Mar 19, 2022 - Food and Drink

9 cool things to do in Dallas this spring

A beautiful sunset over downtown Dallas
A spring evening in Dallas. Photo courtesy of Justin Terveen.

It's springtime, that brief buffer season in North Texas when Mother Nature blesses us with a window of just-right temperatures and explosions of color (and yes, pollen).

  • Here's a primer on some of the best ways to use this wonderful time.
1. 🗿 Take in some open-air museums
Sculptures
Nasher Sculpture Center. Photo: Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

After months spent inside on our screens, it’s nice to get out and absorb some fresh air, history and culture. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Nasher Sculpture Center, designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, is one of the best sculpture museums in the country. On any given day, you can walk the garden and see work from artists around the world. The Nasher is open 11am-5pm Wednesday-Sunday. Entrance is $10, with discounts for students, seniors, DART riders and first responders.
  • Dallas Heritage Village, just south of Downtown, is a repository for historic log cabins and restored buildings from across North Texas. It includes an old-timey town square, general store and saloon. It’s open 10am-4pm Thursday-Sunday and Thursday nights from 6-9. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children.
  • Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum and Big Bear Native American Museum — both in Cleburne — celebrate cattle-driving and Native American history in Texas. The museums offer free docent-led tours that include teepees, a stagecoach station and a blacksmith’s shop. Hours vary depending on staffing, but it’s usually open most weekends.
2. 🧺 Plan a picnic at Klyde Warren Park
People in a field
It's typically more crowded. Photo: Rebecca Smeyne/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Klyde Warren Park is the closest thing Dallas has to a Central Park. And though it’s much smaller and built over a highway and named for the child of billionaires, Klyde Warren is a pleasant place for a spring afternoon.

3. ⚾ Root for the Rangers... before we know if they stink
A baseball player swings a bat
Outfielder Adolis García. Photo: Tim Warner/Getty Images

Look, we know our baseball team isn’t always great. Once in a while the Rangers rocket into the playoffs, or even the World Series, but plenty of years the team is out of contention by August. Still, every spring dawns a new opportunity.

  • Starting in April, anything can happen. Check the schedule here.
4. 🧳 Enjoy a staycation at these nearby Airbnbs
90s Airbnb
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb

If you need a tiny getaway that isn’t that far away, head to one of these Airbnbs within driving distance of Dallas.

  • Our favorite: The Saved by the '90s house, the perfect blend of kitsch and nostalgia — with cereal and videogames!
5. 🌹 Smell the roses (and other flowers) at the Arboretum
Lots of flowers
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Photo: Xinhua/Zhang Yongxing via Getty Images

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is the jewel of North Texas. On the shores of White Rock Lake, the arboretum’s 66 acres are filled with sculptures, ponds and an incredible array of botanical life.

  • There are always amazing displays in the fall and winter, but spring is when the flowers really bloom.
  • On occasion, you might also see some famous Stones.
  • Admission ranges from $12-$20, and a yearly membership starts at $101.
6. 🥾 Strap on the boots made for walking
Two paths through some woods
Some of the trails less taken, at Oak Cliff Nature Preserve. Photo: Courtesy of Cormac West

There are only so many days in North Texas when you can exercise outdoors and not either freeze or sweat your face off. So when you have the chance, lace up your shoes and hit the trails. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Cedar Ridge Preserve: There are miles of trails to choose from at the preserve. Go from 6:30am to dusk Tuesday through Sunday.
  • Oak Cliff Nature Preserve: There are 8 miles of trails in the 121-acre preserve. Open from dawn until dusk.
  • Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano: There are pedestrian-only trails and trails just for off-road cyclists at the 200-acre park. Open 5am to 11pm every day except Wednesday, when the park opens at 2pm.
  • River Legacy Park in Arlington: There are 8 miles of paved hike and bike trails and 10 miles of mountain bike trails. Open 5am to 10pm.
7. 🤠 Stroll around Cowtown
The Water Gardens
The Water Gardens. Photo: Barbara Alper/Getty Images

On a nice spring day, Downtown Fort Worth can be downright delightful. You can eat, drink and shop at Sundance Square. You can contemplate life at the Water Gardens. And a few blocks away you can watch humans wrestle giant animals at the Stockyards.

  • There are quite a few nice hotels and museums in Fort Worth, too.
8. ⚔️ Garb up at Ye Olde Scarborough
People at a ren fest
A beautiful maiden and some random peasant. Photo: Courtesy of Lady Nieuwesteeg of Kingdom Plano

Don your finest period threads and travel back in time at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie. There are live shows all day and lots of shoppes featuring metalsmithing, woodworking and clothing from all eras. Oh, and there’s tons of options to eat and drink ‘til you barely fit in your antiquated attire.

  • One-day tickets are $31 in advance (plus a $2 fee) or $37 at the gate for adults and $11-$14 (plus that $2 fee) for children under 13.
9.🍸 Get drinks at a rooftop bar
A rooftop bar in Dallas
The Pool at the Joule. Photo: Peter Larsen/WireImage

No matter what you think about the politics, culture or weather in North Texas, you can’t argue about the gorgeous sunsets. After springing forward, the late sundowns provide an incredible backdrop to any evening activities — so why not sit outside and drink with friends?

Here are a few of our favorite Dallas rooftops:

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