Monday, 4 September 2017

Dallas is the ninth-largest U.S. city and an exciting destination for visitors from around the world.

The greater Dallas area encompasses more than 340 square miles and within its confines tourists can find a wide array of cultural attractions, parks, and excellent dining venues. Headed to Dallas for a vacation? If so, take note of the following activities you and your family can do for less than $25 per person.

1. Eat some BBQ

Looking for some good grub? Head over to Off the Bone Barbeque for  a half-rack of award-winning pecan smoked baby back ribs for $16.99 or a yummy pulled pork sandwich for less than $10. and make sure to try the three-meat charro beans!

2. Get lost at the DMA

The Dallas Museum of Art, or DMA, is one of the largest museums in the country with more than 23,000 works on display. This is a great place to go a few times during your visit. Take note of Jackson Pollock works as well as those done by Henri Matisse. Admission is free; the museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays.

3. Face off with a penguin

Super cool exhibits that feature animals such as the tomato frog, black-footed penguin, and Hoffman's two-toed sloth are on display at the  Dallas World Aquarium. Budget at least three hours for this visit as the animals are sure to lengthen your children's normal attention spans. Admission is $20.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids 2-12 years old.

4. Relive the day JFK died

History buffs flock to  The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza to look out the exact window Lee Harvey Oswald did when he assassinated President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The museum is interesting for people of all ages, with memorabilia about Kennedy's life and monthly programs (check the website for a current schedule). Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for kids ages 6-18 years old.

5. Walk among sculptures

If you are looking for a low-stress activity to do on a warm, sunny day, go to the  Nasher Sculpture Center, an outdoor museum in downtown Dallas. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students and free for kids 12 and under.

6. Watch a horse race

Thoroughbred races take place April through July at  Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. This is a great place to have a picnic and root for your favorite horse (Note: You must be 21 or older to bet). General admission costs $5 per person. Check the calendar online for race dates and times.

7. Look for a little blue heron

The Trinity River Audubon Center  is a sprawling piece of land that offers trails and plenty of places to look at different species of birds. Trails are not strenuous, so no need for hiking boots (although comfortable shoes are recommended). Check online before you go for educational programs about owls, pigeons, or other birds. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for kids 3-12 years old.

8. Learn about the history of aviation

The Frontiers of Flight Museum is a great place to spend a day, especially if your kids are into airplanes. Housed on the south side of Dallas Love Field Airport, the museum has exhibits that discuss the history of aviation with more than 30 planes, including a model of the 1903 Wright Flyer. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for kids 3 to 17 years old.

9. Enjoy a bird's eye view of Dallas

Those without a fear of heights are smart to head over to the  Reunion Tower, a structure that stands 561 feet tall and is connected to the Hyatt Regency. General admission to the tower and observation deck, or GeO-Deck, is $16 for adults and $8 for kids 4 to 12 years old.

10. Explore African-American history

The African American Museum of Dallas has several rotating exhibits and permanent collections that feature African masks, folk art paintings, and sculptures. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Docent-led tours cost $3 for adults and $1 for students.

11. Look a tiger in the eyes

At a whopping 106 acres, the Dallas Zoo  is an attraction worth visiting every time you are in in the area. The zoo features multiple animal habitats reminiscent of the African savannah, rain forests in South America, and deserts in Australia. Check out the tigers, koalas, elephants, and more. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for kids 3 to 11 years old.

12. Absorb the history of the Holocaust

The Dallas Holocaust Museum  has an incredible collection that memorializes one of the world's darkest times. Check out the Core Exhibit, which focuses exclusively on April 19, 1943, the day when the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising started and the Bermuda Conference met. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for kids and students.

13. Check out some Spanish art

The Meadows Museum, located near the campus of Southern Methodist University was created in 1965 and houses one of the most impressive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. Tickets are $10 for adults and $4 for students. If you want to be really thrifty, go between 5 p.m. on 9 p.m. on a Thursday for free admission.

14. Go for a hike

Need some fresh air? If so, head to the 600-acre  Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve  located just 20 minutes from Dallas. The nine miles of trails are well groomed but you still may want to bring your hiking boots. Also, don't forget a hat and water bottle. The preserve is free to visit, but donations of $3 are appreciated.

15. Take in a show

Live theater lovers are smart to check out the Bath House Cultural Center, situated right at White Rock Lake. Look online for low-cost performances or call ahead and schedule a tour of the cultural center's museum. Tours are free, but donations are accepted.

16. Have a picnic in a garden

There are few places in Dallas more beautiful than  Belo Garden, a 1.7-acre park in the middle of downtown that is free to visit. Grab a sandwich at a local shop, lay out your picnic blanket under a tree and enjoy people watching. Going in the summer? Tell your kids to bring their bathing suits; there is an outdoor fountain perfect for frolicking.

17. Get your hands on some science exhibits

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science  opened in 2012, making it one of Dallas's newest museums. With dozens of hands-on exhibits, it is the perfect place to visit while on vacation. Tickets are $17 for adults and $11 for kids 2 to 17 years old.

18. Check out an adventure garden

What is an adventure garden? Find out with a visit to the  Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, which spans 66 acres and includes the 8-acre Roy Meyers Children's Adventure Garden (hint: it features fun attractions like a sky walk). Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 3-12 years old.

19. Skate and shop

Those in need of some retail therapy can go to the Galleria Dallas, a massive high-end shopping mall. But for the kids who'd rather run around, there is the  Ice Skating Center, located in the middle of the indoor complex. For just $10 per person and $3 for rentals, you can skate until your heart is content. Check the website for public session schedules.

20. Say hello to some butterflies

The Butterfly House and Gardens  is part of the 7.5-acre Texas Discovery Gardens, a perfect place to see wildlife and plants. Be sure to stop by at 12 p.m. for a discussion and butterfly release ceremony. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for kids 3 to 11 years old.

21. Listen to a free concert

The Fine Arts Chamber Players  regularly offer free concerts to the public. Especially in July, you can find them at the Dallas City Performance Hall. Look online for an updated calendar.

22. Walk through railroad history

The Museum of the American Railroad is a fun spot to stop for a few hours with your family. Exhibits showcase a variety of railroad cars and tours are offered in the spring and summer—$7 for adults and $3 for kids ages 3 to 12 years old.

23. Learn about Latino culture

The Latino Cultural Center is awesome for art buffs. It has a sculpture center and live performances—check the website for specifics. Admission is free.

24. Fall in love with Shakespeare

Dallas has an incredible live theater scene, and during the summer and fall visitors can watch performances at  Shakespeare in the Park. Prices vary from $10 per person on Thursdays and Sundays to $15 per person on Fridays and Saturdays. Check online for the schedule specifics.

25. Relax on the Plaza

Pegasus Plaza, located right downtown, is a place to relax after a long day of sightseeing. Hanging out is free of charge and you can meditate next to a beautiful hot spring fountain.

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