The Six Top Picks For A Day Out In Dallas, TX

So you just moved into the Dallas area, or perhaps the in-laws are visiting from out of town for the first time. Maybe the kids are just antsy and you need to figure out something to do today. Whatever the reason you find yourself looking for something to do in the Dallas area. Fear not; the home of the Cowboys is not short on attractions and has something to satisfy most people. The list of local attractions is long but the following "top picks" are some of the best and they include something for just about everyone.

Cowboys Stadium | 900 E Randol Mill Rd, Arlington, TX

Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TXSo speaking of them Cowboys the new Cowboys Stadium is well worth a visit whether you are a football fan [aren't we all?] or not. The stadium stands as a massive and impressive architectural masterpiece even if the team it is home to is not quite so impressive these days. The stadium was completed in 2009 and is located in Arlington, TX which stands midway between the DFW Metroplex cities of Dallas & Fort Worth. The stadium has set all sorts of records including having a mind blowing video screen mounted above the field that runs from the 20 to the 20.

The stadium offers both guided and unguided tours. Having taken the tours I would recommend the guided version. It includes some locations you don't get to when guiding yourself [Jerry Jones private suite for one] and yet still allows the freedom to go where you will and take as long as you like once the guide completes the tour. If nothing else it is an experience worth having to see any stadium, let alone a behemoth such as this, from the perspective of standing at the center of the playing surface.

Information about the stadium and tours can be found at http://stadium.dallascowboys.com/.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden | 8617 Garland Road, Dallas, TX

Dallas Arboretum, Dallas, TXLocated to the east of downtown Dallas on the shore of White Rock Lake the 66 acre botanical garden is perhaps best known for the annual "Dallas Blooms" festival which features 400,000 spring blooming bulbs and somewhere in the region of 3000 azaleas along with thousands of other plants. The gardens however are not attractive only during the festival. The north Texas climate allows for there to be impressive displays of plants in bloom throughout the year.

In addition to the plant and flower gardens the Arboretum is home to the 21,000 square foot DeGolyer home. Built in 1939 the Spanish style home and its estate 44 acre were the foundation upon which today's Arboretum was based. The property is an interesting piece of architecture and houses a museum.

The Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Center is currently open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and up to date information including opening hours and ticket prices can always be found at http://www.dallasarboretum.org/.

Six Flags Over Texas | Arlington, TX

The Texas Giant, Six Flags, Arkington, TXOpened in 1961 and spread over more than 200 acres Six Flags Over Texas is a major amusement park and sure to be a hit with both young and old thrill seekers. The park's website currently lists 44 "rides" of which 8 receive the rating "max" as a "thrill rating".

Speaking from experience the rides include just about every version of a thrill ride you could dream up from riding suspended under the tracks to being fired straight up in the air and then coming down backwards to riding the best old style wooden roller coaster out there; the "Texas Giant".

Currently open 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM up to date information on operating hours and ticket prices along with the latest information on the newest rides can always be found on the parks website http://www.sixflags.com/overTexas/index.aspx.

Dallas World Aquarium | 1801 N Griffin St, Dallas, TX

Dallas World Aquarium, Dallas, TXFirst opened to the public in 1992 the Dallas World Aquarium is located in downtown Dallas close to the historic West End District. The aquarium is housed in converted 20's era warehouse buildings but when you visit you would think that the facility was a brand new purpose built construction.

The aquarium hosts a number of permanent exhibits including the "Wilds Of Borneo", "Orinoco, Secrets of the River", "South Africa" and "Mundo Maya" which includes a forty foot long tunnel through the main aquarium pool which is filled with sharks and rays.

I have no kids but judging by the noise the last time I visited it was clear to me that the kids were having a "whale" of a time [pardon the intended pun].

The Dallas World Aquarium is open 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sept through Fen and opens at 9:00 AM the rest of the year. Prices, updated hours and directions can be found along with other information at http://www.dwazoo.com/d/.

Dealey Plaza | West End District, Dallas, TX

Dealy Plaza, Dallas, TXThe assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 is without a doubt one of the most significant events in modern US history. The Dealey Plaza area of the West End was named a National Historic Landmark District by the National Park Service in 1993 and the area looks much as it did on that tragic day nearly 50 years ago.

A visit to this historic site must include the Sixth Floor Museum located in the Texas School Book Depository building [from which, the Warren Commission concluded, Lee Harvey Oswald fired a rifle that killed President John F. Kennedy] and the famed "grassy knoll" on the northwest side of the plaza.

Information about the Sixth Floor Museum and the JFK assassination can be found at http://www.jfk.org/

Nasher Sculpture Center | 2001 Flora St, Dallas, TX

Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TXThe Nasher Sculpture Center is located close to the Dallas Museum of Art in the Dallas Arts District and houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary sculpture. There are works on display in exhibit halls and also works displayed outdoors on the center's 2.4 acre campus. Exhibits at the center are rotated in and out of the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection of sculpture which, despite many attempts from major museums to move the collection, remained in Dallas due to the determination of the late Raymond Nasher to keep the collection local.

If you happen to be visiting at the right time the center has regular featured events which include:

  • "Target First Saturdays" for children and families
  • "Til Midnight" which features Al Fresco dining, twilight strolls, bands and movies
  • The "NasherSalon" series which welcomes distinguished speakers on art, architecture, and other cultural topics

Information about the featured events schedule, operating hours, prices and more can be found at http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/

Final Thoughts

Like most major metropolitan areas the Dallas area is home to a many attractions and entertainment options that cater to almost any tastes. The “Six Best” featured here will provide anyone with a worthwhile and enjoyable day out but if by some chance none of these options blow you away a quick internet search should provide alternatives.

Enjoy your day out in Dallas.