Your Summer on DARTBy Beth McGee
School’s out, which means it’s time to map out your activities to fill those long, dog days of summer. Whether you’re in search of kiddo-friendly excursions here in Dallas-Fort Worth or you’re looking for a no-stress way to get out of town, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is here to keep your family on track this summer. Grab a map, pick a line, gather your crew and start your adventure. Read on for can’t-miss summer itineraries, from the city’s newest art exhibitions to historical hotspots across North Texas.
Ride any DART Rail Line into downtown Dallas for a day of eye-pleasing excitement in the Arts District. Take some 24-carat selfies at the Dallas Museum of Art’s newest exhibition, Power of Gold, or wander the lush grounds of the Nasher Sculpture Center. You can even explore the world without ever leaving the Metroplex, thanks to the curated Asian art and artifacts on display at the Crow Collection. Round out the day with a stop at Klyde Warren Park to let your little ones run free. Mom can sip some vino al fresco on Savor Gastropub’s patio, which conveniently overlooks the park’s grass field and water features.
Big city babes can take advantage of DART’s free D-link in the downtown. The bright magenta and yellow buses pepper the city streets with an extra pop of color—and convenience. This free service runs every 15 minutes, so you can hop on and off with ease as you explore hotspots like the Dallas Farmers Market, The Sixth Floor Museum, Main Street and more.
Ideal for a mini-staycation, DART provides quick and easy access to cities like Carrollton, Plano and Garland. Sure, schools out, but your kids will enjoy the history lessons in these North Texas cities. Quaint shopping and kid-friendly restaurants also abound. Hit the North Texas Outdoor Pursuit Center in Carrollton for the chance to rock climb inside of a former grain silo, teach your little ones about the Lone Star State’s rich railroad roots at the Interurban Railway Museum in Plano, and catch a free, family-friendly flick at Garland’s refurbished Plaza Theatre.
Walk on the Wild Side
Being a mama can often feel like you’re running a zoo, and now here’s your shot to go wild with your little animals at a real zoo. DART’s Red Line drops off directly in front of the Dallas Zoo, home to more than 8,000 animals. Be sure to use DART for easy transit to the zoo’s Safari Nights concert series on Saturday nights all summer long.
Get Outta Town
For families opting out of the Texas temps this season, consider DART for your airport travel. Not only will you avoid costly parking fees, but your family will lower your environmental footprint by having one less gas-burning car on the road. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has a DART station conveniently located in Terminal A, right outside of Gate10, which is served by the Orange Line. If it’s wheels up from Dallas Love Field, opt for the Green or Orange Lines combined with Love Link Bus Route 542 to reach the airport.
1. Skip the line. While you’re packing up those oh-so-necessary animal crackers and fruit snacks, download the updated GoPass App on your smartphone. You can buy your tickets in advance and activate them whenever you’re ready to use them.
2. Pick your pass. If you’re making a day out of it, buy an adult local pass. Reduced rate day passes are available for your kiddos ages 5-14. No need to purchase a pass for your under 5 crowd—they ride for free with a paying adult. Find fare information at DART.org/fares.
3. Park for free. Many DART transit centers and rail stations provide free parking. Check out your parking options here: DART.org/parking.
4. Roll on. The center cart of every DART vehicle features a low floor section with boarding level with the rail platform, so bring the stroller or suitcase!
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