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Dallas is a vibrant city with a pulsing nightlife scene, excellent day time activities for families and couples, amazing restaurants, and always a lot to explore. Below you’ll find things you can do in Dallas today, tonight, or this weekend. We bring you the hotest upcoming events, concerts, restaurant openings, museum exhibits, kid friendly events and more.
Here are some ideas for things you can do in Dallas right now
Things to do Today, Tomorrow, or This Weekend – Our writing team is always finding new events and ideas to help you explore the city of Dallas, take amazing selfies, and build great memories. See our latest updates for ideas on what you can do right now or this weekend.
Visit the Top Dallas Tourist Attractions – Tourists visiting Dallas have a lot to see and explore in and around the city including outdoor art, historic landmarks, parks, and Zoos.
Get Outdoors and Enjoy Nature – There are a lot of ways to enjoy Dallas while also enjoying the great outdoors. From being deep in nature, to exercising outside, to a nice park these are all of the best ways to be one with nature in the big D.
Go Shopping Around Dallas – Dallas’ shopping is legendary. Experience shopping across a wide variety of shops in various districts of the city.
Visit a local art gallery, art musueum, or a museum of science and history – A great way to spend a few hours or even a few days is exploring the art and cultural offerings Dallas has. From world class art collections to modern science and technology exhibits you’ll learn and be awed.
Learn Something New – Dallas offers a lot of ways you can improve your business or personal skill set with instructional based classes, conferences, and more. These are the best ways to learn something new in the Dallas area.
Visit the Top Dallas Tourist Attractions
Dallas has a lot of amazing sites and attractions for tourists located around the city. If you’re visiting Dallas, TX and are looking for something to do while you’re in the city, here are the top tourist attractions you can visit and sites you can see while here.
Ever since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, Dealy Plaza has become the number one tourist spot in Dallas. Located at the intersection of Elm St and Houston St on the western edge of Downtown Dallas visitors can take in the history of Dallas, see the spot where JFK was struck by the second bullet, and view the scenery kept much as it was at that time including surrounding buildings. Dealy Plaza’s history goes much deeper though and what most tourists might miss is that this is the site where the first house in Dallas was built and what became known as the “birthplace of Dallas” in the years before the assasination. The plaza’s name comes from one of the earliest publishers of the Dallas Morning News who fought to help revitalize Dallas as the leader of the Dallas Civic Improvement League. Because of Mr. Dealy’s contributions and the assassination the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1993. Visitors on a nice spring or summer day can soak in the history of Dallas, the civil rights movement, JFK’s assassination, and a gorgeous view of Downtown Dallas.
Located near Dallas City Hall and Dallas Convention Center, Pioneer Plaza is a tribute to the beginnings of Dallas and was gifted to the city by the Texas Trees Foundation. It features native flowers, plants, and tress alongside a natural stream. The most famous part of the plaza however, is something less natural – a bronze sculpture. The massive art piece shows a cattle drive with three cowboys on horseback driving longhorn cattle. Created by artist Robert Summers of Glenn Rose, TX the installation has become one of the most famous pieces of outdoor art in Dallas and draws crowds of tourists and locals alike all year long.
Dallas World Aquarium
Built in 1992 inside of an old warehouse on the West End of Dowtown Dallas sits the Dallas World Aquarium. Visitors take a winding path through numerous indoor and outdoor naturally appearing exhibits that showcase animals from around the globe. Designed to educate the public about animal conservation and the problems animals face in their natural habits far away and closer to home here in Texas. Since it’s opening the Dallas World Aquarium has continually grown and evolved to become one of the favorite places for tourists to Dallas and for Dallas families to visit.
Price: Adults – $26.95, Kids (3-12) – $18.95, Kids (2 and under) – Free, Seniors (65+) – $22.95, Military – $22.95
Indoor/Outdoor: Indoors (some parts are open air)
John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza / Kennedy Assasination Cenotaph
Located near Dealy Plaza and the site of the fateful assasination on November 22nd, 1963 sits what artist Philip Johnson calls “an open tomb” in tribute to the late President John F. Kennedy. The art installation is made out of cement slabs erected in a square with enough space that visitors can pass through them and has a massive granite slab in the middle with an inscription to JFK. The cenotaph is one of the least popular sites in Dowtown Dallas, especially near the plaza, but does provide visitors with a nice oasis of peacefulness.
The Dallas Zoo
Located just south of Downtown Dallas, the Dallas Zoo is a massive 106-acre facility making it the largest zoo in the state of Texas. Originally built in 1888 the Dallas Zoo is the oldest Zoo in Texas as well. Visitors to the Dallas Zoo will enjoy walking between exhibits, learning about the 406+ species of animals housed here, and the popular Giants of the Savanna Habitat exhibit which houses several species native to the African savanna all in one exhibit. Families with small children can also take their kids to the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo which includes a petting zoo and pony rides and the kids will also love the Giraffe Feeding Station where they can meet and feed the Giraffes.
Price: Adults – $17, Youth – $14, Senior (65+) – $14, Parking pass – $10
AT&T Discovery District
One of the newest additions to the Downtown Dallas neighborhood is the AT&T Discovery District. Built right next to the mammoth AT&T headquarters the discovery district combines outdoor spaces, cutting edge technology, interactive art installations, cafes and restaurants, and live event experiences. While it’s not yet officially open, many parts of the Discovery District are already open and attracting Downtown Dallas dwellers and visitors like the 104-ft tall 6K media wall.
Indoor/Outdoor: Mostly Outdoors (some exhibits and experiences are indoors)
The Traveling Man Sculptures in Deep Ellum
The Traveling Man sculptures are a collection of 3 large artistic installations in the historic Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas. They were originally built by artist Brad Oldham in 2009. The shiny metallic statues are designed to remind visitors of the railroad roots of Deep Ellum and to showcase the neighborhoods rebirth as a home for the artists of Dallas. The sculptures are incredibly popular places for tourists to visit and take selfies with and even get locals to stop and admire them from time to time.
The Giant Eyeball
In 2013 the fancy Joule hotel in Downtown Dallas announced they would be installing a 30-foot tall eyeball in the park across the street from the hotel’s entrance. The artistic installation was supposed to be temporary, but years later the eyeball is still there attracting selfie-taking locals, tourists, and curious passers by.
Fair Park is home to the State Fair of Texas, five separate museums, a bunch of sports and live music veneues, and houses the largest collection of 1930s Art Deco exposition style architecture. Collectively, it is the most visited attraction in Texas every year, but it’s rare for visitors to go to Fair Park without a reason. If you’re going to an event at the park make sure you take the time to look around at the amazing Art Deco architecture while you’re there.
Indoor/Outdoor: Indoors and Outdoors (depending on why you’re going)
Klyde Warren Park
One of the newest gems in Dallas is Klyde Warren Park which opened up to the public in October of 2012 and has become a playground for Dallas residents since then. The park is a “deck park” sitting over Woodall Rodgers Freeway (Texas 366 Spur) with a lot of open green spaces, fountains, a children’s playground, food trucks, an adjacent restaurant, and a live event stage. A relaxing afternoon at Klyde Warren Park is a great way to enjoy a nice day in Dallas while taking in all of the surroudning architecture.
Price: Free (for most events)
Indoor/Outoodr: Outdoors (the restaurant has indoors seating)
Trinity River Audubon Center
Located in the Great Trinity Forest, the Trinity River Audubon Center is a large open natural space you can visit and enjoy. Opened to the public in 2008, the Trinity River Audubon Center land lived quite the life before becoming the refuge and it is today. It had been a farm, then the property was a gravel mine, then it was used as an illegal dump site. A judge’s ordered transformed it into the natural beauty it is today.
Price: Adults – $6, Children – $3, Seniors (60+) – $4
Indoor/Outdoors: Mostly Outdoors (there is an indoor portion)
A small privately owned park located in Uptown Dallas. Dragon Park is a small but awe inspirin oasis filled with unique sculputure artwork including the namesake dragon which sits nex to a pool of water. If you’re out for a walk near Oak Lawn or find yourself in need of some fantastic fantasy inspiration, you’ll want to stop by this park and explorer all of the wonder packed in to such a small space.
Dallas City Hall
Designed by architect I.M. Pei Dallas City Hall is a local architectual favorite and a movie star. The building played a prominent role in the Robocop movies of the 1980s as the headquarters for the OCP corporation. Robocop fans still flock to the building to this day to take pictures of the building.
The plaza in front of the Dallas City Hall has a reflecting pool that is 180-ft in diameter, live oak and red oak trees, floating art pieces, and a sculpture by artist Henry Moore that looks like mammal vertabrae.
While the building is home to city employees and doesn’t offer any tours, the plaza in front is often home to festivals, social gatherings, and special events. When nothing is going on at the plaza it makes a nice stop for outdoors explorers in the city.
Outdoor Sculpture Garden at the Dallas Museum of Art
The Outdoor Sculpture Garden at the Dallas Museum of Art is a small part of the DMA where art and nature merge together just beyond the bustling of the busy downtown streets outside. Considered by locals as the more magical way to enter the DMA and a nice oasis of outdoor art display in the heart of the city.
Get Outdoors and Enjoy Nature
There are plenty of ways to get outside and enjoy nature in Dallas beyond seeing the grackles in every parking lot or the pigeons downtown. Many of these are unknown to Dallas locals and tourists alike, making them hidden gems of nature in the area. Here are our favorite ways to get out and enjoy nature in the Dallas area.
This is a 3.5-mile long concrete path that runs through the Uptown and Oak Lawn neighborhoods in Dallas. The path is built for outdoors recreational use including bicycling, inline skating, running, walking, and jogging. The 12-foot wide path runs from Mockingbird Station down to the American Airlines Center (Mavs / Stars) in the Victory Park area. Built along the path of the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad which was known as the “K-T or Katy railroad” the Katy Trail offers a unique outdoor space for locals and visitors alike to enjoy Dallas from an entirely new perspective along a historic path once used for trains that transported passengers across the old west. Visitors to the Katy Trail will find amenities like a soft rubber parallel path for runners, plenty of water fountains for humans and pets, benches for resting, pedestrian bridges, overlooks, and gorgeous scenery. Some locals like to say that the trains no longer run on the Katy, but Dallas does.
The Herd Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary has several trails the wind around the sanctuary Northeast of Dallas near Melissa, TX. The longest trail even takes walkers over a wetland area where native birds, turtles, fishes, and other wildlife can be seen. It’s a relaxing collection of trails that fits all skill levels covering anywhere between an easy half-mile trail up to a full six and half mile trail that takes you across the 289 acre property.
Price: Adults: $12, Seniors 60+ & Children 3-12: $9, Children 2 & under: free
Trinity River Audubon Center
Located in the Great Trinity Forest, this is one of the best nature centers in North Texas. Built on the site of a one-time illegal dumping ground called “Deepwood” and a gravel mine, the Trinity River Audubon Center is a marvel of green building design and was the first LEED certified building ever constructed by the Dallas Parks department. It includes a planted green roof, rainwater collection system, and is built partly from recycled materials.
The nature center’s grounds cover 120 acres and includes a 5-mile nature walking trail, a butterfly garden, and outdoor picnic areas. It’s a great place to take your family for a stroll and to teach your kids about the importance of nature conservancy.
Price: Adults: $6, Seniors & Veterans: $4, Children 3-12: $3, Children under 3: free
White Rock Lake
While in season you can rent a kayak, paddle board, or canoe from White Rock Paddle Co. and enjoy the peaceful serentiy of White Rock Lake.
Price: $19.99 per hour to $26.99 per hour
Walnut Grove Trail on Lake Grapevine
Take a guided horseback trail ride down Walnut Grove Trail on Lake Grapevine with Widowmaker Trail Rides. You’ll get the horseback riding experience every Texan deserves while riding a path along beautiful Lake Grapevine.
Price: $90 per person
At 66 acres in size the Dallas Arboreteum is a huge botanical garden sitting on the shores of White Rock Lake. The garden features several seasonal themes complete with evening adult partys, live music, and even a full village at Christmas time. The buildings are all Spanish Colonial Revival architecture giving a hint of Texas history as you walk around the gardens or sit on a blanket with your family. An amazing way to spend a cool Spring or Fall day and a magical place at Christmas time.
Dallas Parks & Recreation Nature Trails
The city of Dallas maintains public nature trails for all people to enjoy. Some of these trails are ideal for hiking and walking, others for off-road bike riding. Make sure you read about each trail on the Dallas Parks website before visiting.
Spring Creek Forest
An absolute natural wonder right in the middle of the North Dallas region was first disocovered by a botoanist in 1978. Known as “old-growth forest” or “virgin forest” these are rarely found so close to metropolitan areas because early settlers cleared trees from land to use in buildings or for farming. Ultimately the State of Texas and Dallas County purchased 69 acres of the discovered site and named it the Spring Creek Forest Preserve, it is now maintained by the city of Garland and a group of volunteers known as the Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest.
The forest now includes 0.33 miles of a concrete walking trail and 0.5 miles of a natural walking trail.
Even though this is a forest preserve, it is surruonded on all sides by residential and commercial development and some of the undeveloped open land near the preserve is also likely to be developed commercially in the near future. Depending on where you are in the forest you might see a mall, skyscrappers built by big tech companies, a sausege factory, hotels, or houses. This gives the forest preserve a similar feel to Central Park in New York emerging directly from nature into a busseling city.
You’ll technically need to leave Dallas to visit this natural wonder, but it’s a short drive to North Garland.
Cedar Ridge Nature Center
Formerly known as the Dallas Nature Center, the Cedar Ridge Nature Center is a wonderful outdoors experience just 20 minutes south of Downtown Dallas.
The center is technically situated at the Northern edge of the Texas Hill Country and includes a total of 7.5 miles of trails of varying difficulty across the preserve. From the fairly smooth “Little Bluestem” and “Praire” trails to the more advanced “Cedar Brake” and “Fossil Valley” trails, there are nature trails here for all kinds of walkers and hikers including one trail that is wheelchair accessible.
Address: 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX 75249
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center
The Buckeye Trail
Scyene Overlook/Piedmont Ridge
Great Trinity Forest Gateway and Horse Trails
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
Post Oak Preserve
Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area
Spring Creek Nature Center
River Legacy Parks
Go Shopping Around Dallas
Shopping in Dallas is part of the culture here even in the age of Ecommerce, Dallas is a retail shopper’s paradise. Visitors are often blown away at the variety of shopping experiences packed in to one city and how each one feels unique and special. Tourists from out of the country or from more rural areas especially love the retail therapy and shopping experiences provided in Dallas. Shopping here is for the locals too, it’s a great way to break up your normal routine and explore the city.
The Dallas Farmers Market
Deep Ellum Outdoor Market
Halfprice Books Flagship Store
Highland Park Village
Neiman Marcus Flagship Store
Bishop Arts District
Go to An Art Gallery or a Museum
Dallas is home to a vibrant arts community which is seen in the numerous art galleries, exhibits, and museums around the city. Get out of the house and go visit one of these amazing institutions for a new perspective, a little knowledge, or some inspiration.
Dallas Museum of Art
Nasher Sculpture Center
Crow Collection of Asian Art
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza
African American Museum of Dallas
Frontiers of Flight Museum
George W. Bush Presidential Center
Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
Museum of Illusions
Dallas Heritage Village
Dallas Firefighters Museum
Museum of Geometric and MADI Art
Museum of Biblical Art
Sweet Tooth Hotel
Mary Kay Museum
Samuel Lynne Galleries
Southwest Art Gallery
Valley House Gallery
Laura Rathe Fine Art
Ro2 Art Gallery
Kettle Art Gallery
Conduit Art Gallery
Learn Something New
Dallas is known for one thing that often flys under the radar, that is helping each other learn something new. In Dallas you can learn all kinds of things from formal in-person hands on classes, networking events / mixers, meetup classes, and conferences. These are the best ways to learn something new and maybe meet awesome new folks in the process here in Dallas.