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Things to Do in Dallas

45 Date Ideas in Dallas and Beyond

Dallas has plenty of things to do for lovers, friends, and everyone in between.
| |Illustrations by Andrea Chavez
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Illustration by Andrea Chavez

Dating in Dallas doesn’t stop at the beginning of a relationship. Real Dallasites know that there are plenty of things to do in the city with friends and partners. We are here to help you find them.

Our list includes date ideas in parks, inside museums, in the sky (check out adventure dates), and in studios. Take your plus one and find a date for almost every week of the year.

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A Stroll Through the Park

Bask in the Butterflies at Texas Discovery Gardens 

Rain or shine, you can enjoy the Butterfly House at Fair Park’s Texas Discovery Gardens. The climate-controlled insectarium is open year-round for a romantic (or educational!) stroll. When you’re done inside the house, check out the greenhouse’s art gallery, greenhouse, and more. $10, adults; $8, seniors. 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Learn more here. 

Beethoven Walks at the Nasher Sculpture Center

Through August 6, promenade through the Nasher’s terraced gardens while listening to Ludwig van Beethoven’s most famous symphonies and sonatas. The sculpture center also offers free first Saturdays and free ‘til Midnight concerts and movies on third Fridays of the month. $10 regular admission.2001 Flora St. Learn more here.

Cool Thursdays at the Dallas Arboretum

It’s always nice to stop and smell the roses—or listen to a Beach Boys tribute band at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The Arboretum’s spring and fall Cool Thursdays Concert Series offers lakefront and sunset views, picnic fun, your favorite wedding bands, and the promise of a good time. Prices vary. 8525 Garland Rd. See the lineup and buy tickets here. 

Enjoy a Luxury Picnic

There’s something pastoral about a picnic in the park. But instead of dealing with all the non-romantic prepwork, like cooking, packing a wicker basket, and finding a gingham blanket, leave it to the professionals. Dallas has several luxury picnic companies, like Uptown Picnic Company, Rosedale Picnic Company, and Not Your Average Picnic. Each has date-night and proposal packages and will set up and take down your spread. 

See Shakespeare in the Park 

An outdoor play by the Bard should be on any summer bucket list. Laugh or cry your heart out during Shakespeare Dallas’ 2023 summer-fall season. From June through October, the theater company will put on Much Ado About Nothing, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and King Lear at the Samuell-Grand Amphitheater. From $15. 1500 Tenison Pkwy. Learn more here. 

Spend a Day at the Beach 

It’s a long drive to Port Aransas from Dallas, so why not enjoy a beach closer to home? Several nearby state parks, including offer lakeside beaches perfect for a day soaking in the sun with your love. Spots like Ray Roberts Lake and Lake Tawakoni state parks have grills, fishing, paddling opportunities, and more. 

Spot the Fountain Show at Klyde Warren Park 

Whether you’re playing with your furbaby in the dog park, grabbing a bite from one of the food trucks, or attending a Saturday morning fitness class, there’s plenty to do at Klyde Warren Park. While away the afternoon on the lawn, and don’t miss the Nancy Best Fountain show at 12:04 p.m. and 7 p.m. every day. 1909 Woodall Rodgers Fwy. Learn more here

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Thought-Provoking Dates

Backstage Safari at Dallas Zoo 

Instead of a sleepy trip to your local coffee shop, spend your Saturday morning getting wild. During the Dallas Zoo’s 90-minute backstage tour, you feed elephants, train hippos, get a private Wild Encounter show, and learn all about caring for the facility’s many residents. $135 adult members, $160 adult nonmembers. 650 S. R. L. Thornton Fwy. Learn more here. 

Trek to the African American Museum 

Head over to Fair Park and explore the African American Museum. The museum has several permanent exhibits, like the Billy Folk Art Collection, plus visiting and temporary exhibitions that highlight African American history and culture across the U.S. The institution hosts a number of lectures and specialty events throughout the year—don’t miss the Summer Music Under the Dome concert series. Free. 3536 Grand Ave. Learn more here. 

A Night at Wild Detectives

The quickest way to any bookworm’s heart is the promise of a good story and perhaps a hardcover copy of their favorite tome. Have a quiet date night at Wild Detectives with a beer and a book. Or visit the bookstore-slash-bar for one of its many storytelling, book reading, trivia night, concert, and other literary events. 314 W Eighth St. Learn more here

Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at SMU

Impress your date with how seriously you think about the world at the Tate Lecture Series. For more than 40 years, Southern Methodist University has brought in global leaders in politics, arts, science, and business to speak on the biggest topics of the day. Expect big names like Neil DeDrasse Tyson, Marlee Matlin, Alan Alda, George W. Bush, and more. $55 single ticket. Learn more here.

Visit the Latino Cultural Center 

Supported by the Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, the Latino Cultural Center celebrates regional Latinx history, community, and art through exhibitions, performances, festivals, and more. The center rotates work from local and regional artists in and out of its galleries every couple of months and many of its plays are performed in English and Spanish. Free. 2600 Live Oak St. Learn more here

Thursdays on Tap at the Perot

Live out your Night at the Museum fantasies at the Perot. From 6–10 p.m. every Thursday through October, the science museum keeps its doors open after hours for adults to explore the exhibits, chow down on treats from the food trucks outside, and enjoy live music. It’s time to party like it’s 4,000 BCE. $5 members, $25 non-members. 2201 N. Field St. Learn more here.

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Affordable Dates

Dallas Terrors Ghost Tour 

For the thrill-seeking couple—the one that marathons the entire Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise every Halloween—this spooky after-dark tour might just be your perfect date. The one-mile, hour-long tour makes eight stops and promises you’ll “discover why the ‘Big D’ stands for death, and devastation.” $25 per person. 400 S Houston St. Learn more here. 

Go on a Scavenger Hunt 

Did you know Dallas has a Teddy Bear Park? Or a not-so-secret garden of dragon statues? Surprise your date and spend the weekend exploring the city and searching for some of the best hidden Dallas gems. Need some inspo? Check out Tui Snider’s Dallas-Fort Worth Scavenger guide. 

Meander the Meadows Museum 

Madrid might be known for its famous art museums, like the Prado and the Museo Reina Sofia, but a plane ticket to Spain isn’t always in the cards. Instead of crossing the Atlantic, cross U.S. 75 to SMU’s Meadows Museum. The 58-year-old museum boasts a vast collection of Spanish art, including work by Pablo Picasso, Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, and more. From $4. 5900 Bishop Blvd. Learn more here.

Party at Lee Harvey’s Dive In 

Last summer Lee Harvey’s owner Seth Smith opened a social pool club across from his popular Cedars dive. Dip into the water, tan in a lounge chair, order a drink, and relax seven days a week. In the summer, the club brings in DJs and throws pool parties every weekend. $15 per person. 1315 Beaumont St. Learn more here

Take a Free Yoga Class 

Plenty of studios around Dallas will host free community classes at local parks. Get your downward-facing dog on or slide into your fiercest warrior pose with your partner, thanks to spots like Black Swan, V12, CorePower Yoga, and more.   

Stargaze with the Texas Astronomical Society

You might see stars in your partner’s eyes, but it’s hard to see the stars in the middle of Dallas, thanks to all the lights and smog. To get a good glimpse of the heavens, attend one of the Texas Astronomical Society’s Saturday night “star parties.” You can bring your own binoculars, but TAS will set up telescopes as well. Free. Multiple locations. Learn more here

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Luxury Dates

Charter a Sailboat 

Catch a daytime, sunset, or starlight cruise around Lake Ray Hubbard on one of DFW Boat Ride’s two double-decker boats, Harbor Lights or Sapphire Moon. You can get a regular ticket for around $30 per person. But if you’re looking for a private cruise, you can charter the whole boat for an evening. From $1,665.75. 2059 Summer Lee Dr.  Learn more here

Live and Dream Like a Ewing

Run away to Southfork Ranch and make-believe you’re part of Dallas’ most famous family. This overnight package includes free rein and a tour of the Ewing mansion, champagne, a steak dinner, breakfast by the pool, souvenirs, an optional trail ride, and, natch, Dallas DVDs for viewing. $1,978 for two. 3700 Hogge Rd., Parker. Learn more here.

Romantic Sunset Tour with Sky Helicopter 

Sure, it’s a rom-com trope, but what if you could really fly into the sunset with your love? Find out for yourself on this 45-minute tour of Dallas via air. Fly over Arlington and Addison, DFW Airport and downtown Dallas, all with a golden sunset as the backdrop. Time to roll the credits. $800 for two. 2559 Jupiter Rd., Garland. Learn more here.

Stay-cation at the Joule 

Escape your daily stresses and descend into the cave-like wonder of the Spa at the Joule. Book a customized aromatic couples massage, with options like gua sha, lymphatic drainage, CBD, and more. Keep the relaxation going with one of the hotel’s overnight stay packages. From $185 per person, couples massage. 1530 Main St. Learn more here.

Supercar Track Xperience 

If you’ve ever wanted to put the pedal to the metal, then head to Texas Motor Speedway for this ultimate exotic car experience. Cruise around the track in a luxury “supercar,” like a Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 or McLaren 570S. You can ride along or get behind the wheel yourself. The best part? No speed limits. From $249. 3545 Lone Star Cir., Fort Worth. Learn more here

Dallas Comedy Club, Color Treatment

Adventure & Experience Dates

Head to a Comedy Show 

The Dallas Comedy Club has sketches, stand-up, and improv nights five days a week, but keep an eye out for special acts that may roll into town. Feeling brave and looking to impress your date with your acting chops? Step up for open mic night on Wednesday nights. 3036 Elm St. Learn more here.

Dinner and a Flight

Delta Charlie’s Bar & Grill is a small airport restaurant that offers dinner and private flight packages for the ultimate dinner date. After dinner for two, hop into a plane for views of downtown Dallas. Flights are timed right around sunset, and there’s enough time between dinner and the flight to make it comfortable to take to the skies. Prices vary. 3116 S. Great Southwest Pkwy., Grand Prairie. Learn more here

Gondola Ride through Mandalay Canal and Lake Carolyn

Need Venice on a budget? There are gondola rides in Irving modeled after the infamous canals of Venice, which include a boat ride and a gondolier. Rides come with chocolates and your choice of sparkling cider, water, or hot cocoa. Bookings can also include breakfast, lunch, and dinner pairings, plus more add-ons for special occasions. Starting at $155. 357 West Fork, Irving. Learn more here.

Take a Dancing Class

Believe it or not: dancing lessons may come in handy one day. For group dancing classes with all kinds of styles, including ballroom, Latin, salsa, swing, and more, try Studio 22. The ballroom is 4,600 square feet, so there’s plenty of room to move around, and there are more than 100 group classes every month. Classes start at $35 per person. 14902 Preston Rd., Ste. 400. Learn more here. 

Brewery Yoga at Westlake Brewing Company

On Saturday mornings, Westlake Brewing Company hosts a free outdoor yoga class starting at 10 a.m. If it rains, yoga will be moved indoors. Bring your own mat and towel. And when it’s done, have a pint! 2816 Commerce St. Learn more here

Pick up a Paintball Gun

Paintball plays a major part in two of the best romantic comedies of all time: 10 Things I Hate About You and Failure to Launch, which makes two great reasons for picking up a paintball gun, running around a course, and trying to splat the other with some paint. At DFW Adventure Park, there are three different levels of paintball that range based on level of impact. (Paintballs can hurt a bit.) Starting at $25. 13055 Cleveland Gibbs Rd., Northlake. Learn more here

Climb up into an Aerial Adventure Park

For thrill-seekers wanting more of a team building exercise, the Trinity Forest Adventure Park is a course filled with ropes and bridges that will challenge couples to work together to get through the obstacles. You’re free to move at your own pace, just watch your balance! Starting at $59.95 for adults. 1820 Dowdy Ferry Rd. Learn more here

Indoor Skydiving

iFly Indoor Skydiving is a safe alternative to literally jumping out of a plane, so you and your date can get the adrenaline rush without the big risks. The vertical wind tunnel mimics the sensation of skydiving, all you have to do is jump. Starting at $104.99 per person. Multiple locations. Learn more here

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First Date Dates

Ice Skating at Galleria Dallas

Ice skating in Dallas doesn’t have to be reserved just for winter—the ice rink at Galleria Dallas is open all year round and is actually a great option for the summer when all you want to do is be indoors with the A/C. $12 admission and $5 skate rental. 13350 Dallas Pkwy.

Go Karting

Lean into your competitive side (or let the other person win) by go kart racing. You can ride solo and race against your date, or hop into a two-seater and race the rest of the drivers. Go kart sessions are 10 minutes long, and each race starts at $30. But here’s a tip: Mondays and Thursdays are $20. Starting at $30. 5025 FM 1565, North Caddo Mills. Learn more here.

Walk Through the Dallas Farmers Market

The Dallas Farmers Market has the best first date vibes. Stroll through the stands on the weekends and check out products from local vendors and produce from farms, and grab a snack if you feel hungry. There’s plenty of seating on the market grounds if you’re hoping to spend a few hours getting to know each other. 920 S. Harwood St.

Attend a Sports Game

Dallas is a big, big sports town and at any time of the year, you’ve got your choice of attending almost any sports game imaginable, including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and more. If you’re an out-of-towner, try to catch a game when your hometown team is playing in Arlington or Dallas. 

Test your Knowledge

Get to know each other’s general knowledge through one of the many trivia nights at North Texas bars and breweries. Most are free and include multiple rounds of questions, prizes, and brews on tap. 

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Artsy Dates

Mug Making at Trade Oak Cliff

Trade Oak Cliff is known for all kinds of pottery and pottery-adjacent classes, but one of our favorites is the mug-making class. Build your own mug from a slab, glaze it, and take it home in about two to three weeks. And, it’s BYOB! $95 per person. 1300 S. Polk St., Ste. 274. Learn more here

Candle making at Malibu Apothecary

Make each other a candle at Malibu Apothecary, where you can choose which scent and learn about the history of perfumes and fragrances. You’ll also create your own label and logo for your custom candle. Classes last up to 2.5 hours to allow the candles to cure, but tickets come with complimentary snacks and refreshments. $57 per person. 2012 Farrington St. Learn more here

Painting with a Twist

Bring a bottle of wine and paint matching or complementary pictures at Painting With A Twist. Options for a date night include painting a picture chosen by an artist, a picture of your pet, and a painting trivia night. Starting at $40 per person. Multiple locations. Learn more here

Splatter Painting for Two 

Pipe and Palette in Plano offers a splatter date night for two, where you and your date can suit up and splatter a canvas or each other with paint in a private room. You can upgrade the date with wine and chocolate for extra sweetness. $80. 6121 W. Park Blvd. Learn more here

Wine and Wood

Create a wooden sign, sip on wine with your partner, and add a rustic touch to your home at Texas Wine and Wood. Each person can pick their own sign and design it and create it at the Dallas studio. There are also take-home kits available. Prices vary based on sign size. 4140 Lemmon Ave., Ste. 120. Learn more here

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Food & Drink Dates 

Try a Cooking Class

There are several places to test your cooking skills in North Texas. Our favorites are at Sur La Table, Central Market, and The Cookery. The classes vary in length and price, but most will let you eat or take home what you’ve made, plus the recipes.

Margarita Mile Tour

Dallas is where the frozen margarita was invented, so it makes sense to honor the cocktail by taking the Margarita Mile tour of Dallas. The tour includes 24 margaritas from restaurants across North Texas. Don’t attempt to do all of them in a day, but that means you can break Margarita Mile up into several date days. Check out the full tour here

Grapevine Wine Tours

Head to Grapevine to check out all the grape vines in North Texas. This winery tour includes stops at three locations and your choice of lunch or dinner depending on the time of your tour. Starting at $125. Learn more here.

Authors

Nataly Keomoungkhoun

Nataly Keomoungkhoun

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun joined D Magazine as the online dining editor in 2022. She previously worked at the Dallas Morning News,…
Catherine Wendlandt

Catherine Wendlandt

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Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…

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