Say yes to Dallas.
If you tell someone who hasn’t been to Dallas that you are going there, you might be asked why. Dallas? Why not Europe, California, New Mexico, Bermuda?
Well, Dallas has many attractions for all ages, is easy to fly in and out of and doesn’t require a passport. I say, why not? Here are some highlights:
The luxe department store Neiman Marcus started in Dallas and the Galleria mall was one of the early luxury malls, offering valet parking and a bevy of upscale shops. But the Galleria also boasts an indoor skating rink, a rain forest-themed Play Place (for those under 42 inches), fine dining, and a gorgeous Westin hotel.
2. Enjoy the outdoors
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden has only been around since 1984 but is already part of the landscape. The gardens are spectacular, there’s a wonderful cafe and The Children’s Adventure Garden offers fun for younger visitors. In spring and summer, you can visit until 8pm on Wednesdays. On Thursday evenings there are concerts where you can bring a blanket and sit on the lawn.
Klyde Warren Park, an urban green space, offers free music and dance performances, story telling, fitness classes, and movies. At Petanque, a putting green, ping-pong, splash fountains, and a children’s garden are also on offer. The park, which opened in 2012, is a gathering spot for food trucks.
3. Art – yes, there is culture
Dallas Museum of Art is one of the country’s largest art museums and has collections ranging from Pre-Columbian to contemporary art. On the third Friday of each month the museum is open until midnight with concerts, performances, screenings and more.
The Nasher Sculpture Center, which is walking distance from the Museum of Art, could also quality as an outdoor attraction; some of the sculptures are outside. It’s worthwhile to plan around the free monthly First Saturdays program when admission is waived.
History buffs should head to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. This museum offer a deep dive into details of President Kennedy’s assassination, and legacy, and is housed in the alleged location of shooter Lee Harvey Oswald. News footage, voice recordings and photographs tell the story; elementary school children should listen to the special kids’ audio tour.
5. Cars (and trucks – this is Texas after all)
Driving is pretty much the only way to get around the city; however, there is a rail system and buses are free downtown. The DFW Auto Show, March 16-20, lets you see the latest new cars and trucks. The show is held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.