School is out and you have a household full of screaming kids and their friends. In the summer heat of Texas, water and good air conditioning keep them cool and hydrated, but not entertained. Visit the best spots to spend a summer day in DFW for a full day of wet, wild and sun-soaked fun for the whole family.
Surf and Swim
440 W. Oates Road
Garland, Texas 75043
Price: $7 adults and children 48 inches and taller/$5 children shorter than 48 inches/free kids 2 and younger
Leave your life jackets at home, the park will provide you with that and all of the wet and wild waterpark fun your family can handle. Coolers are welcome at no additional cost; glass containers and alcohol are not permitted. Grab a bite at the Chill and Grill café for a no-fuss all-day fun day. All children younger than 7 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The waterpark is located in John J. Audubon Park with plenty of parking. The easiest route would be from I-635, taking the Oates Road exit and heading east approximately one mile.
Related: Best Waterparks and Pools in DFW
601 E. Palace Parkway
Grand Prairie, TX 75050
Price: $16.99 adults/$8.99 children/two attraction combo $21.99 adults/$12.99 children/three attraction combo $27.99 adults/$17.99 children/four attraction combo $29.99 adults/$19.99 children
Ripley’s features four attractions under one roof, making it perfect for any adventuresome family. Enter in any order to see Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax, Enchanted Mirror Maze and Impossible Laser Race. Ripley’s does offer summer incentives — there’s no wait time and the tours are self-guided. Visit the gift shop for souvenirs, and have a snack or lunch at the café. Ripley’s offers a $2 discount if tickets are purchased through its website.
Related: Best Mini Golf in North Texas
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
U.S. Department of the Treasury
9000 Blue Mound Road
Fort Worth, Texas 76131
See billions of dollars in printing at this exciting display of American money. In addition to the guided tour, enjoy two floors of interactive exhibits that’ll catch the eye of any kid. There is a gift shop and vending area perfect for every guest. The bureau does ban all electronics, so be prepared to engage fully at this awesome area entity. From Highway 287 north, take exit 60 to Decatur and then exit FM 156, the second exit, and turn left onto Blue Mound Road. Continue for one mile and turn left into the visitor parking lot.
Museum of Nature & Science – Planetarium
1620 First Ave.
Dallas, Texas 75210
Price: S3.50 adults, children, students and senior citizens/free 4 and younger
Enjoy the cool, dark sky at this amazing indoor marvel where kids and parents alike may ooh and ah at solar systems as they’ve never seen them before. Enjoy programs from 30 minutes for a single feature to 50 minutes for a double feature. Don’t miss out on exciting displays ranging from IMAX features to Planet Shark. The museum café serves sandwiches and hot dishes perfect for any starved tourist. Public transportation is available to the museum, and parking is free except during the State Fair season. Purchase tickets in advance or at the door.
Related: Weekend Guide to Burger Lake
9001 Boulevard 26
North Richland Hills, TX 76180
This summer, stock up on Dr. Pepper products and cool off at the same time at NRH2O. Expect bags to be inspected as restaurant-prepared/packaged foods, and alcohol are not allowed at this park. Feel free to bring coolers, however, for home-made picnics at this sun-soaked water park any day. Don’t miss out on special holiday celebrations throughout the year for an extra-exciting day at this fun-filled park.
Julie Watkins is a freelance writer and is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle with her family and friends. She also enjoys studying foreign languages and traveling. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.