With 30 unique neighborhoods, over 12,000 restaurants, and numerous year-round events, Dallas, Texas, has something for everyone. Here we take a look at some of the highlights.
The Dallas World Aquarium
Located in Downtown Dallas, this award-winning aquarium aids conservation efforts by promoting understanding through its educational projects as well as providing homes for many endangered species. Opened in 1992, the aquarium features 10 main tanks that are home to marine life from across the globe, including Japan, Sri Lanka, British Columbia, and Fiji. In its impressive 40-foot glass tunnel, visitors are surrounded by marine life from the continental shelf. The aquarium has an extensive education program working with several local schools to promote environmental awareness.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
This natural history and science museum, opened in 1936, features exhibits such as The Moody Family Children’s Museum, which is home to miniature versions of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge as well as a playground comprised of pint-sized Dallas landmarks such as Dallas County Court House and Reunion Tower.
The Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth Hall features earthquake and tornado simulators as well as actual footage of real Texan tornadoes.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Located in East Dallas, this 66-acre botanical garden abuts the shore of White Rock Lake. Built on Rancho Encinal, a Spanish-style estate known for its extensive flower gardens, the arboretum offers impressive views of the downtown Dallas skyline. Highlights include the Margaret Elisabeth Jonsson Color Gardens, home to daffodils, azaleas, camellias, and tulips, while Pecan Grove comes into its own in the fall, attracting visitors from near and far for its pumpkin and gourd displays at the Autumn at the Arboretum festival.
Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark
This year-round waterpark boasts a range of slides, rides, and pools to keep the whole family entertained whatever the weather. The Flowrider provides a perfect, everlasting wave where visitors can learn to boogie board. Not for the fainthearted, the Prairie Plunge is an enclosed body slide that culminates in a 50-foot sheer drop.
George W. Bush Presidential Center
The Bush Center takes visitors back to the terms of President George W. Bush with the George W. Bush Museum and Presidential Library, operated by the George W. Bush Institute and the National Archives and Records Administration. The center staged numerous events throughout 2018, including Remembering Barbara Bush and The Art & Leadership of Winston Churchill.
The Dallas Opera stages a range of classic and contemporary tales, with 2018-19 productions including The Flying Dutchman, Carmen, and La Bohème. Ticket prices for mainstage performances vary from just $19 to $289. The venue’s Brothers Grimm fairytale productions are part of their family-friendly series, the perfect introduction to opera for children.
Texan Horse Park at River Ranch offers trail rides and riding lessons for both children and adults of all abilities. The mission of River Ranch is to promote healing and education through horses, community, animals, and nature to help honor individuals and make them feel accepted and empowered. This nonprofit organization provides scholarships to special needs and at-risk minors in Dallas and surrounding communities. It also provides services for senior citizens and veterans.
The Sixth Floor Museum
This museum is a celebration of the life of President John F. Kennedy and his contribution to American politics. It is housed in the former Texas School Book Depository, from which Lee Harvey Oswald opened fire on John F. Kennedy’s motorcade, assassinating the president on November 22, 1963.
Highlights at the museum include the Bill Winfrey Collection, featuring over 800 images of the weekend of assassination and its following events taken by the longtime Dallas Morning News reporter. Meanwhile, the Cold War exhibit takes visitors back to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the post-war era of anti-Communism.
Klyde Warren Park
Adjacent to the Dallas Arts District, Klyde Warren Park is a showcase of culture, providing a focal point for outdoor activities in the area. The park hosts outdoor performances by local arts organizations including the Dallas Chamber Symphony, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas, and the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico.
Built in 1978, this 561-foot-high observation tower is arguably the most recognized landmark in the whole of Dallas. Located downtown, Reunion Tower is the 15th tallest building in Dallas. Attracting visitors from across the US, its observation deck, or GeO-Deck, provides 360-degree panoramic views of the city and beyond. Reunion Tower also features a revolving fine-dining restaurant opened by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. The building is also home to Cloud 9 Café and a gift shop.