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things to do in dallas texas Dallas and Fort Worth with the family

things to do in dallas texas Dallas and Fort Worth with the family


We remember from Dallas the image of the ruthless JR Ewing of the cult series of the 80s, of a convertible carrying off a mythical president assassinated in Elm Street in 1963, or of the successes of its Cowboys in football. But it is first and foremost a city that struggles to entertain visitors young and old alike other than with Texan clichés and which deserves, by the same token, to be visited with the family.

Updated July 26. 2011

Judith Lachapelle
THE PRESS

DAY 1 – DALLAS

9am

Fair Park

Built in 1936 to host the Texas Centennial Exhibition, the Fair Park today houses seven museums in Art Deco buildings scattered throughout this large park in the southeast of the city. The Museum of Nature and Science presents a rich exhibition of skeletons and mechanical reconstructions of dinosaurs that delight children. The museum also houses the small Children’s Museum, where children can dress up, play farmers, do science experiments. But it was the tiny open-air railroad museum (Museum of the American Railroad), with its 1 steam locomotives and old cars from the turn of the century, that struck us as the most charming. We also say a lot of good things about the Women’s Museum, which was closed during our visit.

11 a.m.

Cowboys Stadium

Surprising: the imposing Dallas Cowboys football stadium, planted in a rather bleak area of ​​Arlington, on the outskirts of the city, also houses… a remarkable collection of contemporary art. Which you can visit, alone or with a guide. But you can also go there to kick a few balls on the field, or visit the cheerleaders’ locker room.

12 p.m.

Lunch in the West End Market Place

Downtown Dallas, save for its cluster of skyscrapers, is rather dull for the tourist, especially on weekends when it’s virtually deserted. For entertainment, head to West End Market Place, with its terraces, its red brick buildings, its bustling shops. Carnivores are spoiled for choice, grill restaurants jostle in the neighborhood. We opted for the Holfbrau Steaks, on Market. House specialty: grilled meats with Dr. Pepper soft drink sauce. Not bad.

2 p.m.

Dealey Plaza

On November 22, 1963, the convertible carrying President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie was rolling down Elm Street near Dealey Plaza when the shots rang out. Forty-eight years later, a cross marks the spot where the car was when the president was hit. By how many shooters exactly? That, you can discuss for a long time with the tourists and conspiracy theorists who meet in the small Dealey square. And right behind it, at 411 Elm, is the intriguing Sixth Floor Museum dedicated not only to JFK, but his entire era. And on the sixth floor, precisely, you can admire the view that Lee Harvey Oswald had the day he pulled (or not?) the trigger.

3 p.m.

Aquarium 2

There are at least three zoos and two aquariums in the vicinity. We finally opted for the World Aquarium (1801 North Griffin, in the West End Market District). The entrance fee is high ($20), but the visit is most enjoyable. A towering indoor rainforest is home to colorful birds. Going down, you can admire large manatees swimming with the turtles. A transparent tunnel crosses the shark tank. Further, penguins, flamingos, and even a cheetah. In short, much more than an aquarium.

6 p.m.

Six Flags over Texas

Located in Arlington, between Dallas and Fort Worth, the amusement park offers around fifty rides for everyone. And what’s more, for holders of a La Ronde season pass, which also belongs to Six Flags, admission is free! If the weather is nice, the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor water park, right next door, should help you cool off (the La Ronde season pass is not accepted there, however).

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Photo Judith Lachapelle, La Presse

Dallas World Aquarium.

DAY 2 FORT WORTH-GRAPEVINE

10:30 a.m.

The Stockyards Historic District

Aside from western shops and grill restaurants, the typical cowboy spirit is rather absent from Dallas. For a taste of the Wild West, head north. Fort Worth and its historic district are located three quarters of an hour by car from Dallas. On site, the Fort Worth National Historic District 3 (www.fortworthstockyards.org) plays the Texas card to the hilt in Main Street. Grill restaurants, saloons, rodeo arena, shows, museum, souvenir shops, cowboys on horseback. Twice a day, at 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., cowboys even parade their herd of long-horned cows on a section of Main Street. Hiii haaa!

12 p.m.

Lunch on Main Street in Grapevine

Back to Dallas, but making a small detour to the north. Grapevine is an amazing little town that catches the passing tourist with a fairly well preserved old main street. The plaques affixed to the facades testify to the venerable age of the buildings. Good restaurants, nice shops. After the reconstructed sets of Fort Worth, Grapevine emerges like a breath of fresh air. Note: A tourist rail link, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, connects Fort Worth and Grapevine. The one and a half hour ride is propelled by an antique steam locomotive from 1896. Fridays are specially dedicated to families.

2 p.m.

Wine tasting

Yes, there is wine in Texas. Oh, not all wines to roll in the vines, but wine not so bad all the same. In and around Grapevine, a dozen wineries open their cellars for tasting. We stopped on the terrace of Buena Vida for a tasting in the sun. Verdict: disappointing white, but amazing red.

352823 fort worth district situes trois things to do in dallas texas Dallas and Fort Worth with the family

PC picture

Fort Worth and its district are located three-quarters of an hour by car from Dallas. We play there, in Main Street, to the full Texas card.

4 p.m.

Southfork Ranch in Plano 4

It’s hard to stay in Dallas without humming the theme of the famous TV series. Half an hour from Dallas (one hour from Grapevine), in the affluent suburb of Plano, is the Southfork ranch which served as the setting for the terrible schemes of the terrible JR Ewing of the cult series Dallas. The original series hit the airwaves from 1979 to 1991 and is set to make a comeback soon, with the new generation of Ewing children at the center of the plot. Visit of the mansion, the museum and its artefacts (including the rifle used to shoot JR Ewing). For nostalgic buffs.

352826 ranch southfork servi cadre manigances things to do in dallas texas Dallas and Fort Worth with the family

Photo Judith Lachapelle, La Presse

The Southfork ranch, which served as the setting for the shenanigans of JR Ewing in the cult series Dallas.



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