Things to Do in Dallas

They say big things happen in Dallas, and it’s true. The city is rich in arts, history, sports, and special events to keep locals and visitors alike busy year-round. More interested in pampering yourself? You can do that in Dallas, too. Here are some of our favorite options for getting out of the house, spending a day with friends, or treating the grand children to a day to remember.

Appreciate the arts

The Dallas Museum of Art downtown offers free general admission to everyone, every day. (Special exhibitions require a ticket purchase.) The museum holds more than 23,000 works from around the world and across thousands of years, so plan on visiting more than once to make fresh discoveries. If you’d rather appreciate the arts outdoors, the Nasher Sculpture Center, also downtown, offers indoor and outdoor galleries filled with contemporary and modern sculpture and paintings.

Revisit local history

Time-travel to the days of Texas cattle drives at Pioneer Plaza outside the city’s convention center. The centerpiece of this outdoor display is the life-size team of cowboys on horseback riding herd on 49 longhorns—all sculpted from bronze. Bring the family and your friends here for photos.

The Sixth Floor Museum at the Texas School Book Depository is one of the most-visited landmarks in the city. Exhibits give social and political context to the JFK assassination, and a cellphone tour of nearby Dealey Plaza walks visitors through the events of November 22, 1963.

Explore the great outdoors (even indoors)

Spring and fall are great times to visit the Dallas Zoo and the Dallas Arboretum. The weather’s nice, the animals are more active than they are during the heat of summer, and many flowering plants are in bloom. On days when it’s too hot or cold to enjoy either of those attractions, check out the Dallas World Aquarium. There you’ll find sea life and other intriguing creatures from around the globe, like scorpionfish and giant geckoes.

Take yourself out to the ball game

There’s always a sport in season in Dallas. The Dallas Mavericks NBA team plays at the American Airlines Center from October through April, which is the same time frame when the Dallas Stars NHL team plays at the center. The Texas Rangers play at the Ballpark in Arlington from April to October, and the Dallas Cowboys take the field at AT&T Stadium from September to January.

A day at the fair

No discussion of things to do in Dallas is complete without mentioning the State Fair of Texas. This 130-year old autumn tradition brings tens of thousands of visitors to Fair Park for livestock shows, auto shows, live music, petting zoos, parades, chili and barbecue cook-offs, college football games, and all kinds of fried food on sticks. There are also beer and wine gardens, and cooking demonstrations by Texas chefs.

Make time to unwind

When you’re ready to relax, Dallas has lots of highly rated day spas to try. Among the most popular are the Green Lotus, with eco-friendly locations in Colleyville and Dallas, and Hiatus Spa + Retreat in the University Park neighborhood. Book a massage and a facial for yourself or with friends for a stress-busting get-together.

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