Mom Confession — I’m that extra kind of crazy person who LOVES going to the mall with my kids for some indoor play. Yup, even during the holiday madness! I love walking around with my kiddos, eating at the mall food court, hopping from LEGO store to Disney store to Starbucks. Zoning out on my phone while my kids play.
You know how most people have a hidden talent? Mine? Knowing the exact location of every bathroom, kids store, Sephora and Starbucks in every mall.
And because I’ve thought way too much about this in my hundreds of visits to each mall — here is my random rating of Dallas malls based on where I like to go with my kids…
Let’s start with my favorite.
Willow Bend — 9 out of 10 STARS
Pros — Never busy. Like seriously, even during the holidays – this mall just doesn’t get as crazy as the others. Great food court. Kids love watching the surfing at the Aqua Shop. Great bathrooms near the food court, with nice baby changing stations and several family bathroom options. Fun events here sometimes, like the Butterfly Exhibit! Kid’s area is nice, clean and a good size.
Cons — Bathrooms are a bit of a hike from the play area. Electric rides outside the play area make me crazy. Bummed that they switched the Auntie Ann’s Pretzels for Wetzel’s Pretzels. Starbucks in the opposite direction from the play area.
Stonebriar — 8.5 out of 10 STARS
Pros — Fun, clean kids area. Excellent family bathrooms near the food court upstairs. Barnes and Noble train table and LEGO play area (my kid’s personal favorite). LEGO store! TWO Starbucks locations! Great food court. Carousel is fun and different. Movie theater upstairs! Also have fun events here at times, like the touring LEGO exhibit.
Cons — Play area is small. Not a fan of the electric rides outside the play area. Or the candy dispensers. Or the train ride for more money that drives right near the play area. Carousel is fun, but I’m not paying for all those extras every time we go to the mall.
Northpark — 8 out of 10 STARS
Pros — Bookmarks library for the kids, with books and computers with learning games! Outdoor play area. LEGO store! Disney store. My favorite food court! Puppet show during the holidays. Lots of events, live music, performances! Trains at Northpark, during the holidays. Bigger renovated Starbucks! AWESOME art displays! Bathrooms are nice, with great family bathroom options.
Cons — No kid’s play area, except for the pillars by the turtles. Kids love it, but there’s not much seating for parents and it’s just sliding down a pillar – which doesn’t offer a lot of play time. Movie theater is so expensive – I mean, twice as much as most others.
Galleria — 7 out of 10 STARS
Pros — Great family bathroom options and changing tables by the elevators on the third floor, not far from the play area. Big, clean, fun play area. The best Christmas tree in Dallas at the skating rink. Electric rides near the ice rink, far from the play area!
Cons — Not a fan of the food court. Also annoying that half of it is by the ice rink, the other half (the bad half) is by the play area. Starbucks and Sephora are too far from the play area, and in the opposite direction of the bathrooms even. Not much fun for the kids besides the play area.
As January and February get a bit colder (maybe) and then as summer comes back around – you might run into me at one of my favorite Dallas malls. Which one is your favorite?