Dallas, Texas is home to many hidden gems. There are so many fun things to do in Dallas, including educational experiences, thrilling adventures, and peaceful walking areas. This city can make an excellent trip for anyone, as long as they choose their attractions carefully.
Here are 12 fun things to do in Dallas to help you make those final decisions. Which attractions sound the most appealing to you?
#1 – The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
This former Texas School Book Depository is now a museum dedicated to the late president John F. Kennedy. While this attraction certainly won’t be an uplifting one, it will give you a lot of insight about Kennedy’s last days alive. There are exhibits about the political climate of the time, along with information on Kennedy’s trip to Texas, and finally, exhibits on the day of the shooting. President Kennedy was murdered in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963. So, it makes sense that a historical museum like this one would be the perfect place to commemorate his life. As the name of this museum implies, it can be found on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administrative Building, and it’s full of artifacts, news footage, and photographs from Kennedy’s life.
#2 – Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the country, housing over 25,000 works from the third century all the way until the present day. It was first established in 1903, and it covers 159,000 square feet. It has pieces from many well-known artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Claude Monet, and Vincent van Gogh. On top of the many permanent exhibits this museum has, there are also temporary exhibits that showcase various themes and collections. If you love looking at art, this is certainly one of the most fun things to do in Dallas.
#3 – Dallas Zoo
The Dallas Zoo is the perfect family outing on a warm, sunny day. It’s a 106-acre zoo that’s home to over 2,000 animals, about 406 of which are different species. It was first established in 1888, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It has a wide range of unique exhibits, including an otter environment, a massive savanna space, a birds in flight show, and an endangered tiger habitat. If you want a break from walking around, you can take a 20-minute monorail ride that brings you past some of the animals, including hippos, okapis, and zebras. For families who never get tired of looking at animals, you can also check out the Fort Worth Zoo, which is a little further, but still has 64 acres of space.
#4 – Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas Zoo might have animals from all over the world, but if aquatic animals are your favorite, then you’ll adore the Dallas World Aquarium. This attraction is a reasonable walking distance from most of the downtown area. This building was a warehouse up until the aquarium was built in 1924. Today, it has over 87,000 gallons of saltwater, and it’s home to more than just fish. You’ll find penguins, caimans, eels, otters, frogs, axolotls, and turtles. Surprisingly, it also has a few land animals too, including flamingos, ocelots, and sloths. It’s like a mini zoo that specializes in water-loving species.
#5 – Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a massive building that’s easily recognizable for the tilted window on the side. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Dallas because its structure alone is appealing to visitors. The building was made with innovative, eco-friendly designs. Inside, you’ll find a wide range of interactive exhibits to help all ages learn about the importance of science and nature. You can do things like make your own robot, stimulate an earthquake, and creature music while in a sound studio. All these activities might just sound like fun, but they’re also great learning experiences. This museum has five floors, which include a 3D theater and a playground for the kids. So, it’s an attraction that you surely won’t want to miss.
#6 – Reunion Tower
The Reunion Tower isn’t the tallest structure in Dallas, but it’s the easiest to spot. It’s a tall, skinny tower with a rounded top, which lights up at night. The top of the Reunion Tower now has a restaurant that revolves for 360-degree views of the city. It also has a GeO-Deck observation area, which has interactive displays and information about this special landmark. No matter what time of day you visit this tower, you are sure to be amazed by its incredible sights. But if you’re scared of heights, this might not be the best attraction for you.
#7 – Nasher Sculpture Center
The Nasher Sculpture Center is a beautiful indoor and outdoor sculpture space. It’s within walking distance of the Dallas Museum of Art, so you can easily visit both in one day. The massive outdoor sculptures are surrounded by a beautiful green space with lots of trees. Inside, you’ll find some famous works from artists like Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. The pieces are occasionally rotated to showcase the wide variety of sculptures in the center’s collection. In addition to admiring artwork, this center also hosts events from time to time, including lectures and concerts.
#8 – Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Like the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is another one of the fun things to do in Dallas if you enjoy peaceful walks outside. This attraction takes up 66 acres, and it sits right along the shore of White Rock Lake. It has a wide variety of plants to admire, including flowers, shrubs, and trees. It also has a few sculptures and fountains scattered throughout. In the hot summer months, some areas of the park even spray mist regularly, which is relaxing for both you and the plants. This gorgeous space even holds many events, including art shows, festivals, educational programs, and guided tours.
#9 – John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza
If you found The Sixth Floor Museum fascinating, you should also check out the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza too. It’s found just a few blocks away from Dealey Plaza, so you can easily head over there after your trip to the museum. This monument was designed by architect Philip Johnson, who was also a friend of the Kennedy family. The massive walls of the monument are made up of 72 concrete columns with legs on each corner, which makes it look like it hovers over the ground at night. The open tomb design of the monument was made to represent Kennedy’s free spirit. This plaza won’t take much time out of your day, but it’s certainly worth a visit. It’s a remarkable structure and an opportunity to pay your respects.
#10 – Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas is technically in Arlington rather than directly in the city of Dallas, but if you’re a thrill-seeker, then it’s certainly worth the longer drive. It’s a 212-acre amusement park with a wide range of rides, from massive roller coasters to water park attractions to kid-friendly playgrounds. Thus, it’s exciting for the whole family no matter what time of day you visit. This location was the first park in the Six Flags chain, so it doesn’t cease to amaze its visitors. If you’re looking for a break from the educational attractions, why not let your family spend the day at this action-packed amusement park?
#11 – Fair Park
Fair Park is a 277-acre outdoor space in Dallas. It can be one of the most fun things to do in Dallas if there happens to be an event going on. As you might’ve guessed, this space is known as the main fairgrounds of the city, where over 1,200 events are held every year. This includes concerts, expos, and sporting events. Of course, it’s also home to the Texas State Fair, which goes on for about 24 days every September, with over 2 million guests in attendance annually. The massive ferris wheel is a notable sign that the state fair is going on. If you’re looking for something exciting to do during your stay in Dallas, check out which events will be at the Fair Park during your stay.
#12 – Nightly Spirits Ghost Tours
Finally, if you’re a night owl, you might want something that’s fun to do while most people would be sleeping. Nightly Spirits first started in 2012, and has since become a favorite haunted walking tour. During this tour, a small group of people will be led around the city by a tour guide in costume. Along the way, you’ll see haunted sights, hear ghost stories, and of course, drink some alcohol if you’d like. Four bars are included on the tour’s itinerary, so if you don’t grab a bite to eat before the tour, you’ll have plenty of options along the way.
Are you looking for some fun things to do in Dallas? Luckily, you have plenty of attractions to choose from. Dallas is full of history and excitement, so all ages can find something to love. With these 12 exciting events in mind, you should be on your way to planning the perfect trip for you and your family. If you love Texas, there are also plenty of fun attractions in Austin, Houston, and El Paso!