If your time in the city is short, we suggest choosing a few things to do in Dallas if only one day is all you have.
Dallas, Texas, is such a unique place to visit and has some of the best places to show off its truly diversified city. From historic sites to outdoor parks, there are many things to do. If you are visiting Big D from another state or coming from another area in Texas, you can always discover something new to do in the city. Let’s explore these things to do in Dallas in one day. Many opportunities are available in Dallas, but we suggest these top spots.
What To Do In Dallas For A Day?
Besides all the attractions, there are tours, public transportation such as the McKinney Avenue Trolley, and good food all over the city. Choosing the perfect spot to spend your day is tricky because there is so much to see and do. Hopefully, this list will help.
Top Things To Do In Dallas If You Only Have One Day
You may only have time to do a few of these ideas. We suggest picking two things to do so that you can see both to their fullest. Let’s explore the best things in Dallas that await you.
Dallas is a big city, so we have grouped this list by districts and the main areas of Dallas. Use this Dallas itinerary for a great day trip in the big city.
Whether you’re a history buff, artsy person, outdoorsy person, or all three, Dallas is an excellent place to see both indoor and outdoor activities in one day.
• Uptown Dallas
Uptown, just north of downtown Dallas is the city’s most popular dining and entertainment area. It boasts an impressive assortment of high-rise office buildings and apartments.
Klyde Warren Park
Are you searching for a place to grab a sandwich, devour an ice cream cone, and participate in a relaxing free yoga session? Klyde Warren Park is for you! This park has everything you need for a fun-filled day in nature. Children can enjoy the “Sheila and Jody Grant Children’s Park” while your best friend with four legs can enjoy “My Best Friend’s Park.” After having fun in the sun, consider relaxing while enjoying the five acres of green space and the Nancy Best Fountain.
The park also features several monthly events, including a fountain performance at the Nancy Best Foundation, movies in the park, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) experiences. There is also a dog park that opens at 6 am.
Location: 1901 Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas, TX. (between Uptown and Downtown)
Hours: 6 am to 11 pm in the summer
Cost: Free Admission
• Dallas Arts District / Downtown Dallas
The Downtown Arts District is a perfect spot to spend a day for art lovers who will appreciate the diversity of art. From the largest urban arts to the largest art museums, local artists, and street art, you could literally spend all day just in one of these areas of Dallas.
The Exchange Hall
The Exchange Hall is a first-of-its-kind food court in downtown Dallas, located in the heart of the AT&T Discovery District.
Location: 211 S Akard St, Dallas, TX
Nasher Sculpture Center
How would you like to “get your daily steps” while visiting an outdoor art museum? The Nasher Sculpture Center offers the world’s best modern and contemporary sculptures. You can view the art pieces while enjoying nature and reaching your daily step count. From long-standing collections and outdoor expeditions to long-term loans, the Nasher Sculpture Center is a site to see for the entire family.
Adults can experience seasonal programs like the 360 Speaker Series and the New Music at the Nasher, while kids experience the “Free First Saturdays” and “Til Midnight at the Nasher.” The park also features several monthly events, including guided sight and sound experiences and special exhibits.
Location: 2001 Flora Street in Dallas, TX. (Downtown Dallas – adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in the Dallas Arts District).
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm.
Dallas Farmers Market
The restaurants and shops are open all week, but local vendors set up their wares outside under tents on weekends—one of Texas’s best farmers’ markets.
Free parking is available if you get there early.
Location: 920 S Harwood St, Dallas, TX
• Bishop Arts District
Some of the most adorable and upscale independent boutiques in Dallas, as well as eateries, murals, barber shops, and all kinds of shopping – are located in the heart of North Oak Cliff.
Trinity Groves is a 15-acre restaurant, retail, artist, and entertainment destination. Be sure to take time to walk across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Bishop District is totally walkable.
Location: 331 Singleton Blvd Suite 200, Dallas, TX
• Historic West End District
Once upon a time, West End was an area packed with visitors. There were restaurants, a chocolate factory, street art, and people showing off their talents for tips. Not sure about it today, but for history buffs, it remains fascinating because that’s where you’ll find Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
President John F. Kennedy’s assassination continues to fascinate visitors worldwide. This is a great way to go if you want to see and hear it all. The tour is offered on certain days of the week.
Location: 411 Elm St, Dallas, TX
Museum Hours: Weds-Sun, 10 am to 5 pm.
The Dallas World Aquarium
It’s a Zoo! Get to know the rainforest and the animals that live there. Explore many different exhibits depicting animals from other countries—a true family gem to visit. Visit The Dallas World Aquarium.
Location: 1801 N Griffin St, Dallas, TX
Hours: check online before you go
• Fair Park
For over 100 years, Fair Park has been home to Big Tex & the State Fair of Texas come every September/October in the year. This could be a full day of fun for the whole family.
African American Museum
When you visit the African American Museum, you’ll get to see one of the nation’s largest African American Folk Art collections. It’s also the only museum of its kind in the Southwestern Region.
Location: 3536 Grand Ave, Dallas, TX
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm. (10 am on Sat.). The museum is open 7 days a week during the Texas State Fair from 10 am to 7 pm.
Cost: Free Admission
• East Dallas
White Rock Lake Park
If you’re looking for some outdoor time and not to spend any money, head to White Rock Lake. It’s one of the most used parks in Dallas, and many take advantage of walking around the park on the sidewalk.
Facts: no swimming, pets are allowed, bring a picnic. Kayaking, bird watching, fishing, and biking are allowed. Bring chairs and a blanket. The pet park is closed on Mondays.
Location: 8300 East Lawther Drive
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
If you are looking for calm and serenity or inspiration and the smell of sweet flowers, this is the place for you. The Arboretum also has special events ranging from the “Summer at the Arboretum” programming to “Family Fun” Friday.” The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden provides opportunities to explore nature while experiencing calmness in the city. Our family loves the events at the arboretum and the learning experiences throughout the garden. It is fun when our daughter can recognize a plant from the arboretum at the local park!
Location: 8525 Garland Road in Dallas, TX.
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm in the summer
Cost: $12 for youth ages 2-12, $20 for adults and youth ages 13 and up, and $15 for parking
• Dallas Love Field Area
Frontiers of Flight Museum
If you love spotting planes from your backyard or an airport is your home away from home, the Frontiers of Flight Museum may interest you. Located at Dallas Love Field, you can explore aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, flight trainers, power plants, and more. The museum also features temporary exhibits like aviation sculptures, poster exhibitions, and traveling exhibits. You can also plan to attend events like TurnUp, which focuses on interactive aviation activities, and WeatherCon, which highlights the “how and why” of weather.
Our daughter experienced the Frontiers of Flight museum with her Girl Scout troop during camp last summer. She stated, “I like the replicas of the planes. We actually had the chance to see them up close and asked many questions.
Location: 6911 Lemmon Ave in Dallas, TX.
Hours: 10 am – 5 pm from Monday to Saturday and 1-5 pm on Sunday.
Cost: $9 for youth ages 3-17 and $12 for adults
• Victory Park
Urban Victory Park is a bustling neighborhood filled with things to do and see, including the American Airlines Center, a multi-use arena that hosts big-name concerts and is home to the Dallas Mavericks basketball team—also a vibrant dining scene day and night.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum is perfect for the entire family. It’s a great spot to spend the day and a great opportunity for an interactive fun day for children. You can learn something new about the past with the “T. Boone Pickens – Life Then and Now” Hall. Or think about the future with the “Expanding Universe” Hall, which highlights the universe beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Then, you can experience beauty in different forms as you move through the “Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals” and the “Rose Hall of Birds.”
The “Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth” Hall and the “Tom Hunt Energy” Hall are great opportunities to learn about the Earth beneath your feet and the air around you. The museum also challenges you to learn about yourself through the “Being Human,” “Lamar Hunt Family Sports,” and “Discovering Life” Halls. Tap into your creative side by viewing the exhibits in the “Engineering and Innovation” Hall and “Moody Family Children’s Museum.”
Anthony, Weekends Count dad, and science teacher, stated, “The Perot Museum had exhibits for adults and children – there were opportunities to learn about the world around you, how your body functions, and how science impacts how we live our daily lives.”
Location: 2201 N. Field Street in Dallas, TX
Hours: 10 am – 5 pm from Monday to Saturday and 11 am – 5 pm on Sunday.
Cost: $15 for youth ages 2-12 and $25 for adults and children 13 and up
George W. Bush Presidential Library
As one of three Presidential museums and libraries in Texas, the George W. Bush Presidential Museum provides visitors with a one-of-a-kind glimpse into presidential life. From a replica of the Oval Office and an engaging, interactive exhibit focused on Presidential decision-making, this museum offers something for everyone.
Recently, we experienced the many exhibits available in Windsor Castle, including Queen Elizabeth’s collection of gifts from the many visitors to her family’s estate.
The George W. Bush Presidential Museum is our Texas-style version of international gifts on display for others to enjoy. This Presidential collection is home to more than 43,000 domestic and foreign gifts given to the President and Mrs. Laura Bush during their time at the White House.
Visitors can also experience the 15-acre Laura W. Bush Native Texas Park during their visit and learn to identify plants from the following environments: Blackland Prairie, Post Oak Savannah, and the Cross Timbers Forest.
Location: 2943 SMU Boulevard in Dallas, TX
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm, and 12-5 pm Sunday.
Cost: $16 for youth ages 5-12, $19 for youth ages 13-17, and $20 for adults
If you only had one day in Dallas, what would you like to see?
If there’s time in your visit and you want to extend it, maybe these weekend getaways from Dallas might interest you.