Dallas Summer Staycation GuideIf your summer budget has no room for a vacation this year, there are lots of fun ways to make your "DFW Summer Staycation" one to remember without breaking the bank!

Summer Staycation Guide Tips

Here are some tips on how to get started and how to plan ahead to save some extra cash:

What do THEY want to do? Ask the kids to brainstorm a list of ideas that they want to do for a vacation.

What do YOU want to do? Parents should get a voice in this as well! There are so many resources to find ideas…from local magazines (Ad Pages) to free fun websites, including just check out our around town section!

Make a Plan. Sit down as a family and plan out your week. Use coupons, entertainment deals and free activities to stretch your dollar.  Take advantage of restaurants that offer free meals for kids.  Using these savings tactics might allow you to splurge and get a hotel for one or two nights during the week to make you feel as if you really have “gotten away”.

Try Something New! Use the “out-of-the-box” thinking to come up with something new and fun for the family.  Hiking in a cave, going on a scavenger hunt, zip-lining, visiting thrift shops. The ideas are limitless!

Quality Time. Some of the best times are right down the road at your local park.  The key is giving kids what they want and that is time with you. Fish with them, ride bikes, fly a kite, play in the stream, have a picnic and chat with them.

Here are some ideas in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to get you started. Plus, don’t forget to visit Groupon and LivingSocial for discounts on local things to do with the family!

For local attraction discounts, check out Pogo Pass, a family based entertainment pass, that gets pass holders into some of the best venues in Dallas. Head over here and use code MYDFWMOMMY and get 60% off (you’ll pay $49.98 instead of $124.95). Just Hawaiian Falls and the Fort Worth Zoo are over $40 by themselves! And don't forget about CityPASS. It has just come to the Dallas area and is a booklet of admission tickets to the best attractions in a single city. You’ll save up to 50% compared to combined regular box office prices!

Other great resources include the Entertainment Book and GoldStar for half-price entertainment events!

And of course, remember to take advantage of all the Kid’s Summer Free Events!

MyDFWMommy City SpotlightFinally, if you want to stay close to home, check out our city spotlight of great things to do in area suburbs, many of which are FREE!

Things to Do in Arlington, TX ~ City Spotlight
Things to Do in Carrollton, TX ~ City Spotlight
Things to Do in Frisco, TX ~ City Spotlight
Things to Do in Garland ~ City Spotlight
Things to Do in Grand Prairie, TX ~ City Spotlight
Things to Do in Grapevine, TX 
Things to Do in McKinney, TX ~ City Spotlight
Things to Do in Plano, TX ~ City Spotlight




DFW Summer Staycation Guide!

Texas culture

GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower, Dallas ($16 adults; $8 for children ages 4–12; free for 3 and younger.)

Fire Station No. 1 Museum, Fort Worth (FREE)

Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth (FREE)

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth ($10 adults; $8 for ages 3–12; free for ages 2 and younger with a paid adult.)

National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth ($6 adults; free for ages 5 and younger.)

Old Red Museum, Dallas ($8 adults; $5 ages 3–16.)

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, Dallas ($16 adults; $13 for ages 6–18; free for ages 5 and younger.)

Southfork Ranch, Parker ($9.50 adults; $8 seniors; $7 children age 5-12; kids 4 and younger free.)

Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Fort Worth ($5 adults; $3 ages 3-12; $4 seniors and students; under 3 free)

West End Historical District, Dallas (FREE)

Western Currency Facility, Fort Worth (FREE)


Science Museums

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth ($15 adults and $11 children.)

Perot Museum of Nature and Science at Victory Park, Dallas ($17 adults; $12 seniors; $11 children ages 2–17; free for children younger than age 2.)

Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, Grand Prairie ($16.99 adults; $8.99 children age 4-12.)

Sci-Tech Discovery Center, Frisco ($8; free for ages 2 and younger.)


Art Museums

Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth (FREE)

Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington ($8 adults; $5 students; free for ages 12 and younger.)

Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas (FREE)

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas (FREE)

Irving Arts Center, Irving (FREE)

Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth ($16 adults; $12 for ages 6–11.)

Meadows Museum at SMU, Dallas ($10 for adults; free for ages 11 and younger. Free Thu after 5pm.)

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth ($10 adults; free for children ages 12 and younger.)

Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas ($10 adults; free for children ages 12 and younger.)


Historical Museums

Chestnut Square Historic Village, McKinney ($5 adults; $3 children suggested donation; varying fee for Living History Days and other special events.)

Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas ($9 adults; $5 ages 4-12; $7 seniors 65 and older; children younger than 4 free.)

Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas ($6 adults; $4 children)

Heritage Farmstead Museum, Plano ($2 per person; guided tours: $5 adults; $3.50 students ages 5-18; kids ages 4 and younger free.)

International Museum of Cultures, Dallas ($5 adults; $4 children, students and seniors; kids age 3 and younger free.)

Log Cabin Village, Fort Worth ($5 adults; $4.50 ages 4–17.)


Transportation Fun

DART, Dallas area (Ticket prices vary; single ride fares start at $1.75.)

Forest Park Miniature Railroad, Fort Worth ($3 adults; $2.50 children 1-12 and seniors 65 and older.)

Grapevine Vintage Railroad, Grapevine ($10 adults; $9 seniors 55 and older; $6 children 3-12.)

Interurban Railway Museum, Plano (FREE)

McKinney Avenue Trolley, Dallas (FREE)

Museum of the American Railroad, Dallas ($5 adults; $2.50 ages 3-12; children younger than 3 free; $7 guided tours)

Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth (Ticket prices vary per event.)

Trinity Railway Express, Dallas-Fort Worth (Fares start at $5 for a daypass.)


Astronomy Centers

Noble Planetarium, Fort Worth ($5 adults; $3 children and seniors; $2 museum members.)

Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Gallery, Fort Worth (FREE)

UNT Sky Theater, Denton ($5 adults; $4 UNT employees and seniors; $3 UNT students and children 12 and younger.)

UTA Planetarium, Arlington ($2 film tickets; FREE admission.)


Aviation Museums

Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison ($8 adults; $6 seniors and military; $4 children age 4-12; kids age 3 and younger free.)

C.R. Smith Museum, Fort Worth ($5 adults; $3 seniors 55 and older and children 2-18; kids age 2 and younger free.)

Founders Plaza Plane Observation Park, DFW International Airport (FREE)

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas ($8 adults; $5 ages 3-17; children younger than 3 free)

Vintage Flying Museum, Fort Worth ($8 adults; $5 kids age 13-17 and seniors; $3 kids age 6-12; kids age 6 and younger free.)


Animals, Farms & Petting Zoos

Dallas Zoo, Dallas (Jun–Dec: $12 adults; $9 for ages 3–11.)

Fort Worth Zoo, Fort Worth ($12 adults; $9 for age 3–12 and seniors; kids 2 and younger free.)

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose (Varying prices depending on type of tour by car, guided tour, etc. and time of tour either weekday or weekend starting at $13.95.)

Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch, Pilot Point ($10 adults; $8 children age 3-12 and seniors 65 and older; kids 12 and younger free on public tour days)

Fritz Park Petting Farm, Irving (FREE)

Grisham Farms Petting Zoo, McKinney ($5 per person 18 months and older.)

Nash Farm, Grapevine (FREE)

Trinity River Farm, Fort Worth (Pricing varies; reservations required for lessons.)


Aquariums & fishing

FREE Fishing at All Texas State Parks

Bass Pro Shops, Grapevine (FREE)

Cabela’s, Fort Worth (FREE)

Children's Aquarium at Fair Park, Dallas ($8 adults; $6 children ages 3-11; free children 2 and younger.)

Dallas World Aquarium, Dallas ($15.95 adults; $8.95 children; under 2 free)

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Athens ($5.50 adults; $4.50 seniors; $3.50 children age 4-12; kids 3 and younger free.)


Theaters & Music

Artisan Center Theater, Hurst ($16-$7; Artie's Playhouse shows $5.)

Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth (Varies by show.)

Casa Mañana, Fort Worth (Varies by show.)

Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, Richardson (Varies by show.)

Circle Theatre, Fort Worth ($20-$30 per ticket.)

Creative Arts Theatre & School, Arlington (Varies by show.)

Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas (Varies by show.)

Dallas Summer Musicals, Dallas (Tickets start at $15.)

Frisco Area Children’s Theater, Frisco ($10 adults; $5 kids age 10 and younger and seniors 65 and older.)

Grapevine Opry, Grapevine (Tickets start at $15.)

Hip Pocket Theatre, White Settlement ($20 adults; $5 for ages 12 and younger.)

Kids Who Care, Fort Worth ($20 adults; $17 kids age 15 and younger; $12 groups of 10 or more.)

McKinney Performing Arts Center, McKinney (Varies by show.)

Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas (Varies by show.)

Plano Children’s Theatre, Plano and McKinney ($8 in advance; $10 at the door.)

Rover Dramawerks, Plano ($20 Friday and Saturday evening shows; $16 Thursdays and matinees.)

Theatre Arlington, Arlington ($22 regular adult admission; $10 tickets to all youth performances.)

Teatro Dallas, Dallas (Tickets start at $15.)

WaterTower Theatre, Addison (Varies per show and educational programming.)

Winspear Opera House, Dallas(Varies by show.)


Water Fun

Burger’s Lake, Fort Worth (Admission is $12 per person ages 7 and up; $5 ages 1-6.)

Dallas Classic Gondola Cruises, Las Colinas ($146 for two people.)

Eagle Mountain Lake, Fort Worth (FREE)

Fort Worth Water Gardens, Fort Worth (FREE)

Gaylord Texan Paradise Springs, Grapevine (Included with stay- room rates vary.)

Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine (Included with stay- room rates vary.)

Hawaiian Falls, Garland, Mansfield, Roanoke and The Colony ($22.99 for Big Kahunas taller than 48 inches; $15.99 seniors and kids under 48 inches; free for kids 2 and younger.)

Hydrous Wake Parks - Hydrous Wake Parks offers cable wakeboarding for beginners and experts alike in Allen, TX and Little Elm, TX.

Keller Pointe, Keller (Daily guest fee $17 family; $7 seniors)

Lake Arlington, Arlington (Daily permit fee is $5; annual fee is $25 or $12 for seniors.)

Lake Benbrook, Fort Worth (Day use costs $3 per carload. Camping fees vary from $30-$100.)

Lake Grapevine, Grapevine (Permit fees vary.)

Lake Joe Pool, Cedar Hill (Permit fees vary.)

Lake Lavon, Wylie (Permit fees vary.)

Lake Lewisville, Lewisville (Entry fee is per vehicle: $10 for non-residents; $3 for Lewisville residents.)

Lake Mineral Wells, Mineral Wells  (Permit fees vary.)

Lake Ray Hubbard, Rowlett (Permit fees vary.)

Lake Ray Roberts, Pilot Point (Permit fees vary.)

Lake Worth, Fort Worth (FREE)

NRH2O Family Water Park, North Richland Hills (Admission is $25.99 for those taller than 48 inches; $20.99 for anyone shorter.)

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Arlington ($25.99; $19.99 for little tykes under 48 inches tall; 2 and younger free.)

Trinity River Kayak/Canoe Expeditions, Dallas area (Rates vary from $50-40 for kayak; $55-50 for canoe.)

Wet Zone, Rowlett (Adults: $8.50 residents, $10.50 nonresidents. Children under 48 inches: $7.50 residents, $9.50 nonresidents. Free for ages 2 and younger.)

White Rock Lake, Dallas (FREE)


Ice Skating & Roller Skating

Kids Skate Free Program

Dr Pepper Star Center, Euless, Farmers Branch, Frisco, McKinney and Plano (Public skating at all locations: $7 adults; $6 children 3-12; kids 3 and younger free; $3 skate rental.)

Galleria Ice Skating Center, Dallas ($8 public skate session admission; $3 skate rental. See Web site for varying lesson pricing information.)

Ice at the Parks, Arlington (Public skating: $6 admission; $3 skate rental.)

Polar Ice House, Grapevine (Public skate: $8 adults; $7 children; $4.50 military; $3 skate rental.)

Interskate, Lewisville (Public skating: $6 admission; $4 skate rental.)

Skatetown, Grapevine (Public skating: $6 admission; $3 skate rental.)

Lone Star Sports and Event Center, Denton (Public skating: $5 admission; $4 skate rental.)

Amusements Parks & Entertainment Centers

Kids Bowl Free Program

Adventure Landing, Dallas ($10 admission for all-you-can-play days every Monday and Thursday; $9 “Super Saturday” admission.)

Alley Cats Entertainment Center, Arlington (Ticket package prices vary.)

Bowlmor Dallas, Addison (Prices vary by day of the week and time.)

Celebration Station, Mesquite (Varying ticket package prices, starting at $4.99 per person.)

Cowtown Cattlepen Maze, Fort Worth ($5 admission for ages 5 and older. Kids age 4 and younger must be accompanied by an adult with free admission for the child.)

Dyno-Rock Climbing Center, Arlington ($10 climbing pass; $6 full rental of shoes, harness and chalk bag).

Just For Fun Watercraft Rental, Grapevine/Lewisville (Hourly and daily prices vary per watercraft.)

Katy Trail, Dallas (FREE)

Lone Star Park, Grand Prairie ($5 general admission.)

Main Event, Fort Worth, Frisco, Lewisville, Grapevine and Plano (Ticket packages start at $9.95.)

Medieval Times, Dallas ($60.95 adults; $36.95 kids age 12 and younger; free for children under 3.)

Top Golf, Allen, Dallas and The Colony (Admission starts at $3; see Web site for varying prices based on day and number of balls.)

Sandy Lake Amusement Park, Carrollton ($5 admission to swimming pool (kids age 3 and younger free; $2 per person age 3 and older; 50-cent tickets for amusement rides and paddle boats.)

Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington (Full price admission is $64.99; $49.99 for kids under 48-inches tall. Free for ages 2 and younger.)

Strikz, Frisco (Ticket package prices vary.)

Summit Climbing Gym, Dallas, Carrollton and Grapevine ($20 for day pass plus harness, shoe and chalk bag rental; $14 day pass; $5 shoe rental; $3 harness rental; $3 chalk bag rental.)



American Airlines Center, Dallas (Price depends on event)

AT&T Stadium, Arlington(Price depends on event)

AirHogs Baseball, Grand Prairie (Tickets start at $6)

Dr Pepper Ballpark, Frisco (Tickets start at $7.)

LaGrave Field/Fort Worth Cats Baseball, Fort Worth (Tickets start at $5.)

Pizza Hut Park/FC Dallas Soccer, Frisco (Tickets start at $20.)

Rangers Ballpark/Rangers, Arlington (Game tickets start at $6.)


Horse-back Riding

Benbrook Stables, Benbrook ($45 private 45-minute lesson; $40 per hour-long trail ride.)

Dallas Polo Club, Red Oak (Varying pricing information determined by season and age.)

Marshall Creek Ranch, Southlake (1.5-hour trail rides and ride-alongs are $50 per person.)

Park Lane Equestrian, Dallas (Varying pricing information determined by season and age.)

Prestonwood Polo & Country Club, Oak Point (Varying pricing information determined by season and age.)

Storybook Ranch, McKinney (1 hour beginner ride starts at $35.)

Windmill Stables of Spring Park, Richardson (Varying pricing information determined by season and age.)



Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve, Southlake (FREE)

Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth (FREE)

Cedar Ridge Preserve, Dallas (Suggested donation of $3 upon entry.)

Connemara Meadow Preserve, Allen (FREE)

Dallas Arboretum, Dallas ($15 adults; $12 seniors; $10 children 3-12.)

Dinosaur Valley State Park, Glen Rose (Adult Day Use: $7 Daily; Child 12 Years and Under: Free)

Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Cedar Hill (FREE)

Elm Fork Nature Preserve, Carrollton (FREE)

Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth (FREE)

Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, Fort Worth ($5 adults; $2 ages 3–12.)

The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, McKinney ($9 adults and $6 for children ages 3–12.)

River Legacy Living Science Center, Arlington (FREE)

Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden, Dallas ($3 for timed ticket plus admission to the Dallas Arboretum: $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 3–12.)

Texas Discovery Gardens, Dallas ($8 adults; $4 for children ages 3–11; free for children 2 and younger.)

Trinity River Audubon Center, Dallas ($6 adults; $4 seniors ages 60 and older; $3 children ages 3-12; children younger than 3 free. Free admission every third Thu.)

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