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Dallas Travel with Kids

Under 13 At most Dallas Children's Theater productions, full-grown actors take center stage as princesses, villains and not-so-creepy bugs. But on occasion, rising talent from the youth conservatory steal the spotlight at these engaging shows held at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts (5938 Skillman St.).

Armed with a little imagination, kids exploring the 19th- and 20th-century buildings at Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park (1515 S. Harwood St.) can discover what life was like for tough Texan pioneers.

Themed dining areas and a zany waitstaff turn the tables on adults at the Magic Time Machine (5003 Beltline Rd.), the longtime local restaurant that's extremely popular with grade-schoolers. Dressed in superhero tights and fairy-tale frocks, servers crack jokes, sign autographs and lead pint-size patrons to the “Salad Car,” a salad bar whose vintage roadster design entices even finicky eaters to load up on veggies.

Monets and Picassos in training get their scribble on at the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood St.). During regularly scheduled family-friendly events, fun things to do—everything from paper leaf-making to story time with Arturo the Parrot, the museum's cartoon mascot—keep developing minds stimulated.

Teens Generation X and beyond have no firsthand knowledge of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. But, through films, photos and eyewitness accounts, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (411 Elm St.) vividly re-creates one of America's darkest days. If the somber subject matter concerns you, ask for the toned-down youth version of the audio tour.

Cheering on the home team is guaranteed fun, as are behind-the-scenes tours of domed AT&T Stadium (1 AT&T Way) and jewel box-style Globe Life Park in Arlington (1000 Ballpark Way). Gridiron action and the crack of the bat are only about 25 miles west of Dallas.

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Six Flags Over Texas (2201 Road to Six Flags in Arlington) is a no-brainer for groups with fearless youngsters in tow. When they're not launching 32.5 stories into the air on Superman: Tower of Power, kids will be texting their friends back home about the Texas Giant's “sick” (extremely awesome, in teen-speak) 79-degree drop. If your trip is during the summer, pack the swimsuits, too—just across the street is Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (1800 E. Lamar Blvd.), which doles out enough action to keep the brood busy a second day.

What to Do for All Ages It doesn't matter if you're 4 or 14 going on 24—Galleria Dallas (13350 Dallas Pkwy.) is a pretty cool place, and not just because it has an ice rink. At the American Girl store, beloved dolls can be treated to both brunch and a deluxe spa treatment. Your littlest wee ones will love running amok at Play Place; the cushiony jungle-themed playground on Level 3 is the site of the mall's free weekly kids event, Showtime Saturdays.

Watch hulking African elephants flapping their ears to keep cool and young lions roughhousing at the Dallas Zoo (650 S. R.L. Thornton Frwy.). On the other end of the spectrum are the koalas, which spend most of the day dozing. Why? Eucalyptus leaves, the cute-'n'-fuzzy marsupials' favorite treat, have a sedative effect.

The stomping ground of many Dallas families, Fair Park (2 mi. e. of downtown off I-30) hosts a fall fried foods bonanza (the State Fair of Texas at R.B. Cullum Blvd. and Pennsylvania Ave.) as well as sporting events, concerts and plays. It's also home to several year-round centers of learning. Drop by the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park 's (1462 1st Ave.) stingray touch tank or check out the butterfly house and insectarium at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park (3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.).

Adventure awaits at The Dallas World Aquarium (1801 N. Griffin St.). Younger children go bananas imitating vocal red howler monkeys in the Orinoco South American rainforest experience. And brown, sawfish and bonnethead sharks in the Mundo Maya exhibit will capture the attention of older kids.

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Dallas, TX

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Travel Information

City Population

1,232,940

Elevation

420 ft.

Sales Tax

Municipalities may impose additional rates of up to 2 percent on the statewide 6.25 percent sales tax. Sales tax in the city of Dallas is 8.25 percent; rates vary in the suburbs. The hotel occupancy tax is 13 percent.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(214) 744-4444

Time and Temperature

(817) 844-6611

Hospitals

Baylor University Medical Center, (214) 802-0111 or (800) 422-9567; Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake, (214) 324-6100; Medical City Dallas Hospital, (972) 566-7000; Methodist Dallas Medical Center, (214) 947-8181; UT Southwestern University Hospital–St. Paul, (214) 645-5555.

Visitor Information

325 N. St. Paul St. Dallas, TX 75201. Phone:(214)571-1000 or (800)232-5527

Air Travel

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz, (972) 453-4600 or (800) 654-3131, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, offers discounts to AAA members.

Rail Service

Amtrak's Union Station is at 400 S. Houston St. For train schedule and ticket information, phone (214) 653-1101 or (800) 872-7245.

Buses

The Greyhound Lines Inc. bus station, (214) 849-6831 or (800) 231-2222, is at 205 S. Lamar St.; five other bus lines depart from this address.

Taxis

Taxis are metered. The initial charge is $2.25 plus $1.80 for the first mile. Rates are then $1.80 for each additional mile, and $2 for each additional passenger. Taxis leaving from the airport charge an additional $5 departure fee. Yellow Cab, (214) 426-6262, is the main company serving the area.

Public Transportation

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit System (DART) provides light-rail and bus service in the area. Two-hour passes are $2.50 for local routes and $3.50 for system routes including all DART buses and trains. Day passes are $5 for local routes and $7 for system routes. A 7-day pass is available. Exact change is required. Phone (214) 979-1111.

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