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Best Day Trips from Dallas Texas

If you are tired of spending time at home and are looking for some quick Dallas day trips, here are some ideas that fit the bill. From outdoor adventures to shopping to charming towns, Dallas has something for all ages. Here are some of our favorite day trips from DFW to get you started.

Dallas Day Trips Not to Miss

Best Dallas Day Trips

If you’re local to Dallas or passing through, you should be sure to take at least one day trip to any of these amazing places. 

If you want to get out of the city, there are a lot of places to visit. You could be rock climbing one day, and hunting dinosaur footprints the next!

So I’ve put together a list of my favorite day trips from Dallas, to share with you the beautiful places you may never think of visiting. 

Day Trips in Texas

Grapevine

If you are looking for a Dallas day trip that offers something year round, head to Grapevine! Head to historic Main Street for wine tasting rooms, dining, and shopping. The Grapevine Botanical Garden and Nash Farm are perfect for getting out with kids. If you like trying new things, there’s a wonderful glass blowing studio called Verto. They host private events and beginners’ sessions, so book in advance for a day out to remember.

And in the run-up to Christmas, there are over 1,400 holiday events, including Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express and the Texas Star Dinner Theater Holiday Show. It’s the Christmas capital of Texas after all! Miles from Dallas: 22

Day Trip from Dallas to Grapevine Christmas-Kids Are A Trip
Grapevine at Christmas does not disappoint!

Waco 

Waco is an easy and popular day trip from Dallas. It’s an easy drive or you can take the bus from Dallas to Waco. The city is known for its ties to Chip and Joanna Gaines of “Fixer Upper” fame, and there is plenty to do in this city halfway between Dallas and Austin.

Those wanting to soak in all things related to Chip and Joanna should start the day early with breakfast at The Magnolia Table, the Gaines’ family restaurant. Highly recommend the avocado toast, but everything there is delicious.

From here, head on to Magnolia Market at the Silos. This is where you will find Magnolia Market, Magnolia Seed + Supply (a cute gardening shop), and Silos Baking Co. (be sure to try their delicious cupcakes). The rest of the Silos includes a lawn area with games for families and food trucks for picnicking. It’s the perfect place to spend a few hours. *Note: it is quite busy on the weekends, try to go during the week to avoid the crowds.

If you want to see things in Waco not related to Magnolia, head to some of the cool shops, such as Harp Design Co., Cedar Chest Antique Mall, The Findery, and Homestead Heritage Craft Village, where you’ll find locally made products and activities for the kids. 

Waco is also the original home of the popular soft drink, Dr. Pepper. Head to the Dr Pepper Museum and you will find everything you ever wanted to know about this drink. There’s everything from replica vintage bottles to a retro soda fountain. It’s walking distance from the Silos.

On the drive from Waco to Dallas, don’t miss the Czech Stop for its famous Kolaches! Miles from Dallas: 96

Silos Magnolia Market Waco Texas-Kids Are A Trip
Fun for everyone at The Silos.

McKinney

A quick drive from Dallas, McKinney offers small town charm even though the city has close to 200,000 residents. Head to the historic downtown for shopping, and grab a bite to eat at Local Yocal, known for its BBQ and hospitality. Another option is to grab provisions at the McKinney Farmers Market (or Local Yocal Farm to Market), and head to Town Lake to go boating, play volleyball and picnic.. 

Local attractions include the Heard Natural Science Museum, a must see for nature lovers. They offer programs for kids of all ages and self-guided tours. If you are looking for a fun place to grab a drink, take a tour of Franconia Brewing, a German style brewer that dates to 1800, or Tupps Brewery, another local favorite. Those who prefer wine should head to Mitas Hill Winery (and wine bar) to sample some north Texas wine (check the hours  before visiting).

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McKinney Texas Main Street at Christmas-Kids Are A Trip

Plano 

On this day trip from Dallas you could try a bit of everything. Plano offers an abundance of outdoor activities. Visit the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, a 200 acre park in the heart of the city. Those looking for adventure will want to head to Oak Point Park for the Go Ape zip lines and rope course. Learn a bit about the area’s history at Heritage Farmstead Museum, a working farm that dates to the 19th century.

If retail therapy is more your speed, head to Legacy West, with 255 acres of shopping and dining. When everyone finishes shopping, be sure to grab a bite to eat at Legacy Hall with over 15 different food stalls serving something for all palates, even picky eaters. Miles from Dallas: 20

Go Ape at Oak Point Park Plano
Photo credit: Go Ape

Frisco 

If there are any sports fans in your group, you’ll want to make this day trip from Dallas time and time again. 

Dallas Cowboys fans won’t want to miss the opportunity to tour their incredible practice facility. The Star is a huge complex that houses training fields, restaurants, and trophies. Take a VIP tour for a behind the scenes look at Super Bowl memorabilia, team uniforms, the War Room, and Nike Star Walk.

If baseball is more your speed, be sure to catch a Rough Riders baseball game at Dr. Pepper Ballpark. This newer facility even has a swimming pool and lazy river next to the field, so you can relax and enjoy the game.

Kids will go crazy for KidZania, a 100,000 sq ft indoor city built by kids for kids. With over 50 individual buildings that represent real-life businesses, where children can role-play over a 100 different professions. Fair warning: your kids will never want to leave!

Frisco is also home to National Soccer Hall of Fame (and Toyota Stadium, home of FC Dallas), the National Video Game Museum, and the Museum of the American Railroad. No matter what you’re looking for, Frisco is sure to have it. Miles from Dallas: 28

The Star_Entertainment District
The Star Entertainment District Photo: Visit Frisco

Fort Worth 

Fort Worth is often referred to as a suburb of Dallas, but it easily stands on its own. Start off the day with a Cowtown Segway tour (link) that takes you on an informative and fun tour of downtown Fort Worth. When it’s over, head to one of our favorite spots downtown, Sundance Square. It’s usually the hub of activity any time of day.

If you’re with kids, you might want to head to the Fort Worth Zoo, one of the city’s top attractions. Check before you go to see if you need to book tickets in advance. Kids will also enjoy exploring the Fort Worth Water Gardens, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History.

Be sure to visit the Stockyards National Historic District if you’ve never been. This is a glimpse into the city’s history, and for most visitors, the highlight is the cattle drive. Twice a day ranchers walk the long horn cattle down Main Street, much to the crowds delight. It doesn’t take long, but it is fascinating to see. There are several shops and restaurants in the area (including favorites Joe T Garcia’s (cash only) and Rodeo Goat (awesome burgers)).

Other worthy stops include the Texas Motor Speedway with year round events, The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, The Kimbell Art Museum, and the Fort Worth Botanical Garden. Miles from Dallas: 32

Bulls Fort Worth Stockyards
Everyone loves the Stockyards!
Best Day Trips from Dallas Texas-Kids Are A Trip

Glen Rose

If you are looking for a unique day trip from Dallas head to Fossil Rim in Glen Rose. This wildlife safari park spans 1,800 acres and houses over 1,100 animals. It’s a drive-through safari, and you definitely have a chance to interact with the animals. The guided tours take place on an open-sided bus, so don’t be surprised if a giraffe pops in to say hello!

Downtown Glen Rose offers an historic downtown with over 30 properties on the National Historic Registry. Be sure to take a stroll and enjoy the local shops and cafes.

Another fun place to visit in the area is Dinosaur Valley State Park, one of the most unique state parks in Texas. Dinosaurs once lived in this park, and left footprints in what is now the river bed. If you plan on visiting to track down the footprints, make sure you keep an eye on the Park’s Twitter page for updates on visibility. 

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If your kids love dinosaurs, be sure to make a stop at Dinosaur World Texas with its life sized dinosaurs and prehistoric themed playground. Big Rocks Park is also nearby, offering opportunities to splash in the Paluxy River. Miles from Dallas: 75

Dinosaur Valley State Park
See where dinosaurs walked! Photo: Creative Commons

Lake Mineral Wells State Park

This state park is a great day trip destination for outdoor enthusiasts! Families can go hiking, horseback riding, geo cache, or even rock climb. If you’re interested in climbing, book a beginner tour with Rock-About Climbing Adventures for a fun day out.

If you’re looking for a quiet day, visit Clark Gardens Botanical Park, where you will find beautiful flowers and water features. Be sure to check their website to make sure they are open.

For fossil enthusiasts, don’t miss Mineral Wells Fossil Park. Here you can search for ancient fossils and take home what you find! Miles from Dallas: 78

U pick farms in DFW

U-Pick farms are one of my very favorite day trips, and there are so many around Dallas. Everything is seasonal, so be sure to check their Facebook pages before heading out for the day.

For strawberry picking near Dallas head to Storm Farms in Arlington or at Wow U pick farms in Krum. Blueberry picking near Dallas can be found at Blase Family Farm in Rockwall or Blueberry Hill Farm in Edom. Jenkins Farms in Bonhom has peaches to pick, and Ham Orchards in Terrell will pick the peaches for you, but you can pick blackberries. You can also pick your very own tulips at Texas Tulips in Pilot Point.

In fall, pick apples near Dallas at Henrietta Farms in Roanoke or Apple Valley Orchard in Llano. Find pumpkins in the Dallas suburbs at Halls Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in Grapevine or Big Orange Pumpkin Farm in Gunter.

Find out more info about Dallas pick your own farms at PickYourOwn.org

Pilot Point Tulip Fields-Kids Are A Trip

Day Trips in Oklahoma

Turner Falls

This is a very popular spot for day trips, and for good reason, it’s midway between Oklahoma City and Dallas. Not only does it offer natural beauty, kids love splashing about and cooling down in the water that runs off the rocks.

Turner Falls Park is located in Davis, Oklahoma, in the Arbuckle Mountains. It is home to the largest waterfall in Oklahoma, making it the perfect place to spend hot summer days. The falls are very family-friendly, but be sure to keep an eye on kids as the ground can be slippery. 

A few tips: You can pay your fee upon arrival, but I’d recommend booking tickets in advance as it may sell out. There are different parking lots (level 3 is the only one that is free), and children 12 and under need to wear a life jacket. This rule is strictly enforced, and you can’t rent life vests so make sure you bring your own.

After swimming in the falls, consider exploring other attractions in the area such as the Turner Falls zip line high above the waterfalls, Collings Castle (an abandoned castle built in the 1930s), and natural caves in the area.

Be sure to stop at Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies when you’re done, for a delicious treat to end the day. Miles from Dallas: 129

Turner Falls Oklahoma waterfalls-Kids Are A Trip

Arbuckle Wilderness

If you don’t want to swim at Turner Falls, you’re in luck, as there’s another drive-thru safari just down the road. Arbuckle Wilderness covers 200 acres of land with exotic animals, a reptile house, and a petting zoo. Visitors drive their car through the safari, so go at your own pace! Pass by rhinos, tigers, donkeys, and fluffy alpacas! Miles from Dallas: 130

Feed the Animals Arbuckle Wilderness Oklahoma
It’s almost a guarantee you will be face to face with the animals. Photo: Creative Commons

So here are plenty of places to take a day trip from Dallas, for the sports fans, dinosaur lovers, and foodies in your family. Have you ever been to these places? And if you’re looking for more ideas, don’t miss the best road trips from Dallas and the best Dallas weekend getaways.

11 Awesome Day Trips from Dallas-Kids Are a Trip