A perfect day in Dallas doesn’t exist without migas for breakfast at Lucky’s. Migas, for those of you who aren’t familiar with them, are a traditional Texas, Tex-Mex dish consisting of eggs scrambled with strips of corn tortilla cooked into them. Luckys, at 3531 Oak Lawn Ave, between Lemmon and Bower Avenues in our Oak Lawn neighborhood, makes them with the additions of your choice of onions, chile peppers, fresh, red tomatoes, cheddar cheese…You get the picture. All of the orders come with fresh pico de gallo (salsa) and refried beans and tortillas that you wrap all of that Tex-Mex goodness into.
Luckys is a tradition that has been around Dallas for years. It is a no-frills operation with cheerful red chairs and metal tables and lots of light inside. One bite of their migas and the whole family will instantly turn Texan, at least for the day.
The next stop is the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. I’ve never met a teenager who wasn’t wild about this place. It was awarded the Parent’s Picks award for the best museum for teens in the entire metroplex, and it deserved it. We like it because it is actually two family attractions in one.
They open at 10 a.m.; 7 days a week are located at 601 Palace Parkway in Grand Prairie. They are easy to find. Just take I-30 west to Beltline Road or exit 24. Turn right at the intersection and get on Palace Parkway. Then, take a left. The Museum is about 1/2-mile down on the left. You can’t miss it. Look for two big metal dinosaurs on the lawn.
The second museum housed inside the Ripley museum is Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax. Notice that I said Louis Tussaud rather than Madame Tussauds, but I won’t mention it to the kids if you don’t. Teens love the realistic looking wax figures of their favorite rock stars and movie star heroes. The place allows photography, too, so they can pose with the wax version of whomever they want, so long as they don’t actually touch the statue.
The down side is that the place shuts down at 5 p.m. and it can take a long time to get through it all, so if you go, it is best to go right after breakfast. The other down side is the price. At $21.99 for adults and $12.99 per teen, it is a little pricey. However, if you grab tickets online at their web site, you can save $2.00 per ticket.
The family will want to head back into downtown Dallas for lunch, because another Dallas tradition is to chow down on one of the best burgers in the entire state. I’m talking about the Twisted Root Burger Company. Teens love this place with its fun, industrial atmosphere. The interior is decorated with corrugated metal and there is always some cool, but not too obnoxious music playing in the background. I recommend the big, fat turkey burger with a side of beer-battered onion rings, but if your teens want an authentic Texas experience, they should order a real buffalo burger or the Black Angus burger with thick, crispy slices of bacon on top. The eatery is located in one of Dallas’ most hip sections of the city, Deep Ellum. Located at
2615 Commerce St, the joint is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. They stay open an hour later on Friday and Saturday. Oh, something you should know before you go into Deep Ellum. All the street signs there say, “Elm,” but trust me. It is Deep Ellum. Don’t ask why. Just go.
Deep Ellum is at the heart of our most happening art scene in Dallas. Parking can be tight, so if it is possible to leave your car at your hotel and cab over, that is the way to go.
It is accessible via mass transit, but frankly, Dallas is a little behind the times on mass transit. We like our cars here in Texas and there just isn’t much demand for mass transit.
Anyway, back to Deep Ellum, this is an exciting place to take teenagers because there is always something going on.
If your kids enjoy theater, there are a lot of small, good ones scattered about, but if they’re into classic rock, which is more likely, the streets are usually filled with it during weekend days and evenings. There is some lighthearted dancing on the streets that is appropriate for teens. The street is blocked off in the area by the big arch as you go in, and everyone gathers there to dance and listen to the music. This is a great way to entertain the kids without spending a lot of money. If you do go to Deep Ellum, you can’t miss the cool murals under the Good Latimer Street Bridge! They are painted by local artists and are changed out regularly, so you never know what you’re going to see when you get there, but you can count on it being something creative and inventive. Find them along Commerce, Main and Elm Streets at Good Latimer and Exposition Street in the Deep Ellum.
Speaking of art, the entire Deep Ellum area is chock full of little contemporary galleries that my kids love. There are also tons of small, indie shops that sell the types of stuff that kids love to spend their allowances on, such as bumper stickers for the cars they don’t have yet, or rock star snow globes.
If Deep Ellum doesn’t sound like something your cup of tea, another good place to take your teens is the Sixth Floor Museum for a dose of unfortunate Dallas History. The place, as you probably know, is in the old book depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald stood at the window, aimed his gun down on the street below and shot President Kennedy. While the whole idea of a museum there is a little on the morbid side, most teens enjoy it. You will find it informative and interesting as well. It is actually a very nice museum. The displays are done very well, and the price of $13.50 for adults and $12.50 for kids includes an audio tour. The place has a nice café for lunch, and a great gift shop for souvenirs.
As it gets close to evening, it is absolutely necessary to let your teens experience Dave and Busters. If you skip this place and they find out later that you knew about it, they will never speak to you again. I can guarantee it. Wait…Is that a bad thing? Anyway, Dave and Busters is a huge, Texas-style restaurant and arcade that has a bright, upscale beat and is loads of fun for the whole family. There is video golfing for Dad and video race car driving for Mom. The place has every imaginable video game for the teens, and the food is great, too. They have everything from steak and salad to burgers and fries. I recommend the hot cheese and spinach dip. Yum-o!
You can find Dave and Busters at 10727 Composite Drive near the intersection of Program Drive and Composite. The down side is that there is an admission price of $10.95 to get in. However, most of the games are free. This is a perfect place to take a large number of people together.
Dave and Busters is a fun way to wind down before heading back to your hotel, and believe me, after a trip to the place, everyone is going to sleep very well!