Summer in Texas is HOT, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up inside all day.

The DFW metroplex is packed with so many unique and fun experiences that come alive during the summertime. From outdoor marvels to hot spots you didn’t even know existed, it’s stuff right out of a movie!

Here’s our list of the top ten things to do in Dallas in the summer: 

1. Walk Through Fort Worth Water Gardens

A shady escape, the Fort Worth Water Gardens is one of the most serene attractions in the DFW area and the perfect summer activity for kids and adults. 

Designed by Phillip Johnson, the Water Gardens is an amazing architectural and engineering masterpiece built into an urban plaza. You can take your time (and fun pictures) as you walk through the three pool areas: the aerating, the quiet, and the active pool.

2. Dip Into the Famous Texas-Shaped Pool

Take your Texas pride to a whole new level by going for a swim in the Texas Pool; a cool 168,000-gallon saltwater pool shaped like Texas (obviously). Not just a pool, it has a diving board, two water slides, an island, a shallow wading area, and a snack bar.

While the Texas Pool does have a membership program, it is also open for day guests so you don’t need to become a member to check out this unique Dallas staple. Also, it’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day. 

3. Play at the Cidercade

A super fun nighttime activity in Dallas that’s both indoors AND air conditioned, the Cidercade is a must for any family, friend group, or couple looking for something to do after dinner. 

Located a few miles from downtown Dallas in the Design District, this hip arcade has over  140 games! They are broken up into the categories: Classics, Pinballs, Fighters, Shooters, Driving, Sports, and everything else! There is something for everyone here!

Not to mention they have an incredible drink menu filled with hard ciders, hard kombuchas, hard seltzers, and wines that are all made in-house. Cool fun for kids as well as adults!

4. Meander Through the Best Shopping in DFW

Sometimes summer in Dallas calls for a shopping trip or two to not only escape the heat in cool stores but enjoy a little retail therapy. 

Luckily the DFW area is not short on incredible shopping districts, streets, and markets. Here are the ones you should definitely check out next time the mood strikes: 

  • First Monday Canton Market — The largest flea market in the world, this is an incredible place to spend the day. Way more than your average flea market, this huge venue has become a hub for craftsman and small businesses. You’ll find there are incredibly unique creations everywhere you look from clothing, to household, to graden, and so on!
  • Legacy West — The place to indulge in some high-end shopping and maybe a nice lunch or dinner, Legacy West is filled with glamorous stores that’ll make you fall in love with a whole new summer wardrobe. 
  • Inwood Village — With its historic art deco architecture, this shopping area has a refreshingly unique atmosphere and is a true Dallas original. 

These definitely aren’t the only amazing places to shop in Dallas, but they’re at the top of our list and bring a lot of variety!

5. Fall in Love With Shakespeare (again) 

Back in May, the Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre re-launched their in-person performance titled, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). It’s a mashup of Shakespeare’s most iconic works and it’s such a fun thing to do in Dallas in the summer. Especially since the actors never take the traditional route and love to throw in funny twists. 

All you need to do reserve your ticket online, bring a blanket or chair, and enjoy the show!

6. Enjoy the Coolest Urban Green Spaces

Dallas has made significant efforts over the past few years to increase the amount of green space in its urban care. This has resulted in so many new, natural places residents and visitors can enjoy any day with good weather. 

Here’s a quick list: 

  • Klyde Warren Park — a 5.2-acre green expanse built over a major freeway filled with endless entertainment. 
  • Pacific Plaza — a true urban neighborhood park nestled on Harwood Street. 
  • Main Street Garden Park — a great community gathering spot with a lawn, dog run, fountains, cafe, and art installations. 
  • Annette Strauss Square — a super unique place to catch performances and participate in events, this is one you’ll need to plan ahead for. 

If you try to visit one a week, this is a super doable mini summer bucket list you can check off! Plus, it’s a great way to support the community.

7. Taste the Best Barbeque in Dallas

This will be our third mini-list within a list, but you can’t let a summer in Dallas pass by without sampling the best barbeque in Texas!

These are five spots you have to swing by: 

  • Pecan Lodge
  • Lockhart Smokehouse
  • Off the Bone
  • Blue’s Barbeque
  • 18th & Vine

We know, that’s a lot of barbeque to try! But if you spread it out over the summer, you won’t regret checking out all of these places. Also, who gets tired of barbeque? Not us!

8. Rock Climb At Lake Mineral Wells

A great activity for kids, and one that can also be turned into a fun camping trip, a visit to Lake Mineral Walls for some rock climbing is a must! Just outside of Dallas, it’s a quick drive that quickly makes you feel like you’re somewhere completely different. 

Plus, you can also hike, bike, ride horses, geocache, and hangout by the lake. So many summer activities wrapped in one!

9. Kick it Up at the Fort Worth Stockyards

Whether you’re a first time Dallas-visitor or a long-time local, the Fort Worth Stockyards is a place for everyone and an experience for everyone!

Here you can watch the livestock parade and end the night with a bang at either the Stockyard Championship Rodeo or the Cowtown Cowboy Rodeo! Just check out their website for dates, times, and tickets. 

This probably doesn’t need to be said, but your favorite pair of cowboy boots is a strict part of the required attire!

10. Explore the Great Trinity Forest

Did you know Dallas has a forest? 

Some longtime locals don’t even know that there’s a hardwood forest right in Dallas’s backyard. Somehow, the Great Trinity Forest has remained a hidden gem in the area, but not for long!

With paved trails, you can easily explore the different routes through the forest and meet some wildlife along the way including birds, otters, and snakes. 

Plus, even in the summer, you can visit any time of the day due to the ample amounts of shade the forest creates for you. 

The Best Summer in Dallas

The best summer in Dallas is one you create by doing things you love! 

Whether it’s a combination of outdoor activities and barbeque joints or solely spaces that are covered by AC, you can have the best summer ever here in Dallas!