Summer Vacation Activities in Dallas

Nubian Ibex at the Dallas Zoo

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Dallas is Texas' second largest city and, due to its geographic location in North Texas, is a popular getaway for people from across the Southwest and the Southeast United States. And, for good reason -- there's no shortage of activities and attractions to fill out a summer vacation in the Big D. From outdoor activities such as visiting the Dallas Zoo or spending a day at Six Flags or White Rock Lake to indoor activities such as spending a day shopping at Dallas' upscale malls or visiting one of Dallas' many museums, there is certainly something for everyone and every day.

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    Eel Swimming amidst rocks at Dallas World Aquarium
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    A great alternative to being outside during the middle of the day -- especially in the midst of a sweltering Texas summer -- the Dallas World Aquarium features a rain forest, aquarium and a variety of interactive educational activities and experiences. Exhibits at the Dallas World Aquarium include the Mundo Maya, which features a 400,000 gallon tank displaying marine life of the Yucatan Peninsula; Orinoco, featuring the wildlife indicative of a South American rain forest; South Africa, which features animals from Madagascar; and Borneo, which features animals and marine life from the Australian continent.

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    A low angle view of Light Trails Amidst Amusement Park Ride at Six Flags Over Texas
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    Open year-round, Six Flags Over Texas offers rides, shows, and more to Dallas area visitors. With a variety of rides geared to visitors of all ages, Six Flags is a fun destination for the whole family. Small children can enjoy rides such as the Bugs Bunny Spirit of St. Louie, where they can ride in airplanes and "fly" in a circle and will be amazed during the 'Meet the Looney Tunes Pals' show, while older kids can ride the Acme Rock-N-Rocket and other more fast-paced rides. 'Wet' rides, such as the Aquaman Splashdown, are a great way to cool down during the summer heat.

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    Go Wild at the Oldest Zoo in Texas

    Nubian Ibex at the Dallas Zoo
    sestevens/Getty Images

    Founded in 1888, the Dallas Zoo is the oldest zoo in Texas (actually, the Dallas Zoo was the first zoo in the Southwest United States). In addition to its history as Texas' longest running zoo, the Dallas Zoo has grown to be one of the most impressive zoos in the Lone Star State. And, although it is only one of the many things to do in Dallas, it is certainly a big 'to-do' and an attraction that takes an entire day to fully take in. Encompassing over 100 acres, the Dallas Zoo is now the largest zoo in Texas in terms of area, making it a great place to spend a full day. The zoo features a wide variety of popular exhibits, including the Giants of the Savannah display which features elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras and more.

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    White Pelican at White Rock Lake
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    Located just north of downtown Dallas, White Rock Lake is a 1,000-acre oasis in the middle of one of the nation's largest cities. Boasting 9 miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as fishing piers and bird watching areas, White Rock Lake is a great place to spend a summer day unwinding and getting away from the hustle and bustle of urban life (and vacation).

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    Take a Fall at Zero Gravity Thrill Park

    Get thrilled at Zero Gravity Thrill Park
    Zero Gravity Thrill Park 

    The Zero Gravity Thrill Park is a one-of-a-kind theme park. At Zero Gravity, the rides are really "falls" - bungee jumps, six-story free-falls into a safety net, etc. Families who are looking for an adrenaline rush on their summer vacation must visit Zero Gravity Thrill Park while in Dallas.

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    Take a Tour on McKinney Trolley

    Riding the trolley in Dallas
    McKinney Avenue Transit Authority 

    Dallas' McKinney Trolley is a historical trolley system, which recreates how a real trolley system of the early to mid-20th century looked and operated. Also known as the M-Line, the McKinney Avenue Trolley picks up and drops off passengers near a number of places of interest, including Magnolia Theater, Cityplace Tower, Hotel ZaZa, Shops at the Crescent, Dallas Museum of Art and the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Each of the four trolleys -- Rosie, The Green Dragon, Matilda, and Petunia -- has a long and interesting history.

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