Blake Walsh

35 Best Things to Do in Dallas, TX

  • Published 2023/02/15

Dallas, rich in history and dramatic mythologies, is a city built upon tales of wild cowboys and cheerleading pomp.

Dallas, Texas, a city that has so far evaded the downtrend of most oil-based industries, is known for its glimmer and glam.

Go shopping at Uptown, sway to the jazz-filled Deep Ellu, or have fun at Bishop Arts District, a place teeming with indie cafés and boutiques.

Interested to know more about this stunning place?

Here are the 35 best things to do in Dallas, Texas:

Get Rowdy at the State Fair of Texas

Ferris wheel at State Fair of Texas

Nat Chittamai /

The State Fair of Texas is a month-long event that captures the spirit of Dallas.

As the massive Big Tex mascot beckons, roll into the high energy generated by the flock of visitors from across the country.

Imagine acres of everything good – greasy street food, events, bombastic concerts, and rides.

People at the State Fair of Texas

RaksyBH /

Meander between the countless stalls and attractions and prepare to splash out on quick bites and kitschy souvenirs.

Running from September to October yearly, the State Fair of Texas is worth scheduling your vacation around.

Booth games at the State Fair of Texas

warisara weerasorn /

Wander around Klyde Warren Park

People at Klyde Warren Park

kan_khampanya /

Located dab smack in uptown Dallas – in fact, poised over a freeway – you’re hard-pressed to find a green space like Klyde Warren Park.

Unique positioning aside, it is also highly accessible.

You can enjoy a casual stroll before helping yourself to one of the many food trucks and restaurants around the perimeter.

Arches at Klyde Warren Park's trail

Si Vo /

With multiple entertainments, Klyde Warren Park has a mini-amphitheater, storytelling tree, chess, table tennis corner, and a dog park.

Mingle with the locals and maybe catch a fun dance lesson or concert!

The grounds of Klyde Warren Park

Trong Nguyen /

Pay a Visit to the Dallas Museum of Art

Exterior of the Dallas Museum of Art

EQRoy /

Dallas Museum of Art is a multiple-time to-visit attraction–not only because entry is free.

Travel back thousands of years by scouring through some 23,000 artworks.

These strands of history are pieced together through galleries featuring Greek and Roman art and their African, Western European, Asian, and American counterparts.

Mural and sculptures at Dallas Museum of Art

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

Within the collection are masterpieces by Monet, Picasso, and Gauguin.

You can even dip your feet into fashion by visiting the recreated rooms of Coco Chanel.

Dallas Museum of Art is a must-see for everyone.

Interior of Dallas Museum of Art

SnapASkyline /

Visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza

Night scene at the Dealey Plaza

Sean Pavone /

Swerve around John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza for a bite of history – not only is it considered the “birthplace” of Dallas, but it is also the assassination site of John F. Kenney.

Designated as a historical landmark in 1993, many tourists wander around this neighborhood to observe the old structures that date back to the 1800s.

The plaza itself houses monuments around its perimeter in honor of prominent residents.

The grounds of John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza

f11photo /

Take Pictures of the Reunion Tower

Night lights of the Reunion Tower

Mihai_Andritoiu /

Not only does this Dallas stand out with its unique architectural design, but it is also the city’s 15th tallest building.

Marking over 500 feet, Reunion Tower is recognizable by its spherical head.

Take to the tower’s revolving platform for a 360-degree view of the city and complement your sightseeing tour with a good lunch.

It’s the perfect midday stop to fuel up and peer out.

Skyline views from Reunion Tower

Nate Hovee /

See the City View from Chase Tower Sky Lobby

People at Chase Tower Sky Lobby

travelview /

Get an alternate view from Chase Tower’s Sky Lobby if you’d rather not pay for the classic Reunion Tower visit.

Look over the city’s avenues and collages of architecture from 40 stories up, the ceiling-to-floor glass windows providing great angles for your cinematographic shot.

In fact, try and pinpoint attractions close to you.

It is an excellent way to narrow down your itinerary for the day.

Or, if you’re there at night, track the route you’ve taken and recount the fun activities you’ve accomplished.

Explore the Bishop Arts District

A building at Bishop Arts District

Epiglottis /

There’s always that one neighborhood that overloads on nostalgic charm and hipster vibes; in Dallas, welcome to Bishop Arts District.

Not only was it a busy trolley stop in the 1930s, but its historic roots also dig deep in antique shops.

Pop in and out of the independent boutiques that line the streets, and flash your cameras at the vibrant street art.

Archway of Bishop Arts District

Epiglottis /

Taste test at any of the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops or simply wander around the district.

A comfortable cluster of to-see and to-eat, it is the perfect area to wind down after a day of busy exploration.

A pie shop at Bishop Arts District

Epiglottis /

Cross the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

View of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge at night

CK Foto /

Photographers alert! Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is your destination of the day.

Not only is it the perfect place for a picture of the Dallas skyline, but its steel arch and cables also make for great subjects.

It also bridges restaurant hubs such as Trinity Groves and Sylvan 30.

After getting that requisite city shot, head to Trinity Groves for lively music and food.

Mexican, Asian, vegan, or seafood, they have it all.

Aerial view of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

f11photo /

Learn Something New at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Dinosaur skeleton in Perot Museum of Nature and Science

William Cushman /

Suitable for all ages, Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a solid itinerary choice if you’d like to add some science-ing to your adventures.

You will love it for the hands-on experiences, all 11 permanent exhibition halls combine video and informative displays with simulations, educational games, and other interactive initiatives.

There is also an impressive 35-foot fossil and a collection of robots that children flock to, conveniently grouped at the children’s museum.

Exterior of Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Philip Lange /

Visit the Sixth Floor Museum

Exterior of the Sixth Floor Museum

amadeustx /

Seated in a brown blocky building is the Sixth Floor Museum dedicated to President John F. Kennedy.

An interactive classroom that details his early life, presidential run, and later assassination is worth a visit for anyone wanting to learn more about American history.

You can take a self-guided audio tour, and even stand at the window from which the fatal shot was fired.

Round off the visit with quiet contemplation at the building’s café or book-filled gift shop.

Interior of the Sixth Floor Museum

Gilberto Mesquita /

Be Amazed at Nasher Sculpture Center

The grounds of Nasher Sculpture Center

Photo: Andreas Praefcke, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stunning features decorate the grounds of Nasher Sculpture Center, totaling over 300 statues crafted by Picasso, Rodin, Matisse, and their contemporaries.

Wander indoors and outdoors with your camera at the ready, but also learn more about the craft itself!

The venue is also beautifully designed, a project headed by the prolific Renzo Piano, who worked on other international architectures.

Run Wild in White Rock Lake Park

Bicycle ride along White Rock Lake Park

Bill Huang /

Look no further than White Rock Lake Park if you’re seeking a taste of wildlife in the middle of an urban jungle.

The broad roaming grounds allow plenty of space to run about, making it a popular venue for events and special runs.

The waters of White Rock Lake Park

chalita_k /

The lake, after which the park is named, also offers various things to do, including kayaking and canoeing and quiet banks to bird watch from.

Sweat it out on the hiking and biking trails or explore the wetlands; you can also settle down for a languid picnic.

Trail at White Rock Lake Park

Jiujiuer /

Bless Your Ears at Dallas Music Hall

Exterior of Dallas Music Hall

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is much to do in Fair Park, but a slot in Dallas Music Hall is a must-visit attraction.

Seating over 3000 audiences, this performing arts facility is impressive in capacity and design; its Spanish Baroque exterior, and capped towers exude a magical aura, as do its arched pillars and extended porch.

Attend events, lectures, concerts, and other performances – there is no shortage of events all year round.

If you can, try catching a Broadway show or opera to recognize the venue’s potential fully.

Go Shopping at NorthPark Center

Interior of NorthPark Center

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

For general time consumption and no-fuss eating options, head to NorthPark Center for the typical shopping experience.

However, its sheer size makes it stand out; it is the second-largest shopping hub in Texas.

Browse the racks at North Face or buy new kicks at Nike, or maybe you’d prefer to check out Tesla’s latest wheels.

Whether you’re there for some retail time or need a place to kick back, NorthPark Center has everything you need.

There’s even a courtyard with carefully curated art pieces if you need fresh air.

Flowers in NorthPark Center

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore Deep Ellum

The grounds of Deep Ellum

Dorti /

From live music venues to speakeasies and tattoo bars, Deep Ellum has the soul and look of an artsy persona.

A historic district founded in 1873, it has long established its reputation as the entertainment collective in town.

Beer club at Deep Ellum

Epiglottis /

Stumble through its street art-marked blocks for many restaurants, fun venues, small businesses, and vibrant galleries.

You never know what you might stumble over, but Deep Ellum is ready to keep you busy; perhaps you’ll settle in a rooftop bar and sigh over city views, or maybe you’ll be lulled into a salsa bar, living up the Dallas candor.

Sidewalk of Deep Ellum

Epiglottis /

See Various Flowers at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Pond fountain at Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Victoria Ditkovsky /

Do you want to see layered tiers of colors?

To see cherry blossoms fanning out over carefully trimmed bonsai and patches of tulips carpeting the ensemble?

Drop by Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Gardens for 66 acres of flowery interest, foliage changing with the seasons.

Trail at Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

All Stock Photos /

Picnic areas dot the grounds, allowing for hours of relaxing in manicured nature.

Since no active sports are allowed, you’ll find it the perfect space for peace.

It is also a great spot to bring kids, thanks to the fun play and exploration area in the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden and a Children’s Garden Café.

Waterfall at Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Amazing Travels /

See Penguins at the Dallas World Aquarium

Penguins at Dallas World Aquarium

jmanaugh3 /

Dallas World Aquarium is unique because it covers all ground between saltwater and freshwater ecosystems, bringing you aquatic life and those that survive around it.

Open your eyes to the exhibits’ five worlds: Mundo Maya, Orinoco, South Africa, Borneo, and the Aquarium.

Flamingos at Dallas World Aquarium

Victoria Ditkovsky /

From our feathery friends to hanging sloths and the colorful species that hide in corals, Dallas World Aquarium is a see-all place where conservation is the main focus.

Sit in on feeding and talk sessions to learn more about this wildlife and the efforts to protect them.

People in Dallas World Aquarium

jmanaugh3 /

Nightlife and brunch at Uptown

A bakery at Uptown

jmanaugh3 /

There is no district more vibrant than Uptown, recognized for its many shops, eateries, nightlife destinations, and other entertainment venues.

Catch a game at Victory Park or spend some time around West Village, which presents a large concentration of outdoor boutiques and yummy eats.

The cuisine is also dynamic, serving up Japanese sushi, oyster bars, poke bowls, tacos, and Moroccan styles; there are patio bars, music lounges, craft breweries, and fancy cocktail spaces to round off your nights.

Look no further for art perusal, for Uptown is home to art galleries, Magnolia Theatre, and the Museum of Geometric & MADI Art.

You ask for it, and Uptown will have it.

Steakhouse at Uptown

jmanaugh3 /

Revisit History at Frontiers of Flight Museum

Interior of Frontiers of Flight Museum

Prosper106 /

If you’ve ever dreamed of taking to the skies, Frontiers of Flight Museum proves that dreams can come true.

Browse through the 13 galleries displaying over 30 exhibits, which showcase hundreds of aircraft models from small-scale space vehicles to full-sized planes.

You won’t miss the Wright brother’s 1903 Wright Flyer nor the dedicated section to Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and other flight pioneers.

Aircrafts displayed in Frontiers of Flight Museum

Prosper106 /

A range of military aircraft is lined up according to their battle eras, leading up to a space flight exhibit.

This museum is like a runway to the future of aviation.

Exterior of Frontiers of Flight Museum

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Pioneer Plaza

Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures

Kokoulina /

Please stop at Pioneer Plaza and pose with the hardiest of them all; these life-sized Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures are plucked out of your cowboy dreams.

From trail drivers to mid-action cowboys, longhorn cattle to galloping horses, the statue-dotted square is something out of an old western.

Commissioned by a real estate developer, the statues have long become a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.

The grounds of Pioneer Plaza

ShengYing Lin /

Shop at Highland Park Village

A water fountain at Highland Park Village

Victoria Ditkovsky /

From being the first self-contained shopping center to a first-class shopping haven, Highland Park Village is the go-to for a particular retail session.

While you can indulge in the more straightforward (and less costly) pleasure of eating at its varied restaurants and cafés, this upscale plaza is for avid shoppers.

Ralph Lauren storefront at Highland Park Village

DoubleR- Photos /

Channeling the sharp style of a fashion editor, it is home to luxury brands such as Hermes, Alexander McQueen, and Christian Louboutin, outfitted with the trendiest clothing and shoes.

Here you’ll find the promised glitz and glam of Dallas.

Christian Louboutin storefront at Highland Park Village

Renelibrary, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Try Inline Skating at the Katy Trail

Waters at Katy Trail

anandpreshob /

Burn off your energy on this famous trail, which stretches out along the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad.

Mingle with the joggers, the inline skaters, and those on bicycles at a comfortable pace.

Since there are separate paths for bikers, don’t worry about swerving out of the way and breaking your rhythm.

There are also stopover spaces and nearby restaurants whenever you need a rest; jogging this trail is an easy way to stay in shape through all munching you’ll be doing!

People along Katy Trail

Timothy Guarderas /

Watch a Movie at Texas Theatre

Exterior of the Texas Theatre

Photo: Andreas Praefcke, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

No one would have expected the Texas Theatre to be the hiding and arrest spot for President John F. Kennedy’s assassin. Still, it has subsequently gained historical fame after the 1963 incident.

The somewhat unassuming exterior also fails to reveal that it is the first of its kind in Dallas to offer air conditioning and other modern luxuries – although the foyer’s vintage Pac-Man game is exactly what you come to expect.

Drop by if you have some time to spare and catch a movie (or a special event).

Have Fun at Adventure Landing

Adventure Landing is precisely what it sounds like – a fun complex brimming with exciting activities and family-friendly entertainment.

Try your hand at either of the three mini-golf courses (or all of them), or split into teams for laser tag.

The mega arcade will take you through your favorite childhood games while adrenaline junkies can hop on go-karts.

The kids will love splashing about the bumper boats and challenging home runs at the batting cages; snack bars and other food services are available on-site when they feel peckish.

Play a Treasure Hunt in Fair Park

Daytime view of Fair Park

Philip Lange /

One of Dallas’ earliest public parks, Fair Park, is more known for hosting the 1889 Dallas State Fair.

Its original 80-acre expanse was enlarged to 277 when the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition came around; now, the estate serves as a recreational and educational complex.

The park is for aesthetic relaxation, from art deco buildings to fresh lawns, unusual art-in-nature installations, and a lagoon.

Stroll around if you have time to spare and explore the Texas Discovery Gardens.

The Children’s Museum and Dallas Music Hall will keep you occupied with their various to-see and frequent showcases.

Texas Centennial Exposition buildings at Fair Park

Rafiul Alam, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore Legoland Discovery Center

Entrance to Legoland Discovery Center

LittleT889, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Legoland Discovery Center is everything you have dreamed of as a child and everything a child still dreams of.

Comprised of rides, diverse build, play areas, and a 4D cinema, this complex will have you designing life-sized models in no time.

Children and adults alike will also have a blast on the extended factory tour, where you’ll see just how Lego are made.

It’s a great activity to fill up an afternoon.

Have a Thrilling Experience at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

It’s time to play an extra in a historical drama!

Fall into the storyline and play the role of a royal banquet guest; a spectacular show has been prepared to accompany your four-course dinner.

Watch as brave knights clash on horseback, jousting it out for the hand of the princess.

Then come the falcons, swooping in to amaze you with their regal flight. The Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament is dining and entertainment wrapped in one.

Tour around the Museum of Biblical Art

Exterior of the Museum of Biblical Art

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museum of Biblical Art shows art with a Biblical subject in a lovely setting.

It has welcomed more than 50,000 visitors yearly since Mattie Caruth Byrd established it in 1966.

The Museum still upholds its reputation as a preeminent institution in Dallas-Fort Worth’s community of artists and educators.

The grounds of the Museum of Biblical Art

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Eleven galleries and other top pilgrimage attractions are inside the gorgeously renovated Museum.

The Museum of Biblical Art Dallas provides various events, field trips, and activities for art lovers of all ages, ideologies, and origins.

Sculpture garden at the Museum of Biblical Art

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Discover History and Join the JFK Tour

Follow the path of historical occurrences that led to the president’s death and the events that followed the killing at the JFK Tour.

As part of the bust tour, they unload from the vehicle at a few different places to tell the story’s key moments.

Visitors take a three- or four-block stroll in the historic West End as part of the walking tour.

The tour program begins at the JFK Memorial, where the group meets the visitors.

In addition to being subject matter specialists, the tour leaders are fantastic storytellers.

Have a Relaxing Stay at Hotel ZaZa Dallas

Hotel ZaZa Dallas, located in the hip Uptown district, provides business and leisure guests with an amazing hotel experience and a wealth of advantages.

This distinctive option amid Dallas boutique hotels provides stunning bedrooms and conceptual suites, prize-winning restaurants, a lively nightlife, and a soothing day spa.

It strikes the ideal balance between Mediterranean sophistication and cozy charm.

At ZaSpa, rejuvenate with a calming massage and reviving facial.

The Hotel ZaZa is the perfect location to easily and stylishly celebrate life’s significant milestones!

They can handle all the arrangements for your wedding, reunion, birthday celebration, and more.

Unwind at Ascend Camp & Retreat Center

The purpose of Ascend Camp & Retreat Center is to offer memorable experiences that change the lives of people who participate in it.

Ascend Camp & Retreat Center is the best place to go whether you’re planning to organize a family gathering, a Christmas party for your business, or simply a special occasion!

The camp facilities include a dining hall with indoor and outside seating, a pool with a stunning 5000 square foot new deck, sports grounds, and more.

The communal areas have bonfire pits, playgrounds, pavilions, amphitheaters, public bathrooms, and much more.

Every cabin on Ascend Camp & Retreat Center has temperature control, bunk beds, and a full set of showers.

Spacious and open, Ascend Camp & Retreat Center offers a variety of ways to enjoy the sunshine and pleasure.

Get Yourself Educated at George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Exterior of George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

fitzcrittle /

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum’s advanced knowledge of the American presidency explores when President Bush served and offered access to his administration’s relevant documents and memorabilia.

Public access is available at Library and Museum, while The Research Room is only accessible by appointment.

Visitors can access many presidential documents for study, teaching, and informational reasons.

Explore the fascinating materials in this historical archive.

Discover American history, the American Presidency, and significant public policy concerns.

Statues at George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Dorti /

Other Things to Do Nearby

Be Thrilled at Six Flags Over Texas

A rollercoaster at Six Flags Dallas

Popova Marina /

Chances are you’ve heard of Six Flags Over Texas.

Luckily for you, Arling, near Dallas, has Six Flags to satisfy your heart-thumping need for a thrill.

Dangle from new heights and scream as you turn upside down – there is no time for hesitation.

Aerial view of Six Flags Over Texas

Tallmaple /

From classics such as the Texas Giant and the Titan to hair-raising rides as twisted as their namesakes (a.k.a The Joker and Harley Quinn Spinsanity), there is no shortage of airborne challenges.

If you want to enjoy the ambiance without turning your stomach over, game stalls and milder rides keep you occupied.

Rollercoaster ride at Six Flags Over Texas

Tallmaple /

Catch a Game at Globe Life Park

Exterior of Globe Life Park

Katherine Welles /

It goes without saying that if you’re in Dallas between April and September, you must try catching a game at Globe Life Park.

And no baseball experience is complete without its home treats, so help yourself to the Dilly Dog, a hot dog special that burrows in a deep-fried pickle.

Not quite your thing? Maybe the chili, cheese, and onion-topped Boomstick will have you in arms instead.

With that 2-feet long challenge in hand, you’re bound to muster up some loud cheers for the home team.

The field of Globe Life Park

Felix Mizioznikov /

Tour the AT&T Stadium

Exterior of AT&T Stadium

CK Foto /

If you’ve heard of Texas, you probably have listened to AT&T Stadium too.

While it isn’t the biggest sporting venue in town, it’s one of the most well-known. If you are lucky, catch the home team Dallas Cowboys (or Jerry World) in a game, or go ahead and tour the stadium off-hours.

You will be taken through the dressing rooms, other critical locations, and even onto the field.

Snap a video and show everyone just how fast your dash is!

The field of AT&T Stadium

Mahanga, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Dallas is the perfect destination for you if you’ve come seeking a place to relax, take a break from your demanding work, and just savor a setting with enjoyable indoor and outdoor activities.

It features a downtown Arts District crammed with galleries, theaters, and outdoor sculptures.

The restaurant scene features a variety of cuisines, including Tex-Mex, BBQ, rooftop bars, and uptown grandeur.

Don’t miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure; book a trip to Dallas right now!

Discover More of Dallas County, TX

Things to Do in Addison, TX

Things to Do in Garland, TX

Things to Do in Cedar Hill, TX

Things to Do in Irving, TX

Things to Do in Duncanville, TX

Things to Do in Rowlett, TX

Things to Do in DeSoto, TX

Things to Do in Carrollton, TX

Things to Do in Grand Prairie, TX

Things to Do in Mesquite, TX

Things to Do in Richardson, TX

More Texas

Best Things to Do in Houston

Best Things to Do in San Antonio

Best Things to Do in Austin

Best Things to Do in McAllen, Texas

Best Things to Do in Wichita Falls, Texas

Best Things to Do in Beaumont, Texas

© All rights reserved.