It is no exaggeration that Dallas can be a challenge for mild-weather friends. On average, the DFW metroplex sees around 18 days of temperatures over 100 degrees during the summer months, and even those that hover in the 90s and 80s can feel like you’re baking in an oven. But North Texans still love hanging out in their city during the summer, and there is a good reason for it.
Yes, it’s insanely hot, and most of the popular Dallas summer activities like Six Flags, the Dallas Zoo or the Arboretum are going to be packed with families since school is out. But don’t let that stop you from visiting during the summer. With tons of ways that you can get around the heat, the city still has plenty to offer that will keep you cool and entertained.
Five Survival Tips to Beat the Dallas Summer Heat
From event venues to foodie heavens, there are so many places to visit in this city. Before you look at all the different things to do in Dallas this summer, keep in mind these five strategies that’ll hold the heat at bay and make your time much more enjoyable.
1. Stay Inside in the Afternoon
During the summer, the best and most obvious way to outsmart the heat is to get out of it. Why not escape to the peace of the art museum and spend a few hours checking out the paintings and sculptures? If that’s not your speed, you can also wind through any of the numerous Dallas shopping centers, like the Galleria. Take your squad bowling, go to the movies or grab a bite. Plan to hit up anywhere with air conditioning to give yourself a break during the heat of the day.
2. Plan Early Morning or Late Night Adventures
As Dallasites have well experienced, going out in the hottest hours of the day is sometimes more trouble than it’s worth. You may find you have to schedule your personal Dallas summer events around the heat. Plan to head out early in the morning before the sun is at its peak or to go out late after night has fallen.
If you’re going to visit an outdoor attraction like the zoo, get there before they open and be the first to enter. That way, you can see everything you want to before it gets too hot, then head out to spend the afternoon somewhere that has air conditioning. Once the sun has set, hit downtown to make the most of the colorful Dallas nightlife and wrap up your day with great food, company, drinks and entertainment.
3. Drink Up — and It Doesn’t Have to be Just Water!
When either visiting or living in Dallas during the summer, you have to plan on drinking as much water as possible. Even if you are spending your whole day indoors, it’s important to stay hydrated.
Even if you’re guzzling down bottles of H2O, we know that sometimes you need a little something extra. Quench your sugar cravings with a freshly squeezed lemonade or a snow cone to get a boost and increase your liquid intake at the same time. You can also opt for a frozen margarita at a local Mexican restaurant or bar.
4. Dress and Pack Smart
If you’re visiting from the North or are just not used to the Texas heat, Dallas weather may surprise you. Just like you would prepare for a cold winter, be sure to dress for the summer heat. Don’t be afraid to invest in some good athletic clothes that will help you stay cool, and wherever you go, make sure you have items on hand that’ll help you out if you get dehydrated.
5. Choose Venues That’ll Cool You Off
Sometimes, you gotta get outside and soak up some rays. It’s what summer’s all about, right? What makes it the most bearable, of course, is having a way to cool off as you go — like by jumping in some nice, cold water.
Many vacationers resort to the pool or the lake to be able to have the best of both worlds. But in Dallas, you also have the luxury of waterparks, and boy, do they deliver a good time. The heat stops being an issue — as long as you wear sunscreen and keep on hydrating.
Fun Outdoor Summer Activities in Dallas
Living in the Dallas area during the summer sure can keep you busy. Where will you plan to go first? Check out this list of some local outdoor favorites where Texans flock to enjoy:
- Hit the Waterpark: Give Hurricane Harbor a whirl or pick one of the Hawaiian Falls water parks. Even if you find it’s a bit crowded or that there are long lines for the big rides, a float down the lazy river will be sure to keep you fresh and relaxed. A day at the waterpark with friends is a surefire way to get in some good laughs and make memories.
- Stroll Through the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens: Whether you want a take a leisurely walk or are going to see a concert, the Arboretum is an unforgettable place to spend a day. The beautiful flowers are a sight that’s hard to beat and will be a guaranteed hit on your social media. For a romantic date destination, the gardens are a popular Dallas favorite.
- Go to a Texas Rangers Game: Because of the high number of baseball games during a season, it won’t be hard to find a day that works for you to see a game. It also means the tickets will be quite a bit more affordable than something like a Dallas Cowboys football game would be. No matter how long your stay is, going to at least one Rangers game is a must during your time in Dallas.
- Kayak on White Rock Lake: Located just five miles northeast of downtown Dallas, White Rock Lake is one of the most popular parks in the area, and kayaking is an excellent way to enjoy the water. If you’re a beginner, keep in mind the worst that could happen is that you end up taking a dip and cooling off from the summer sun — which may not be so bad anyway.
- Visit the Dallas Farmers Market: Since 1941, the Dallas Farmers Market has cultivated a more sustainable lifestyle for all of North Texas. Seeking to educate the community about how to live in a natural and balanced way, the Farmers Market @ The Shed is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is an open-air pavilion where you can buy seasonal produce and naturally grown meats, cheeses and eggs.
- Ride a Roller Coaster: Perfect for thrill seekers, Six Flags Over Texas is a must-visit. This amusement park can bring you and your crew a whole day of laughter and entertainment during those occasional slow summer stretches. Be sure to try the new Harley Quinn Spinsanity ride when you go!
- Explore the Dallas Zoo: Why not visit the longest-running zoo in the Southwest United States? You could certainly spend a whole day wandering around its more than 100 acres. The Dallas Zoo offers an exciting journey through different wildlife habitats from the African savanna to the South American rain forests. You will learn about animals that live in the trees, underground and everywhere in between.
Dallsites know nothing is quite like having a good time on a gorgeous summer day. You never know what you’ll discover about the city and its people, and you’re bound to make some sweet memories. Wherever you go, make sure to take plenty of selfies!
Dallas Destinations for Staying Out of the Heat This Summer
You just can’t let the heat get in the way of a fun summer. Fortunately, Dallas is one of those places that has a lot of indoor activities you can take advantage of when the sun is at its fiercest. Take a look at some of these options that the city has to offer:
- See a Movie: Summers are synonymous with hitting the latest blockbuster on opening weekend. In Dallas, you have the option of going to the Angelika, where you can find movies beyond the wide releases, or trying out the Magnolia, where you can bring your drinks from the bar into the theater. For a few hours, sit back, relax and enjoy the cool, dark relief from the heat.
- Go Bowling: You may think it’s a bit overdone, but bowling gets you out of the killer sunshine and gives your group a competitive yet laid-back experience. Be sure to check out Bowl & Barrel, Dallas’s first upscale bowling alley. Sometimes the simple solutions can be the most fun.
- Visit the Sixth Floor Museum: If you want a unique educational experience, visit the Sixth Floor Museum. Located in the very building where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shot, this museum houses an exhibit about the life and assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
- Explore the Dallas Museum of Art: Not only does the DMA get you out of the Dallas mid-day sun, but general admissions is free! The museum was established in 1903 and is among the 10 largest art museums in the country. Its global collection contains more than 24,000 works and spans 5000 years of history. If you’re a fan of art, this is a must-see.
- Catch a Ride on the Dallas McKinney Trolley: You can take the air-conditioned trolley to get from one place to another — or just for the fun of the ride itself! There is no designated parking for those who wish to ride the trolley, but you can park at the Uptown Station on Cityplace West Blvd. and watch for the round maroon sign with the words “M-Line Trolley.”
- Enjoy the Theatre: See the best of Broadway at the Music Hall at Fairpark with the Dallas Summer Musicals. These performances are on par with the best. Buy your tickets in advance, then enjoy a night you will remember for the rest of your life.
Dallas has something for everyone. As a hub for local art, culture, sports and so much more, the city is bound to deliver memorable experiences. Without even realizing it, as you explore interests new and old, you’ll start finding yourself feeling right at home in the Dallas area.
Favorite Treats and Drinks to Enjoy in Dallas
What list of Dallas summer activities would be complete without going over food and drinks? The city has its fair share of restaurants, bars, bakeries and shops to pop into for a quick bite. Here are some favorite local treats you should be sure to check out:
- Steel City Pops: When the heat is pushing 100 degrees, a raspberry lemon popsicle hits the spot. It won’t occupy your whole day, of course, but Steel City Pops is worth a planned stop in your ventures into Dallas. As locals can attest, if you live in the Dallas area, this popular chain will quickly become a recurring destination during the hot summer.
- The Ivy Tavern: Their drink, “The Poison Ivy,” is a mixture of thyme-infused simple syrup, fresh grapefruit and lemon juice and Tito’s vodka. Topped with club soda and a sprig of thyme and served over ice, there is nothing quite like it anywhere but at the Ivy Tavern.
- Coolhaus Ice cream Sammies: While you’re visiting the Dallas Farmers Market, keep your eyes open for the pink-and-white Coolhaus ice cream truck. The summer heat is always a good excuse to indulge in a delicious ice cream sandwich or pint.
- Highland Park Soda Fountain: Try this 100-year-old soda fountain for the perfect way to cool down. Slurp down a delicious strawberry float and be transported back to a simpler time.
- Houndstooth Coffee: Although it might need to be an iced coffee, grabbing a drink at a coffee shop is a fun way to escape the heat and relax. Initially founded in Austin, the Houndstooth Dallas location offers delightful coffee and pastries.
- Tei Tei Robata Bar: Sushi is an unparalleled foodie fave that will fill you up and keep you cool. Experience Japanese culture and the best sashimi in Dallas when you visit Tei Tei.
- Malai Kitchen: This West Village Thai-Vietnamese fusion spot brews its own beer. You can try one of their six in-house brews comprising an IPA, a Vietnamese Lager, a Saison, a Pilsner, a Porter and a seasonal rotator.
There is no shortage of things to do in Dallas, Texas. Whether you’re visiting one of the parks, theaters or eateries, Dallas will always impress.
Find Your Next Summer Getaway in Dallas With Smart City
You probably won’t be able to everything that Dallas has to offer in just one stay, so you might as well move here! Nothing is quite like having an unforgettable day on the town and returning home to a luxury apartment hand-picked for you. That’s why at Smart City Locating, we live to help fun-loving individuals find their niche.
Our completely free, hyper-personalized apartment matching service will find the hub that’s right for you in the Dallas area, so you’ll be able to go to Six Flags, the Dallas Zoo and Steel City Pops whenever you want! Fill out our contact form, or give our local office a call — we’ll get you set up in no time.
Once you live in Dallas, you will find more and more fun things to do that could probably fill another list. Keep exploring and learning about this great city, and do whatever you can to outsmart that Dallas heat.