By James Waterson
Relax on a sandy beach, ride on thrilling water slides in a sprawling indoor waterpark and shop your way through the best farmers market in the Lone Star State. These are just three of the best things you can do this summer in Grand Prairie, an inviting town nestled between Dallas and Fort Worth, next door to Arlington. Whether you prefer to spend your summers outdoors or you’re looking for an easy-to-reach destination for your next getaway, Grand Prairie has something for you. Discover the many ways you can celebrate the season below.
Tour Texas Tip: With retail spots like Asia Times Square, Grand Prairie Premium Outlets, IKEA, and Traders Village, Grand Prairie is one of the top shopping destinations in the Dallas and Fort Worth Metroplex. If you’re in need of some retail therapy, this is the place for you.
Enjoy Heart-Pounding Horse Races
Looking to try something new? Place your bets on the live horse races at Lone Star Park. Find a seat in the terraced viewing area and watch thundering thoroughbreds through July or quarter horses racing from September to the middle of December. Make a wager on the winner and visit the concession stands for refreshments or book your spot on the fourth level of the Grandstand for a premium dining experience. If you’re traveling with a large group of people, book a luxurious penthouse suite and watch all the action from your very own private balcony. No matter where you are, you’ll enjoy a day of heart-pounding racing.
Hit the Beach
Soft, sandy beaches and gentle blue tides under a wide-open sky. This is what summer dreams are made of, but you don’t need to go to the Texas Gulf Coast to soak up the sun. Escape to Joe Pool Lake, a 7,500-acre oasis on Grand Prairie’s south side. Lay out a beach towel and work on your suntan and wade into the cool lake on the sandy beach at Lynn Creek Park, or Loyd Park. Take a break from all your waterside lounging on either park’s volleyball courts or with a picnic.
Both parks offer far more than sandy beaches, however. Rent a canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or The Wave, Grand Prairie’s very own excursion boat, from Lynn Creek Marina. Explore the lake, then come back for a juicy burger, delicious Tex-Mex eats, and a wide selection of refreshing cocktails and margaritas at Blue Sunshine Patio Bar & Grill. Meanwhile, the 221 overnight camping spots, eight lakefront cabins, and six miles of hike and bike nature trails in Loyd Park provide an outdoor retreat just a stone’s throw away from the big city. The park even has an 18-room lodge that is the perfect spot to host your next family reunion or corporate retreat. Looking for something a little more intimate? Check out the brand new Yurts! Enjoy the most popular glamping experience that is sweeping the globe conveniently located in
Grand Prairie! Summer is the perfect time to find yourself at the beach, and Grand Prairie’s lakeside parks are the place to be.
Embark on an Epic Aquatic Adventure
Adrenaline-pumping water slides, swimming pools, and an aquatic fort for kids full of slides, sprinklers, and more. Imagine all this being in a sprawling indoor waterpark and you’ve got Grand Prairie’s own Epic Waters. Containing 80,000 square feet of thrills and spills, Epic Waters has something for everyone. Soar down, and back up again, on the Lasso Loop, the nation’s tallest indoor Aqualoop. Break free from gravity on the YellowJacket. Drop, an enclosed inner tube slide that shoots you up and down a vertical wall. Soar on high-banking domes as you ride the Aquanaut, the first indoor double rider Aquasphere inner tube ride around.
Need to catch your breath? Float along the Rio Grand, the longest indoor lazy river in Texas, or relax by The Swimming Pool. Finally, ride the waves of Epic Waves, an outdoor wave pool that simulates surges of four-foot-tall waves every 10 minutes. Not sure about conquering the waves? Rest in the shade of a private cabana and listen to the sounds of the waves, just like if you were on the beach.
Wonder at the Weird & Wacky
From the outside, it looks like a majestic Indian palace. Step inside, however, and you’ll discover a world of mysteries and wonders that will capture your imagination. Home to five attractions, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! in Grand Prairie offers a captivating getaway from the heat of the Texas summer sun. Uncover answers to all of life’s biggest questions and uncover endless fascinations as you wander through Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Then experience every bump and drop in the state-of-the-art 7D Moving Theatre before taking photos with your favorite celebrities in Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax.
For a different kind of adventure, step into the Enchanted Mirror Maze. Finding your way through this hall of mirrors is by no means straightforward, and the ambient neon lights only add to the challenge. Finally, impress your friends by making it all the way through the Impossible LaserRace without touching the beams of light. Spending a day exploring Ripley’s in Grand Prairie will broaden your horizons, challenge your perceptions, and entertain everyone you’re traveling with.
Catch a Show … or a Tune!
The setting sun may mean you have to pack up your things and leave the beach, but that doesn’t mean the party is over. Head out for a night full of live music by talented local and touring acts at Grand Prairie’s three music venues. The Texas Trust CU Theatre at Grand Prairie, the largest venue in town, hosts concerts, comedy shows, and more. Located within a historic movie theater in downtown Grand Prairie, Uptown Theater is the place to go for concerts, dance and theatrical performances by regional and national acts. For even more entertainment for all ages, The Epic Theater’s intimate stage has you covered.
In September 2021, Grand Prairie became a certified Music Friendly Community by the Texas Music Office. If live music is what you are craving, check out the music scene at one of a dozen venues in town providing live music; to name one, Firehouse Gastro Park is a local favorite on Main Street in the historic #1 Fire Station. Grand Prairie is where the music entertainment scene has exploded, so check it out!
Taking Family Entertainment to a Whole New Level
Try out one of the fastest-growing sports, Pickleball, at Chicken N Pickle. Engage at any age in an amazing atmosphere that fosters fun, friendship and community at this unique, indoor-outdoor entertainment complex. You’ll discover a fast-casual dining restaurant, 11 pickleball courts, shuffleboard courts, a bar and entertainment space, an outdoor game yard, and a game room with ping pong and plenty of TV screens broadcasting, in real-time, your favorite sporting events.
Looking for more thrills? Ponder a visit to Prairie Playland, an amusement park that is part family entertainment and all playland! Hop on the Prairie Screamer, the latest new addition, and a family-oriented roller coaster, that is popular with all ages. Hold on to your hat because Prairie Screamer drops 80 feet at 50 mph and has a duration of 1:56!
Or grab the family and check out the fastest-growing, most innovative dining and entertainment hub in the country, Main Event. How about a family bowling competition or a virtual reality experience? This 50,000-square-foot venue is filled with bowling lanes, video games, gravity ropes, and a double-decker laser tag arena. So much entertainment in one place, Main Event even boasts a full kitchen and bar stocked with destination-worthy food and drink options. Let’s play!
Discover Downtown Grand Prairie & Traders Village
Drink, dine, and shop the day away in Downtown Grand Prairie, to one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants to visit. Stop by on Saturdays from early April through mid-December for the Farmers Market, voted the No.1 Farmers Market in Texas by American Farmland Trust. Browse locally grown fruits, vegetables, and plants, sink your teeth into savory tamales, and go home with the kind of baked goods, dips, honey, chips, and salsas that you won’t find in the grocery store.
Cruise along Grand Prairie’s Main Street through downtown and you’ll come across FireHouse Gastro Park, a laid-back restaurant and coffee lounge situated inside of an old fire station. Kick back in the expansive main dining room and try the artisan burgers or Nashville hot chicken, then grab a drink and settle into the outdoor patio with lawn games and plenty of space for kids to play. Sip and savor, then head just down Main Street to see a show at the Uptown Theater.
Speaking of shopping, be sure to check out America’s number one Marketplace, Traders Village, the largest weekend flea market in Texas. Shop and trade until you drop with more than 3,500 dealers every weekend in this open-air bargain hunters’ paradise. Find tires & tools, Army surplus & electronics, comics & cards, crafts & collectibles, silk plants & flowers, truck accessories, jewelry, furniture, clothing, & more! With three new rides, show up for the shopping and stay for the fun!
Whether you’re looking to escape to the nearest beach or cool off in an indoor waterpark, Grand Prairie has all you need for an unforgettable summer. There’s more to come, too, as this treasure of a town anxiously awaits the grand opening of two fantastically fun venues coming very soon and mentioned below. Plan your escape to Grand Prairie this summer to experience all the grand adventures they have in store.
Coming Soon to Grand Prairie:
It. Is. EPIC! Centrally located in Grand Prairie, Epic Central is the new up-and-coming entertainment destination in the DFW Metroplex. This 172-acre park site is home to Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark, The Epic, and Playgrand Adventures (an all-inclusive playground). Splash into one of the five lakes, a grand lawn, boardwalk, and pad sites for future retail opportunities. Participate in an interactive water show.
Located on one of the lakes and in the middle of the park, experience one of the premium attractions for all visitors and guests. Get ready for Bolder Indoor Adventure Park, the indoor family entertainment facility providing adventure-based attractions as you’ve never seen before in a 66,000-square-foot pneumatic dome structure with ceiling heights of approximately 75 feet (to allow for tall peaks!). Discover a truly unique opportunity to experience rock climbing, zip lines, via ferrata, ropes courses, tubing slides, synthetic ice skating, adventure nets, and more. No need to pack up and leave for a bite to eat because Epic Central will feature these mouth-watering eateries: Loop 9 BBQ, Vidorra, and Poach’d. Food Hall will offer guests three unique dining experiences: Serious Pizza, Serious Sliders, and Serious Shakes. It will also feature an outdoor stage for various performances. Want to stay awhile? Coming to Epic Central will also be a convention center with two adjoining luxury hotels. You’re very own adventure awaits!