Runners and cyclists in Dallas seeking parks that offer top-notch trails, incomparable scenery, and a premium on safety should pay a visit to Katy Trail. Though the running and biking paths are the main draw here, there's tons more to do, from groves of bamboo trees that kids love to explore to plenty of dog-friendly spaces. Katy Trail is well-lit at night so nighttime walkers and runners can feel secure. Plan to start your evening off with a brisk walk or run along the Katy Trail and then treat yourself to a delightful early dinner at one of many nearby restaurants and bars.
Recommended for Early Entertainment because: The Katy Trail is the perfect spot to take in an early evening bike ride and dinner.
Denise's expert tip: Take a break at the Knox-Henderson entrance/exit and grab a bite to eat at one of the many great sidewalk cafes.
Located on the eastern shores of White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden features 66 acres of blooming flower beds, manicured lawns and lush trees. The gardens house over 2400 types of azaleas, including the only publicly accessible Huang Collection specimens found outside China. The property also showcases beautiful statuary and the DeGolyer Mansion, an exquisite Spanish-style hacienda commissioned in 1940 by Texas oil baron Everett DeGolyer. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden hosts a number of special events and festivals and makes a great stop for a scenic picnic. Visit during the autumn season and spring seasons to see amazing seasonal exhibits.
Recommended for Early Entertainment because: The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden offers early evening concerts that are family friendly and fun!
Denise's expert tip: If you're in town during the autumn months, don't miss the beautiful pumpkin displays.
Six Flags Over Texas has more than 50 rides, including thrill rides (roller coasters), kids' rides and family rides. This amusement parks covers 212 acres, and is sure to please kids of all ages (including grown-up kids at heart). It features several theme areas, onsite restaurants, live shows and more. The park is open every day during the summer season and on weekends during the spring and autumn, and select weekends during the winter. There are a ton of seasonal events there, such as a park-wide haunted house during Halloween and and a winter wonderland during the Christmas season, complete with sledding and ice!
Recommended for Early Entertainment because: Six Flags Over Texas has family-friendly early evening events all throughout the fall, like Fright Fest.
Denise's expert tip: Check out the calendar to take advantage of deals and seasonal events.
While Billy Bob's Texas is actually in Ft. Worth, we couldn't leave it off the list of Dallas (area) country western dance clubs. Billy Bob's Texas is near the Ft. Worth Stockyards and it's where Dallasites bring their out-of-town visitors to see the real "Texas"! This fun venue is the largest honky tonk in the world, and it has a wide variety of activities, including an onsite rodeo, a mechanical bull, pool tables, an arcade, a huge dance floor and a concert hall - all of country western's favorite activities. People even bring their kids to this honky tonk, as it is a Texan legend.
Recommended for Early Entertainment because: Billy Bob's Texas features concerts and rodeos that you can enjoy early in the evening.
Denise's expert tip: Bring money for the gift shop and photo booth!
For nights when being surrounded by four walls don't quite cut it, this 15,000-square-foot urban playground of food trucks, flatbeds and mismatched lawn furniture might be exactly what's on order. The place is so popular that it even landed a spot on the Travel Channel's "101 More Amazing Places to Chowdown." And chow-down you can: there's cheese-steaks on offer at Steak Me Home Tonight, the yard's permanent eatery-- plus there are 3-4 rotating food trucks that stay parked at all times. But there's more than food that meets the eye. The Yard features several bars, including one perched up in a tree and another inside of an old Airstream trailer. And to mix things up a bit, the Yard hosts everything from beer tappings and game watching parties to live concert performances on a flatbed truck stage.
Recommended for Early Entertainment because: The Truck Yard is one of the best spots in Dallas to enjoy cool drinks and music in the late afternoon and early evening.
Ilene's expert tip: Not to be missed is the frozen trashcan punch which can only be found in the Treehouse Bar.
Located between Downtown and Uptown, the innovative Klyde Warren Park above Woodall Rogers Freeway is a popular green space in Dallas that features a wide variety of events and activities, 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 Early Entertainment because: Klyde Warren Park is the perfect place to spend an early evening of entertainment, dining and people watching.
Denise's expert tip: Ride your bike, take the trolley or take a DART train to park to save money on parking.
The Inwood has seen its share of history over the years, from showcasing a 1947 screening of Red Skelton's "The Show-Off" to hosting a two-year run of "The Sound of Music." Today, the venue thrives on film festivals, independent films and foreign flicks, and its managing company has restored its classic murals, repaired its neon signage, and added leather seating. Perhaps its most singular perk, though, is a cool lobby martini bar; a great place to grab a drink before, after, and during (yes, drinks are allowed in the auditoriums) a film. The shows at the Inwood Theatre and Lounge start around 4pm each day.
Recommended for Early Entertainment because: The Inwood Theatre Lounge features independent and foreign films for a cultured early evening on the town.
Denise's expert tip: Stylish bar in theater lobby perfect for pre/post-show cocktails.
Situated in the heart of downtown, the Majestic Theatre is one of Dallas' favorite entertainment venues. It is also one of the most elegant venues in Big D. Events there range from concerts and movie premieres to cultural gatherings and stand-up shows. This venue attracts some of the biggest headliners in the comedy world, such as George Lopez. If you're looking to catch an early evening out on the town, you're in luck! The Majestic Theatre has shows that start as early as 3pm, as well as a variety of shows that start at 6:30pm and 7:30pm. Grab dinner before the show at one of many nearby downtown eateries.
Recommended for Early Entertainment because: The Majestic Theatre offers early entertainment options in the heart of Downtown Dallas.
Denise's expert tip: The theatre is located close to the downtown DART station, but there are also several pay parking lots nearby.
Looking to stay active on your date night or family night? Head on down to Topgolf Dallas, Big D's premier entertainment venue that features exciting point-scoring golf games for all skill levels, delicious food and drinks, and music. This double-decker hot spot isn't just a driving range; it's a fun place to go when you want to play with your loved ones. It's open all day, and it is the perfect spot for an early evening out on the town. It's also open late, so if you start having so much that you don't want to go home early, you don't have to!
Recommended for Early Entertainment because: Topgolf is one of the most fun early entertainment venues in Dallas.
Denise's expert tip: Go early to get a half-price pod (the driving range lane)!
Located on Mockingbird Lane between Greenville Ave. and N. Central Expy, the Pocket Sandwich Theatre is the premier spot in Dallas for live dinner theater! This Dallas staple features a wide variety of early evening with rotating acts and plays that start at 7pm and 8pm. The early evening menu is served until 7:30pm on most nights. The theatre also has a fun "Late Night Comedy at the Pocket" on Friday and Saturday nights at 11 pm. Visitors can take in a hilarious stand-up show. There is also a limited menu available, and vegetarian plates are usually available for the late evening shows.
Recommended for Early Entertainment because: Pocket Sandwich Theatre features early evening plays and shows ideal for an early evening on the town.
Denise's expert tip: This comedy theatre only serves beer and wine.