Not too many miles from where I sit, nestled directly in between Dallas and Fort Worth, is the town of Arlington, Texas. What once might have been considered just an ordinary suburb, now rivals top cities as a premiere destination – for adults, sports enthusiasts, and yes, families too.
Many I know and love have called this place home. Some have spent years studying at the local university. Others have chosen to raise their families here. To those who’ve watched this town grow up, it’s exciting. There are so many reasons to spend a weekend here (and never even head towards Dallas or Fort Worth), and truth be told, many more reasons on the horizon (I’m thinking about Texas LIVE! and the soon to be unique Live! by Loews hotel in the Arlington Entertainment District.
To find out more, head to Arlington’s page . They’ll mail you a Free Visitor’s Guide!
Arlington Texas – Top Reasons It’s a Family Destination
Globe Life Park – Texas Rangers Baseball
Though the stadium has changed names throughout the years, Arlington is home to the Texas Rangers baseball team.
As I’m typing this, the home opener is just hours away and it’s exciting both for locals and those who come hours away to visit. The stadium is incredible and if it’s not baseball season yet, don’t despair as you can book a tour of the park (or even host a birthday party here)! Tours include spots like the batting cages, press box, luxury suite, and dugout.
TIP: Get tickets on the first-base line to avoid direct sun!
Six Flags Over Texas
Superheroes. Looney Tunes characters. Thrilling rollercoasters.
You must enjoy a day of fun right in the heart of Arlington – Six Flags Over Texas.
No matter your age, or level of adventure desired, there is something for you.
Thrillseekers will love The Joker, a free-fly, gravity-defying thrill coaster. I have to admit, this one looks a little too thrilling for me, so I’ll pass (for now). Expected to open in late Spring, HARLEY QUINN Spinsanity is a futuristic concentric square design that allows the gondola to spin on three separate axis in a continuous movement. It will have unpredictable flips and pivots at heights up to seven stories above the ground. Cannot wait to see this in action.
For those who aren’t quite up to the most adventurous of coasters, there are some middle of the road thrills that I know my 10-year old loves – Judge Roy Scream’s wooden rollercoaster, El Aserradero (what I call the log ride), Runaway Mine Train, and my personal favorite, JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis.
For the littlest kids, I love that Six Flags Over Texas has a section just for them. They can head to Bugs Bunny BoomTown and enjoy rides that they can hop on without their parents – something that little ones yearning for a little independence love. You’ll also find a popular playground in this area and the restrooms also have shorter toilets – they thought of everything!
AT&T Stadium – Home of the Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys moved to Arlington years ago, and now the gigantic AT&T Stadium sits a stone’s throw from Globe Life Park. So much sports greatness in a little area.
There’s nothing quite like attending a Dallas Cowboys football game. America’s team knows how to host us.
If it’s not football season, you can sign up to enjoy one of the daily AT&T Stadium Tours, which includes the locker rooms for both the football players and the famous Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. There’s even a Stadium Art tour here, something quite unique. Birthday parties can also be hosted here.
It’s more than just sports and art, as you’ll find the hottest names in music performing here – 2018 will bring Taylor Swift, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, and The Eagles.
TIP: Take advantage of Rally Days at the stadium, a fun way to get on the field the day before the players play. I’ve had the opportunity to take my nephew during these events and those pictures are priceless!
Where to Eat – Arlington, Texas Restaurants
Sugar Bee Sweets
Why not start with dessert first?
Head to Sugar Bee Sweets bakery, as seen on the Cooking Channel. This little shop will bring smiles to everyone in your party. While they delight in making specialty cakes – birthday, wedding, etc, they have a nice selection of cupcakes and other sweet treats ready for you to enjoy.
TIP: The red velvet cupcake = perfection!
The Rose Garden Tea Room
Located directly inside Decorator’s Warehouse, don’t miss out on this cute little tea room with an incredible menu of sweet and savory items.
TIP: Order the Rose Garden Variety plate which includes chicken salad, fresh fruit, quiche, soup of the day, pumpkin bread sandwich (oh so delicious), and their famous Rose Garden poppyseed dressing.
Babe’s Chicken Dinner House
Looking for the best southern fried chicken? Look no further. If you have never experienced Babe’s Chicken Dinner House, put this on your itinerary. There are 9 locations, all in the Dallas/Fort Worth area – so it’s definitely a uniquely Texan thing.
There’s one location in Arlington. Enjoy eating family style (and yes, they have kids’ entrees too). You’ll find Babe’s right next to the Arlington Music Hall.
While those of you from Texas will be quite familiar with the Pappas brand of restaurants (noted for so many including Pappasito’s, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, and more), if you have never experienced dining at Pappadeaux, plan on this for lunch or dinner.
Though there are several Pappadeaux in Texas (and only a few outside of TX), my favorite one is right in Arlington, Texas. Why? The setting. On one side of the restaurant is the most gorgeous little creekbed with overgrown trees. If you have a wait before you get seated, head there and order drinks.
Whenever we have guests visit from out of state, we love to visit and order the Crispy Fried Alligator as an appetizer. A unique experience – and yes, it tastes delicious (just like chicken – LOL)!
You’ll enjoy specialties like Jumbo Shrimp Brochette or Texas Red Snapper Almondine. Be sure to save room for dessert – I recommend a true southern gem – Sweet Potato Pecan Pie with vanilla ice cream.
TIP: This cajun themed restaurant is a favorite place so make sure to allow plenty of time in case there is a wait.
J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill
A favorite with locals, this “hole in the wall” joint has two sections – one side family restaurant, another side Irish pub. It’s a great place to catch up with friends and you cannot beat the prices.
TIP: Order the Original Irish Nachos – Natural Cut Cottage Fries with Skins, Topped with Melted Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, Chives, Onions, Tomatoes and Jalapeños.
Arlington, Texas Hidden Gems
Located on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington, you’ll find a planetarium! I seriously had no idea we had such a gem right here in our own backyard until recently.
At very inexpensive prices, tickets are available for shows at what is one of the three largest planetariums in the State of Texas. Even on weekends.
International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame/ Alley Cats
With interactive fun and exhibits, the entire family will love this museum, perhaps then following up with a little family competition afterwards at Alley Cats, a spot with bowling, rock climbing, and video game action!
If you are staying a participating hotel in Arlington, you must jump on the local trolleys. It’s free, saves you the hassle, and the kids will love it.
Decorator’s Warehouse, the #1 Texas Christmas store
No matter the time of year, for a bit of fun shopping head to Decorator’s Warehouse. You will not believe the size of this place (with the tea room in back that you must dine at), nor will you believe just how many different Christmas decorating themes there are.
Prepare to drool and leave with a bag or two.
The kids or husband not a shopper? Don’t worry, there’s a large screen television where they can catch a game while you’re shopping.
Arlington is home to some of the most creative breweries around. So if you have a bit of time without the kids, head on over to one of these establishments.
One of the founders of Legal Draft spent years practicing law. It’s no wonder when you look at the incredible theme. From the gavel door handles to the names of specific beers, you will be immersed in all things law. Very creative.
Not a drinker? No worries, as they also brew a non-alcoholic hand-crafted root beer called Moot Beer. Brilliant.
You’ll have a hard time believing you are in Downtown Arlington once you step inside Division Brewery. With barrels at every corner, this hot spot is perfect for a low-key date night.
I’ve literally only touched on just a few highlights of the many things you can do in Arlington, Texas!
To find out more, head to Arlington’s page . They’ll mail you a Free Visitor’s Guide!
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