff of professional educators, both academically and in the arts, who are also working artists with significant training and experience in their individual disciplines. GPFAA students engage in many enrichment activities and have multiple opportunities to showcase their talents.
Top Sports EducatorTexas Dreams Gymnastics
Texas Dreams Gymnastics is a premiere program in Dallas, creating successful gymnasts at every level and enhancing and refining athletes of every age through the sport of gymnastics.
Top STEM EducatorSci-Tech Discovery Center
Bright ideas! That’s what Sci-Tech Discovery Center hopes to inspire. By providing hands-on discovery experiences in the essential areas of science, math and technology to kids of all ages and backgrounds. Sci-Tech Discovery Center seeks to spark a life-long interest and help equip our area’s children with these advanced skills. At Sci-Tech we believe in advancing education and providing inspiration to the next generation of engineers, scientists, educators and innovators.