A Week of Fun in Dallas/Fort Worth (Part 1)

A collage of pictures taken in Dallas Fort Worth area with a long horn, boy riding a mechanical bull, water slides, and a woman eating pizza.

I nicknamed this post (Part 1) because I know that I am going to have many more fun times in this area since my family lives here. My plan is to do different things every time we go that direction in order to give you recommendations for your visits. Plus, that means I get to keep reinventing this trip and keeping it fresh for my kids with new activities and foods. We had so much fun during this week. From touring gardens, riding bulls, skating to bowling, picnics, and swimming in a spring fed lake with high dives and trapeze swings! This was our summer trip to see my mom and brother and I’m going to tell you how to have a Week of Fun in Dallas/Fort Worth (Part 1)!

you can watch our adventure here!

Where to eat:

A taco salad with steak.
  • This is the MOST DELICIOUS Mexican fast food that we’ve ever had! I have to tell you some of the reasons that it lands at the TOP of my list and why you HAVE to go there!
      • They’ve been in business since 1983 and still going strong because they know what they are doing.
      • Their beef is to DIE FOR! And so is their chicken. They are both marinated and then grilled to perfection over real Texas Mesquite wood. It tastes like a rib-eye steak! (I think it might actually be rib-eye)
      • They have a complimentary salsa bar. This includes: fresh Pico de Gallo, different salsas to try, limes, cilantro, peppers, etc… and it’s free to everyone in the restaurant to go back and get as much as you want.
      • They are making all their fluffy tortillas from scratch ALL DAY LONG. Whenever you get your meal, the tortillas are HOT off the press and delicious! And they provide butter and honey at your table to make a delicious dessert with them too!

there’s no shortage of kid friendly favorites!

  • Riscky’s BBQ
    • I like to give recommendations that I can stand behind on flavor, service, price, and quality. But I also don’t like to tear businesses down. We ate at this BBQ restaurant at the Stockyards and I’m just going to say that I’ve had much better BBQ. They also only offered one sauce and it wasn’t my favorite. But everyone has different tastes, and you can check out the menu and try it if you would like! We have excellent BBQ in Louisiana and I’ve had the BEST BBQ in Memphis… so I might be a little hard to please.
A woman holding a slice of pizza.
  • Whenever I travel, I like to try different restaurants. My family has been living in this area for 15 plus years and there is a TON of places to try. So, we went to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria for the first time, and it DIDN’T DISSAPOINT! The pizzas are made fresh right in front of you and out on your table in no time. The reason they cook so quickly is because of the coal fired brick oven. This also provides unique flavor and the crispiest yet fluffiest crust that you’ve ever had. Their salads were HUGE and could feed 2 or more people and the ingredients were fresh!

Even fast food and sandwiches can be great!

  • Wingstop
    • It might seem silly to put Wingstop on this list because they have locations everywhere, including close to my house. But when it comes to wings, I don’t know if they can be beat! Every flavor is tasty, the ranch is home-made and perfect, and the fries with just a touch of sugar and salt and most certainly a treat for the tastebuds! If you’ve never been to this “fast-food” wing joint, I challenge you to place and order and be amazed. They certainly know what they are doing!
  • Jason’s Deli
    If you are craving something fresh like salads, soups, and sandwiches, then look no further! Jason’s Deli is the BEST around! Their salad bar is not only huge but offers different types of breads, crackers, pasta salads, and sauces along with the freshest salad ingredients around! It’s perfect anytime, but I really like to head here during the hot summer months when eating something hot and heavy just doesn’t sound appealing.

for something sweet:

  • Mad Mike’s Ice Cream
    • The truth is… I’m not crazy about ice-cream. It’s just not my “thing”, but my ENTIRE family seems to love the stuff and so I don’t mind eating a cup or cone with them on trips very now and then. We walked down from Wingstop to this little shop and had a sweet treat to cool off those wings. I must say that the ice-cream here was exceptional! It is home-made and offered really neat flavors. For example: I ordered snickerdoodle, because I’m obsessed with cinnamon! The way they make this flavor is by mixing cinnamon ice-cream with cookies and cream ice-cream and BAM! You’ve got snickerdoodle!

what to do:

An arbor of trees at the Dallas Arboretum.
  • If you are a lover of flowers and all things green, then this is the place to visit! I had never been to a Botanical Garden but had always wanted to visit. The summer isn’t the ideal time to go to this garden, but we went anyway and still had a good time. Plus, admission during the month of July is only $5! I went knowing that I was going to be sweating quite a bit, but the flowers were still in bloom and beautiful. It also made us more appreciative of the shade and water features. There are over 60 acres of natural beauty. It was the perfect place for our picnic, and we even had a squirrel and a bird join us. They were given some grapes and enjoyed them greatly! (LOL)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Stockyards
A girl and a woman drinking iced coffee.
  • I had heard a lot about the stockyards and was determined to eventually get myself and my kids there to see the real cattle drive and explore main street. There is so much to do here. From mechanical bull riding and mazes, to shops, eating, ice-cream and more! I thought that we would spend a couple of hours here and we wound up spending ALL DAY and found some fantastic iced coffee and ice-cream! We happened to be walking by the air-conditioned arena that was hosting a PBR Championship Rodeo that day and attendance was FREE! I certainly felt like we hit the jackpot! It gave us a cool place to rest in the mid-day sun and some awesome entertainment. The cowboys stop long enough for you to pet their horses and lasso tricks are on full display!

activities to get you out of the heat!

  • Interskate Rolling Rink
    • I don’t know if you are into skating… but I LOVE it! I used to skate as a child and teen and even received roller blades for Christmas one year! My driveway, porch, and kitchen quickly became the “roller rink” and away I went! I certainly want to pass this love onto my kids, and this is the place for it! The music was kid friendly, the staff were super nice, and the biggest pro for me was that it WASN’T CROWDED at all! There were just enough people so that you didn’t feel alone, and the kids had friends to participate in the games with. The facility was clean, and they had plenty of “helpers” for the new skaters that didn’t have the confidence to get on the rink. (AKA…LUKE)
  • Alley Cats Entertainment
    • If you have kids and you are looking for something to do that’s fun and you need to get out of the heat… Alley Cats Entertainment is there for ya! They offer bowling, laser tag, putt-putt golf, rock climbing, go-carts, rides, and a full arcade! They also run a promotion in the summer where all kids bowl for FREE! Talk about lucky! We took full advantage of that offer and bowled two games. (HA)

a hidden gem known by locals… totally worth $15!

A panoramic view of Burger's Lake.
  • A few years ago, while in Texas visiting family, I wanted to look for something that we had never done. I happened upon Burger’s Lake in my Google Search and decided to try it out. My family had heard of it but had never been. It was AMAZING! Burger’s Lake is a 30-acre park with a 1-acre spring fed lake! The park has 2 sandy beaches, tons of shady trees, picnic areas, grills, six diving boards of different heights, 3 water slides that are 25 feet long, a 25 foot trapeze swing into the lake and a complete staff of life-guards that are active and on duty at all times! Now, it’s just a part of my summer trips to the area because the kids love it so much, especially the high dive and slides. We spend all day there and never grow tired of the atmosphere or water!

our itinerary:

Day 1 – Travel Day

  • Eat breakfast/lunch
  • Drive to destination
  • Eat dinner at our favorite fast food Mexican Restaurant (Rosa’s)
  • Make tuna and snacks for picnic the next day

Day 2 – Picnic garden day

  • Eat breakfast
  • Drive to Dallas Arboretum for tour
  • Picnic lunch in the gardens
  • Drive back to mom’s house to cool down and rest
  • Drive to my brother’s house for dinner
  • Film cooking video with my brother
  • Visit, swim, and play games
  • Head back to moms for the night

Day 3 – dallas/fort worth stockyards

  • Eat breakfast
  • Tour stockyards and watch cattle drive
  • Eat lunch at Riscky’s BBQ
  • Watch a FREE PBR Championship rodeo in an air-conditioned arena
  • Drive back to moms and cook dinner (chicken/dumplings, beans, and cornbread… the recipe is on my BLOG
  • Sleep peacefully with a full stomach (LOL)

day 4 – kids fun day

  • Eat breakfast
  • Take kids to local skating rink
  • Meet my brother and his family for pizza at Grimaldi’s Pizza
  • Go bowling after lunch
  • Return to mom’s house for leftover dumplings and rest

day 5 – burger’s lake

  • Eat breakfast
  • Pick-up last-minute items to grill at the lake
  • Drive to Burger’s Lake
  • Grill sausages on a bun and hot dogs with chips and dip
  • Return to mom’s house to shower and get ready for dinner
  • Go to Wingstop for dinner and eat ice cream afterwards
  • After a long day on the water, we all slept well on our last night

day 6 – travel home

  • Eat breakfast
  • Visit with family (My sister and niece came into town)
  • Eat lunch at Jason’s Deli
  • Drive home
  • Eat a later dinner of left-over hot dogs and sausages on a bun
  • Sleep in my own bed (HOORAY!!!!)

subscribe for more adventures and travel ideas for you and your family!

be sure to pin this for later!

check out one of our other trips below:

How to plan a family trip to Gulf Shores

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