Dallas is a city with a rich history and a diverse population, so it should come as no surprise that the Big D is the cultural center of North Texas. If you are buying or building a home in Dallas, there is always another festival or cultural event to look forward to. No matter what your interests or your heritage is, you will find it celebrated here.
So you can gain a better appreciation of everything Dallas has to offer, we present our review of “Dallas Festivals and Events You Won’t Want to Miss”. This list is not intended to be comprehensive, but it is meant to spark your interest. The best way to soak up Dallas culture will always be to get out and about and experience it for yourself.
NOTE: The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic may affect how and if some of these traditional celebrations are observed. Please refer to the included links for scheduling and safety precautions.
Celebrating the life and legacy of the Civil Rights icon, this free parade is one of the largest such observances in the United States. Every year, 150,000 people line up along MLK Boulevard to watch the floats and marching bands go by.
First held in 1896, this is the nation’s longest continually-running rodeo and livestock show. It attracts an estimated 1.5 million visitors and is directly responsible for the popularity of rodeo as a professional sporting event. Best of all, 85% of events take place under a roof, avoiding the winter ice storms known as “Stock Show Weather”.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Garden has been recognized as one of the premier floral exhibitions in the entire world. This annual six-week event showcases over half a million spring blooms from hundreds of varieties of tulips. Every week, one of America’s six regions is highlighted.
Besides the tulips and the regular exhibits, visitors can also enjoy thousands of azaleas and hundreds of Japanese cherry blossoms. Dallas Blooms also offers live music, wine and beer tastings, cooking classes, guest speakers and book signings, children’s activities, and Easter events.
Sponsored by the Crow Museum of Asian Art, this festival has been a tradition in Dallas for over 20 years. Held on Lunar Day, activities include lion and dragon dances, art displays, traditional music, face-painting, and a special performance honoring the year’s Zodiac animal.
Held at Fair Park the first week of March, this three-day event is the largest Irish festival in the American Southwest and the second-oldest in the country. Some of the highlights include traditional foods, music and dancers, a craft marketplace, and a whisky tasting.
With nearly 100 floats, almost 1700 participants, and over 125,000 attendees, this is the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Southwest region of the country. The two-mile parade route traditionally runs along Greenville Avenue.
Also known as Ratha Yatra, or “Festival of Chariots”, this festival celebrates the rich spiritual and cultural heritage of India. Activities include traditional Indian food, demonstrations and information about yoga, meditation, health, philosophy, and astrology, crafts, music, and henna tattoos.
This city-wide observance celebrates and showcases artistic talent in the Dallas area. Attend any or all of more than 100 events, exhibitions, and performances around the city to gain a better awareness, understanding, and appreciation of Dallas’ thriving art scene.
Since 2014, this family-friendly event has celebrated North Texas’ vibrant Latino culture, and it is now the largest festival of its kind. Activities include live music, singing and dancing contests, mariachi performers, and of course, delicious food.
Dallas is home to the largest and longest-running Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring a festival and a parade. Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT Mexican Independence Day, but it is a commemoration of the first victory of the Mexican army over French invaders.
The local Big Parade is held along Jefferson Boulevard in the heart of one of the most important Mexican-American communities in Dallas. Floats, walking groups, art exhibits, music, dancing, and food vendors are among the attractions.
Showcasing more than 20 Asian countries, the Dallas Asian Festival has been a popular local event for over 25 years. Held in May to observe Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, it is the largest Asian festival in North Texas.
Activities include cultural performances, a themed marketplace, information about Eastern health practices, and traditional food vendors.
For over 30 years, Taste of Dallas has been the one-stop sampling experience featuring the best food and beverages in the Metroplex. Visitors can try dishes from over 60 Dallas restaurants, food trucks, and vendors, visit the beer and wine gardens showcasing the talents of local brewmasters and vintners, or shop for unique food products that are certified “Go Texan”.
Fair Park Fourth does not disappoint. Besides a massive fireworks display, other activities include patriotic music, food trucks, fountain shows and games and rides within the State Fair of Texas Midway.
Held in nearby Addison, Kaboom Town is the largest fireworks show in the DFW and is nationally-recognized as one of the Top 10 4th of July celebrations in America. The 30-minute display uses over 1,500 pounds of fireworks and attracts over 400,000 visitors annually.
Besides the pyrotechnics, the other main attraction is the Freedom Flyover, featuring historic vintage warplanes.
Fort Worth celebrates its Western heritage with the “Best Cowboy Tribute” event in America. Held in the historic Fort Worth Stockyard District, this family-friendly event includes such pioneer activities as chuck wagons, a parade and rodeo, comedy gunfights, armadillo racing, cowboy poetry, and hands-on calf-roping training.
Celebrating both National Watermelon Day and National Farmers Market week, this festival is filled with fun activities for the family — watermelon bowling, eating contests, a barnyard petting zoo, speed-spitting contests, and a scavenger hunt. Best of all, you can support Texas agriculture by picking up a ripe watermelon or other farm-fresh produce.
Held in nearby Denton, this event attracts over 100,000 people annually. This is a perfect small fair experience in the days leading up to the Texas State Fair and includes the best in Texas country music, cook-offs, tractor pulls, and even swimming and racing pigs.
Providing the ultimate art experience in Dallas, this three-day event celebrates everything having to do with music and visual art. Over 100 musical acts and more than 200 visual artists will be represented at this year’s event, which will also include dozens of food vendors.
NOTE: The Deep Ellum Arts Festival features an eclectic and bohemian assortment of artists, which means some of the works may be edgy or even adult in nature. Discretion is advised.
This 24-day event is one of the premier state fairs in the country, attracting over two million visitors annually. The iconic Big Tex statue welcomes fairgoers to a celebration of everything Texas — rides, games, concessions, live music, shopping, and the largest new car show in the Southwest region of the United States.
The centerpiece of the State Fair is the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma, which has been played since 1929.
With dozens of musical acts and more than 80 visual artists, this festival showcases the best talent in the DFW area. Other activities include a “Taste of Texas” food market, an antiques market, magicians, a family fishing tournament, and a car and motorcycle show.
Featuring over 180,000 lights and 10 miles of wiring, this holiday display in nearby Frisco is the largest choreographed music and light show in North Texas. Running from late November through New Year’s, this free show attracts over 750,000 visitors every year.
Other activities include skating, carriage rides, visits with Santa, and shopping.
Held the first Saturday in December, the premier holiday celebration in Dallas draws 450,000 visitors every year. Attractions include festive holiday floats, giant balloons, dance teams, marching bands, and Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Holiday Parade is the largest one day outdoor event in the Dallas metro.
The oldest marathon in Texas has been held in Dallas since 1971. That first race saw only 82 runners, but today’s race draws thousands. Now, the weekend includes a 100m dash, 5k and 10k races, relays, and half, full, and ultra marathons.
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Moving to Dallas-Fort Worth can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you are new to Texas. Everything really IS bigger and better in Texas, including the list of reasons to live here — a rich history, a diverse community, amazing culture, fantastic career opportunities, beautiful weather, and perhaps best of all, the ability to live in a small town and still experience everything that a world-class metropolis has to offer.
(Although for some, the best part is not having to pay income tax in the State of Texas.)
To make things easier, we have put together this Guide to Moving to Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas-Fort Worth By the Numbers
Here are a few statistics about the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex:
Population: 7,573,136 (1 in Texas, #4 in the U.S.)
Economy: The 2020 GDP was $620.6 billion, the 20th-largest economy in the world.
Number of Fortune 500 companies: 22, the 4th-highest concentration in the U.S.
Unemployment Rate: 6.0 versus 6.1 U.S. (as of May 2021)
Median Household Income: $72,265versus $65,712 U.S.
Median Home Sale Price: $351,750, up 11.8% over 2020 (as of June 2021)
Why Should You Move to Dallas-Fort Worth?
Several of the cities in and around Dallas are consistently included in many annual “Best of” lists:
What Are the Neighborhoods Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington?
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington is a huge metropolitan area that sprawls across nearly 9300 square miles. There are literally hundreds of individual residential neighborhoods, each with its own unique history, culture, and amenities.
To make things much simpler, here are the major neighborhoods in the two biggest cities, Dallas and Fort Worth, and links to their respective neighborhood or homeowner’s associations. We present these with one important caveat — NOTHING beats seeing these neighborhoods for yourself. After you have narrowed down your choices as to where to buy or build a home in DFW, take some time to explore your options in person.
NOTE: Homes without homeowner or neighborhood associations are not listed.
When it comes to the job market in DFW, the news is very encouraging.
As of July 2021, the unemployment rate in DFW is barely above that of the United States as a whole and significantly lower than that of the State of Texas.
Here’s where DFW cities are today, compared to a year ago:
Dallas: 5.4% (July 2021) versus 8.4% (August 2020)
Fort Worth: 6.7% versus 7.9%
Arlington: 6.6% versus 7.7%
Irving: 6.0% versus 7.9%
Plano: 5.0% versus 6.3%
Garland: 5.9% versus 7.3%
Frisco: 4.3% versus 5.5%
Grand Prairie: 6.6% versus 8.1
Denton: 5.5 versus 6.3
To put those numbers in comparison, the current unemployment rate in the United States is 5.4%, while that of Texas is 6.2%.
What are the Top Industries in DFW?
According to the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, which supports economic development for all of North Texas, DFW has a very diverse industrial structure, meaning employment is distributed among several sectors, rather than disproportionately concentrated on a few types of industries.
In fact, the DRC notes that DFW has the third-most diverse industry among all U.S. metros.
The key DFW industry super sectors are:
Advanced Services — Corporate headquarters, management control, corporate support services, financial services, consulting, insurers, legal services, etc.
Nearly two dozen Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters in the Dallas area, including 3 in the top 10.
Over 52,000 advanced services establishments provide approximately 700,000 local jobs.
Aviation and Aerospace — Two major airlines are headquartered locally — American Airlines in Fort Worth and Southwest Airlines in Dallas. There are over 600 aerospace companies in DFW, providing more than 90,000 jobs.
Financial Activities — DFW is one of the major financial hubs in the country. There are over 12,000 local establishments dealing with finance, investing, credit, or insurance, providing more than 250,000 jobs.
Food — DFW has been a food hub for more than 100 years, and major companies such as Frito-Lay, Borden, Jamba Juice, Sysco, Anaheuser-Busch, and many others has established headquarters or significant operations locally.
In total, 15,000 establishments provide approximately 370,000 jobs.
Health Care — Dallas is home to national-rated institutions such as Baylor Medical Center, University of Texas Medical Center, and the burn unit at Parkland Hospital, as well as numerous other premier hospitals, health care facilities, research programs, and medical equipment manufacturers.
Over one million people are employed in medicine or related health care fields in DFW.
High Tech — DFW has the sixth-highest concentration of high-tech jobs in the United States, and is a growing center for such emerging technologies as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, next-generation wireless broadband, bioscience, and medical technology.
There are approximately 330,000 people employed in high-tech jobs in DFW.
Hospitality — DFW is the most-visited metro in the State of Texas and is a major hub for sporting events, concerts, conventions, and entertainment, as well as the home of the Texas State Fair.
Year-over-year, the leisure and hospitality super sector in DFW saw an employment increase of over 80%.
Life Sciences — This industry is dominated locally by medical device manufacturing, optical technology, and pharmaceuticals. Core strengths of the DFW life sciences industry includes research involving cancer, neurology, the brain, and dental health.
More than 1200 local establishments provide over 27,000 life science jobs in DFW.
Logistics — Thanks to its central location, DFW offers outstanding shipping and distribution services with easy access to rail, air, and trucking. The Alliance Global Logistic Hub is the premier inland port in the country.
The DFW logistics industry provides more than 300,000 local jobs.
Manufacturing — DFW has more manufacturing activity than any other metropolitan area in the state. Local plants include Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, General Motors, Mary Kay, Louis Vuitton, and many others.
The nearly 7000 manufacturing establishments provide over 287,000 manufacturing jobs in DFW.
Dallas’ highest sales tax is 8.25%, and in some areas, is just 6.25% compared to 8.875% in New York City and 8.5% in San Francisco.
Texas has NO state income tax, while the average in California is 7.75% — the highest in the nation. At 5.99% New York’s average is 8th-highest.
The tax climate inTexas is very attractive to businesses because there is no corporate tax. California, on the other hand, charges 8.84%, while New York State charges 7.1%.
Conversely, Texas has the highest property tax among the three — 1.81%, compared to just .74% in California and 1.35% in the State of New York.
Due primarily to special state excise taxes, a gallon of gas is only $2.83 in Texas, compared to $4.40 in California and $3.22 in New York State, while a pack of cigarettes can be as high as $6.37, $8.31, and $12.85, respectively.
Is Dallas-Fort Worth Good for Families?
Families who are new to the area will find a lot to like about Dallas-Fort Worth, especially if they choose the right neighborhood to buy or build a house.
In February 2021, Travel + Leisure included the Dallas-Fort Worth area on its list of the 11 Best Cities to Retire. DFW was the only Texas location that made the list
Why is DFW so attractive to retirees?
With zero income tax, including on retirement income, and low city/state tax rates retirees can make their money stretch much further.
The actual climate in North Texas is also a major draw. Warm weather and mild winters encourage an active lifestyle. The Dallas Parks System maintains nearly 400 parks totalling over 20,000 acres. The Dallas Trail Plan has almost 160 milesof trails suitable for hiking or biking.
It also helps that DFW has one of the finest health care systems in America, with multiple hospitals ranked highly in both the state and nationally.
Finally, the many smaller suburbs and close-knit neighborhoods offer the feel of small-town connections with all the amenities of the nearby big city.
Pros and Cons of Living in Dallas-Fort Worth
Job Market — Low unemployment, diverse industries, major corporations
Favorable tax climate
Lower Cost of Living — Especially when compared to cities in California or New York.
Mild Winters — DFW enjoys an average of 232 sunny days.
DFWs central location puts it within just a few hours’ driving distance of many other major cities — .Austin 182 miles, Oklahoma City 190 miles, Houston 239 miles, San Antonio 275 miles, Little Rock 293 miles, Baton Rouge 370 miles, and Topeka 437 miles.
World-class medical facilities
Fantastic shopping experiences
Concerts and plays
Moderately-high property taxes
The inventory of homes for sale is very low in some neighborhoods, especially within the City of Dallas. This is why many people buy or build a home in a DFW suburb.
Long, hot summers.
High crime in some areas.
Many areas are car-dependent.
Fun Facts about Dallas-Fort Worth
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has a long and rich history that gives “The Big D” a character unlike any other metro.
The frozen margarita was invented in Dallas. The original machine now sits in the Smithsonian Museum
Other Dallas inventions include the microchip, the ATM. German Chocolate Cake, and the shopping center.
60% of all paper money in America is printed in Fort Worth.
The term “Super Bowl” was coined by Dallas native Lamar Hunt, who founded and owned the Kansas City Chiefs.
Hunt is also a member of THREE sport Halls of Fame — football, tennis, and soccer.
7-11 — the country’s first convenience store — was founded in Dallas, way back in 1927 as “Tote-Em”.
More popcorn is eaten in DFW than anywhere else.
DFW Airport is larger than Manhattan.
It also contains the world’s largest parking lot.
The Dallas Arts District is the biggest in the country.
The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders were the first professional squad.
During World War II, White Rock Lake was a POW camp for German soldiers.
Famous people from DFW include:
Singers John Denver, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez, Norah Jones, Lisa Loeb, Demi Lovato, Meat Loaf, LeAnn Rimes, Jessica Simpson, Usher, and Vanilla Ice
Actors Katre Capshaw, Morgan Fairchild, Peri Gilpin, Luke and Owen Wilson, Robin Wright, and Ginger Rogers.
President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush
Outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker
Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald
The Bottom Line About Moving to Dallas-Fort Worth
DFW is a sprawling and vibrant community that offers endless opportunities for newcomers and transplants from out-of-state. Considering the strong job market, the very affordable cost of living, the rich and diverse culture, the warm, sunny weather, and the friendly neighborhoods, Dallas-Fort Worth should be strongly considered as your next move.
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Deciding where to build a home in Dallas is a matter of lifestyle. Just as your home has to meet the needs of your family, so does your surrounding neighborhood. But with literally hundreds to choose from in the Metroplex, how do you find a truly great neighborhood in the Dallas area? While it would be impossible to include them all, we’ve done the homework to put together this list of Great Dallas Neighborhoods for Families.
We looked at:
Schools — For public schools, we used ratings from GreatSchools.org, while for private schools, we used grades assigned by Niche.com. In addition to benefiting your childrens’ education, having highly-ranked schools nearby increases the value of your home.
*** For our Comprehensive Review of Public Schools Around Dallas, CLICK HERE ***
Crime Rate — We used ratings from CrimeGrade.org. It should come as no surprise that lower crime rates and safer neighborhoods mean higher property values. On average, a crime occurs in the Dallas metro every two minutes.
Medical Care — What hospitals or clinics are nearby? This is a particularly important consideration if someone in your family has special medical needs.
Parks/Outdoor Activities — Research supports the many benefits of city parks and greenspaces — improved physical and mental health, children who are more physically active, less pollution, better water conservation, a greater sense of community, and again, higher property values.
Shopping — Having a neighborhood grocery store is convenient and can save busy parents a lot of time. Even better, building a home near some grocery stores can result in a 5-year appreciation of nearly 70%.
Walkability — How easy is it to get around the neighborhood on foot? If you can leave your car in the garage and still enjoy everything your neighborhood has to offer, you will help the environment while saving money on gas, maintenance, and insurance.
As an added bonus, even a 1-point improvement on a neighborhood’s walkability score can increase your home’s value by $3250.
The overall Walkability Score for the City of Dallas is 46, which is considered to be “Car-Dependent”. This means that those neighborhoods with higher scores should be given serious consideration,
We hope that you find our list of the Great Dallas Neighborhoods for Families interesting and useful. Please remember, there is no substitute for experiencing a neighborhood in person before making the final decision on where to build your custom home.
Walnut Hill 75229
Median Home Value: $580,788
The Walnut Hill neighborhood is bounded to the North by Royal Lane to the North, Walnut Hill Lane to the South, Midway Road to the East, and Marsh Lane to the West.
The local population stands at roughly 3100 residents, 45% of whom hold Bachelor’s Degrees or above. The median household income is over $167,000, and 28% of families have children. At 89%, home ownership is very high in Walnut Hill.
In the Northwest corner of the neighborhood is Peter Pan Park, which connects across Royal Lane to Cox Lane Park. In the Southeast corner, directly South of Walnut Hill Elementary School is the 9.7-acre Walnut Hill Park and Recreation Center, which features a playground, a baseball field, a basketball court, tennis courts, picnic tables, a fitness center, and a public pool.
There are a few fast-food chains along the Western edge of the neighborhood, but the real draw is a group of highly-rated Mexican restaurants within 2 miles, just West on Walnut Hill Lane.
Grocery store options in Walnut Hill include an in-neighborhood El Rancho Supermercado, and within 2 miles, a Rio Grande Supermarket in the North and a Fiesta Mart, a Terry’s Supermarket, and a Wal-Mart Supercenter to the South.
Walkability Score: 58 (Somewhat Walkable)
Median Home Value: $403,040
Located North of Downtown Dallas between Richardson and Addison, Prestonwood is bounded by Davenport Road/Brentfield Drive on the North, Belt Line Road on the South, North Colt Road on the East, and Preston Road in the West.
Median household income is $105,487, and 36% of adults have a Bachelor’s Degree or above, both well above the National Average. There are approximately 22,000 residents in Prestonwood, and 35% of families have children.
72% of homes in Prestonwood are owned, rather than rented.
Crime Grade: B — In every area of both violent and property crime, the rates in Prestonwood are much lower than the National Average.
Closest Hospital: Less than 3 Miles
Prestonwood is home to Kiowa Park, Hillwood Park, Kiowa Parkway, and Prestonwood Creek Golf Course. White Rock Creek runs through the golf course.
About a mile West of Prestonwood Creek Golf Course are a spate of restaurants, from steak to fine dining to fast food. Among the standouts is Flower Child, a from-scratch vegan restaurant.
Just West of the golf course is a Wal-Mart SuperCenter, and at the Southeast tip, there is a Trader Joe’s and a Tomb Thumb.
Walkability Score: 65 (Somewhat Walkable)
University Park 75205
Median Home Value: $1,295,500
The suburb of University Park, located directly West of Southern Methodist University, is primarily bounded by West Northwest Highway in the North, Mockingbird Lane on the South, Eastern Avenue on the West and North Central Expressway on the East. In other words, it is bordered by Dallas on the East, West, and North, and by Highland Park on the South.
With a median household income of over $224,000, University Park is one of the most-affluent cities in America. There are approximately 25,000 residents, 44% of whom hold a Master’s Degree or higher.
Crime Grade: A+ for Central and Northeast University Park
Closest Hospital: Less than 3 miles
There are several local city parks, including Williams Park, Smith Park, Linear Park, Goar Park, Germany Park, Elena’s Children’s Park, Curtis Park, Coffee Park, Caruth Park, and Burleson Park. The city also maintains six public tennis courses.
Curtis Park is also home to the Holmes Aquatic Center which has two pools, diving boards, a water slide, and a sprayground.
The majority of local restaurants are Southeast of Curtis Park, and among the offerings are German, Mediterranean, Asian fusion, French bistro, and a highly-rated Italian trattoria.
There are grocery stores at the boundaries of University Park in every direction — several Tom Thumbs, a Kroger, and a Trader Joe’s.
Walkability Score: 60 (Somewhat Walkable)
Canyon Creek 75080
Median Home Value: $413,317
Located East of the University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson’s Canyon Creek neighborhood is considered one of the top places to live in all of Texas. The population stands at roughly 4400 residents, over a third of whom hold Master’s Degrees or above, and the median household income is nearly $136,000.
39% of Canyon Creek families have children, and 78% of homes are owned, rather than rented.
Crime Grade: B- — Violent crime rates are much lower than the National Average, while property crime is significantly lower.
Closest Hospital: Less than 3 miles
Immediately East of Canyon Creek Elementary School is Canyon Creek Park, which includes a well-equipped playground and a public swimming pool. To the Northeast of that is a long swath of undeveloped greenspace. Less than a mile away is the Canyon Creek Country Club, which offers 18 holes of golf, tennis courts, and a resort-style swimming pool.
Among the obligatory burger, pizza, barbecue, and Mexican restaurants nearby is an unexpected choice — Hoki Poki, which specializes in sushi and Hawaiin cuisine.
Just a few blocks South of Canyon Creek Elementary is a Natural Grocers, and for those who prefer chain supermarkets, there are Tom Thumb stores located less than two miles away, one to the West and one to the North.
Walkability Score: 88 (Very Walkable)
Median Home Value: $184,424
Plano’s Clearview neighborhood is bounded in the North by West Spring Creek Parkway, in the South by Cambridge Drive, in the East by Premier Drive and in the West by Alma Drive.
Clearview is a small neighborhood with a population of just over2300 residents, of whom 35% hold Bachelor’s Degrees or above. The median household income is $102,000, and 77% of homes are owned, rather than rented.
Most of the chain restaurant choices are just to the Southeast, less than 1 mile away, but directly East are a popular sushi grill and a Vietnamese eatery.
Clearview has a convenient location, with multiple grocery options within 2 miles in every direction. There are familiar choices like Wal-Mart Supercenter, Aldi, Tom Thumb, and Fiesta Mart, but real foodies will appreciate the specialty grocery stores — Brazilian, Indian, and Caribbean.
Walkability Score: 58 (Somewhat Walkable) Clearview is the most-walkable neighborhood in Plano.
Mill Run 75007
Median Home Value for Zip Code 75007: $240,000
Located approximately 20 miles North of the center of Dallas, Mill Run in Carrollton is bounded by Bellflower Court/Drive on the North, Frankford Road on the South, Mayfair Drive on the East, and Old Denton Road on the West .
The local population stands at roughly 56,000 residents, 30% of whom hold Bachelor’s Degrees or above. The median household income is almost $87,000, and 32% of families have children.
72% of homes in zip code 75007 are owned, rather than rented.
There are 13 city parks and recreational areas in Colleyville:
Bransford Park — A two-acre mini-park with open spaces and wind sculptures
Colleyville City Park — A 40-acre sports park with nine lighted softball and baseball fields, six tennis courts, basketball courts, and a one-mile trail, as well as a pond, a covered pavilion, and an amphitheater
Colleyville Nature Center — A 46-acre refuge with 3.5 miles of trails, a covered pavilion with grills, an amphitheater, a playground, 9 ponds, and a fishing pier
Cotton Belt Trail — Suitable for walkers, runners, and cyclists, this regional trail connects Colleyville, Grapevine, Hurst, and North Richland Hills.
Kidsville — A 10,000 square foot playground and picnic area
Kimzey Park — A 20-acre public park with a playground, a pavilion, and open play area, a basketball court, a practice backstop, a sand volleyball court, a multi-use trail, and a one-acre fishing pond
LD Lockett Park — A tranquil area with ponds, walking trails, and picnic areas
McPherson Park — Besides the “normal” offerings of a playground, a splash pad, trails, and picnic areas, there is also a renovated dairy barn from the 1800s.
Pleasant Run Soccer Complex and Park — This premier 33-acre facility contains soccer practice and game fields, picnic arrears, and a one-mile multi-use trail.
Reagan Park — This five-acre park contains batting cages and two lighted softball and baseball fields.
Sparger Park — An eight-acre park with two playgrounds, open play spaces, a half-mile trail, and a POW memorial
Woodbriar Park — A playground, a pavilion, a multi-use trail, and a designed arbor
In town, there is a driving range, and just to the Northeast is the Timarron Country Club.
Local restaurant options include Mexican, New American, fine Italian seafood, and chain eateries like the Cheesecake Factory and Pappadeux’s.
There are Kroger supermarkets on the Northwest and Southeast edges of Colleyville, and less than 4 miles to the East, there is a Tom Thumb and two Albertsons.
Walkability Score: The areas around Colleyville are very rural and thus car-dependent, but within the city, the score is as high as 58 (Somewhat Walkable).
Median Home Value: $388,800
The bedroom community of Coppell is located in the Northwest corner of Dallas County, roughly 23 miles from downtown Dallas. The rough boundaries of Coppell are Lewisville in the North, Dallas and Irving in the South, Carrollton in the East, and Grapevine in the West.
The population of Coppell is approximately 42,000 residents, 29% of whom hold a Master’s Degree or above. The median household income is over $122,000, and 44% of families have children.
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When planning to build a custom home in Dallas, one of the biggest things to consider is the quality of the local schools. In fact, if you have minor children, finding a neighborhood with good schools may be your TOP priority.
But because there are over 350 public elementary, middle, and high schools in the Dallas area, finding just the right neighborhood with just the right schools can seem overwhelming. Even worse, the Fair Housing Act prohibits realtors from directly informing buyers about specific schools in specific neighborhoods.
To make this task a bit less daunting, we have put together this guide that gives you the information you need to know, both as a parent and as a potential builder and homeowner.
NOTE: We have tried to be as comprehensive as possible, but there is no substitute for seeing a school with your own eyes. Please use this guide as a tool to help you narrow down your choices, and then schedule in-person school tours before making your final decision.
Schools Matter More Than You Might Think
“It’s common knowledge that buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a home in a strong school district.“
~ Javier Vivas, Research Analyst, Realtor.com
Realtor.com says that neighborhood schools matter when choosing where to live even if you do not have children. This is because homes located in good school districts hold their value better than those in neighborhoods with less-highly-regarded schools.
For example, in 2016, a Realtor.com analysis compared home prices in school districts with ratings of 9 or 10 on GreatSchools.org with those in districts with a rating of 6 or less. Nationwide, the homes in higher-ranked school districts were 77% more expensive than those in lower-ranked districts.
If you decide to build your home in a highly-ranked school district in the DFW area, other benefits include:
Should you ever decide to sell, properties in higher-ranked school districts are viewed 42% more than homes in below-average districts.
On average, they also sell 8 days faster.
Specific to the local area, that same analysis found that home prices in the Highland Park Independent School District are 632% higher than elsewhere in Dallas County. As of this writing, 3 schools in Highland Park ISD have a 10 rating, 1 has a 9, and another has an 8 rating.
In Dallas County, there are 16 different school districts. We will examine each in greater detail.
NOTE: Although we have tried to be as comprehensive as possible, if a particular school does not have a rating on GreatSchools.com, we did not include it here. Also, because they are not rated, we did not include preschools,
Dallas ISD serves 154,000studentsin 230 schools and over 384 square miles, encompassing the North Texas cities of:
Dallas ISD is the second-largest school district in Texas and the 16th-largestin the United States. District-wide, the four-year graduation rate is 87%.
The property tax rate for Dallas ISD is $1.310385 per $100 in valuation.
To locate your neighborhood school, simply enter your address into the Dallas ISD School Finder. For each school, we provide a snapshot below. Unless otherwise noted, schools are within Dallas City Limits.
Superior Schools (10 or 9 ratings on GreatSchools.org)
The Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District covers over 53 square miles and provides educational services to students who live in parts of not just Carrollton and Farmers Branch, but also Addison, Coppell, Dallas, and Irving. Unlike most other districts, CFBISD offers ‘Limited Open Enrollment’, which allows students who live outside the district’s boundaries to attend nonetheless.
The 38 school campuses in the CFBISD serve more than 25,500 students. District-wide, the four-year graduation rate is nearly 95%, and over 10% of students are identified as “gifted and talented”.
The property tax rate for CFBISD is $1.2547 per $100 of valuation.
Superior Schools (10 or 9 ratings on GreatSchools.org)
The Cedar Hill Independent School District covers 36 square miles and provides instructional services to children living in most of Cedar Hill, as well as parts of Dallas, Duncanville, Ovilla, and Grand Prairie.
The 11 school campuses in the CHISD serve more than 7,600 students. District-wide, the four-year graduation rate is an impressive 100%.
Coppell is conveniently located about 5 miles north of DFW airport, west of I-35E and north of I-635.
The Coppell Independent School District covers over 23 square miles and has a total enrollment of more than 13,000 students. CISD includes most of Coppell and parts of Lewisville, Dallas, Grapevine, Irving, and the Valley Ranch development. To best serve these communities, there are 11 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 2 high schools, and a 9th-grade campus.
The numbers show that CSID is a premium school system in the State of Texas:
80% of all students perform at or above grade level in all subjects.
The State average is just 50%
54% of students master their grade level.
The State average is only 24%.
The mean SAT score of CISD students is 1288.
The Statewide mean SAT score is 1036.
The average ACT score of CISD students is 25.5.
The Statewide average is 20.6.
64% of CISD teachers have 6 or more years of experience.
The property tax rate for CISD is $1.2834 per $100 of valuation.
Superior Schools (10 or 9 ratings on GreatSchools.org)
DeSoto Independent School District is located approximately 15 miles south of Dallas. DISD covers over 23 square miles and has a total enrollment of more than 8,700 students. DISD includes most of DeSoto, along with portions of Cedar Hill, Ovilla, and Glenn Heights.
The property tax rate for DISD is $1.49 per $100 of valuation.
Average Schools (6 or 5 rating on GreatSchools.org)
Duncanville Independent School District is located approximately 16 miles southwest of Dallas, along Interstate 20 and State Highway 67. DISD serves all of Duncanville and portions of Cedar Hill, Dallas, and DeSoto. The total enrollment is more than 12,800 students.
Responsible for the education of these students are 803 teachers and 139 aides. Almost 60% of teachers have 6 or more years of experience.
The property tax rate for DISD is $1.3676 per $100 of valuation.
Located 20 miles south of Dallas, Ferris Independent School District educates approximately 2700 students across five campuses, all located in Ferris. FISD serves the City of Ferris, Bristol, Trumbull, and parts of Southern Dallas County.
The property tax rate for FISD is $1.355 for every $100 in valuation.
Encompassing 100 square miles and with a total enrollment of nearly 56,000 students, Garland Independent School District is the second-largest school district in Dallas County and the 15th-largest in the State of Texas. Extending northeast from the Dallas city limits to past the county line, GISD serves the communities of Garland, Sachse, and Rowlett, as well as portions of Wylie and Dallas.
Unlike most other districts, GISD has no attendance zone, meaning families can choose their campus. 98% of students are granted their first school of choice. All schools are located in Garland, except where otherwise noted.
GISD has a stellar 92% graduation rate, and college preparation is facilitated by free AP, PSAT, and SAT exams.
The property tax rate for GISD is $1.3463 per $100 of valuation.
Superior Schools (10 or 9 rating on GreatSchools.org)
Located 23 miles northwest of Dallas, the Grape-vine-Colleyville Independent School District serves not only the cities of Grapevine and Colleyville, but also small portions of Southlake, Hurst, and Euless. GCISD has 17 traditional campuses to provide for the educational needs of nearly 14,000 students.
The graduation rate is over 97%, thanks in large part to the exceptional staff. Over a third of the teachers in GCISD hold advanced degrees, and they have an average of 12 years of experience.
The property tax rate in GCISD is $1.3031.
Superior Schools (10 or 9 rating on GreatSchools.org)
Encompassing just 6 square miles,Highland Park Independent School District serves the “Park Cities” of Highland Park and University Park, as well as two small portions of Dallas, and has a total enrollment of nearly 7000 students.
For years, HPISD has been one of the top school systems in America.
97% of graduates attend college.
During the 2019-2020 academic year, high school students in the district had a composite score of 27.3 on the ACT, more than 7 points above the State average.
The SAT composite score was 1281, exceeding both the State and National averages by over 200 points.
13 students were named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists.
47 were recognized as National AP Scholars.
576 won Advanced Placement Scholar Awards,
Besides academics, HPISD sports teams have won 123 State titles. In fact, the Highland Park Scots are the winningest football team in Texas history, with over 800 wins and 6 State championships.
Finally, HPISD helps build strong character. Students from the graduating class of 2021 donated over 60,000 hours of community service.
Excellence in academics, athletics, and the fine arts explain why Highland Park High has won the Texas University Interscholastic League ‘Lone Star Cup’ an unprecedented 12 times.
The property tax rate in Highland Park is $1.0974 per $100 of valuation.
Superior Schools (10 or 9 rating on GreatSchools.org)
in the northwest tip of Dallas County, the 49-square mile area serviced by the Irving Independent School District includes portions of Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Las Colinas, as well as most of Irving. It does not include the Valley Ranch development located within Irving City Limits. Total enrollment is approximately 33,000students.
IISD boasts a laudable graduation rate of over 95%, and students can take the ACT, PSAT. SAT, AP. and TSI for free. District schools offer 30 Advanced Placement and 40 dual credit courses. The 2000-plus students who took dual credit courses saved more than $760,000 in college tuition.
The property tax rate in IISD is $1.2751 per $100 of valuation.
Located east of Dallas and extending slightly into Kaufman County, the Mesquite Independent School District serves nearly 40,000 students across 48 campuses. Covering 60 square miles on both sides of Interstate 635, MISD encompasses not only most of the City of Mesquite, but also portions of Seagoville, Garland, Batch Springs, and Dallas.
Located northeast of Dallas and covering 39 square miles, Richardson Independent School District includes most of the City of Richardson, as well as portions of Garland and Dallas. In fact, 65% of RISD is in North Dallas.
The district has a total enrollment of over 39,000 students on 55 campuses.
Sunnyvale Independent School District is located on the easternmost boundary of Dallas County, about 15 miles away from the City of Dallas. SISD is relatively small, encompassing just 17 square miles and serving approximately 1200 students. All of the campuses are within the Town of Sunnyvale.
79%of SISD teachers have 6 or more years of experience.
The average SAT score among SISD students is 1174, well above both the State and National averages.
88% of graduates are career, college, or military ready.
The property tax rate for SISD is $1.784 per $100 of valuation.
https://www.dallascustomhomebuilderblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/School-bus.jpg442640Dallas Custom Home Builder Bloghttps://www.dallascustomhomebuilderblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Copy-of-Dallas-Custom-Home-Builder-Blog-300x88.pngDallas Custom Home Builder Blog2021-07-28 21:45:422022-01-17 16:21:25A Comprehensive Review of the Public School Systems around Dallas, Texas