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The Ultimate Kid-Friendly Animal Adventures in Dallas-Fort Worth this Summer

If you're looking for kid-friendly adventures that combine education, excitement, and unforgettable memories for your little ones, you've come to the right place. From interactive zoos and wildlife sanctuaries to hands-on encounters with exotic creatures, Dallas-Fort Worth has it all. Join us as we explore the captivating world of animal encounters in DFW, where we'll highlight the coolest family-friendly attractions to make this summer a roaring success for your kiddos.

1. dallas zoo — DEStination Dinosaurs

Destination Dinosaur at the Dallas Zoo is one of the LARGEST immersive exhibits of animatronic and static dinosaurs in the country, with more than 100 dinosaurs for the kiddos to "ooh" and "ahh" over! Destination: Dinosaurs presented by Reliant Energy is a wonderful way to experience dinosaurs while also learning about the importance of wildlife conservation, and it is NOW OPEN through September 30!

2. fort worth zoo

There are so many cool new experiences at the Fort Worth Zoo this summer, including the Predators of Africa exhibit, opening June 22, the recent hatchings of 17 new lesser flamingo chicks and the Father's Day Cookout, an exclusive after-hours family cookout experience on Saturday, June 17 at the onsite Bluebonnet Cafe.

3. fossil rim wildlife center

Just a short drive from Fort Worth, the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is a great spot for a safari drive-through or a dino-spotting tour this summer! Jump on their safari tour with a big group, take a private guided tour for some special one-on-one interactions or take your own vehicle through on their self guided tour! It's just $25-$30 per person for many of the options.

4. dallas world aquarium

Explore the mystery of the rain forest this summer at the Dallas World Aquarium! The Dallas World Aquarium is an underwater realm and rainforest oasis in the heart of downtown Dallas that will transport you to a completely different world. Their current exhibits include the Cloud Forest Trek, Mundo Maya, Orinoco, South Africa and Borneo habitats, as well as the regular Aquarium collection.

5. benbrook stables

Benbrook Stables is a full-service equestrian center with a wide range of services and activities. They offer trail rides, summer camps, horseback riding lessons, and boarding services. The facility is situated on the edge of Benbrook Lake, with beautiful views of the surrounding area. They create an incredibly welcoming environment for all levels of riders, from beginners to advanced, and they were winners in the "Best Trail Ride" category of Fort Worth Magazine's Best of FW Awards in 2022.

6. Sea Life aquarium

The SEA LIFE Aquarium inside the Grapevine Mills Mall lets your littles explore the only 360-degree ocean tunnel in Texas, touch a real sea star, and meet rescued sea turtles and mesmerizing jellyfish for just $24.99 per person. Or, you can grab a combo ticket which allows you to visit other attractions at the mall, like the LegoLand Discovery Center or the Peppa Pig World of Play, on the same day.

7. texas discovery gardens

After a brief hiatus for onsite maintenance, the butterfly house at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park is back on June 9. The 7.5 acres of public gardens, two-story butterfly house and the Native Snakes of Texas exhibit is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. They're also hosting Palooza in the Park, a FREE family-friendly event, on June 10. It features inflatables, water slides and games for the kiddos, a lowrider car show, booths and activities featuring Fair Park's cultural institutions, and the Swan Boats at Leonhardt Lagoon will be open for business as well!

8. fort worth stockyards stables & petting corral

Take a 30-minute or 1-hour trail ride on horseback, visit the petting zoo or relax in a covered wagon ride around the Fort Worth Stockyards with Stockyards Stables! Regardless of which you pick, you're getting a true Texas Cowboy adventure in the heart of the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards, and it's sure to be as scenic as it is nostalgic. Entry for the Petting Zoo is just $3 per person, too!

9. seaquest fort worth

It's a land and sea adventure at SeaQuest Aquarium in Fort Worth. They've got more than 20,000 square feet of family-friendly animal adventures, where you're invited to touch, feed and interact with animals from five continents. Hang with Flash the Sloth, meet from friendly Asian Small-Clawed Otters, get fish kisses on your feet, have an encounter with an Australian Wallaby, snorkel with stingrays and more!

10. heritage farmstead museum

Plano's Heritage Farmstead Museum is the perfect place for an educational stroll for learning about livestock and poultry that would be found on a working farm in the early 1900’s. They allow their chickens to free range and sell chicken scratch in our visitor center for feeding the birds. Also on occasion the museum offers more up-close encounters with the animals through educational programs, summer camps and other special events.

11. Mainstay farm park

Our last visit to Mainstay Farms and Winery was during their Christmas Festival, and they just recently wrapped up their Spring Wine and Flower Fest. Keep your eyes peeled for their upcoming Fall Festival, Love Listers, as they regroup this summer.

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