Dallas » Entertain » Citybuzz Favs
The Bishop Arts District is located in Oak Cliff, the neighborhood south of town trying to overcome its historically bad rep for being a “bad part of town.” Luckily, a little bit of gentrification has gone a long way without sucking the character out of Oak Cliff and the Bishop Arts District serves as the thriving central cohesion for this part of town. The Bishop Arts District is hands down the best area to find indie boutiques with one of a kind, hand made garments and the like. Picture a brick and mortar version of Etsy. A good collection of small, local restaurants add to this area’s charm as well as the Kessler Theater (a music venue) and the Texas Theater (an old movie theater playing flicks once again) make the Bishop Arts District one heck of a shopping destination.
The Sixth Floor Museum is dedicated to the myth that still surrounds the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. By reconstructing the political environment of the Sixties and showing original footage of those days, the …
Feast on awesome Asian cuisine in a sleek setting at this restaurant that boasts a stunning décor to match the first-rate food. Honey Hoisin Baby Rack Ribs, an array of spectacular sushi, sake, and other amazing …
Dallas’ lovers of live music always go to Dada to hear the coolest bands. This club is at the center of the Dallas music scene and has featured bands from Cheap Trick to Edie Brickell and …
Dallas » Entertain » The Buzz List
Finally, the craft beer explosion has come to Dallas. May we all benefit. One of Dallas’ newest micro breweries is the Deep Ellum Brewing Company that opened in late 2011. Their bread and butter are the hoptastic Deep Ellum IPA, their Double Brown Stout and the Rye Pils. The awesome thing about a new brewery is they are constantly brewing up something new, so they have a healthy selection of seasonals available. While the brewery does n’t have an attached beer garden or restaurant or anything (what can we say, they focus on the beer), the brewery is open for tours Thursdays 5 – 7:30 and Saturdays from 12 – 3.
Main Street Garden is a little park right in the middle of downtown. It has a good stretch of green, a little playground and a cafe (whose operating hours seem to be “whenever the hell we want to be open”). It also has a digital art display and some pretty rad looking green walls. The park is free and open to the public, although sometimes special events are held in the space (like Dallas’ annual Homegrown Music Festival). The best thing about Main Street Garden is that it seems to be right under everyone’s radar; unless there is a special event, it’s never crowded.
Sammons Park is basically the large courtyard area in the Arts District that’s between the Winspear Opera House and the Wylie Theater. Nestled amongst the arts district and downtown, the park provides a serene atmosphere to …
Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington has a grand total of 45 rides for kids, wimps and thrill seekers alike. Dangle over 200 feet in the air on Mr. Freeze or loop upside down on Batman …
After a recent rejuvenation (or rather, a recent overhaul), the Dallas Arts District has transitioned from simply a downtown neighborhood to a destination in and of itself. The district is on the north side of downtown and encompasses Dallas’ premier art museums and performance halls that are all connected by a lovely outdoor urban space. It’s also a great areato view some of the city’s bestarchitecture, like the Meyerson and the Wyly Theater. The Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Winspear Opera House and the Dallas Arts Magnet also call the Dallas Arts District home.
Fort Worth’s Japanese Garden, located within the greater Fort Worth Botanic Garden network, is a little sanctuary in the city. The 7 acre garden is filled with traditional Japanese plants and flowers (like the tranquil Japanese Maple) and a water feature throughout filled with colorful Koi fish. There are little coin-op fish food dispensers throughout for feeding the Koi; toss the food pellets in one at time or all at once to watch a frenzy. They also have a meditation garden and a moon viewing deck. The Japanese Gardens hold two annual festivals, in fall and spring, celebrating Japanese art and culture.
Trees has been a staple music venue in Deep Ellum since 1990 that came into its own hosting grunge bands (like Nirvana, before they were super insanely popular). Despite closing a few times during Deep Ellum’s transitional period, they are back open and rocking out like it’s 1990 again. Named for the tree trunk building supports, the venue is a decent size with a second floor that has a few seats and a great view of the stage. One of the nicest things about Trees is that they post a video of each band on their event calendar, so you can check out the music without opening a million tabs on your browser. Yep, Trees always thinks of the fans.
Victory Park is the one area in Downtown Dallas proper to find great entertainment other than staring at office buildings. Victory Park is home to American Airlines Center and the House of Blues, bringing in sports fans and concert goers alike, and offers a whole host of activities for pre and/or post partying. Grab a pre-event meal or cocktail at the Hard Rock Cafe or Victory Tavern, or make your own post-party at the W Hotel’s famous Ghost Bar. Victory Park’s plaza also hosts a variety of events from concerts and sports watch parties during away games, to summer movie nights and the biggest New Year’s Eve party in town.
The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre is part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center located in the Arts District of Downtown Dallas. The theater was built so that their main performance hall is surrounded by three glass walls, creating a unique experience for the audience. The architecture of the building (designed by REX/OMA) in conjunction with an extensive pulley system creates a stage space that provides a lot of freedom for directors to work with many quickly changing sets.
Getting a little tired of the concrete jungle? Head out to McKinney’s Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary for a day appreciating the outdoors and all it has to offer. The 289-acre wildlife reserve offers 6.5 miles of nature trails, a native plant garden and a butterfly garden. The sanctuary also hosts a number of science exhibits that serve as “edurtainment” for the kiddos, like a honey bee observation hive, a ropes course and dinosaur life-sized animatronics. The Heard Natural Science Museum is a great place to picnic or just enjoy the outdoors and the beautiful nature North Texas has to offer.
The self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Honky Tonk,” Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth is the number one way to get that real Texas experience. Most locals end up at Billy Bob’s to catch a country show, but this is no ordinary venue. In addition to excellent music lineups on a regular basis, Billy Bob’s is a playground for just about every Texas stereotype. They have both a mechanical bull and live bull riding shows, dance lessons and barbecue. And of course beer. Lots of beer. With the uber western ambiance, it’s no wonder patrons randomly break out in the two-step. Seriously, it’s just like movies.
Recently re-opened in a brand-spanking-new building, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History offers hundreds of thousands of scientific and historic artifacts from Texas and the Southwest. They also host a range of temporary exhibitions and house a planetarium, an IMAX theater and a 6,000 square foot studio space full of interactive activities for all ages. The museum also participates in ongoing paleontological digs in the region for dinosaur fossils. Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the museum makes a great addition to a day of art, culture, and history, especially for those with a couple of kids in tow.
What better way to get the Dallas experience than to visit the museum dedicated to the TV show that practically put Dallas on the map. Tour the Ewing mansion, check out the grounds, and reminisce about a less plastic Heather Locklear while touring the beautiful grounds. Southfork is also home to a museum featuring images and memorabilia from the filming of the internationally renowned television show while experiencing the famed theme song on a loop. Southfork is also a top destination for weddings, parties, corporate events and a murder mystery dinner. Don’t forget your Patrick Duffy postcard as you exit through the gift shop.
Deep Ellum’s Club Dada is one of the best venue’s in Dallas to catch an indie show. They are one of the few music venues that has (mostly) held the fort down during Deep Ellum’s transitional period. They have a pretty good selection of beers on tap that’s always served with cool music and a cool atmosphere. It’s safe to say the folks at Club Dada are cool people. This is a great place to check out some of DFW’s best local talent or even an occasional poetry slam or old movie projected onto the wall. They also have an awesomely large patio with a stage.
Recently built just south of downtown in the Great Trinity Forest, the Trinity River Audubon Center is a living classroom and nature center dedicated to education and conservation initiatives. The center’s main building (which serves as a portal to the rest of the reserve) was built with the environment in mind, using mostly renewable and recycled building materials, a vegetated roof and even windows angled just right so birds won’t fly into them. The Audubon Center is also the first LEED-certified building built by the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department. Use the main building as a launch point to experience nature trails, hiking, bird watching and hands on exhibits.
Opened in 1992, The Dallas World Aquarium provides a little look into marine, freshwater and even terrestrial ecosystems. The aquarium itself houses a coral reef, kelp forest and even a 20,000 gallon walk through tunnel and features an array of marine life from around the world, including sharks and other marine life from the Yucatan Peninsula. The various terrestrial exhibits feature the biodiversity of wildlife from Borneo and the South American Rainforest. The aquarium also offers an educational component with hands on exhibits, touch screens and special programs for children. They’ve even been known on occasion to have a diver hold up a “Will You Marry Me” sign; you know, for the romantics.
The Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff is most infamously known as the place Lee Harvey Oswald was caught by police after (allegedly) shooting President John F. Kennedy. Over the years the theater has been neglected, demolition threatened, and, finally, saved by both the Oak Cliff and the film community. The Texas Theatre is now one of the only places in DFW to catch a real independent, art-house film. If obscure films, documentaries, old restored movies or just a really awful B horror movie is your cup of tea, the Texas Theatre is your kind of place. They also have bar for enjoying cocktails during the movies, as long getting up to visit the facilities in the middle of a movie doesn’t bother you.
Deep Ellum was once the destination where the freaks came out at night, and folks visited for shows, drinks and to watch (or be) said freaks in scores every weekend during the 80′s and mid 90′s. After a little bad press about the safety of Deep Ellum, the neighborhood has undergone a bit of a transition. While no longer necessarily the “it” place to be on the weekends, the artists in the Deep Ellum community haven’t let a little bad press scare them away from their beloved neighborhood. Now, eclectic boutiques and art galleries still adorn the three-street strip in addition to a sprinkling of music venues, restaurants and clubs that have held their own through thick and thin. Patrons that remember the good ‘ol days can now appreciate a more laid back atmosphere, less hooliganism and free and ample parking.
Started by three artists looking for a better way to connect with other artists, Art Love Magic is an organization in the business of connecting; connecting emerging and established artists as well as connecting viewers with the artists and their process. They host one large gallery show a month, involving both an exhibit and an event in which attendees can watch artists at work across all media, including live music, performance and spoken word. They also host Art and Coffee on the first Friday of every month, a free event with live music and art at a local coffee shop. Check their calendar for event times and locations.
As the site of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition, Fair Park remains the only original, unaltered, pre-1950′s world’s fair site in the country. The architecture at Fair Park is distinctively Art Deco and home to over seven million visitors a year. The park hosts a slew of festivals and events year-round, including the ever popular Texas State Fair. The Music Hall, The Science Place, the Texas Star Ferris Wheel and the Cotton Bowl all call Fair Park home, in addition to several other museums, exhibit halls, performance venues and gardens. They also offer two historic walking tours of the grounds for those interested in the architecture and history of the park.
McKinney, about 45 miles north of Dallas, has a lovely little “old town” square that makes the perfect day trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city on those not-so-busy weekend days. The town center has clothing and antique boutiques, some good restaurants (including a tapas place and a steak house), a few art galleries (like Laura Moore Fine Art) and a watering hole or two. They also have seasonal events year-round, like an Oktoberfest to give Germany a run for their money and an evening of art and music every second Saturday of the month in which most local businesses keep their doors open until 7 pm. Check their calendar for details and current event listings.
Located just east of downtown, White Rock Lake is Dallas’ answer to mother nature without having to stray too far from the city. White Rock Lake provides a sanctuary with bird watching, 9.33 miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing, and picnic areas. The historic Bath House Cultural Center, located right on the shore of White Rock lake, is also a destination for viewing art by local artists and artisans. The lake is also host to Dallas’ famous annual White Rock Marathon, and is just a skip, hop and a jump from the Dallas Arboretum. For those looking for physical activity or a relaxing day with scenic views and good people watching, White Rock Lake is Dallas’ closest destination to get outdoors.
King Spa and Sauna isn’t your ordinary spa. It’s a Korean style spa (aka, a spa on steroids) complete with 11 spa and sauna rooms, including an oxygen room, an ice room, and an aroma room to purify your body and rid it of toxins. Admission is $20 for a full 24 hours of sweating, soaking, and relaxation. They even offer a $3 discount for “happy hour,” 6 am – 2 pm Monday through Thursday. King Spa also offers body scrubs and massages for an extra fee. In addition to the spa rooms, their facilities include computer rooms with wifi access, pools and even a food court serving traditional Korean specialties. If you’re planning on showing up in the wee hours of the morning, check their website or call ahead as some of their facilities close during the night for cleaning and maintenance. Also note that men and women spa separately.
Living in the city often means you’re stuck running on sidewalks, and concrete is oh-so-hard on the knees. If you find your self Uptown, or downtown for that matter, check out the Katy Trail’s 3.5 mile track that runs from Victory Park to Airline Drive. The Katy Trail is like a tiny version of Central Park, with a tree-lined trail running right through the city offering a little sanctuary from, yet still within, the hustle and bustle of town. The Katy Trail also hosts numerous races and events through the year, check their calendar for details. Not a runner? Not a problem. Walkers, cyclers, strollers, and pets-on-leashes are all welcome to enjoy an afternoon at the Katy Trail.
Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum houses a small but impressive permanent collection ranging from antiquity to modern times. The Kimbell consistently hosts excellent special exhibitions featuring some of history’s greatest artists, including Picasso, Gaugin and Murillo, …
Dallas’ I.M. Pei is located downtown in the Dallas Arts District and is worth a looksee even if you don’t have tickets to one of their events. Due to the world-class acoustics of the concert hall …
Light years from the pretentious vibe of Dallas, Sons of Hermann Hall is a historical, casual, and authentic must-see for lovers of a cold beer and great live acts. The volunteer staff is friendly and knowledgeable, …
Thrill seekers, Sandy Lake Park is not for you. For the rest of us, this treasure of an amusement park has been delighting all ages for decades. With smaller scale exciting rides, like the Space …