Trees is best known for its metal and hard rock bills, but the venue is also home to a lot of great hip-hop shows. It seems any genre can sound good in Trees, and that's not a slight. The thick bounce of hip-hop beats translates from the front to the back. Locals and up-and-comers have performed here, and it's welcoming to the future.

Brian Maschino
FOE pool
Since it opened in the 1970s, the place has earned a reputation for being a hot spot for hard-bodied twentysomethings and hipsters, but it really is a nice spot for families and older folks as well. It’s cozy, nestled among shady trees and a grassy lawn where one can lie out or picnic. It’s super-casual; there’s burgers and sand volleyball, too. If you aren’t a member, you pay $10 to get in on the weekends, $7 during the weekdays. The place is usually packed, so be prepared. Hit up one of two bars for reasonably priced drinks.
Kathy Tran
Late night at the DMA
When you’re really looking to impress on a first date, consider the Late Nights program at The Dallas Museum of Art. On the third Friday of every month — be sure to check their website for the occasional one-off, obviously — the museum stays open till midnight offering live music, film screenings, museum tours, talks from notable authors and artists, bites and adult beverages. No two nights are exactly the same, making Late Nights a viable option for second and third dates too, should you be so lucky.
Mike Brooks
Box Garden
What’s better than an eco-friendly outdoor music venue? An eco-friendly outdoor music venue that is part of Legacy Hall, Plano’s new European-style food hall, and employs Gavin Mulloy, formerly of Trees and The Bomb Factory, as its marketing director. Denton native Sarah Jaffe performed at the Box Garden’s grand opening in May, a promising start for the space that can hold up to 1,200 people. Bring your dog to listen to music, watch the big game or even compete in Mario Kart on a giant LED screen.
Kathy Tran
Longhorn Ballroom
The Longhorn Ballroom almost got the wrecking ball last year. Originally built in 1950, the 23,000-square-foot hall once owned by Bob Wills (and managed by Jack Ruby) was set for demolition to make way for new real estate. But like the phoenix, fate intervened in early 2017 when Dallas businessman Jay LaFrance purchased it at the eleventh hour. After an exhaustive restoration, it’s now a fully functional country music venue and bar that somehow manages to maintain its homespun, boot-scootin’ vibes. New generations of Dallasites can channel the ghosts of vintage Willie, Conway and Charley shows while also standing in the same vicinity as where Sid Vicious once played an entire show with his face covered in blood.
Alison McLean
STIRR inspires devotion among Deep Ellumites. Its table settings are upscale, and the unframed doorways expose the building’s industrial core. But that’s not what you’re here for: You want to see the view. And we’re not talking about the cityscape, lovely as it is. STIRR is the perfect place to serve imprudent cocktails and game-day specials like Brats N Blankets, because the view of downtown is mostly peripheral — the people you’re with, or the ones you could meet, are the main attractions on this rooftop bar. Take a seat at the bar top, or plop yourself down in close quarters on one of the trendy white sofa chairs. It’s a great spot for groups to catch up over an expansive menu of drinks and food.
Kathy Tran
Sweet Tooth Hotel
In its limited run, Sweet Tooth Hotel offered Dallasites a new kind of selfie-friendly art experience with a Willy Wonka-esque art installation, exhibition and retail pop-up, giving attendees who “check in” a taste of the new trend of interactive, highly Instagrammable art experiences complete with neon cacti, giant candy pieces and an unforgettable bathroom with a pink claw-foot bathtub. This 1,200-square-foot temple to candy and confectionery boasts rooms filled with candy-themed art collaborations with names such as Built by Bender’s Sprinkle Spa, Shamsy Roomiani’s Rainbow Confection, Jojo Chuang’s Cotton Candy Island and more inspired creations by several other artists. Husband-and-wife duo Cole and Jencey Keeton dreamed up and coordinated the artists who brought their vision for the space to life. The Keetons teased their next pop-up Sweet Tooth Hotel “1955” with “What does a rocket ship fueled by rainbows look like?” “1955” opens November 1.
Not everything is as it seems. Take High & Tight, for instance. Hidden behind a nondescript door at the back of the shop is a watering hole unlike any other in the city. Equipped with vintage barstools and 1920s decor, it could be straight out of the Prohibition Era. The craft cocktails, however, are definitely modern. On weekends, the bar’s vintage sofas are prime real estate. Grab a spot if you can and settle in for live music and silent movies.
Mikel Galicia
Fortress Festival
As music festivals go in Big D, you’ve got Homegrown, you’ve got Old 97s County Fair and you’ve got Fortress Fest. While technically in Fort Worth (hence the name), Texas Monthly has called it “an arbiter of taste,” so let’s just go with it. Attendees are blessed with not only world-class music, but world-class art, and all in the heart of Fort Worth’s cultural district. The 2018 lineup included Observer favorites Father John Misty and Texas Gentlemen. It’s only two years old and has already earned these distinctions. Nowhere to go but up.

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