Arts & Culture News

52 Things You Should Do in Dallas This Year

Reunion Tower: at 561 feet, the best happy hour for miles around
Reunion Tower: at 561 feet, the best happy hour for miles around

The new year is here and you're still hopeful that this will be the year that you make a big change in your life You're probably thinking of ways to burn off those pounds you put on at Christmas. The gym is lame. Would you rather spend time watching resolutioners misuse exercise equipment while taking selfies or have an adventure in the city doing stuff you’ve never done before?

Lived here your whole life and think you’ve seen it all? You’re lying and we know it. Got friends or family coming to visit? You know they’re going to ask, “What’s there to do here?” We’ve got your covered, so don’t shrug with the “The Sixth Floor Museum, and I’ve never actually been there,” defeated answer.

Find out what makes them tick and pick from our list of 52 Things You Should Do. Most of these activities are in Dallas proper or the neighboring burbs, with the occasional field trip to Fort Worth for Cowtown shenanigans. Hell, you don’t even need a friend as an excuse, check one thing off every weekend, send us proof, and we’ll send you our highly coveted Dallas Observer Culture Aficionado merit badge (we won’t, but we might offer you a writing gig).

In no particular order, here you go.

1. Catch a Texas Rangers game (in the AC!) at the new Globe Life Field.

2. Take your pup for a stroll in Klyde Warren Park, read one of the books in the park's lending libraries, and grab a bite from a food truck while you’re there.

3. Break your high score in Pac-Man and other old-school video games at Free Play in Richardson.

4. Try to outrun a Tyrannosaurus Rex at the Perot Museum.

5. Conquer your fear of heights by going to happy hour at the bar atop Reunion Tower.

6. Shop at the boutiques in the Bishop Arts District.

7. Patio dine with some classic Tex-Mex at Manny’s Uptown.

8. Watch the Cowboys practice making bad coaching decisions at The Star in Frisco.

9. Enjoy pumpkins and fall foliage at The Dallas Arboretum.

10. Feed the giraffes at the Dallas Zoo or marvel at the sea creatures at the Dallas Aquarium. We know you've only done one of these two things.

11. Watch in awe at the largest fireworks display in the area during Kaboom Town in Addison.

12. Stare at a painting until you can describe it from memory at the Dallas Museum of Art.

13. Go see Luka Doncic put up another triple-double at a Dallas Mavericks game.

14. Ride bikes around White Rock Lake.

15. Talk to the hologram of a Holocaust survivor at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.

16. Enjoy a signature margarita (trust us, you only need one) from Gloria’s Latin Cuisine.

17. Do a haunted pub crawl in downtown. The more you drink, the more ghosts you’ll see.

18. Check out the video game museum in Frisco.

19. Cool off at Epic Waters in Grand Prairie, Texas’ largest indoor water park.

20. Vomit on a classic roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas.

21. See the most expensive yard art ever created at the Nasher Sculpture Center. After spinning on the chairs at the front, of course.

22. Grab a Lone Star beer and hear old-school country at Mama Tried in Deep Ellum.

23. Have a staring contest with the giant eyeball outside the Joule Hotel in downtown.

24. Catch some crazy XFL football at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

25. Treat your ears to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson.

26. People watch at NorthPark Center. And slide down the planters like a kid.

27. Visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU.

28. Hit an exacta at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie.

29. Pay too much for coffee and shop for stuff you can’t afford in Highland Park Village.

30. Ride the McKinney Avenue Trolley.

31. Hire an outfit and kayak down the Trinity River.

32. Buy fresh produce at the Dallas Farmers Market.

33. Eat rotisserie chicken like a peasant while watching knights joust at Medieval Times.

34. Jog the Katy Trail, then stop and have a beer at Katy Trail Icehouse.

35. Get lost at the Nebraska Furniture Mart in The Colony.

36. Check out the red-backed bearded saki at the Dallas World Aquarium.

37. Have a hamburger and listen to some tunes at Adair’s Saloon in Deep Ellum.

38. Ice skate at The Galleria.

39. Try not to stare at the 160-foot wide big screen while taking in a Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium.

40. Buy a unique piece of furniture at the Dallas Design District.

41. Head to Fort Worth and watch tourists fail to two-step at Billy Bob’s Texas (and ladies, make sure to buy a bull scrotum purse).

42. Venture up to Frisco and see an FC Dallas soccer game at Toyota Stadium.

43. Take an art tour. Visit the teddy bear statues in Highland Park, the street art in Deep Ellum and the Selena mural in Oak Cliff.

44. Eat fried everything at the State Fair of Texas.

45. Visit Bonnie and Clyde's graves on Valentine's Day.

46. Have some damn fine BBQ at Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum. If you're vegan, sit under the indoor patio tree and have the buffet at Hare Krishna temple Kalachandji's.

47. Brush up on your aviation knowledge at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

48. Take in the ambiance, drink some wine and see a play at the Winspear Opera House.

49. Enjoy a dry-aged ribeye and some Texas-sized onion rings at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.

50. Take a peaceful nature walk at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.

51. Catch a cool acoustic gig at the historic Kessler Theater, then buy some vinyl at Top Ten Records.

52. Finally go to The Sixth Floor Museum and Dealey Plaza.