The 11 Best Things to Do Indoors in Dallas When It’s Just Too Hot

Treat yourself to art, bar games, and plenty of air-conditioning.

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The only reasonable outdoor activity right now is lounging in a swimming pool. Fortunately, there are lots of great pools in Dallas, but you can’t spend all your time submerged in water. When you’re on dry land, however, air conditioning is mandatory, lest you melt under the sun’s harsh rays.

We’re here to help, with 11 fun things to do indoors at more than two dozen venues around town, from art museums and breweries to mini golf palaces and all-day spas. Each provides a lot more respite than a shade tree.

Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers

Go to a Rangers Game

This would have been terrible advice for nearly 50 years. But now that the Rangers play inside a climate-controlled stadium, you can actually attend a baseball game in the summer—and enjoy it. Open since 2020, Globe Life Field has a retractable roof that stays shut during the hottest days (i.e. right now), so you can comfortably eat a hot dog, drink a beer, and watch our underachieving baseball team all summer long.

Play Some Bar Games

It’s too hot to play real sports outside, but you can play fake sports indoors at several bars and entertainment venues around town. Electric Shuffle has high-tech shuffleboards with automatic scoring that allows large groups to play together. Or head to Scout inside the Statler hotel for a fun day of bowling, billiards, ping pong, and foosball. Prefer video games? Cidercade has nearly 150 arcade games and 26 ciders on tap, and Flashback Retro Pub has all your favorite retro arcade games from the ‘80s and ‘90s, plus a large selection of craft beers.

Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Museum of Art

Stroll Through a Museum

The Dallas Arts District is one of the nation’s best, so take advantage of this fact and enjoy a couple hours inside a museum. If it’s art you’re after, the Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Museum of Asian Art, and Nasher Sculpture Center are always ready with permanent and special exhibits. Or mix things up at the kid-friendly Perot Museum of Nature and Science, where you’ll find five levels of dinosaurs, DNA, and solar systems.

See a Show

Concert halls and theater centers are stationed all over Dallas, from intimate venues to large stages putting on traveling Broadway shows. But that same Arts District is also a hotbed for performing arts, with plays, musicals, and concerts nearly every night of the week, so you don’t have to go far to see a great show. Relax with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, feel bad about your own singing at the Winspear Opera House, or catch a play at the Wyly Theater, a unique space that can be shaped into multiple sizes and configurations.

Peruse an Indie Bookstore

Yes, we’ve heard of Amazon. But it’s hard to beat the atmosphere at The Wild Detectives in Bishop Arts, where you can settle in with a book and a glass of wine or a cocktail. Interabang Books in West Dallas has a good selection and knowledgeable staff, and Deep Vellum is a publishing house that doubles as a bookstore and coffee shop. Stop by to browse some titles, dose up on caffeine, and be sure to pet the shop dog.

Community Beer Company
Community Beer Company

Visit a Brewery

You can barely go two blocks these days without stumbling upon a brewery, so you’ve got your pick of options. Community Beer Co.’s new digs pair a massive beer garden with plenty of indoor space. Manhattan Project has a menu of interesting beers and excellent fried chicken, which is a hard combo to beat. Peticolas Brewing Company’s three-level taproom is a comfortable place to spend an afternoon, and Pegasus City offers two locations—the original in the Design District and a larger space downtown—to sample beer flights and avoid the sun.

Hone Your Cooking Skills

If you want to cook dinner under a pro’s supervision, gather a friend, date, or group and take a class at The Cookery. The Design District school offers regular, rotating classes that cover cuisines ranging from Italian to Indian to sushi. The instructors will pour drinks as you go, and once the food’s ready, everyone sits down at a communal table to eat what you made.

Sample Local Flavors at a Food Hall

If cooking your own meal is too much work, then head to a food hall to sample an assortment of goods. The Exchange at the AT&T Discovery District has top-notch tacos, pizza, and noodles, plus a full bar. The Dallas Farmers Market is stocked with fresh oysters, bánh mì, shawarma, and a cheesemonger. And up in Plano, Legacy Hall has two dozen vendors serving all manner of food and drinks.

King Spa and Waterpark
King Spa and Waterpark

Spend All Day at a Korean Spa

King Spa has a cornucopia of spa amenities, including massage treatments, saunas, and steam rooms, plus a series of themed rooms featuring hot stones, cypress wood, salt, and infrared rays. There’s even a food court. But when you need to cool off, take a dip in the cold plunge pool, then visit the attached waterpark, where you can relax in pools, try the 30-foot water slide, and score drinks at the swim-up bar.

Play a Round of Mini Golf

We’re not talking about the kind of mini golf you played as a kid. Another Round has two indoor nine-hole mini golf courses that were designed by a local architecture firm with rolling hills and interactive elements. There’s also a beverage cart serving drinks on the go, plus a full bar and a small food menu. If walking around feels like too much effort, the bar installed a new Duffleboard tabletop game, which combines golf with shuffleboard. And over at The Puttery in The Colony, you can challenge yourself to four nine-hole courses, each with unique themes.

Or Smack Golf Balls at a Simulator

To let loose with some full swings, try a golf simulator. The best ones are calibrated to match your real distance, dispersion, and trajectory, so you can work on your game or just hammer balls into the screen. Serious golfers may want to stick to pro-level simulators, like the kind you’ll find at Eight Under and City Golf Club, while hackers who like to drink between swings will prefer the laid-back vibes at Village Golf Club.

Kevin Gray is a freelance writer and editor covering all things food, drinks, and travel. He’s written for The Dallas Morning NewsForbesLiquor.comMen’s Health, and Wine Enthusiast, and his extensive home bar is turning into a real Hoarders situation.