dallas weekend guide

Get in gear to root for the home team. (Photo: Getty Images)


A Texas Football Fanatic’s Weekend in Dallas and Beyond

The cities of Fort Worth, Dallas and Arlington — home to one of the greatest football teams and stadiums in the U.S. — are a no-big-deal drive apart. It’s just about 30 minutes from Dallas to Fort Worth, with Arlington in between.

So it’s easy to fit three big cities’ worth of fun into one, football-filled weekend.

Friday — Arlington

You can kick a football around on the field, visit team and cheerleaders’ locker rooms, and grant your own interviews in the media briefing room on guided or self-guided tours of AT&T Stadium. Tours of the facility’s formidable contemporary art collection are also offered.

Six Flags Over Texas is 212 acres of rides, including the world’s largest loop roller coaster, El Diablo. Across the highway, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor water park is open daily through August and weekends through September. (Off season, you can make a quick jaunt east to the city of Grand Prairie and Epic Waters indoor water park.)

Texas Live! is a new entertainment district connected to the future Globe Life Field. Start with “live music, cold beer” at Troy’s, owned by Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman. Then get your barbecue on at Lockhart Smokehouse, named for the town officially known as the “barbecue capital of Texas.”

The Arlington Museum of Art is tiny but mounts interesting shows, such as the work of graffiti artist Keith Haring and street photographer Vivian Maier. And check the schedule of the Levitt Pavilion, an outdoor space where free and ticketed shows, including national-level music acts, are scheduled summer and fall. Nearby, J. Gilligan’s serves cold beer and Irish nachos, featured as “bar food paradise” on the Travel Channel.

Saturday — Dallas

Start your day with healthy farm-to-table brunch at Mudhen Meat and Greens in the Dallas Farmers Market. Then stroll the Market Shops and The Shed for artisanal foods, Texas-grown produce and a smattering of crafts.

dallas weekend guide
Enjoy a healthy brunch at Mudhen. (Photo: Courtesy of Mudhen Meat and Greens)

If you’re ready to settle in for the afternoon and watch college games, there’s no better spot to belly up than Christie’s. Rub elbows with hyped TCU alumni as you watch the games unfold on the bar’s 60 HDTVs and three, massive projector screens. Plus, you’ll drink cheap: Happy runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Of course, if you’re waiting for Sunday’s pro games to unfold before hitting a sports bar, there’s still plenty to keep you occupied in the Big D.

Since it opened in 2012, Klyde Warren Park has been a gathering place for Dallas. With a stage, playground, dog park, reading and game room, and calendar of activities and events, it always bustles. And, bonus, the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center and Crow Collection of Asian Art are just steps away.

Dallas is a dining-out town, so the choice for dinner is as wide open as the Texas sky. Check out D magazine’s listing of the city’s 50 best restaurants or the Dallas Observer’s top 100 and take it from there.

The neighborhood just east of Downtown known as Deep Ellum has a long history as a center for nightlife, from jazz and blues in the 1920s to punk rock in the 1980s and ’90s. Today you can club hop, look at art, shop small boutiques, get a tattoo or just people-watch the crowds doing all of the above.

dallas weekend guide
Get a culture fix at the Nasher Sculpture Center. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sunday — Fort Worth

Start the morning mellow with late brunch at the Cork & Pig Tavern in the very happening West Seventh district of downtown Fort Worth. Fruity Pebbles French Toast, perhaps? Grab a table near the bar and catch the early game on the TV.

Of course, if you’re seeking a more, shall we say, traditional sports bar experience, Fort Worth’s West Seventh district should have enough spots to keep you busy afternoon into evening.

Check out the 169-square-foot megatron LED TV at Texas Republic, which organizes football watch parties, has a Texas-flavored menu and — bonus — bottomless mimosas until 3 p.m. on Sundays. Not into cocktails? Order the 32-ounce personal pitcher of beer or a moonshine shot flight.

West Seventh teems with shopping, drinking and dining. Post-game, you can browse the shops of Crockett Row, have some dinner (perhaps chicken and biscuits at Mash’d), indulge in a little sweet something from Dude, Sweet Chocolate and finish the weekend off cheering on the evening game with a nightcap at Bar Louie.

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