Hanukkah and Christmas are over, but it’s still Holiday Break and like many families across America, our family is still on vacation visiting family. While we love spending time with extended family, we also love to get out and let our kids experience our Dallas childhood favorites and new local things to do while we’re home. While there are endless things to do in and around Big D, these special winter offerings are fun for young kids and adults alike.
So whether you are visiting the area on vacation or live around the Metroplex, here is a list of 7 fun things to do in Dallas Fort Worth with kids while on Holiday Break this year.
1. THE DALLAS ZOO
New for 2015, the Dallas Zoo is including December in its highly anticipated Penguin Days special pricing period. From December 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016, guests can visit the Dallas Zoo for only $5 per person. Our kids’ favorite things to do are watching Winspear the cheetah and his best friend, Amani the Labrador retriever interact in the Cheetah Encounter; seeing the new Western Grey Kangaroos in the NorthZoo habitat; and playing the “Poop Game” in the JCPenney Discovery House in the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo. What fun activities at the Dallas Zoo will your kids love?
2. ICE SKATING
For our family, winter is synonymous with ice skating. So when we get the opportunity to ice skate outdoors, squeals of excitement abound. Luckily, there are two outdoor ice skating venues in the Dallas Fort Worth area to enjoy.
Panther Island Ice, located in the Coyote Drive-In complex in Ft. Worth, is open seven days a week, including holidays, until January 18. For those with young kids, Panther Island Ice offers adjustable double blade skates for those ages 3 years and under to give little ones better stability on the ice. Panther Island Ice also offers discounted tickets for $9 per person, including skate rental and tax, to active-duty military, guard, reservists, veterans and their families thanks to a partnership with Lockheed Martin (must show an official ID). Although hours vary on Sundays and New Year’s Eve, Panther Island Ice is open Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm and can operate in nearly all weather conditions.
On the other side of Dallas Fort Worth is Skate the Square in Frisco. Located on the corner of Main and Coleman, Skate the Square offers skaters of all ages and abilities the chance to ice skate on a 66’ x 44’ outdoor rink until January 3. For 2015 Skate the Square is open from 12 pm to 10 pm daily (unless there is inclement weather). There is a free choreographed light and music show every night from 6 pm to 10 pm through January 2, and if you happen to go on a Friday or Saturday, there are snow flurries every 15 minutes.
For those who appreciate the creature comforts of the indoors, there is also fun holiday ice skating to be found inside the Galleria Mall in Dallas. Long known for their ice skating rink, the Galleria Ice Skating Center offers skaters not only the fun of figure skating around a 95-foot Christmas tree and an impeccably decorated mall, but for 2015, also the chance to take beginner skating lessons in a mini-lesson format on December 28 to 30. Over the course of three consecutive days, skaters ages 3 to adult can participate in mini-lessons for 30 minutes and can then practice their newly acquired skills in the open skate time afterwards. This special includes the three days of mini-lessons, skate rental, and open free skate time after each lesson. For $42, this is a fantastic opportunity for kids and adults to learn to skate without a big commitment and to have something exceptionally fun to do while on Holiday Break.
3. GIFT OF LIGHTS AT THE TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Open every evening from 6 pm to 10 pm until December 31, the Gift of Lights at the Texas Motor Speedway is a gigantic lights display you shouldn’t miss. Boasting over two million lights and hundreds of light displays, this drive-through park is fun for the whole family while sitting in the comfort of your own car. At the end of the drive, visitors can enjoy an all new Santa’s Village on the inside track of the Texas Motor Speedway, complete with refreshments, free popcorn, and over 10,000 square feet of surprises and fun.
4. AFTER CHRISTMAS TRAIN RIDES
Only running December 26 to 30, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad is offering special After Christmas Train rides taking passengers to the Ft. Worth Stockyards and back for a fun filled afternoon. If you missed out on the North Pole Express earlier in December, this train ride is sure to please any train lover in your family.
5. SIX FLAGS HOLIDAY IN THE PARK
During Six Flags Holiday in the Park, Six Flags over Texas transforms into a spectacular winter wonderland. There are over a million lights that illuminate the park, multiple festive shows, and the Holiday Tree of Lights Spectacular is just that, spectacular. But what makes Holiday in the Park so fun and exciting for our family is not only the fact that our favorite thrill rides like The Titan, The New Texas Giant, and The Skyscreamer are open for our wide-eyed enjoyment, but that we can enjoy these sprinkled with a big dollop of holiday cheer.
Six Flags creates a cozy ambiance with things like the warm campfire where we make delicious s’mores and sip hot cocoa from special refillable souvenir mugs; the seasonal thrill of touching snow and sledding on The Frosty Snowhill; and indulging in festive treats only available during Holiday in the Park. Seasonal snacks like peppermint bark fudge, special funnel cakes and ice cream cones, and freshly roasted cinnamon glazed nuts are what keep us coming back year after year.
And if you have little ones like us, rides like Boot Scootin’, Yosemite Sam’s Texas Tea Cups, and El Sombrero are all open too. There are over 32 family-friendly rides throughout the park to choose from, so there are thrills of every size and for every age!
6. GLOBE LIFE PARK
Have a baseball fan in your life? If so, a trip to Globe Life Park, home to the legendary Texas Rangers, is a must! Our kids love touring Globe Life Park, as they never get tired of being a Texas Ranger for a day and going down to the batting cages, visiting the press box, sitting in the mitt shaped chairs inside the City of Arlington Suite, standing in the dugout, seeing the players’ lockers inside the Rangers clubhouse, and playing in the Rangers Kids Zone. However, tours do change and the all tour stops are subject to availability.
Hilton Dallas/Southlake Town Square is centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth and is only minutes from the entire Metroplex. Plus, it’s less than 15 minutes from the DFW airport. You can also explore all of the Hilton hotels in Dallas Fort Worth.
This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.