When in Dallas: Dining, Kids Activities, & More

We just spent ten days in Dallas at my parent’s house and I left feeling even more in love with the city I grew up in. The big Texas city has always been vibrant and fun, but in the last ten years, its developed even more with lots of variety in things to do and places to eat. I feel like every time we go there is a new restaurant to try, a fun activity for our kiddos, a new bookstore or coffee shop to check out.

View of part of downtown from the Farmer’s Market

Growing up we complained about Dallas humidity, but let me tell you, it is nothing compared to Louisiana where most days outdoors feels like a sauna. But still, don’t go to Dallas for the weather and if you do go in the summer, definitely stay somewhere with a pool. We are lucky that my parents have a shaded backyard with a large pool, in the shape of Texas no less (it was there when they bought the house)!

Here is my list of some things to add to your Dallas travel itinerary. Honestly, it barely touches all there is to do and eat, but it’s a good start!

Food & Drink:

Mi Cocina—our family favorite go-to with multiple locations: get the fajitas, Tacos Habana, and the Mambo Taxi to drink. The chips and salsa are the best! 

Resident Taqueria—a little spot in Lake Highlands with incredibly creative tacos: our favorites are the roasted cauliflower and the short rib, great breakfast tacos too!

Civil Pour—excellent coffee, including pour-overs, and some creative espresso drinks as well like the Iced Blueberry Bliss.

Emporium Pies—this is THE best pie you’ll ever eat in a super cute atmosphere! There are multiple locations, they change the menu seasonally and you can order by the slice or a whole pie.

The “Papa Don’t Peach” seasonal summer pie: featuring peaches, raspberry, cream, and a cinnamon crumble, and the French Silk pie.

Eataly—if you want to feel transported to Italy, this spot is such a treat! Located in North Park Mall, you’ll find Italian dry goods as well as counters to buy in house freshly made pasta, pizza, and gelato, plus they have a sit-down restaurant on the upper floor.

Cane Rosso—incredible wood-fired pizza and a lovely patio setting, get the Honey Bastard and the Prosciutto and Arugula.

Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar—this downtown upscale spot is gorgeous and the food is delicious, there is a  beautiful bar to grab drinks at as well, make sure to get the Sizzlers appetizer. As a bonus, check out Mercat Bistro right next door for a lovely brunch, the fluffy quiche is excellent. 

The charcuterie board and “Sizzler’s” appetizer–bacon & jalapeño wrapped chicken breast with ranch dipping sauce.

Rise–Be transported to Europe yet again at this lovely restaurant featuring all kinds of soufflé both savory and sweet. The perfect special occasion spot.

La Duni—delicious Latin American eats, I recommend the carne asada. Plus check out their bakery for award-winning cakes like the cuatro leches. 

Dallas Farmer’s Market—open-air market with a large selection of seasonal produce, meats, and dairy products as well as other food items, plus stands to grab local foods ready to eat. 

To Do:

Half Price Books: there are several locations but my favorite is the one at Northwest Highway and 75. With a massive selection of books, cheap prices, and a fun children’s area, this is a great place to stock your library.

Arboretum: such a magical spot anytime of year! It’s hard to describe the glory of the Arboretum. Gorgeous blooms all year, a really special Christmas display featuring the 12 days of a Christmas, a spectacular pumpkin display in the fall, water features, and an amazing Children’s Garden. A Dallas must! 

Magical spot in the Children’s Garden at the Arboretum

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science: a great spot for adults and kids with interactive displays and rotating features and galleries.

The Dallas Museum of Art: a lovely spot in the arts district with a wide collection of artwork.

Klyde Warren Park: this incredible park is built on top of the highway! There is a kids’ play area, food trucks, and lots of green space to enjoy. 

Gaylord Texan Resort: an amazing hotel to stay or just visit for the day. They have a water park, tons of restaurants, and at Christmas a fantastic ice display and indoor sledding. 

White Rock Lake: gorgeous walking and biking trails and the perfect place for a picnic.

Dreamscape: a really cool virtual reality experience in North Park Mall–a destination in itself. We did this for the first time recently and had a blast!

Lake Lewisville: boat and jet ski rentals are available for a fun day on the lake.

State Fair of Texas: my personal favorite thing about Dallas, this is not your average fair and it’s worth it to take a trip to Dallas just to go! Every fall you can experience an array of fried food, the massive Midway, farm animals, and a variety of shows.

Dallas Zoo & Dallas World Aquarium: both excellent with a large variety of animals. 


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