Mayor Eric Johnson announced on June 29 that a city recreational program will allow teens ages 12-17 to visit participating arts and cultural attractions in Dallas for free this July. Johnson and members of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department announced the Youth All-Access Program at the Dallas Zoo late in June as well.
The program will provide no-cost passes to Dallas-area teens along with up to three friends or family members through the month of July. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for teens to experience Dallas attractions as an aspect of education and cultural exposure.
The passes are provided at no cost through sponsorships by numerous local groups. Among the prominent participating venues are the Dallas Zoo, Bahama Beach Family Waterpark, Trinity River Audubon Society, and the Dallas Museum of Arts. The Dallas Office of Culture and Arts and the Dallas Public Library are also serving as sponsors.
“I wish we had a program like this when I was growing up in Dallas,” said Mayor Johnson in a press release. “These passes represent an incredible opportunity for our kids to learn and grow this summer after a stagnant year of staying home. I’m confident that through this program and others, this summer is going to be the best one yet for our young people. I’m so excited to see everyone healthy and out and about this summer.”
Organizers hope that the passes will allow Dallas youth to experience some of the educational and cultural experiences in the city. After a long year of lockdowns and restrictions on spending time with friends, the goal is to encourage families to enjoy the city.
“The Dallas Zoo is proud to be one of the partners participating in the Park and Recreation Department’s Youth All-Access Pass program,” said Gregg Hudson, president and CEO of the Dallas Zoo. “This new program gives area youth, teens, and their families an opportunity to visit some of Dallas’ most iconic and entertaining attractions this summer, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them out to the Zoo this summer.”
The program is funded only through the month of July. Park and Recreation officials hope that other area attractions and educational groups become sponsors to further the program beyond the end of the month.
“Dallas Park and Recreation wants to make sure teens continue to have access to valuable programs like this one,” said John D. Jenkins, director of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. “The potential to expand this year’s program is great. Dallas is home to many, many educational and cultural venues and attractions. There’s so much that teens can see and do. We hope more sponsors come on board with us to give teens a learning opportunity, something they will remember for a lifetime.”
Teens can get passes by visiting any of the 43 Dallas recreational centers. Locations are available online at DallasSparks.org. The following venues are participating in providing access:
Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
Trinity River Audubon Center
Bahama Beach Waterpark
Southern Skates Roller Rink
“Today’s announcement brings the City of Dallas, Dallas Park and Recreation and many of our generous partners together to provide Dallas teens with a one-of-a-kind opportunity for them to create unforgettable memories and meaningful experiences, explore their creative passions and have fun at diverse entertainment venues and attractions in Dallas,” said Calvert Collins-Bratton, president of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board.