Described by visitors as more zoo than aquarium, the quaint Dallas World Aquarium provides a unique experience attractive to families. Feel like you’ve entered a real rain forest at the aquarium’s re-creation of the South American Orinoco Rain Forest, home to colorful birds and the only three-toed-sloth exhibit in the US.
There are five main exhibit spaces at the Dallas World Aquarium: Mundo Maya, Orinoco, Aquarium, South Africa, and Borneo. Visitors will see crocodiles, black-footed and blue penguins, stingrays, ocelots, moon jellyfish, and toucans, among many other animals. The 20,000-gallon walk-through tank features a diverse kelp forest and coral reef ecosystem. Animal feedings and talks, such as “Sloths are for Kids” and “Ocelot Conservation Talk,” are scheduled on the half-hour. Crocodiles are fed every Saturday.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Dallas World Aquarium is an ideal attraction for families.
- Even though this is a small-scale aquarium, plan to spend at least two hours going through the exhibits.
- Three on-site restaurants serve a variety of snacks and meals.
- Purchase tickets in advance to save time waiting in line, which can be long during peak times.
How to Get There
The aquarium is located at 1801 N. Griffin Street, in the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, Texas. From the Dallas Zoo, it’s about a six-minute drive: Take I-35E north to the Griffin Street exit. Paid parking is available in surrounding lots. You can also take the DART Rail to the West End Station stop.
When to Get There
The Dallas World Aquarium is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Saturday afternoons can be busy, but if you are there at 11:30am, you can see the crocodile feeding. Try to plan your visit earlier in the day to avoid crowds, and go on a weekday if you can.
Concentration on Conservation
The Dallas World Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and partners with conservation groups from around the world, including several groups in Central and South America. The aquarium houses 10 endangered species and 41 that are on a species survival plan.