Things to do in Arlington Texas – A Local Perspective

Arlington, estado Texas – Estados Unidos by Veronidae, 2010

Arlington, Texas has been our home for ten years. It’s been a great city in which to raise our family. If you want advice about living here send me an email and I would be happy to talk to you about that. But for the purposes of this article I’m assuming you are just coming for a visit. If so, you have made a great choice. Sure, we are smaller and not as famous as the two big cities we’re tucked between, Dallas and Fort Worth, but there is a lot to do here. Here are some suggestions for things to do in Arlington Texas.

Water & Amusement Theme Parks

The theme parks are one of the reasons why Arlington is a good city for a family vacation.

  • Six Flags over Texas is so popular that people frequently come from other parts of Texas and even neighboring states to visit. There are always exciting things going on over there.
  • Not far from there is Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, the largest water park in North Texas. It might be slightly less famous than Six Flags but it’s still very popular and at the risk of sounding painfully obvious it has a lot more water too!
  • Randol Mill Family Aquatic Center:: If you want something a little less crowded (and cheaper) but still loads of fun this is a good option. This isn’t just the local city swimming pool, folks. This one has play structures in the water, a really cool slide and even a concession stand.
  • Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark: For the most part I’ve tried to limit this list to Arlington but sometimes I will suggest things in Grand Prairie, our neighbor directly to our East. This is one of those times. If it’s just too hot for your liking, this water park is indoors (there I go being obvious again). And because it’s indoors it’s also open year-round. So even when every other place is closed for the season, they will still be there to meet your need for waterpark adventure.


If you love sports you have to visit Arlington! After all that is what our city is most known for.

  • AT&T Stadium: AKA Jerry’s World. When we first moved to Arlington I would sometimes get lost when I was driving. I quickly figured out to use the stadium, then under construction, as a guide to get me back on track. I thought it looked like a giant spaceship. Okay, I still do. This is a really cool place that is busy all year long. When it’s not football season it’s frequently being used for things like concerts, soccer and basketball games and even rodeos.

  • Globe Life Park: The home of Rangers Baseball is located in proximity to At&T Stadium. In my opinion this stadium is just beautiful. I admire it every time I drive by. And there is something so American about a baseball stadium. At the time of this writing plans are underway to build a new stadium that’s scheduled to open in 2020.
  • Harold Patterson Sports Center: This huge park contains over 130 acres of fields for football, soccer, baseball and softball.
  • College Park Center: Did I mention Arlington is also a college town? This indoor arena is located on the campus of U. T Arlington. A lot of games and other events are held here.


Arlington has a lot of nice, well maintained, parks. Here are just a few of them.

  • Vandergriff Park: We like the Allen Bolden Pool that’s located here. But there are also baseball fields, hiking and biking trails, a skate park, playgrounds, tennis courts and much more.
  • River Legacy Parks: This is a beautiful place and perhaps the most popular of Arlington’s parks. If you love nature you will love it here. Since it was built to carefully minimize any disruption to wildlife and nature it includes a large forest with hundreds of different species of wildlife, birds and trees. There are also jogging and biking trails, picnic areas and a lot more.
  • Richard Greene Linear Park: This park is a lot smaller than the previous two. It is located next to the lake and includes hiking and biking trails and picnic areas.
  • California Lane Park: This is an even smaller park with playgrounds, a spray ground, hiking and biking trails and places to fish

Historic Sites

If you love historical sites as much as I do than you will probably love this part of Arlington .

  • Top O’Hill Terrace: For about twenty years, starting in the late 1920’s, this location was a tea garden, restaurant and top secret illegal gambling casino. It was brought down after a raid in the late 1940’s and soon thereafter purchased by what is today known as Arlington Baptist University. A lot of the original structures are still there, including the front gate shown in the picture above.
  • Fielder House: This historical home in Arlington was built in 1914 as a private residence. Today it is used to display themes related to the history of Arlington.
  • Knapp Heritage Park: See what pioneer life was like at this park which includes a one-room school house, cabin, blacksmith shop and general store.


There are a lot of incredible museums in North Texas. Here are a few located in or around Arlington.


Parks Mall

Arlington has nice shopping areas. Here are the best ones.

  • Parks Mall: My mall is cooler than your mall. There are 170 stores, full scale restaurants, a skating rink, carousel, movie theater and huge food court.
  • Arlington Highlands: This shopping center is high class. There are a lot of nice restaurants, stores and a Studio Movie Grill. There are things here for everyone to enjoy.
  • Cooper Street Antique Mall: This massive antique mall also includes a tea room if you’re into that sort of thing.

Entertainment Centers

If for some reason you decided to just stay in Arlington you would never get bored. It would be impossible.Here are a few more ways to entertain the family during that family vacation.

  • Alley Cats: We had Joshua’s 10th birthday party here and everyone had a great time. There is a glow in the dark bowling alley, laser tag, rock climbing, putt putt golf, video games and delicious food and drinks.
  • Flight Deck Trampoline Park: Do you have a child who loves to jump? So do I. This place is great for letting the kiddos get out some of that energy we wish we still had!
  • K1 Speed: Did someone say indoor go-kart racing? You bet.
  • Arlington Skatium has a recently renovated skate floor, awesome lighting, incredible music and an arcade.

I would like to give a special shout out to Anthony Jones who rode all over town with me helping me take most of these pictures. He’s very active behind the scenes of this website (and he takes better pictures than me). He’s pretty awesome. One of these days I’ll get him to post something and introduce himself!

Tell us about your visit to Arlington in the comments below! Or if you have any more questions about our city get in touch with me at barbra@jonesfamilyfootsteps.com or leave a comment below. Talk to you soon!


Barbra Jones


  1. Well, now I want to visit! I could easily spend a relaxing week in this town. 

    Even though I don’t go to sports events, I could happily explore the parks. I like to take in such places and take pictures, stop to read a while, and soak them in.

    And the antique mall…I will have to leave my money locked up somewhere! 

    Arlington sounds like a fun place for kids to grow up. Lots of activities to get them out and socialize in healthy ways.

    Thanks for the tour!

  2. I always make it a point of mine to take advice and information from people who are experienced in or have been native to a certain area. Since you and your family have enjoyed living in Arlington, Texas then it seems to me that it is a good place to live. Is Arlington the favorite place that you have ever been to?

    • It is a good place and I’m glad we chose to raise our children there. We have a lot of very happy memories. Like any city it has it’s really nice areas and not so nice areas but that’s true for anywhere. If you were looking for a house I would probably suggest the 76017 zip code or surrounding area. Oh and whatever you do avoid the area around the stadiums when there are events happening there because the traffic can be brutal at those times. 

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