Middle Age Miles

The Dallas World Aquarium Is a Fun Place to Monkey Around

This unamused pied tamarin monkey is one of the many interesting animals you’ll find at the Dallas World Aquarium

Introduction

It seems like we have a tendency to forget about our close-to-home local attractions.  When we travel, we’re out and about all the time.  We think nothing of going to museums, visiting parks, and checking out other activities of interest at our destination.  But at home, sometimes it’s easier to just sit on the couch and watch tv or get caught up in chores.

This past weekend, the Middle Age Miles crew, including some of our college-aged kids, broke the mold and visited one of Dallas’ coolest local attractions, the Dallas World Aquarium.  And surprise, the Aquarium isn’t just for fish!  You’ll see lots of other interesting animals and birds.  It wasn’t particularly cheap, but the Aquarium made for a very fun Saturday afternoon!

Where Is the Dallas World Aquarium?

The Dallas World Aquarium is in downtown Dallas near the West End.  The address is 1801 N. Griffin Street, Dallas, TX 75202.

Here are maps showing the location of the Aquarium within downtown Dallas, and in relation to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as a whole:

What Are the Ticket Prices and Operating Hours?

The Aquarium is open daily from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, except that it is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days.

Admission prices are:

  • Adults (ages 13-64):  $20.95 + tax
  • Children (ages 2-12):  $14.95 + tax
  • Children under 2:  Free
  • Seniors (ages 65+):  $16.95 + tax

We were not able to locate any coupons or other discounts for the Aquarium.  In fairness, we only did a few quick searches just before we left home, so we could have missed something.

There are many open-air parking lots around the Aquarium.  It was pretty easy to find parking on Saturday afternoon when we visited.  I imagine it wouldn’t be too terribly difficult to park even on a work day when downtown office buildings are open, given the amount of space available and the distance between the Aquarium and the larger downtown buildings.

Our Visit to the Dallas World Aquarium

We visited the Aquarium mid-afternoon on a September Saturday, arriving at about 3:00 pm.  We were a bit worried that we wouldn’t have enough time to fully enjoy the Aquarium before it closed at 5:00 pm, but it turned out we had plenty of time.  It took us about an hour and a half to go through all of the exhibits.  We certainly could have lingered longer, but this was plenty of time.

The Aquarium was somewhat crowded, as it was a nice day to be out, and I’m sure we were there at a peak time.  It wasn’t crowded enough to be uncomfortable, but we could have enjoyed our time more if we’d been there with fewer people.

One thing that was cool was that your Aquarium experience starts before you even reach the ticket booth.  There’s a winding path with lush green vegetation that leads you to the ticket booth, and there are even some beautiful birds to see along the way.  You’ll even see a tree kangaroo!  This was a pleasant surprise, and it definitely helps get you into the right frame of mind to visit the rest of the Aquarium.

Once you get your tickets and enter the Aquarium, you ascend a flight of stairs (or use an elevator if needed) to get to the top.  Then you check out the blue penguins to begin your journey, and wind your way down a long path through the Aquarium to see the various exhibits and animals.  It feels jungle-like, humid and green throughout, with a number of water features (not surprisingly!).

But the Dallas World Aquarium isn’t just an aquarium for fish! – It’s actually a small zoo with monkeys, birds, reptiles and other small animals throughout.  Habitats are nicely kept, and for the most part, open.  It really makes for a nice stroll, and it’s always fun to spot the different animals and learn a bit about them.  Most of the animals were active when we visited, which made everything more fun.

 

There is a jungle cafe along the way where you can stop and get drinks and snacks.  We didn’t try it out on our visit.  But it would be nice to have this option, especially if you’re taking younger children.  There’s also a gift shop at the end of the path before you exit (as Philly said, “All roads lead to the gift shop!”).

Enough with All the Reading, Let’s See the Pictures!

We took pictures of the animals as best we could given that it was somewhat crowded and the animals won’t always sit still to pose.  Here’s a gallery with some of our best and favorite pictures.

We certainly enjoyed our Saturday afternoon visit to the Dallas World Aquarium.  It was a good reminder that we should do a better job of getting out and about in our own town.  And if you’re visiting Dallas from out of town, this is a nice place to take a break from our world-class shopping and dining!

Have you been to the Dallas World Aquarium?  What was your favorite animal or fish?  Please share with us in the Comments!


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