Sure, you probably already know about the obvious tourist attractions in Dallas: take in a Cowboys game, visit the Stockyards, pretend you’re J.R. Ewing at Southfork Ranch. But did you know that there’s a whole other world of cool stuff to do? From brushes with extinct creatures to taking in a movie the way your grandparents did, get off the Dallas grid.
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Sing karaoke with a reality TV celebrity
Every Thursday at the Twilite Lounge in Deep Ellum, Good Luck Karaoke brings a theme, a box of costumes and a little bit of star power. Hosted by Josh Hammertimes, George Quartz and Oliver Peck, star of Spike TV’s “Ink Masters”, the only karaoke crime that you can commit is not fully committing to your song or being afraid to try on some funny wigs or hats.
Explore the city’s seedy underbelly
Sure, you know that Bonnie and Clyde were locals. But have you ever visited the site of his family’s gas station? Have you ever seen where Doc Holliday used to live? Have you ever taken a tour of the Adolphus Hotel and heard the stories of wild happenings within the rooms and halls? If the answer to any of these is no, the Dirty Side of Dallas Bus Tour is just for you. Beginning and ending in the Cedars at Lee Harvey’s, it’s a tour of the dark history of our fair city, done with equal amounts of humor and irreverence.
Get handsy with historical figures
Don’t worry, this is not as unsettling as it sounds. English hand surgeon Dr. Adrian Flatt donated his collection of bronzed hand casts of some of the most famous sets of hands in the world to the Baylor Medical Center, where they are on display. Gaze upon casts of the hands of legends, including Walt Disney, Norman Rockwell, Eisenhower and Walter Cronkite.
Visit a real legit old-school blues joint
Located in the shadows of Fair Park, RL’s Blues Palace #2 is a must-do for anyone who loves blues music or appreciates the soul and blues music roots of modern music. RL’s, located inside what used to be a BBQ joint, opens up on the weekends for shows by living blues legends. Once you pay your $10 to get in the door (cash only) and bring in your beverage of choice, be prepared to experience a true old-school juke joint.
Bring home an oddity
No, not like last weekend. A short drive south of Dallas, the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie specializes in what the owners call “old handmade items such as painted or repaired objects, fraternal lodge items, carnival banners, tramp art, memory jugs, quilts, and just killer oddball stuff on a continuous quest for the unusual.”
You probably also didn’t know that Starbucks is now offering wine, beer, and small plates at night. Learn more here.
Party at the Perot Museum of Science
An interactive exhibit allows you to race against a cheetah, famous athletes, the person you arrived with, or best of all… a T. Rex. And you won’t even have to fight with kids for your turn. Each month, the Perot Museum of Science and Nature hosts their adults-only Social Science nights complete with adult beverages. Themes have ranged from molecular gastronomy to the science of music.
Rock out/use that art degree
Do you like art? And maybe live music? Are you looking for a way to combine those two into an epic Friday night adventure? Each month, the Dallas Museum of Art keeps their doors open until midnight and allows revelers and art buffs alike to stroll through the museum or enjoy a set by a local band. With over 24,000 pieces of art, only 10% of which are ever on display and rotate out frequently, you’re bound to see something new.
Let your architecture geek flag fly
Whether you’re an architecture nerd or just a fan of the weird, offbeat and kooky, the Monolithic Dome Institute in Italy (just south of Dallas on I-35) is part engineering laboratory and part compound. Discover the weird, wild and scientifically intriguing world of the domed building movement, here at the epicenter of it all.
See off-the-clock zoo animals
Ever wondered what the animals at the zoo do when the park closes? Well, wonder no more. The Dallas Zoo offers twilight safari hikes between 7pm-10pm for private groups via reservation. Zoo experts will drop some mad animal knowledge on you. For instance, did you know that the Dallas Zoo is one of only ten zoos in North America that has a panda?