Off the shores of White Rock Lake lies the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The 66 acres (267,093 square meters) of lush, perfectly manicured landscapes hold a treasure trove of trees, bushes, and flowers that are sure to make anyone green with envy. The DeGolyer House, a 1940s-style Spanish mansion, is also located on the grounds. Tours of the house and its sculpture garden are offered. The Jonsson Color Gardens, A Woman's Garden, and the Lay Ornamental Garden are all exquisite features of the picturesque grounds.
White Rock Lake sprawls over 1,015 acres (410.75 hectares). It boasts picturesque picnic spots and recreational areas that provide great respite from city life. Numerous waterfront trails are popular among local hikers and bikers as well as those visiting Dallas. A complete loop around the lake takes about three hours. The adventurous can indulge in an array of outdoor activities on offer like fishing, sailing and, horseback riding. Bird enthusiasts have reason to rejoice, as the area attracts beautiful, exotic species. The panorama of verdant landscapes that enclose calm waters is the very definition of tranquility.
The beauty of Texas' nature can be experienced first-hand with a hike through this 630-acre (146-hectare) preserve. With guided and self-guided tours available along the ten miles of wooded trails, outdoor enthusiasts can wander up to the Escarpment Nature Preserve, the highest point in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Along the way you can view ponds, wildflowers and a butterfly garden before arriving at vistas and an observation tower. The trails vary in difficulty. All are natural terrain paved with rock, mulch, or dirt. They are designed for foot traffic only, and bikes or roller blades are not allowed. Hikes can last anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours, depending upon the trail selected. A snack bar, gift shop, and amphitheater are also located on the grounds.
A visit to the Dallas Children's Theater is entertainment for the entire family. Introduce your little ones to the world of live theater by involving them in activities here. Classes are offered here, and are conducted by established artists. A number of excellent plays including Rumpelstiltskin, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and several musicals have been shown here.
This historic site sprawls over 227 acres (918,636 square meters) and has one of the nation's largest collections of Art Deco buildings. Built in 1936, Fair Park is registered as a National Historic Landmark. It was built by the WPA to house the Texas Centennial Exposition, celebrating Texas' independence from Mexico. It boasts an inspiring list of museums including the African American Museum, Age of Steam Railroad Museum, Museum of Nature and Science, Music Hall At Fair Park, Dallas Aquarium and Dallas Horticulture Center. You will also find concerts at the outdoor Coca Cola Starplex, college football in the Cotton Bowl, and the annual State Fair of Texas. The Visitor Center shows a 10-minute film about the park and offers walking tours by appointment.
The sole survivor of the 1920's movie palaces, this restored showplace is an honored venue for a variety of performers. It has helped breathe new life into the Arts District. Gilded and ornate, its prestige sweeps patrons into a another time. This venue seats just over 1,600 people. It hosts the Majestic Broadway Series as well as the world-renowned Dallas Black Dance Theater. Additional commercial performers have one-night only or multiple night runs.
Pioneer Plaza is more than just your ordinary park. A bronze ensemble of lifelike cattle punctuates this 4.2-acre (1.6 hectare) park overlooking City Hall and the Dallas Convention Center. Nationally-acclaimed artist and native Texan Robert Summers is the artistic force behind the unique sculptures. The 70 bronze steers memorialize the cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail back in 1854.
Discover a South American rainforest filled with monkeys, colorful toucans, crocodiles, manatees and otters. The aquarium portion of this popular attraction features 85,000 gallons (321,760 liters) of saltwater containing marine life from around the world. Giant turaco, Three-toed sloths, Weedy and Ribbon sea dragons are but a few of the intriguing animals on display. An outdoor lagoon-like exhibit features Black-footed penguins.
A wide variety of artifacts at this museum remind us of the tragedy which we must never forget. Among the graphic reminders on display is an actual boxcar that was used to transport victims to their death. Rotating exhibits from all over the world stop here on a regular basis. Call ahead to learn about the special current and upcoming displays. Tours led by a Holocaust survivor can be arranged by appointment.
The Old Red Courthouse is an outstanding feature of the Dallas County Historic Plaza. It was built in 1892 in Romanesque Revival style. It is constructed of rough-cut, Pecos Red Sandstone and trimmed in Arkansas blue granite. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a City of Dallas Landmark and a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark. Four prior courthouses have graced the same location. The Old Red Courthouse contains the Old Red Museum.
This is a permanent exhibition of the tragic events leading up to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza opened in 1989 and is located in the Texas School Book Depository building, the site from where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot the President. Displays include a moving overview of the time period, and the life and accomplishments of the 35th President of the United States. Enlarged police photographs, news footage, and audio tools allow visitors to learn about the tragic events of November 22, 1963.