White rock paddle co.

Fun Things to Do in Dallas Instead of a Netflix Binge

We all know that feeling you get when Netflix asks, “Are you still watching?” It’s a mixture of shame, worthlessness and guilt with a hint of twisted pride sprinkled on top.   We have come up with the list of fun things to do in Dallas that will surely get you out of the house and make you fall in love with the Big D all over again.  There are some things on this list that you’ve definitely never heard of, and then there are some old favorites in here that you’ve always known about but just need another push to go out and re-experience them.  So, if you’re looking for a cure to your JadedandBoredDallasitus*,  just take a few of these and call us in the morning.

*a medical term

Go Uptown on the M-Line Trolley


Location: Uptown to Downtown via McKinney
Price: FREE
When: Errday

We suggest starting with some sensible day-drinking and then going for a free ride throughout uptown and downtown on these fully-restored, old-school street cars. The trolley cars are heated during the winter months and air-conditioned during the rest of the year for nice comfortable ride. Nothing quite like some free, chauffeured sight-seeing on a sunny day.

Click here for routes and schedules.

Go Local at the Farmer’s Market

Dallas Farmers Market

Location: 1010 S. Pearl Expy.
Price: FREE (unless you buy stuff)
When: Errday 8:00am-5:00pm except for Wednesday (Weekends are best, though.)

This is always a fun trip whether you need groceries or not. Farmers, artisans, artists and vendors from all walks of culinary life gather here to sell their beautiful foods and produce in “The Shed”. Nothing like trying to start your healthy-eating kick by being surrounded by all the organic meat, cheeses, veggies, and hand-made treats you can imagine. The Market is open every day but Wednesday from 8:00AM to 5:00PM. We suggest going early Friday-Sunday to get a better selection that hasn’t been picked over.  Believe it or not, this frequently turns into a a full day of fun.

Bust a Sweat on the Katy Trail


Location: Downtown to SMU [MAP]
Price: FREE
When: Always

Take a walk, jog, or bike along this beautiful pedestrian trail that runs through the heart of Dallas. The Katy Trail was once an eyesore of unused railroad tracks that were converted in the early 2000’s.   On a pretty day, walk along the trail and take a minute (but probably a few hours) to cool off at the Katy Trail Ice House with a cold Texas beer on the patio. Which brings us to our next item on the list…

Park it on a Patio


Location: All Over Dallas
Price: Depends on what you’re drinkin’
When: Always

This may seem a very general suggestion, but when you are in a city that has arguably the best weather in the world, you take full advantage of the afternoons into the evenings sitting out on a bar patio. There are so many divine bar-yards in this town, many with breathtaking views of our Iconic Skyline. Some of our favorites are this aforementioned Katy Trail Ice House, Bar Belmont or Smoke at the Belmont Hotel, Lee Harvey’s and the Foundry to name a few.

Get Cultured at the Dallas Museum of Art


Location: 1717 North Harwood in Downtown
Price: FREE
When: 11am-5pm (till 9pm on Thurs) Closed Monday

In most cities, the one thing that stops me and most of the other people I know from visiting the fine art museum is that I have to shell out about $35 or so. Not in D-Town. In January, the Dallas Museum of Art became the first art museum in the country to offer free admission to everyone. It’s nice to put some pants on every once in a while and get some culture.

Go Wild at the Dallas Zoo

Location: 650 S. R. L. Thornton Frwy in South Dallas
Price: $15 Adults, $12 Childrens
When: 9am – 5pm

Oh, so you’ve been to the zoo before? When you were 12, huh?  WRONG!  You have NOT been to this zoo. There are always new things at the zoo, and significant changes and additions have recently been made, especially if it’s been a few years. The Dallas Zoo is awesome, and pretty wallet-friendly as far as zoos go. The Giants of the Savannah area is worth the admission price alone, but the largest zoo in Texas has so much more to offer. This was fun as a child, but going back as an adult is so much better.  Go check out the dinosaurs in Giants of the Jurrassic. Also, go on the monorail tour. It takes you on a tour of the whole zoo and gives you an aerial view of a lot of the animals enclosures and it’s awesome.

Wine and Wildflowers at the Arboretum

Location: 8525 Garland Road on White Rock Lak
Price: $15 but discounts are available HERE
When: Erryday 9am-5pm

This is one of those things that you hesitate to go to because you think, “Well, I can see flowers anywhere…” Not true. Every time I go to the Arboretum, I end up staying till it closes and I’m always happy I did. It is so much more than a glorified flower garden. Art exhibits, live concerts, and the Children’s Adventure Garden (my favorite place to start) make the Arboretum a perfect place to spend a free day.  Trying to impress someone?  Yes, you are.  This is a perfect place for a date.  The Arboretum is romantic as all hell.  Do this: spend a few hours walking around, then open up your backpack and say, “Oh! I forgot I had this blanket and this cheese and crackers, and this bottle of 1982 Chateau Lafitte in here!”  Works every time.

Stroll Through the Bishop Arts District

Bishop Arts District

Location: West of I35 in Oak Cliff
Price: FREE (unless you spend money)
When: It exists always.

A day, an afternoon, or an evening spent walking around the Bishop Arts District is a day well wasted. It’s also free… to walk around. There are so many interesting shops, bars, restaurants, as well as great people watching, however, you’re probably definitely going to want to shell out for a little piece of the “Williamsburg of Dallas”.

Check out the list of shops.

Barf on a Coaster at Six Flags

Six Flags

Location: 2201 Road to Six Flags St E, Arlington, TX 76011
Price: $66.99 at the door
When: 10am-10pm wknds until May, then erryday

If you have kids (or if you don’t) and you’ve never been, you have to go. At least once.  Sorry, but you do.  So far, it’s the most expensive thing on the list, but never pay full price. Buy in advance online and you’ll save $18. and if there’s ANY way you think you’ll go more than once in a year, get the season pass for $10 more and it includes free parking.  For a full list of attractions, make sure to check out Things to do at Six flags.

Go on a Jerry’s World Tour

AT&T Stadium

Location: One AT&T Way
Price: $17.50 – Adult Self guided tour
When: 10-6pm Mon-Sat, 11-5pm Sun

Take a tour of AT&T Stadium, home of America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. You have the option of self-guided or guided tours of the largest domed structure in the world. Also, make sure to bring a football or frisbee. At the end of the tour, walk out of the locker room through the tunnel and play on the field for as long as you want… Until you win.

Dive into the Dallas World Aquarium

Dallas World Aquarium

Location: 1801 N. Griffin Street in Downtown
Price: $20.95 – Adults
When: 9am-5pm Errday

Whether you’re an adult, or a child, the aquarium is just plain fun for the whole family. Check out this Dallas must-see and be prepared to have birds flying past your head and monkeys climbing on the walls. Oh ya, also there’s cool fish.

Check out the Dallas World Aquarium for more info.

Feed Your Soul at R.L.’s Blues Palace #2

RL's Blues Palace

Location: 3100 Grand Ave, Dallas, TX 75215
Price: $10 – Cover BYOB
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Evenings

A few blocks away from Fair Park sits a south Dallas jewel and a D-Town staple. R.L.’s has been around for a quarter century and is THE juke joint destination for blues, r&b, and soul. Bring your own booze and food, your dancing shoes, and be prepared get your mind blown. We recommend going on Saturday night around 8 and make sure not to miss the “Hen Dance”.

See Dallas from the Sky… Lobby


Location: 2200 Ross Ave. Dallas, TX 75201
Price: FREE
When: Weekdays 8am – 5pm

Walk through the South lobby of the Chase Tower in downtown and catch the elevator to the 40th floor to feast your eyes on one of the most spectacular views of Dallas. FOR FREE!!

Swing Away at Top Golf

Top Golf Driving Bay

Location: 8787 Park Lane
Price: $20/hour for up to 6 people
When: 9am-11pm (‘till 1am Fri-Sat)

Even for the non-golfer, Top Golf is a great way to spend your day. The food is hot and the beer is cold. The digital driving range has a number of different games to choose from for both avid golfers and first timers. Rent out a bay for up to six friends or check out the 54-hole minigolf course and batting cages.

Visit Top Golf for more information.

Do Go Chasing Waterfalls at Fountain Place

Fountain place

Location: 1445 Ross Avenue in Downtown
Price: FREE
When: All day long

At the base of Fountain Place (the iconic prism shaped building in Downtown) there is a spectacular water garden featuring over 350 fountain heads and multiple pools that sit in the shade provided by the many cyprus trees that grow out of the pools that surround the building. If you are walking around Downtown Dallas and need a place to cool down, this is a perfect place to do it. Go grab some lunch at one of the food trucks parked nearby and enjoy it in the shade next to the fountains.

Play On the Highway at Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren Park

Location: 2012 Woodall Rogers Fwy
Price: FREE
When: 6am-11pm daily

It’s a huge park over a huge freeway. With WIFI.  What!?!? But it’s so much more than a park with WIFI over a highway. With a gastropub, a dog park, a children’s playground, and live music on the stage every Thursday, it’s a great way to enjoy being outside in the middle of Downtown Dallas.

CLICK HERE to see the food truck schedule.

Day Drink at The Truck Yard

The Truck Yard

Location: 5624 Sears St. on Lower Greenville
Price: depends on what you’re drinkin’
When: 11am-12am

The Truck Yard is one of the best all day drinking experiences one can have. Think of an adult playground, with beer and stuff, live music on the flatbed truck stage, and a treehouse with craft bottled cocktails. This truly is one of my favorite places to park it all day with a group of friends. The Truck Yard also features different food trucks everyday. Check out the calendar on their website to see which trucks will be there. Also, you can bring your dog or your significant other. Which ever one fetches be

Hot Rods at Keller’s Drive-In

Keller's Hamburgers

Location: 6537 E Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75231
Price: $2.20 for a burger and up
When: 10:30am-10:30pm

This vintage car-hop has not changed at all since the 50’s. Come on the weekends and check out some vintage muscle cars, hot rods, and motorcycles all enjoying delicious burgers and ice cold beer, in their CARS. Yes, at this classic hamburger joint you can still order beer and enjoy it in your car while stuffing your face with one of the juiciest burgers in Dallas. Get the #5 with tater-tots and wash it down with a cold one.

Deep Fried Fun at the State Fair of Texas

Big Tex

Location: 3921 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Dallas, TX 75210
Price: General Admission – $18
When: Sep 25th – Oct 18th, 10am-9pm

Although this is a seasonal activity it’s a must for this list. The State Fair of Texas is the biggest state fair in the country and is filled with tons of cool things to do for the whole family.  More importantly, it’s the Mecca for all things deep fried!  It can be overwhelming trying to find the coolest activities to do there so be sure to check out their list of top 10 things to do each day of the Fair.  Don’t forget to say hello to Big Tex for us.


Experience the Other Side of Fair Park

pond at Fair Park

Fair Park

Location: 1121 First Avenue, Dallas, TX 75210
Price: Free (Depending on Activity)
When: All Day

Fair Park hosts the state fair every year, and regardless if you’re in town for it or not for it, there’s plenty cool things to do on the grounds. There’s tons of culture and history in this park and a few of our favorites include the murals in the Hall of State, The Woofus, and the Leonhardt Lagoon. Click here to see all the other fun things to do in Fair Park!

Geo-Deck at Reunion Tower

Location:300 Reunion Blvd East
Price: Adults – $16, Children – $8
When: 11am-9pm Sun-Thurs, ‘till 10pm Fri-Sat

The Ball Tower. The Lollipop Building. The Big Microphone. You know the one we’re talking about. Go to check out the Dallas skyline from arguably the most iconic part of it. Visiting the top of Reunion Tower provides a 360 degree view of Dallas and the rest of the Metroplex. Grab a bite to eat while you’re up there at Cloud Nine, or stay for dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s fine dining restaurant, Five Sixty.

Explore Trinity Groves

trinity groves, dallas

Location: Singleton Blvd on the West Side of the MHH Bridge
Price: Free
When: Anytime

Trinity Groves is located just on the West side of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (the big white bridge on Woodall Rogers). It serves as an incubator for startup businesses and restaurants and other fun shops.  With restaurants, retailf shops, and Four Corners Brewery, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied all day.  The giant patio out has amazing views of the skyline.  Make sure to grab some local beers and bites from our friends at LUCK.

Go Canoeing on White Rock Lake

White Rock Paddling Co.

Location: 315 E Lawther Dr, Dallas, TX 75218
Price: Single Rides $14.99/Hr – Tandem $20/Hr
When: Wed-Sun 10am-Sundown

Grab your family or a couple friends and head to White Rock Lake to enjoy this beautiful urban oasis smack dab in the middle of Dallas. White Rock Paddle Company offers canoe and kayak rentals and we definitely recommend taking one out so you can soak in the view from the middle of the lake. There are plenty of places to picnic so remember to bring some nibbles and don’t forget your sunblock!


Picnic in Dragon Park

Dragon Statue

Location: 3520 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, TX 75219
Price: FREE
When: 6am-9pm

This hidden treasure in Oak Lawn is a cozy and charming place to come and relax your mind. Mediate amongst the mythical statue creatures and admire the beautiful foliage while picnicking with friends or getting lost in a book.

Go Ice-Skating at the Galleria


Location: 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75240
Price: Admission – $10 , Skate Rentals – $3
When: Mon-Thurs 10am-10pm , Fri 10am-11:30pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-6pm

Who doesn’t like strapping thin blades on your feet and whirling around on the ice in the middle of a mall? Ok I’m sure there are people out there who would rather people watch and secretly hope someone falls. Good thing the mall is filled with plenty of places to watch, eat, and shop!


Drink and Ride on the Dallas Brew Bus

Location: 1530 Inspiration Dr, Dallas TX 75207
Price: $50
When: See Dallas Brew Bus for tour schedules

Drinking beer all day while riding around on a big yellow school bus is the best way to relive your middle school glory days. Brought to you by our friends at Dallas Brew Scene, $50 gets you a seat on the bus, complimentary beer samples at each brewery (3 breweries TBD), a snack from the culinary wizards at LUCK, and a commemorative beer snifter. Don’t forget to bring cash for the food trucks at each brewery. Be sure to book your tickets ahead of time because they sell out quickly.

Take the Road Less Traveled in the Trinity Trails

Hiking the Trinity

Location: Check Guides Here to see different trails.
Price: FREE
When: Anytime

It’s astonishing to see how preserved and beautiful this primitive, untouched wilderness is within a stone’s throw of Downtown Dallas. Take a hike and see where decades of indians, outlaws, and folk heroes once roamed. Our favorite trails are the McCommas Bluff Preserve Trail, the Lower White Rock Creek Valley Trail, and the ghost neighborhood of Floral Farms.

Haggle Prices Down at the West End Night Market

West End Night Market

Location: 2200 N. Record St., Dallas 75202
Price: Depends on your self control
When: 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month – 9pm Friday-2pm Saturday

At Woodall Rogers plaza in the West End under the bridge at McKinney Ave and Lamar street an all night sidewalk sale takes place twice a month. You can find all different sorts of great deals but the best time to shop is either right when the vendors open their booth around 9 on Friday, or when they are packing up at around 2 on Saturday. Remember to bring cash because some vendors might not accept cards.

Take a Walk Through Dallas History

grassy knoll

Location: 411 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75202
Price: Free
When: Sixth Floor Museum – 10am-6pm ; Old Red Museum 9am-5pm

This might be one of the more “touristy” things to do on this list, but there’s no shame in brushing up on some Dallas history. Conduct your own investigation of the JFK assassination on the Grassy Knoll after visiting the Sixth Floor Museum. Wrap things up by learning everything you need to know about Dallas’ roots in the Romanesque facade that was once the Dallas County Courthouse.

Catch a Show at the Granada Theater


Location: 3524 Greenville Ave Dallas, TX 75206
Price:  Varies depending on Event
When: Check the Granada’s schedule

This historical theater located on Lower Greenville in the heart of Dallas was originally built in 1946 as a movie theater and then converted to a live music venue in 1977.  The interior of the theater features hand painted art deco murals and the outside boasts an iconic, forty-foot neon marquee which is well known throughout Dallas.  Don’t feel bad if no one is playing the weekend you’re here, they show classic movies for $3 and drink specials on nights no band is in town.

Go Bird Watching in the Jurassic Park of Dallas

Bird Sanctuary

Location: UT Southwestern Medical Center Campus (Google Map View Here)
Price: FREE
When: Every spring through Summer

The south campus of UT Southwestern in Dallas has been home to a 4-acre wildlife preserve with over 70 species of majestic birds since 1938. Every spring through summer birds return to lay eggs and raise their young. It’s astonishing to see so many different species of birds nesting so close to downtown just yards from an interstate and constant helicopter traffic. You don’t have to be an avid bird watcher to enjoy the experience at this rookery.

Begin your Public ArtWalk at Pioneer Plaza

Longhorn Statue

Location: 1428 Young St, Dallas, TX 75272
Price: FREE
When: Anytime

Pioneer Plaza is located in front of the convention center and it’s a great spot to begin your public art walk through downtown Dallas (Klyde Warren park is also a good starting point). The ArtWalk is a free 3.3 mile self-guided tour that highlights thirty pieces of art and architecture in the Arts District. You can burn some calories while you appreciate some great public art. The map and audio guide are available here.

Drink on the move with the Buzz Bike!


the buzz bike

Location: Anywhere-ish!!
Price: depends on how many people
When: Mon-Fri 7pm-10pm, Sat 10-10pm, Sun 12-10pm

This is truly the ultimate outdoor drinking experience. The Buzz Bike is a bicycle that seats between 8 and 16 people that also happens to be a mobile Pub! Ya, I know! Right?! On a weekday, prices can start at $10/person per hour depending on how many people you have with you. This is going to be something that you’ll want to book in advance to get a good time and route, also to round up your drinking crew and build up your stamina.

There are 10 comments

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    • Evan Faram

      Hell yeah, date nights!! A good one is the M-Line Trolley to Klyde Warren for food truck snacks, followed with the Dallas Museum of Art and then patio drinking.

  1. Laura

    The smell at the Jurassic bird watching is not for the faint of nose. In the heat of the summer the smell is over-powering. Skip it!

    • Evan Faram

      Bahaha! Thanks for the comment, Laura. You may be right, we chose not to name it “The Best Smelling Stuff in Texas” for a reason. Despite the olfactory misgivings, we still think it’s a pretty cool part of Dallas that most people don’t know about.

  2. Monica

    This is a really great article! I will be travelling to the US whith a 10 hour stop in DFW airport (early morning till 3.30 pm) and would like to take the opportunity to do at least a little sightseeing as I´ve never been to Dallas before! As I don´t know my way around, could you guys advise if any of the options listed here are near the airport? Do you have any other recommendations nearby to visit with little time? Somewhere I can go with a train or bus from the airport, and walk around a little bit, grab a bite, do a little shopping maybe… but I def do not want to leave without experiencing at least a teeny bit of Dallas. I would really appreciate any advise you can provide! Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!

    • Jtorr

      Welcome to Dallas! Fun fact, though: Dfw airport is not really in Dallas. Six flags is probably the closest thing to the airport on this list. However, there is a DART rail for $2.50 that can take you into Dallas. It’s not very fast, so check your times when coming and going.

    • Evan Faram

      Hey Monica, what JTORR said is true. DFW is kind of out in the middle of nowhere between Dallas and Ft. Worth. However, with a 10 hour layover there are plenty of options for you. I would take the DART rail into Dallas to Union Station and go up into Reunion Tower. Check out our post on the tower. From there you can see and learn about most of the touristy stuff (JFK Memorial, Dealey Plaza,Victory Park, etc.) and get the best view of the city. We can also give you a promo code for a discount. It’s a great first stop to decide where to go next. Then eat an early lunch in the West End. Hop on the DART train to go right back to the airport. Welcome to the Metroplex!

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