I was born and raised in the Dallas area. One thing is for sure, there are so many fun and interesting things to do there. The Dallas and Fort Worth area are often lumped into one giant area known as DFW. This does not make sense to me, since they really are two distinct cities with different personalities.
Contrary to popular belief, we do not all ride horses in Texas. We do not all listen to country music. And we do not all have cowboy hats and boots! What is true, is that everything really is bigger in Texas! We go big or go home. It shows in things like our fair food! I am pretty sure our state could fry just about anything.
Dallas is definitely a city worth visiting. It is full of cultural, historical, and all around fun places to visit. There is truly something for everyone here. I have put together a list of the 12 best things to do in Dallas. Most of these are family friendly activities. The only one that is not is some of the night life activities. Check out the list below!
Journey For Jasmine understands that there is a pandemic right now and is not encouraging travel in any way. These are suggestions for when it is safe to travel again. Some of these places may also be temporarily closed due to the pandemic.
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Table of Contents
State Fair of Texas
You have not lived if you have not been to the State Fair of Texas! We try to go every year. It is open for about a month during September and October. There is something for everyone to see here. See everything from crafts, to livestock, to concerts and car shows.
While all of these are nice, there is no denying that the best part of the State Fair of Texas is the food! There is a competition each year and prizes are awarded to most creative and best tasting in both the savory and sweet categories. If you want to see some of the past winners, check out the Big Tex Choice Awards.
A couple of my favorite past food options were the Fried Samoas (the Girl Scout cookies now known as Caramel deLights) and the Fried Frito Pie Bites. And no visit to the State Fair is complete with taking a picture with Big Tex! Pictured below is the Deep Fried Frito Pie Bites.
Dining in Reunion Tower
I have been to the restaurant in Reunion Tower a couple of times when I was growing up. My mom took my brother and I here for a special Easter lunch one year. The coolest thing about it is that the top slowly spins. You get a view of the entire city while you dine! There is also an observation deck you can check out for an even better view. They often host special holiday events. You can even have a birthday party, ceremony, or other celebration here.
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
The assassination of Kennedy made Dallas famous. You can visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza to learn about more about Kennedy and the events that took place during his assassination.
If you are not familiar with the Kennedy assassination, the Sixth Floor of the former Texas School Book Depository overlooks Dealey Plaza. This building is where Lee Harvey Oswald waited and ultimately shot President Kennedy.
The museum now contains information about President Kennedy, Jack Ruby, and the assassination itself. While you are in the area, you can visit Dealey Plaza and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza.
If you have not read 11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King, it is worth reading! There is also a series based on the book that is on Hulu. It stars James Franco.
Dallas Farmers Market
The Dallas Farmers Market is a fun place to visit! There are tons of vendors that have everything from produce, to homemade items, to other crafts that you can browse. There are so many unique and local items!
The Market area also contains four different anchor restaurants, along with other food vendors. You can find a wide variety of cuisines to choose from.
The Dallas Farmers Market Website also contains a collection of seasonal recipes you can make with the new produce you just bought!
Deep Ellum is the place to be if you are into breweries, night clubs, bars, or other night life. Deep Ellum consists of the area on two streets in Downtown Dallas. These streets are Main Street and Commerce Street. Deep Ellum is also full of cool artwork and murals, so you can drive around and enjoy seeing the different artwork.
There are several breweries in the area, including Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Westlake Brewing Company, Braindead Brewing, and Trinity Cider. Personally, I am also partial to cider, although I do enjoy trying different types of beer as well.
Nightclubs in the area include The Nines, Twilite Lounge, and The Green Room. If you are into country music, check out Adair’s Saloon. Surely your visit to Texas would not be complete without listening to some country!
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Dallas Arboretum is beautiful, no matter what time of year you visit. There are always tons of different blooming flowers and plants. This is a great place to bring the entire family to get some fresh air, plus plenty of great photos.
I have been here many times and it is always so beautiful! During the fall, they decorate with tons of pumpkins and even have a pumpkin house! The Arboretum also holds special events, like Friendship Tea on Sundays and an on-site restaurant.
Dallas is full of a wide variety of museums ranging in topics from art to science to history. Here are a few of the most popular ones, although there are many more than just the ones mentioned below!
The Dallas Museum of Art is one of my favorite museums and a definite must see. This museum has a bit of everything ranging from paintings to weaving to pottery. Their website describes that they have more than 25,000 works of art over a 5,000 year time period. You can definitely spend a full day exploring everything there is to see here!
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is great for all ages. There are exhibits specifically for kids at the Moody Family Children’s Museum, which is part of the Perot Museum. Other permanent exhibits include the Lamar Hunt Sports Hall, Being Human Hall, Expanding Universe Hall, and the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall.
Another must see museum is the African American Museum. This museum is specifically dedicated to showcasing artwork and historical material created by African Americans. According to their website, they are the only museum of it’s kind in the Southwestern Region.
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is dedicated to learning about the history of the Jewish people and the events of the Holocaust. There is another exhibit dedicated specifically to how human rights laws and events have changed after the Holocaust.
Dallas also contains the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The Presidential Library contains information about the President and his family. There is information about his life before, during, and after the Presidency.
Six Flags Over Texas
If you love roller coasters and other thrill rides, check out Six Flags Over Texas. Home of the Texas Giant, the Titan, and, my favorite, the Batman ride. I used to not be a fan of roller coasters at all. I tried the Batman ride and I was hooked!
Six Flags has tons of entertainment for any and every age. Looney Toons land is perfect for children. There are a ton of family friendly shows and shops as well. I also love that you learn at least a little bit of history here on all of the different flags that flew over Texas.
During the summer months, you can also go to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, which is a water park. There are tons of water slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool. This park is a family friendly attraction as well and has areas designed with kids in mind.
If you love seeing a variety of animals, check out the Dallas Zoo. My favorite attraction is always the elephants and this exhibit does not disappoint. Some of the different areas of the zoo include the Wilds of Africa, Giants of the Savannah, and the Children’s Zoo. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor things to see here.
Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium is a great indoor activity for those really hot Texas days. There are tons of different fish and ocean animals for you to see. The aquarium also has a section of trees you can walk through that has different birds and rainforest animals. Restaurants are available on site as well.
Southfork Ranch may not actually be in Dallas, but still a fun thing to visit. The original Dallas show was filmed here. It is now an event and conference center. Fun fact, I even had my prom here!
The ranch has tours available, along with equestrian activities. They even provide an event that teaches you how to be a rancher for the day.
Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park is in the heart of Dallas. It is fun to visit when you are wanting to spend some time outdoors. Klyde Warren Park has tons of events they hold on a regular basis. Some of these include various festivals, 5K races, and different fitness classes. This is more than just a simple park.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading the 12 best things to do in Dallas. Which one are you most looking forward to trying? I would love to hear in the comments below!
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