Everything is bigger in Texas, including the city life. As one of the most popular cities in Texas, Dallas has plenty of destinations, events, and activities to support a fun and well-rounded visit.
Keep reading to find some of the best things to do in Dallas and plan your trip today!
18 Best Thing to Do in Dallas in 2023
Most people who visit Texas plan to check out at least one of their big cities. From Houston to Austin, there’s a lot to see in this giant state.
While it may not be the largest city or even the capital, Dallas is a widely recognized Texan staple, known for its great people, state fairs, and, of course, the Dallas Cowboys.
There’s a lot to check out in this large city. With all that in mind, let’s find some exciting things to do in Dallas.
1. Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
If you love stunning displays of flowers and fresh air, you simply must visit the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This captivating destination features 66 acres of display gardens with flowers that bloom year-round.
There are plenty of botanical gardens in the country, but this one was named One of the Most Breathtaking Gardens in the World by Architectural Digest.
There are hundreds of thousands of blooms to see in the spring, and the gardens get decorated in the fall with more than 90,000 pumpkins and gourds. Check out their website for their events calendar.
2. Margarita Mile (21 & Up)
For a long time now, Dallas has dubbed itself the official home of the frozen margarita. You can get a frozen margarita anywhere, but everything is bigger and better in Texas, right?
Margarita Mile is a self-guided margarita trail in Dallas that opens each summer. During the season, bars and restaurants all over the center of the city serve up their best and brightest frozen margaritas, as well as apparel and swag to celebrate the event.
You can stay up to date on the Visit Dallas website, and the mile even has its own Instagram account. It’s the perfect activity for some of-age adults looking for a party – or should we say fiesta.
3. Take a JFK Assassination Tour
Did you know that Dallas is where the infamous assassination of President John F. Kennedy took place? For this reason, the city boasts numerous tours that take you through the journey.
Tour guides will explain the facts, myths, and theories behind the assassination as you visit places like the Grassy Knoll and the JFK Memorial. Some tours also include a trip to Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House.
If you’re a history buff, one of these guided tours will be right up your alley.
4. Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Dallas has several museums and historical attractions, but one of the must-visits is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The stunning architecture of the building itself is enough to draw you in, and the educational exhibits seal the deal.
Inside the Perot Museum, you will find rare fossils, animal bones, and dinosaur displays. There are also tons of gems, rocks, and minerals to explore, along with a whole floor focused on outer space and all its stars and planets.
This museum isn’t just about looking, either. There are plenty of interactive exhibits, including the Engineering and Innovation Hall and the Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall. It’s an exciting place for families and an excellent way to spend the day.
5. Visit Reunion Tower
The city of Dallas is a sight to behold. The rooftop bars let you catch a glimpse of the city from above, but if you truly want to see it all, then you need to visit Reunion Tower.
This 561-foot observation tower stands tall among most of the city’s skyscrapers. The tower is covered in lights that glow come nighttime, making it impossible to miss.
Inside, guests can ride the elevator to the globe at the top for the best view of the city. But the tower is much more than just a lookout. It has event rooms you can rent for parties and special occasions.
It also has restaurants for an unbelievable date night – including special date night packages for two. During the day, check out the GeO-Deck to see the view, snap some photos, and learn a little more about the city.
6. Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium, located near the Historic West End District in downtown Dallas, had some humble beginnings when it first opened in an empty warehouse in the 1920s.
Today, it is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited destination, as well as a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The best part about the Dallas World Aquarium is that it’s more of an aquarium and zoo in one facility. The aquarium boasts tons of marine life, including all kinds of fish, seadragons, crabs, sharks, and rays. And don’t forget the adorable penguins.
The aquarium features a rainforest exhibit, which is home to several types of birds. Later, you can see reptiles and amphibians in the Mundo Maya cenote.
7. Horseback Riding at Ascend
If you make your way down to Southwest Dallas, you will find a stunning camp called Ascend. This wooded and trail-covered area offers fun and relaxing horseback riding for beginners and experienced riders alike.
Take a one-hour trail ride or ride in the fenced area, including lots of pictures and help from trained equestrians. You don’t have to have any experience at all; in fact, newbies are welcomed with open arms!
And if horseback riding isn’t your thing, the camp also offers fun activities like paintballing, outdoor movies, group camping, bubble soccer, archery, and more. It’s the perfect place to get your family outdoors for a glorious day of sunshine and activities.
8. Go to a Cowboys Game
If you’ve never experienced a Dallas Cowboys football game before, now is your chance to check out America’s Team up close and personal. AT&T Stadium is the largest domed structure in the world, making that an incredible experience in itself.
You can even book a VIP guided tour of this massive facility if you’re interested. On game day, the only way to get the complete Dallas experience is to tailgate before the game.
The stadium parking lots have designated tailgate spaces that open five hours before game time, giving you plenty of time to enjoy some food and activities. Experience the fans and rivalries up close and personal during your Dallas visit.
9. Rent a Party Bike
Dallas has more than wholesome family activities. It’s also a great place for a bachelor/bachelorette or just a fun getaway with friends. And one of the best ways to push the fun over the edge in Dallas is by renting a party bike for a pub crawl in Downtown Dallas.
As the party bike drives, you and your friends get the pedal along with drinks in hand. The bike will take you throughout Deep Ellum, stopping at bars along the way. You can bring your own drinks, too.
This two-hour ride is guaranteed to be one of the most fun trips of your life. If you’re looking to get the party started, a party bike is a great way to do it.
10. Museum of Biblical Art
There is no shortage of museums and exhibits in Dallas! However, this particular museum has a specific theme that might capture your attention more than others – especially if you come from a religious or spiritual background.
The Museum of Biblical Art houses exhibits and displays relating to Bibliology. There are biblically related artifacts, paintings, historical objects, and more in this fascinating museum.
This museum keeps people on their toes, as its exhibits are always changing. Even if you’ve been here before, they may have something new in store.
Their exhibits have specifically featured a sculpture garden, a European art treasury, and the art conservation lab. Their National Center for Jewish Art is always up and running as a permanent feature, along with the Resurrection Mural by Ron DiCianni.
Whether you’re looking to learn more about your faith or heritage or you just want to check out some history, this is a great place to be.
11. Visit Fort Worth
If you have a free day and a car during your trip to Dallas, it’s definitely worth the half-hour drive to go visit Fort Worth. This city is full of fun and exciting things to do and makes an excellent day trip during your Dallas vacation.
The Fort Worth Stockyards feature a living museum dedicated to the wild west of Texas. There are restaurants with classic cowboy food, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and plenty of horses.
Fort Worth is also home to Sundance Square, which has plenty of dance halls, saloons, and gambling parlors. A day spent in Fort Worth is a day well spent, indeed. If you’re looking to fill an extra day during your trip, this is the place to be.
12. Legoland Discovery Center
Are you traveling with children? Or do you simply love the simplicity and nostalgia of Legos? Either way, you should check out the Legoland Discovery Center in Dallas.
This entertainment center is full of fun activities and sites to see. It has rides, a 4D theater, and a fantastic gift shop. And of course, what would LegoLand be without the opportunity to build something?
You and your kids can build and test Lego race cars, and little builders can head over to Duplo Village to play with big blocks.
Meet Lego characters, check out the virtual reality experience, and bring your bathing suits for the outdoor water experience, Pirate Beach. There’s so much to do at Legoland, so be sure to check out their website for more information and trip planning.
13. Six Flags Over Texas
Not to be confused with Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Over Texas is a theme park in the Dallas area, named for the six nations that have controlled the region throughout history.
Six Flags is an entertaining and exciting amusement park divided into nine sections, with themes like Mexico and Looney Tunes. There are plenty of rides for kids, families, and thrill-seekers alike, from the Batman ride to Caddo Lake Barge and everything in between.
Dozens of rides are coupled with special events, live shows, food, and shopping. Just check out the park’s website to plan your trip and see what kind of activities they have in store for you and your family.
14. Try Some Fabulous Food
There are so many restaurants in the Dallas area that we would have to create a separate post to cover them all. Instead, we’ll just give you a few different suggestions and encourage you to spread your wings and try as many as you can!
There is absolutely no shortage of Tex-Mex cuisine in Dallas. We particularly love E Bar Tex-Mex for authentic Southwestern Mexican food, and this place does not disappoint.
If you’re looking to experience some top-notch seafood with a casual atmosphere, head over to S&D Oyster Company where their oyster appetizer is a must-have.
Meanwhile, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse is a classic American steakhouse with delicious, high-end options and an upscale feel. Don’t forget to check out their dessert menu, too.
And finally, start your day right with a tasty and impressive breakfast at Maple Leaf Diner. This cozy spot has all the classics and then some: chicken and waffles, cream puffs, Southern eggs Benedict, and all the pancakes you could want.
15. Cheer on the Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars hockey team is one of the most successful sports franchises in Dallas. So, if you want to go your sports action on, a Stars game is the way to do it. The Stars play at the American Airlines Center in Victory Park.
There’s not a bad seat in the house, and there are tons of excellent food options inside.
Be sure to get to the game in time for all the pregame excitement. Wear anything green and you’ll fit right in. Before or after the game, you can celebrate (hopefully) a win in Victory Park, which is home to restaurants, bars, and shopping.
16. Fixation VR
A lot of vacations can feel like the same things over and over again: eating food, sitting on the beach, taking museum tours, and going to bars.
But if you want to do something that your entire family will truly remember forever, then you have to visit Fixation VR. Fixation VR is the largest and most advanced virtual reality arcade in the state of Texas.
The arcade is packed with over 100 virtual reality experiences, from zombie fighting to lightsaber play to boxing and more. There are horror games for the bravest of the brave and games more appropriate for younger children.
There are also job simulators and art-focused experiences, along with VR rec rooms and virtual escape rooms. In short, there’s something for everyone here – even if you don’t enjoy video games regularly.
17. Cavanaugh Flight Museum
Anyone interested in planes and aviation will love taking a tour of the Cavanaugh Flight Museum. The non-profit’s goal is to promote aviation education and maintain America’s aviation heritage.
Housed at the museum are tons of vintage aircraft and planes that hold historical significance. The experts at the museum restore, operate, and maintain these aircraft, all while displaying them for the public to learn more about.
Head to the museum to check out these aircrafts up close and personal. Your self-guided tour will lead you through the coolest aircraft of history paired with education signs about each display.
It’s a super cool and affordable family activity that lets you see aviation equipment ranging from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and so much more.
18. Check Out the Mavericks
If hockey isn’t your thing, you can still head to American Airlines Center to catch a basketball game with the Dallas Mavericks. One of the best things about the Mavericks is their fan base.
Almost every single game gets completely sold out, which lets you experience a full, booming arena and an exciting game at any time.
If you don’t have any Mavs gear, just make sure you wear blue. The team and their hype crew, including two mascots and a drumline, will take care of the rest. Be prepared to go out with your buddies afterward; there are plenty of great bars in the area.
Things to Consider
If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Dallas, there are a few things you should keep in mind during the planning process. Here’s a quick list of things to consider:
- Set your trip budget first and stick to it
- Explore a wide range of hotel options
- Consider getting a rental car if you plan to fly in
- Research local fairs and festivals happening while you’re there
- Consider working with a travel agent
- Look for city event and activity bundles to save
- Stay hydrated during summer visits
Frequently Asked Questions
Dallas reaches high ranks on many travel sites as one of the best cities to visit in the large state of Texas, so it makes sense that people would have questions about it before planning their trips. Check out a few FAQs that might help you coordinate your net visit.
What is the weather like in Dallas?
The weather in Dallas will depend on what time of year you visit the city. Texas is known for its warm temperatures, so there’s a very slim chance you will ever need to pack a heavy jacket.
From April to October, the city sees warm weather ranging from the 70s to the upper 90s, so be prepared to dress cool and drink lots of water. The remaining months generally see temperatures in the 70s, 60, and perhaps the high 50s, and it doesn’t rain a lot there.
Does Dallas get crowded?
While the uptown Dallas area can get very crowded, the population is far less dense than in other cities in the country. Dallas estimates close to 4,000 people per square mile, while a city such as New York has over 27,000 people per square mile.
In addition, Dallas has far more spreads of open land, less traffic, and more freeways than other large cities.
Is Dallas expensive to visit?
Your Dallas visit can be as expensive or budget-friendly as you make it. Dallas offers plenty of free activities, including fairs, festivals, and events hosted in its many local parks.
You can also find great vacation bundles in the city that combine multiple activities and events for one discounted price. Be sure to plan your activities around your budget, not the other way around, and you can make Dallas an inexpensive yet fun trip.
Also, we should mention that Dallas (and especially the surrounding areas like San Antonio) have great public transportation in the form of buses, taxis, and ubers.
Is Dallas good for families?
Dallas certainly has things to offer for single folks looking to adventure, but it’s a great city for families to visit as well. There are tons of family-friendly activities, such as sporting events, fairs, state parks, farms, museums, rodeos, and much more.
Is Dallas better than Houston?
Dallas and Houston are often regarded as rival cities in the state of Texas. If you’re trying to decide which city to visit, it’s a good idea to consider what each city has to offer.
Houston has plenty to offer in terms of rodeos, museums, and art. However, Dallas wins out when it comes to scenery, fairs, and a close-knit vibe.
So, What’s the Best Thing to Do in Dallas?
Dallas is such a fantastic city; it’s difficult to nail down the number one best things to do during your visit! If you want to get the best Dallas experience, make sure you plan your trip in a way that allows you to enjoy a well-rounded list of activities.
Dallas is great for families, girls’ trips, bachelor parties, business trips, and solo adventures, so you can’t go wrong.
Anyone who enjoys sports, the great outdoors, restaurants, bars, festivals, and site-seeing will have the time of their lives in Dallas. Use our list of the best things to do in Dallas and you will have a blast.