Best Attractions near American Airlines Center

10 Best Attractions near the American Airlines Center

The American Airlines Center is the home to the world champion Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars teams, as well as the entertainment venue of Big D, featuring concerts by international music acts and performances by classics like the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. If you have tickets to one of these upcoming events, you're in luck - as this area of Dallas has a number of world-renowned attractions as well! Plan on coming early or staying late after your event and visiting one of these great spots.

If you're attending a kid-friendly event, take your family to the Dallas World Aquarium beforehand. This fun place is located within walking distance of the AAC and features shark tanks, jaguars and monkeys. If you know you're going to be spending a lot of money at the event, save a buck by bringing a picnic lunch and enjoying it at the always-free Klyde Warren Park, Dallas' newest innovative green space that features a children's playground, putting greens and other activities perfect for enjoying the beautiful weather in Dallas.

History buffs will love the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, to learn more about the life and death of JFK, and the Old Red Museum to get a unique look at the history of Big D. Art lovers can't miss the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center, conveniently located in the Arts District near the AAC.

No matter what you're interested in, you can find a nearby attraction to complement your trip to the American Airlines Center.


Crow Museum of Asian Art
Photo courtesy of Visit Dallas

Travel the globe for free at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, where more than 500 artworks dating from 3500 BC to the early 20th century serve as portals into the captivating cultures of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. Lovely and serene, the two-level museum showcases the private collection of founders Trammell and Margaret Crow, enabling visitors to wander amongst ancient Chinese jades, Buddhist sculpture, Japanese screen paintings, delicate fans and intricately carved Indian architecture. On the second Saturday each month, there is a hands-on art class for all ages. This class gives visitors the chance to create their own art projects and the instructor combines her backgrounds in design and education to teach different mediums of art.

Recommended for Attractions near American Airlines Center because: The Crow Collection of Asian Art will take you to the East before your game or concert at the AA Center.

Denise's expert tip: Families can participate in "Yogis: Yoga for Youth," family yoga classes that take place on Tuesday afternoons at 3:45 PM and Saturday mornings at 11 AM.

Read more about Crow Museum of Asian Art →

Old Red Museum
Photo courtesy of Clay Coleman

This exquisite Romanesque revival-style structure, first erected in the 1890's, offers a unique look at Dallas history. The museum's mission to educate and inspire visitors on the "rich and varied cultural, economic, political and social history of the Dallas County Area" comes to life as you wander among turrets, ornate gargoyles and stunning walls of red sandstone and grey granite. Be sure to check the schedule for detailed exhibit info before you visit! The museum is located close to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and is definitely within walking distance of the American Airlines Center. It's the perfect spot for history buffs!

Recommended for Attractions near American Airlines Center because: The Old Red Museum makes the perfect pre-game stop for history lovers.

Denise's expert tip: This is the perfect museum for out-of-town visitors who want to learn about the history of Dallas.

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Originally dedicated as a tribute to a John F. Kennedy in 1970, the JFK Memorial Plaza has become an integral part of Dallas' urban landscape and cultural heritage. Designed by American architect Phillip Johnson, the memorial is located one block east of Dealey Plaza, between Main and Commerce streets, in Downtown Dallas. The memorial is a square-shaped roofless cenotaph, an open tomb, that stands 30 feet high and 50 by 50 feet wide. It is made up of 72 white concrete columns - eight of them extend to the ground and have light fixtures at the ends, while the rest of them appear to float in the air. These elements represent Kennedy's charisma. The memorial was restored to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

Recommended for Attractions near American Airlines Center because: The John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza is near the AA Center and one of the most unique places in Dallas.

Denise's expert tip: Check out how the white light from the "floating" columns capture the light on the painted gold letters of JFK's name.

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Nasher Sculpture Center
Photo courtesy of DCVB

Located next to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center is one of the premier art museums in Dallas, Texas. The center seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor galleries: while it's reminiscent of an archaeological site, it is thoroughly modern, producing a fascinating dichotomy. Plan to spend a morning or afternoon there, as there is much to see. And your kids will even enjoy this type of art! The fabulous collection includes works by greats like Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Max Ernst, Willem de Kooning, Alberto Giacometti, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Joan MirĂ³ --- the list goes on and on.

Recommended for Attractions near American Airlines Center because: The Nasher Sculpture Center is Dallas' best outdoor museum.

Denise's expert tip: Get free admission the first Saturday of each month.

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Klyde Warren Park
Photo courtesy of Klyde Warren Park

Located between Downtown and Uptown, the innovative Klyde Warren Park above Woodall Rogers Freeway opened in October 2012. This new green space in Dallas features a wide variety of activities and features, including a dog park, children's playground, fitness area, putting green, ping pong tables, croquet play area, and much much more! This deck park also has many scheduled events, such as concerts. After you work up an appetite getting a great workout from all the free activities, check out the food truck station for a snack. Or better yet, bring a picnic lunch and enjoy your meal out in the fresh Dallas air.

Recommended for Attractions near American Airlines Center because: Klyde Warren Park is the perfect place to relax pre-game or concert at the AA Center.

Denise's expert tip: Ride your bike, take the trolley or take a DART train to park to save money on parking.

Read more about Klyde Warren Park →

Dallas Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art

As its name might suggest, the Dallas Museum of Art is the number one stop among art museums in Dallas, Texas. Its more than 23,000-item collection embraces everything from European paintings to Pacific Island sculptures, from ancient times to the present. Frederic Church's "The Icebergs" and classic Impressionist works by Edouard Manet and Paul Gauguin are just a few of the standouts. Limestone galleries spiral from the museum's center, ensuring easy navigation and outstanding viewing. This museum always has several international exhibitions on display, as well as a wide variety of permanent collections, such as the African collection and the Ancient Mediterranean art collection.

Recommended for Attractions near American Airlines Center because: The Dallas Museum of Art is perfect for art lovers staying near the American Airlines Center.

Denise's expert tip: Free admission is offered on the first Tuesday of each month. Also, students and teachers (with valid school IDs) get free admission every Thursday night.

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Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Photo courtesy of Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is Dallas' newest museum. It is the combination of three already-established museums, the Dallas Museum of Natural History, Dallas Children's Museum and the The Science Place. This new museum is conveniently located near the Arts District and Klyde Warren Park along Woodall Rogers Freeway, between Downtown and Uptown. Opening its doors for the first time on December 1, 2012, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science features a wide variety of exhibits and activities perfect for the whole family, including an IMAX theater; an outdoor plaza; a one-acre science park with water features, giant leap frogs and musical instruments; and a Texas-inspired landscape design. Visitors are greeted by a Malawisaurus dinosaur fossil and "dancing water" molecule exhibit in the museum's lobby.

Recommended for Attractions near American Airlines Center because: The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is close to the American Airlines Center and one of the best museums in Dallas.

Denise's expert tip: Don't miss the outdoor science park!

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Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Photo courtesy of DCVB

The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, located at historic Dealey Plaza in the former Texas School Book Depository building, examines the life, times, death and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. Its impressive collection includes nearly 40,000 photographs, interviews, artifacts, interpretive displays and award-winning videos that chronicle the historic chain of events preceding his assassination on November 22, 1963. Visitors can also enjoy interactive educational programs on the sixth and seventh floors. If you can't put down your smartphone, use it to explore the museum and Dealey Plaza. After a contemplative walk-through, you'll want to be sure to visit the museum store for keepsakes.

Recommended for Attractions near American Airlines Center because: The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is the ideal attraction for history buffs visiting the AAC.

Denise's expert tip: Don't forget to wrap up your visit with a stroll on the grassy knoll.

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Dallas World Aquarium
Photo courtesy of Brandi McComb Photography

From the outside, you may not even realize what a fantastic spot the Dallas World Aquarium really is! Frenzied crocodile feedings, exotic birds soaring freely overhead, a 40-foot waterfall and mesmerizing Mayan dance performances are just a sliver of the thrilling sights and sounds awaiting visitors in the multi-level rainforest of the Dallas World Aquarium. This fantastically fun, one-of-a-kind zoological park features such incredible highlights as free-roaming New World monkeys, rare Antillean manatees, sloths, crocodiles, a panther, sea turtles, majestic jaguars, frolicsome otters, car-sized catfish, a 400,000-gallon shark tank and heartwarming sloth and penguin feedings. The aquarium is stroller-friendly, so it's perfect for young families.

Recommended for Attractions near American Airlines Center because: The Dallas World Aquarium is the best attraction near the AA Center within walking distance!

Denise's expert tip: For a rare treat, feed the toucans!

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Meet Denise Brandenberg

Born and raised in Dallas, Denise Brandenberg has been a self-proclaimed “Dallas Ambassador” for out-of-town friends and colleagues for years.

Denise started her career as an advertising...  More About Denise