At Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park, visitors step back in time more than 100 years, immersed in the buildings and lifestyles of those who populated the land from 1840 to 1910. These historic structures have been slowly relocated over the last century to represent north-central Texas's storied past in one location: Dallas Heritage Village, the town’s first city park. Spanning 20 acres, the village is populated by 38 historic structures including a railroad complex, farmstead, church, and pioneer and Victorian homes, where actors donning period clothing await to educate guests on their customs while making them wonder if they accidentally traveled back in time. The site hosts regular student history hunts and seasonal learning programs, such as Plow, Plant, and Shear and Civil War on the Homefront.
Cindy Gibson hears a lot of ecstatic exclamations from first-time jumpers—including gratuitous use of the words "awesome" and "amazing"—but one of the most memorable remarks she ever heard came from a woman celebrating her 81st birthday. After landing, Cindy asked her why she waited so long to try skydiving. The woman replied that her husband never let her. Then she cracked a sly smile and said, "But now he's dead."
Cindy certainly understands the lifelong desire to skydive. "I don't remember a time when I didn’t want to jump out of airplanes," she says. But growing up, she figured you had to be paratrooper to do it. Then as a waitress in college, she overheard some customers talking about going skydiving, and she convinced them to take her along. The more she went, the more ways she found to improve the experience. With this newfound love and knowledge of the skydiving business, she sought out a parcel of land and a passionate team and founded Texas Skydiving Center.
Today, she and her team of instructors lead tandem jumps, static-line jumps, and solo free falls thousands of feet above their picturesque facility. Beyond using equipment and instructional methods that are compliant with the United States Parachute Association's standards, the instructors' claim their chief difference lies in the individual attention they give each client. Groups are kept small so that all are on a first-name basis, and the instructors ask each person what they hope to do in the air. A bunch of flips? Maybe a zen-like float? On the way down, they can even record the jumps with several filming options. An eco-friendly dropzone then awaits skydivers, where chattering guinea fowl snatch up insects, colorful songbirds flit through wildflowers, and a llama and alpaca knit their own wool into a commemorative scarf for each successful skydiver.
The largest urban bottomland hardwood forest on the continent, Great Trinity Forest is a sprawling 6,000-acre expanse of greenery that's home to more than 130 species of birds and Trinity River Audubon Center headquarters, named by D magazine one of the things You Must Do in Dallas. With your Family Pass you'll receive a plethora of exclusive perks, including a newsletter subscription, unlimited free admission for two adults and their children or grandchildren, free Third Thursday lectures, discounts on summer camps and other programming and amnesty in the coming avian war on mankind. Family Pass holders also gain access to restricted bird-watching hours on Friday and Saturday, ideal for observing the glamorous lives of the forest's American red-tailed hawk, horned lark, yellow-billed cuckoo, great blue heron, and more.
Just a 10-minute trip from downtown Dallas, Bahama Beach Waterpark draw visitors to its cooling oasis filled with soaking attractions. Lazing riders lounge in inner tubes as they bob on the serene current of the Calypso Cooler Lazy River, and children race through the nearby Coconut Cove, a rainforest-style playground with rope ladders, slides, and a 1,000-gallon dumping bucket. Two intertwined slides, the Riptide Slide and Bahama Bullet, descend from a 45-foot-high platform, and the nearby Bermuda Triangle's trio of open and closed slides deposits riders into a high-speed splashdown.
Bahama Bob's Island Eatery crafts a full menu of sandwiches, burgers, and snacks for diners, and the Island Traders store dispenses necessities such as sunscreen, locker rentals, and emergency rubber duckies. The park also offers party-sized seating, including group pavilions and private cabanas.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.