Garland, Texas, is just outside the bustle of Dallas, but still has all the Texas charm you’d get in the big city. In Garland you can explore many waterparks, sample Southern cuisine, and get some rest at a pet-friendly hotel. Here are our recommendations for things to do in Garland with kids.
Kids Attractions in Garland, Texas
Free Play Richardson has every vintage arcade game you could dream of, from Tron to Frogger. While it’s the perfect place to bring the family during the day it does become a kid-free zone after 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
AMF Garland Lanes has over 50 bowling lanes, a full arcade, plus pool tables. If you’re looking for a deal, on Tuesday nights you can play a game for only $2.22 and grab a taco for the same price.
Magic Fun House Productions features attractions like a castle right out of a fairy tale and a magic shop. You can opt for a tour or explore yourself, but it is closed on Mondays.
Dark Hour Haunted House offers a spooky, jumpscare-filled experience year-round. Though the suggested age of visitors is 10 and up, kids between 5 and 10 are welcome if they’re brave enough to face the monsters and ghouls.
Best Restaurants in Garland, Texas for Kids
Babe’s Chicken Dinner House is a family restaurant dedicated to making sure kids feel welcome. You might even see a spontaneous rendition of the “Hokey Pokey” break out among the staff.
Lito’s Kitchen offers the freshest sandwiches, salads, and sides. Their full breakfast menu also offers plenty of salad and smoothie options.
Wildwood Smoke Craft Whiskey focuses on burgers and beloved Southern staples. They also have an impressive selection of flatbreads.
Jhonny’s Mexican Cuisine offers $4 kids menu entrees with options like chicken nuggets and tacos. All kids meals come with a choice of fries or rice and beans.
Valentino’s Ristorante Italiano features an outdoor patio in case dining outside is your style. They cook up all the classic Italian favorites you could crave, but their dessert menu is the real draw.
Smallcakes Cupcakes and Creamery serves freshly-baked cupcakes in flavors like red velvet and lemon drop. If it’s too hot to be a bakery kind of day, they also have ice cream with cupcake pieces baked in.
Best Hotels in Garland, Texas for Kids
Hyatt Place Dallas Garland Richardson is a pet-friendly hotel with an outdoor pool and fitness center. Free WiFi and free parking are just a few of the many amenities they offer.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Plano-Richardson stocks high chairs and playpens in case you forget/ can’t seem to fit your own in the trunk. Beyond their gym and outdoor pool, you can also fit in some exercise on their basketball court.
The Westin Galleria Dallas features a massive outdoor pool complete with plenty of lounge chairs if you’re not up for a swim. They also offer babysitting services so you can enjoy one of their on-site restaurants kid-free.
Holiday Inn Garland has a kids eat free policy that means anyone under 11 gets free meals during their stay. Young visitors can swim in the special children’s pool while their parents can enjoy the hotel’s free coffee.
Outdoor Activities in Garland, Texas for Kids
Lunar Mini Golf offers a glow in the dark golf experience. Kids two and under enjoy free admission, and an appropriately glowing necklace to accessorize your game is only $1.
Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve has plenty of trails to explore (and just as important, restrooms when you need to wash up after your nature adventure). The preserve also features a natural playground.
Spring Creek Nature Area Trails is an easy route of a little over two miles. Perfect for a family walk, you’ll also get a view of Spring Creek.
Waterparks in Garland, Texas for Kids
Surf & Swim, Audubon Park lets guests experience the crest and crash of ocean waves without the ocean. Kids under two get in free, and kids under 48″ are advised to wear a life jacket when they swim.
Hawaiian Falls Garland has something for everyone, from thrill-seekers (try the giant waterslide dubbed “The Rush” to those just looking to relax (the Kona Kooler lazy river). There are also cabanas with lounge chairs to rent if you need to spend some time in the shade.
WetZone Waterpark is part community pool, part waterslide park. During the summer they also offer movie nights you can enjoy from your own inner tube.