March 27, 2023

The city of Dallas has a rich history rooted in ranching, agriculture, and oil production, growing rapidly as a commercial center following the introduction of the railroad in 1873. After World War II, the city became home to many oil companies. insurance and banking, making it a major financial and business center – perfect fodder for the most famous of soap operas about power, money and intrigue: Dallas.

Tourists will also appreciate the wide variety of architecture, especially modern and postmodern structures such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Gothic-style Kirby Revival, and the Victorian and Neoclassical homes on Swiss Avenue. The city is home to several excellent museums, including the Dallas Museum of Art and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, as well as top-rated attractions like the Dallas World Aquarium and Reunion Tower. Dallas also offers plenty of things to do outdoors, including a visit to the adorable Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and the impressive sculptures of Pioneer Plaza. Read down below and find out what fun things to do in Dallas.

Fun things to do in Dallas

The Sixth Piano Museum at Dealey Plaza

Forever etched in infamy, the former Texas School Book Depository at the intersection of Houston and Elm Streets in Dallas is now home to a museum dedicated to remembering one of the nation’s most tragic and defining moments. Museum visitors are first introduced to historical context with multimedia exhibits describing the political climate of the early 1960s and then highlighting President Kennedy’s November 1963 trip to Texas and the final days of his life. Just past here, you’ll see the sniper’s perch in the corner window from which Oswald took the fatal shots, recreated to match the original crime scene photos. The remaining exhibits will guide you through the tense hours following filming, the memories of the state of shock that enveloped the nation and the world, the investigations that followed, and JFK’s legacy. Exhibits also include historical artifacts, such as a replica Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found at the crime scene, the scale model of Dealey Plaza used by FBI agents during their investigation, forensic evidence, and items such as Lee Harvey Oswald’s wedding ring and Jack Ruby’s hat.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Just minutes from downtown Dallas, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden sits on 66 acres along the southeast shore of White Rock Lake . The property’s fourteen world-renowned displays showcase seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees, and plant collections. The gardens also host seasonal outdoor parties, concerts, art exhibits, and educational programs, and guided tours of the property are available. Though conceived in the early 1930s, this stunning tourist attraction didn’t become a reality until 1984 when the park was laid out on the grounds of a 1939-built mansion. Adding to the fun are the exquisite sculptures and fountains in the areas with names like Toad’s Corner, Texas Town and Pecan Grove. Make sure you do someWhite Rock Lake Park , too. Surrounded by 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, it is known for its excellent bird and wildlife viewing, as well as fishing and sailing.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Housed in a towering architectural masterpiece designed by Thom Mayne, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a major Dallas attraction for families and curious tourists. The building itself was designed with sustainability as a primary focus, including summer water conservation with the use of condensate recaptured from air conditioners and drip irrigation, use of locally sourced and recycled building materials, and water heaters solar powered. The museum is divided into themed areas with interactive educational stations, games and high-tech displays. These themes include engineering and innovation, energy, evolution, earth sciences and more. It also features a 3D theater, Moody Family Children’s Museum and playground.

Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art has been a longtime institution in the city since it opened in 1903. One of the ten largest museums in the United States, it has a collection of more than 24,000 works from the Americas and around the world, including everything from ancient artifacts to contemporary art. Highlights of the collection include classical art and artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, paintings by Claude Monet in the European Art Gallery, and numerous contemporary pieces by Jackson Pollock. In addition to the permanent collections, temporary exhibitions highlight the work of prominent artists, explore thematic themes, and showcase historic collections. Another art exhibit worth catching is the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, housed in a re-creation of the Villa Reves and featuring Impressionist paintings, antique carpets, Chinese porcelain, and early Renaissance and 17th-century European furniture.

Dallas World Aquarium

Conveniently located within walking distance of the historic downtown area, the Dallas World Aquarium is a fun and educational excursion for young and old alike. Housed in approximately 87,000 gallons of salt water are a diverse array of marine life including nipple sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, sea turtles, giant grouper and rare green leafy sea sharks, all living in natural reef environments. A highlight is the Orinoco Rainforest exhibit, complete with numerous free-flying birds, such as toucans, along with tree sloths and aquatic species such as Orinoco crocodiles and poison frogs. Correct suggestion:Check the feeding schedule before you arrive for a chance to see the animals at their most animated, as well as details of upcoming talks and talks.

Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures at Pioneer Plaza

Pioneer Park, operated by the adjacent Dallas Convention Center, was designed to resemble a section of the Shawnee Trail, a major cattle road in Texas in the 19th century. This large green space in Dallas’ central business district has a stream that cascades over limestone rocks, but its most notable feature is the 49 larger-than-life bronze sculptures of Texas Longhorn cattle that are herded through the park and across the creek from three mounted Cowboys. Designed by artist Robert Summers, the park is designed to replicate the iconic industry scene that he defined early Texas.

Zoos in Dallas

The Dallas Zoo is a 106-acre park that is home to more than 2,000 exotic animals from 406 species in a variety of different habitats. Always popular with families, this fun attraction — just two miles from the city center — was established in 1888, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States. Focusing on two main regions – ZooNorth and Wilds of Africa – the zoo includes attractions such as the giants of the savannah, the otter outpost, the excellent wildlife amphitheater with its soaring bird exhibits, and the tiger habitat on the way of extinction with its forest setting. The newly renovated Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari monorail takes park visitors on a journey through the Great Rift Valley and the habitats of African countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Another attraction that children will love is theZero Gravity Amusement Park , a fun theme park with enough bungee jumps and free-fall rides to keep them entertained for hours.

Reunion Tower

While not the tallest building in Dallas, Reunion Tower is arguably the most distinctive and most recognizable. Completed in 1978 and appearing as a geodesic ball perched on five cylindrical concrete cylinders, its 560-foot length is spectacularly lit at night, emphasizing its unique profile. Following the 2011 renovation, Reunion Tower now boasts a revolving restaurant with 360-degree views of Dallas and the GeO-Deck observation level, home to an informational interactive display that provides details about the building and important landmarks.

The Nasher Sculpture Center

Opened in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center has a collection of modern and contemporary sculpture and contains exhibits that explore the history of the art of sculpture. Located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District , large outdoor sculptures are displayed throughout the tree-lined grounds. Highlights include pieces by Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and Andy Warhol. The museum and sculpture park host regular events, including lectures and concerts. Another gallery worth checking out is the nearby Trammell and Margaret Crow Asian Art Collection , a museum dedicated to the arts and cultures of China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia.

African American Museum

Established in 1974, the African American Museum features a variety of exhibits of African American art, cultural, and historical materials. Rich in references to traditional African motifs and cultural icons, the museum’s collection includes numerous works of art, together with a library and historical archive. Entertainment and educational programs are also hosted in the on-site theater. Another major attraction is the Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance with its moving displays, such as a real wagon used to transport Jews during WWII, and memorials, including the names of members of the family lost to the survivors who had settled in Dallas.

Bishop Arts District

If you’re looking for things to do, the Bishop Arts District in Dallas’ North Oak Cliff neighborhood has nearly endless shopping, dining, and entertainment options. It features over sixty independently owned and operated businesses. Here you’ll find chic boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and cozy caf├ęs in an inviting small-town atmosphere. Among the unique purveyors are specialist shops that cater to men, such as the quirky M’antiques; numerous women’s vintage clothing boutiques; and a myriad of shops carrying items made by local artists and designers. A place with a strong sense of community, the neighborhood often hosts family-friendly street parties and public entertainment.

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