Things to Do in Dallas
Simple but profoundly moving, the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Dallas comprises a granite slab bearing the assassinated president’s name etched in gold. The slab is surrounded by soaring concrete walls that appear to be free-floating, capturing the feeling of loss felt around the world following Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963.
John F. Kennedy’s presidency, ending with his assassination in Dallas, profoundly shaped American history. Explore his legacy at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Filled with insightful exhibits that celebrate JFK’s personal and political life, you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of this notable American president.
Pioneer Plaza, located in downtown Dallas’ Convention Center District, honors the 19th-century cattle drives on the Shawnee Trail with a bronze sculpture of 49 longhorn steer driven by three cowboys on horseback. With a waterfall and artificial cliffs, the park is one of the most popular tourist spots in Dallas.
The Dallas Arts District is a hub for performing arts, museums, and architecture, and at 69 acres and 19 blocks in size, it is one of the largest urban arts districts in the United States. Visitors interested in the arts will want to check out the Winspear Opera House, Meyerson Symphony Center, and the Wyly Theatre, among others.
The oldest and largest zoo in Texas, the Dallas Zoo is home to hundreds of animals, including a herd of elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, ostriches, gorillas, and penguins. On the zoo’s 106 acres you’ll also find the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo, a highly rated reptile and amphibian exhibit, and the only koalas in Texas.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum explores the two terms of the United States’ 43rd president. Several exhibits tell the story of American history from 2001 to 2009, including the terrorist attacks of September 11, while the nation’s second-largest presidential library welcomes visitors to peruse official records and artifacts from Bush’s presidency.
The famous roadhouse-style barbecue steak, brisket, and ribs are only part of the story at Billy Bob’s Texas, dubbed the world’s largest honky tonk. More than 6,000 people can squeeze into the Fort Worth venue to watch country music concerts, hit the dance floor, dine at the restaurant, play arcade games, or watch a bull riding contest.
AT&T Stadium (previously named Cowboys Stadium) is a top attraction for sports fans visiting Dallas. Located in Arlington, Texas, the stadium is most famous for its resident Dallas Cowboys football team and giant retractable roof. In addition to football games, the venue hosts concerts and other events year-round.
The Dallas Arts District’s Nasher Sculpture Center is home to some of the finest examples of modern sculpture in the world. With more than 300 pieces in the permanent collection, visitors can see works by Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Pablo Picasso, and Alberto Giacometti, plus special exhibits featuring artwork on loan.
Fort Worth, once known as Cowtown, is a city that never forgot its roots. You can see those roots still honored at the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, where a Texas longhorn cattle herd takes to the streets daily. This festive ritual is exemplary of how the city continues to embrace its Cowboys and Culture brand.
More Things to Do in Dallas
Grapevine’s LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is a must for families with little and big builders. This vibrant space has an impressive number of rides and attractions, more than four million LEGO® pieces forming such amazing creations as a replica of the DFW area in striking detail, and 4D films included with your admission.
Based in downtown Dallas, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science offers a variety of exhibits at its Victory Park campus. The museum features 60,000 square feet (5,574 square meters) of hands-on activities, interactive displays, games, and activities. Special events are planned throughout the year for both kids and adults.
Beyond anything you’d expect inside a mall, atSEA LIFE® Aquarium Dallas you can immerse yourself in the oceanic environment filled with sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, clownfish, jellyfish, touch tanks, and more. Visitors of all ages will love walking through the 360-degree ocean tunnel, watching fish swim overhead.
Located in the heart of downtown Dallas, Reunion Tower has been a city landmark since 1978. Referred to affectionately as “The Ball” by locals, the tower offers sweeping panoramic views from the only indoor/outdoor observation deck in the city, plus high-definition telescopes and cameras, interactive exhibits, and two rotating restaurants.
Dealey Plaza is a public park in Dallas, Texas, best known as the location where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, fired on by a sniper from the Texas School Book Depository. A museum focusing on Kennedy and the assassination now occupies the former depository, and there are various remembrances around the plaza.
Calling all thrill seekers! The Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park in Dallas is the only amusement park in the US exclusively dedicated to extreme thrills. With five different adrenaline-pumping adventures, the park offers free falls, high-speed drops, and spinning at four g-force for those who dare.
Described by visitors as more zoo than aquarium, the quaint Dallas World Aquarium provides a unique experience attractive to families. Feel like you’ve entered a real rain forest at the aquarium’s re-creation of the South American Orinoco Rain Forest, home to colorful birds and the only three-toed-sloth exhibit in the US.
Transport to a time of knights, kings, and queens at Medieval Times in Dallas, a unique dining and live-action experience that’s entertaining for the whole family. Enjoy a four-course feast included with your ticket while you watch sword fights, jousting from horseback, and even falcons in flight.
Considered one of the best malls ever by some travelers, NorthPark Center in Dallas offers a high-end shopping experience in a glamorous environment with mirrors, marble, and glass. In addition to department stores such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Dillard’s, the mall is home to a variety of restaurants.
Fair Park is not only one of the largest state fairgrounds in the country but a step back in time to 1886, when the Dallas State Fair—today the State Fair of Texas—first opened; the world’s fair also took place here in 1936. You can still view the park’s extensive original art deco architecture and ride the nation’s largest Ferris wheel.
If you’re a fan of luxury brands and a leisurely day that includes a decadent lunch and plenty of exercise for your credit cards, head to the Neiman Marcus flagship store in downtown Dallas. This 1914 Beaux Arts department store, which occupies a full block on Marcus Square, including an on-site restaurant and espresso bar.
The Arlington outpost of Six Flags Over Texas is home to about 50 rides, with new ones popping up every few years. Here you’ll find something for any age, from gentle Yosemite Sam’s Texas Tea Cups for little ones to Titan, a stomach-churning roller coaster, plus several water rides for cooling off on a hot Texas summer day.
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