Dallas is one of the largest cities in the United States. The city, which is in North Texas, was incorporated in 1856. Today, the metropolitan area is home to well over a million people, and is a hub of culture, shopping, dining, and entertainment. There are so many cool places to visit in Dallas, deciding which to choose is the hard part.
10. Dallas World Aquarium
Opened in 1992, this aquarium is part zoo. Exhibits, which are arranged by ecosystem, include Mundo Maya, Orinoco, South Africa, Borneo, and Aquarium. Visitors walk through exhibits that combine the land and water set up of an ecosystem, with the land and marine animals. The for-profit aquarium is part of a cooperative breeding program with other zoos to aid conservation by saving animals from extinction. The aquarium, located at 1801 North Griffin, is open 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
9. Dallas Children’s Theater
This professional family theater was founded in 1984. The company puts on 11 shows per year in the Rosewood Center for Family Arts. The company also tours with its productions. Plays are geared to children, and children star in them, too. If your stay in the city is lengthy, your child might want to sign up for a three week mini acting class. The address of the Rosewood Center is 5938 Skillman. Public performances are on Friday evenings or weekend afternoons. Ticket prices vary. For information and tickets, call the box office. The number is available on the theater’s website.
8. Perot Museum of Nature and Science
This museum is in the heart of the city, in Victory Park. Open since 2012, the science center has had one million visitors in its first three years. The museum is made up of 11 halls dedicated to permanent displays like the Moody Family Children’s Museum, the Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth, Rose Hall of Birds, Discovering Life, and more. Kids will enjoy lots of hands-on activities. The center also features traveling exhibits, and has a theater. Tickets can be purchased on the museum’s website. Children under 2 get in free.
7. East Texas Train Tour on the Texas State Railroad
This train tour on the Texas State Railroad allows visitors the chance to see what the railroads were like for passengers roughly 100 years ago. Tourists board the steam engine train at the Victorian station in the town of Rusk and ride it for 25 miles through pine forests. The train’s engine is original from 1917. The Texas State Railroad has been featured in a number of TV shows and movies. This tour will be fun for the whole family. Bring a lunch, or purchase snacks from the concession car. Tickets for the tour can be purchased online.
6. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
This beautiful arboretum is on the National Register of Historic Places. Located on Garland Road, the 66 acre park has views of the city as well as White Rock Lake. Visitors can walk among 20 named gardens, like The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, The Nancy Clements Seay Magnolia Glade, and Pecan Grove. Special events are held regularly, including garden concerts, holiday events, and an annual fine art sale. The park is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.
5. Dallas Zoo
One million people visited this world-class zoo in the last year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dallas. First opened in 1888, the zoo sits on 106 acres of land just south of the downtown. It is home to more than 2000 animals from 406 species. Some exhibits include Giants of the Savanna, Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo, and Endangered Species Carousel, to name a few. The zoo is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM every day except Christmas day. Tickets can be purchased online. Children 2 and under get in free. There is a fee for parking.
4. House of Blues
Part concert venue, part museum, the House of Blues is a great place to visit with friends or as part of a romantic weekend. Visitors can listen to live music while enjoying southern cooking, and check out the collection of folk art and other unusual pieces. Located at 2200 N. Lamar St., in the White Swan Building, the venue is available for private parties and events, as well as being open to the public. Reservations are accepted for diners. Tickets for individual concerts can be purchased online or at the box office.
3. NorthPark Center
If shopping is what you like to do, this city has a lot of options. NorthPark Center offers ample high end shopping and dining opportunities to visitors. The climate-controlled center sees 26 million people each year. The facility, which is decorated with a large collection of fine art, houses 235 stores and many restaurants, and plays host to numerous events. NorthPark Center is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and Sunday from noon to 6:00 PM. The center has its own concierge, and offers a free map of the NorthPark Art Tour.
2. The Bishop Arts District
The Bishop Arts District is an assortment of more than 60 shops, bistros, theaters, coffee shops, and art galleries in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. The businesses are independently owned, so their hours vary. The neighborhood is walkable, and has a vintage charm. The Bishop Arts District is the site of events each year, such as regularly scheduled Wine Walks. Other events include art fairs and outdoor concerts. The district, which was home to the busiest trolley stop in the city in the 1930s, is located in the North Oak Cliff neighborhood.
1. Old Red Museum
History buffs will want to visit the Old Red Museum. It was originally the Dallas County Courthouse, built in 1891, until the courthouse was moved to a new location in 1966. The striking building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The exhibits cover a wide range of artifacts all related to the history of the city. It has one exhibit dedicated entirely to hands-on displays for children and young adults. The museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Tickets can be purchased online. Tours are available for groups; call for details.
There are hundreds of things to do in Dallas. Whether you enjoy art, shopping, music, nature, or history, these are some of the best attractions in the area. The city has many interesting and fun activities for people of all ages. Be sure to check the schedule ahead of time for any events that are seasonal to avoid being disappointed.