Grand Prairie is all about fun. The city offers family attractions, friendly faces, an affordable place to live, relaxation and business opportunities – all conveniently located between Dallas and Fort Worth. The heart of the city sits a mere 15 minutes from DFW International Airport and all the major sites and highlights the Metroplex offers.
Check out these 10 spots (in random order) that you must see when visiting.
1 House of Imagination
Come face-to-face with 200 lifelike figures from Hollywood, horrors, the old west, history and childhood fantasy at Ripley’s Belie ve It or Not! Odditorium & Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax. Imagine wax figures of the characters from Batman, Wizard of Oz and Twilight, as well as iconic pop stars Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga and an entire section dedicated to horror. While you’re there, get lost in Ripley’s Enchanted Mirror Maze and test your skills at Ripley’s Impossible LaseRace, where you attempt to navigate a maze within a certain time, all without breaking the laser beam.
2 A Shopper’s Dream
If you are looking for a deal, look no further th an Grand Prairie Premium Outlets. With more than 100 stores offering discounted prices (anywhere from 25 to 65% off regular retail prices), this mall is a bargain seeker’s dream. Expect high end stores, including Calvin Klein, DKNY, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH all offering discounted prices. Also find ample parking (all free) and a food court, featuring everything from Italian to Asian fare.
3 The Great Outdoors
Roll around Alliance Skate Park, hit a hole in one at Tangle Ridge Golf Course, or get wet at Joe Pool Lake – it’s easy to enjoy the great outdoors in Grand Prairie . Joe Pool Lake offers a full-service marina, camping, kayaks, cabins and parks on the lake’s shore. It sits among the rolling hills of south Grand Prairie and offers fishing, boating, swimming and water skiing, as well as the lake’s Lynn Creek and Loyd Park, which both offer clean beaches, a roped-off swimming area, a playground for kids and areas to barbecue. Plan an overnight campout at Loyd Park, bring your own tent or stay in a cozy cabin! And, save time in September to be a part of the Flight of the Monarch Celebration, held annually at Central Park. The free event includes several Monarch butterfly releases, kite flying, bumper boats, chalk artist, a kid zone with bounce houses and children’s crafts, vendors, food, a butterfly costume contest and live music.
4 A Holiday Tradition
During the holidays, celebrate the season by driving through four million lights along two miles of path at Lynn Creek Park’s Prairie Lights holiday light display, a 40-day event. Highlighting more than 500-lighted displays, visitors will be delighted by Santa’s elves, snowmen, reindeer, angels, penguins, stars, lollipops and the world’s longest tunnel of lights. Halfway through the drive, get out of the car and stop at Holiday Village. There, concessions, carousel rides, a light show theater, a lighted walk-through forest and an appearance by Santa await.
5 A Hole in One
Athletes won’t have to travel outside of Grand Prairie to play a challenging , yet enjoyable, round of golf. Choose from Prairie Lakes Golf Course, featuring 27 recently renovated holes, including Texas’ largest practice area featuring 8 target greens; and Tangle Ridge Golf Club, boasting 18 holes designed by Jeff Brauer of GolfScapes in Arlington. Prairie Lakes Course was recognized in 2009 as “One of the Best Places to Play” by Golf Digest, and is also home to Eddlemon’s Award-Winning Bar-B-Que. Located near the south end of Joe Pool Lake, Tangle Ridge features tree-lined fairways and elevation changes and is known as one of the state’s top public championship courses.
6 Place Your Bets
Watch world-class Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing, featuring a European-style paddock, and live racing on dirt and grass surfaces at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. Opened for its first live race in 1997, this spectacular attraction, which offers features two live racing seasons every year, covers 315 acres, including a one-mile dirt oval and a seven-furlong turf track, as well as accommodations for 1,600 horses across 32 barns. Each Memorial Day, the Thoroughbred Meeting is held, with seven stakes races worth just over $1 million. The climate-controlled grandstand offers a seating capacity of roughly 8,000 people, in addition to Bar & Book for simulcasting of racing worldwide.
Visitors seeking live entertainment need look no further than Uptown Theater Grand Prairie and Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie. Re-opened in 2008 after a year of renovations, the historic Uptown Theatre in downtown Grand Prairie is a playhouse and venue for concerts. Home of Grand Prairie Arts Council, expect to see shows ranging from The Roy Orbison Experience Revisited to the Broadway show Cats. While Uptown Theatre is a local spot, the $63 million Verizon amps its performances up a bit more, one of the most technologically-sophisticated indoor theaters in America. Past concert performances have included Justin Bieber, Jennifer Hudson, The Black Crowes and Van Morrison.
8 A Trip to Asia
Take a trip to Asia, without even needing a passport. The Asia Time Square & Hong Kong Market is as authentic as what’s offered in Asia. Featuring 250,000 square-feet of retail space, an elaborate courtyard, a wedding hall, a dim sum restaurant and an electronic store, visitors can easily dedicate an entire day to this cultural attraction, which features a wide selection of Asian groceries from Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and other Far East countries. Choose to eat at Pho Hung Dallas, Inc., Bistro B and Crawfish Hut, among others, and plan to attend one of the cultural center’s highlights, the Flower Festival held every Lunar New Year.
9 Treasure Seeking
Boasting everything from fair-type food (turkey legs and nachos) and discounted clothing to antique furniture and vintage curiosities, Traders Village, hosting more than 3,500 vendors in a 161-acre site, is the place for treasure seekers. This local favorite, covering 160-acres, opened in 1973 and describes itself as the largest flea market in Texas. Open on weekends from 7 a.m. until dusk, visitors will also find special events here, such as chili cook off, Big Mamou Cajun Festival and the Auto Swap Meet. Held yearly in September, the Annual National Championship Indian Pow Wow celebrated its 52nd year at Traders Village, and brought an unforgettable array of tribal dance contests, arts & crafts, cultural heritage demonstrations, teepees and Indian food to Grand Prairie.
10 PLAY BALL!
Sports fans enjoy a visit to Quick Trip Park at Grand Prairie, located between Lone Star Park and Verizon Theatre, where the city’s minor league baseball team, the Grand Prairie Air Hogs, play. The AirHogs, a member of the American Association of Professional Baseball, host 50 home games May through September and the park also features a 17,000-squarefoot Wide World of Parks KidZone, a cigar bar and swimming pool. The attraction seats 5,500 and offers 13 luxury suites. For more sporting fun, check out Alliance Skate Park. Experience a first class competitive skate park for in-line skating, biking and skateboarding at this adventure park that makes Tony Hawk fans swoon. This $1.2 million outdoor skate park, funded by the City of Grand Prairie, includes an advanced outdoor course, intermediate/advanced covered course and beginners course. The park also houses a full-service skate shop on site with skateboards, shoes and clothing.