The 11 Coolest Things to Do in Dallas After Dark

It’s okay to go nocturnal.

The North Texas vampire community has the right idea—nothing good can come of being out in the direct sun this time of year. We’ve already had more 100-degree days this summer than in the past three years and we’re on track to set a new record. Even though the feels-like temperature hovers above 100 for a few hours after sunset, the heat’s definitely a lot more bearable once the sky turns from blue to black. Grabbing a cold drink in a bar will always be a popular way to cool off, but you’ll find so much more to do in Dallas-Fort Worth once the stars come out. Options include gazing at said stars, hunting ghosts, and getting out on the lake, as well as several indoor, air-conditioned options. Wrap a cold towel around your neck, drop some ice cubes down your shorts, then read on for 11 fun ways to beat the heat in the city after dark.

Downtown Dallas
The GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower stays open every night until 9:30 pm and it’s one of the best places to watch the transformation of the city from day to night. In addition to everything you can see with a general admission ticket, you can also opt for a date-night package that includes a digital photo in a silver frame, two glasses of bubbly in souvenir glasses, chocolates, and other please-your-partner perks.

Massage Chair Bus Tours Dallas
Massage Chair Bus Tours Dallas

Downtown Dallas; Fort Worth
Board a BYOB bus and sink into one of six full-body massage chairs. During the 90-minute to three-hour journeys to Zen, you can sing karaoke, stop at bars, and compete in challenges. The bus holds six people, so grab five of your friends if you want a completely private experience.

Re-enact scenes from Grease at a drive-in theater

Multiple locations
With four old-school drive-in theaters across North Texas, you could have a double-feature in your future. Load up the car for a mini-road trip, turn on the cruise control, and bring an appetite for popcorn and treats from the snack bar (help keep these places open by not packing your own provisions). Area drive-ins include Coyote Drive-In on Panther Island in Fort Worth, Galaxy Drive-In out in Ennis, the Brazos Drive-In over in Granbury, and Graham Drive-In Theatre in—you guessed it—Graham.

Downtown Dallas
What would be the point of a daytime ghost tour? Embrace the spookiness of an hour-long tour through Downtown while learning about some of Dallas’ most interesting otherworldly entities and the places they haunt. Tours take place nightly, so you can partake in some paranormal activity any time the spirits move you.

Red Door Escape Room
Red Door Escape Room

Test your brainpower in an escape room

Multiple locations
Escape rooms have been around for a while now, but there’s no better time to revisit one than during the heat of summer when the clue-solving takes place in the frigid breeze of central air-conditioning. Top escape-room experiences around town include The Secret Chambers Escape Room in Fort Worth and Arlington, Red Door Escape Rooms in Plano, Fort Worth, and Southlake, and Escapology in Victory Park, McKinney, Rockwall, and Tyler.

Break a sweat from sports, not sunshine

Multiple locations
Whenever we see people running outside during the day in July or August, we cringe while wondering why they’re putting themselves through such torture. For those of us who prefer to exercise indoors or after the sun goes down, there are several low-impact ways to challenge your friends to a little friendly competition. If you haven’t tried the completely updated shuffleboard experience at Electric Shuffle in Deep Ellum, add it to your list now. Get your mind out of the gutter at a variety of bowling alleys with way-better-than-snack-bar food and cocktails, including Pinstack, Bowl & Barrel, Pinstripes, Bowlounge, and Bowlski’s. Or head out for some late-night “clubbing” at one of four TopGolf locations in North Texas.

Downtown; Deep Ellum
If you’ve been out on the town anytime recently, you’ve seen the Dallas Party Bike roll by with a bunch of happy people pedaling by—likely accompanied by screams of “Woooooo!” and “Chug! Chug! Chug!” What’s best about this particular people-powered pub-crawl service is that you can book a late-night excursion through Deep Ellum and Downtown starting at 9:30 pm and going until 11:30 pm, at which point you can keep the party going or catch a ride home to soak your leg muscles in a hot bath.

Rose Room @ S4
Rose Room @ S4

Cedar Springs
One of the gayborhood’s top attractions has long been the nighttime performances at the Rose Room, the high-tech showplace on the second floor of the Station 4 (S4) dance club. Led by the dynamic and hilarious Cassie Nova, a talented group of queens takes the stage for an unforgettable night of singing, lip-syncing, dancing, and joke-telling. Bring plenty of cash for tips because drag ain’t cheap—and those who don’t tip may deservedly face the wigged wrath of a sassy superstar.

DaLat (at 2537 Fitzhugh) - Late Night Vietnamese Comfort Food
DaLat (at 2537 Fitzhugh) - Late Night Vietnamese Comfort Food

Grab some late-night munchies

Multiple locations
When hunger strikes after you’ve left a club, concert, or sporting event for the night, there are few things worse than getting stuck in a drive-thru line for what feels like forever—or actually eating what they’re throwing out the window that time of day. Fortunately, Dallas has some true late-night dining experiences that are worth staying up for. Among our favorites: Velvet Taco (open until 4 am at some locations); BuzzBrews Kitchen (24 hours); Greenville Avenue Pizza Company (Lowest Greenville location open until 3 am on weekends); Cafe Brazil (24 hours at some locations); and DàLat Vietnamese (open until 2 am weekends).

The Spirit Of Dallas
The Spirit Of Dallas

White Rock Lake
With both a sunset sail and a night sky sail, you can experience the beauty of White Rock Lake as the temperatures drop and the summery sounds of crickets and frogs fill the air while you drift across the gentle swell. Bring a picnic and see the downtown skyline light up in the distance. It is available for both group and private excursions.

Cedar Hill
The light pollution in Dallas, Fort Worth, and most of our big suburbs keeps North Texans from truly appreciating the night sky. Luckily, you don’t have to travel far to Cedar Hill State Park (only 10 miles from Dallas). The park is open until 10 pm each night, so stick around after dusk, let your eyes adjust, then turn your head toward the heavens for some of the best views of the galaxy in the metropolitan area.

Steven Lindsey is an enthusiastic eater who’s never turned down a craft cocktail, glass of wine, or cold beer. He thinks dogs are the greatest creation ever and anxiously awaits his Covid hair growing long enough to finally donate to a children’s charity. But when it comes to travel, he prefers people leave their kids at home and that’s why he founded Travel Like An Adult.