Despite frequent changes in temperature, wintertime in Dallas is actually quite lovely and the perfect time to enjoy all of the unique outdoor and indoor activities the city has to offer.

The DFW metroplex is packed with so many experiences that seem to just come alive during the wintertime. A bit of a mood-booster, getting out and about in the city is a perfect way to shake off the cold, make some new memories (and maybe new traditions), and transition into 2022. 

Here is our list of the top ten things to do in Dallas in the winter: 

1. Walk Through Fort Worth Water Gardens

A tranquil escape, the Fort Worth Water Gardens is one of the most serene attractions in the DFW area and the perfect winter weekend 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.

We recommend visiting this Dallas attraction on a slightly warmer day when the sun is out. Something about the combination of the water and a chilly breeze can make it feel a bit cold on cloudier days. 

2. Watch the Dallas Mavericks & Dallas Stars

There’s nothing like watching a good live game to lift your spirits and get a bit of excitement. 

Following the lessening of COVID restrictions, fans are finally allowed back in at the American Airlines Center where the Mavericks usually play this upcoming season. An easy way to beat the crowds and secure your ticket is to get your tickets early. This definitely isn’t the most affordable activity in Dallas, but it can be a nice splurge or a great holiday gift for the sports fans in your life! Sometimes experiences make the best presents. 

You can also check out popular Mavs fan watch party barslike Dodie’s and Stan’s Blue Note for a super fun environment to enjoy the game. 

As for the Dallas Stars, in October 2020 they reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years! This means expectations are still running high for the team and the upcoming games starting in January should be exciting. 

3. Play at the Cidercade

A super fun nighttime activity in Dallas that’s both indoors AND much warmer than outside, the Cidercade is a must for any family, friend group, or couple looking for something fun 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. This is a great way to escape the cold and make some new memories with the ones you love. 

4. Meander Through the Holiday Best Shopping in DFW

More often than not, wintertime in Dallas calls for a shopping trip or two to either get all of your holiday shopping done or just treat yourself. 

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

  • 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 winter wardrobe. 
  • Inwood Village — With its historic art deco architecture, this shopping area has a refreshingly unique atmosphere and is a true Dallas original. 
  • NorthPark — With one of the finest shopping experiences in the world, you can enjoy an entire day marveling at the over 200 stores and likely find a million things you want to buy. 

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. Do Some Figures at Galleria Dallas

The Galleria Dallas Ice Skating Rink is considered a top-tier rink in the city with a towering Christmas tree that gives you all the good holiday feels. Plus, it just happens to be the tallest tree in the nation!

This is the perfect activity for families, friend groups, and couples looking for a true wintertime activity in Dallas. 

In case you don’t know how to skate but want to learn, the ice skating center offers lessons for beginners, including holiday mini ice-skating in December. 

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 winter bucket list you can check off! Plus, it’s a great way to support the community and take advantage of the lack of sweltering heat. 

7. Taste the Best Barbeque in Dallas

This will be our third mini-list within a list, but you can’t let a winter in Dallas pass by without sampling the best barbeque in Texas! There’s something about cold weather that just makes you crave warm, yummy soul food. 

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 winter months, 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 outdoor activities wrapped in one! While many people visit this spot in the summer, it may be even better in the winter because you won’t have to deal with the sweltering heat.   

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. 

The Best Winter Activities in Dallas

The best winter in Dallas is one you create by doing things you love! You definitely don’t need to feel like you have to do it all, just choose a handful of activities to explore over the weekends and you’ll find you really have explored more of Dallas. 

Whether it’s a combination of outdoor activities and barbeque joints or solely spaces that warm you up, you can have the best wintertime ever here in Dallas!