Arts & Culture

20 Things to do in 2020

Welcome to 2020. You have a new year, a new decade even, to do all those cool Dallas things you always mean to do, but never quite get around to doing. We put together a list of 20 activities to help you make 2020 the year of brand-new fun experiences.

Jennifer Simonson
Posted on Jan 7, 2020

1. Break your New Year's resolution at Milk & Cream
Lower Greenville
When the green drinks and fresh salads get boring, we suggest stopping by Milk & Cream to break your healthy eating resolution with an ice cream filled donut sandwich. 

2. Eat a Bloody Mary
Deep Ellum
Make sure you come hungry to Sunday morning brunch at Anvil Pub. Along with a full breakfast menu, bartenders top their famous Bloody Mary's with a buffet of goodies including a bacon cheeseburger slider, sausage, cheese, celery, beef jerky and shrimp.

3. Sip champagne in the air
Who among us has told ourselves that this was the year we were going to visit the iconic Reunion Tower's rotating restaurant just to let another year pass without actually doing it? It's 2020 people, time to make those goals a reality. Have a glass of bubbly at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck's bar while the rotating floor provides a 360-degree view of the Dallas skyline.

4. Ride a Texas-sized Ferris wheel
Fair Park
It's no wonder the Texas Star Ferris Wheel is the most popular ride at the State Fair of Texas. Riders can enjoy a moment of zen 212 feet above the hustle-and-bustle of the Midway. On a clear day, riders can see AT &T Stadium 20 miles away.

5. Learn local history
Whether you are a life-long resident or a weekend visitor, Dallas' history captivates the imagination. The Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture, set in the 1892 Dallas County Courthouse, is full of interesting artifacts like the original plat of Dallas, Clyde Barrow's gun, a banjo played by depression-era blues musicians in Deep Ellum and Tom Landry's trademark fedora.

6. Take selfie with a giant eyeball
If you are looking to spruce up your Instagram feed in 2020, book a room at The Joule Hotel. After you drop your bags, stroll through the hotel's lawn to find a 30-foot uber-realistic eyeball complete with a detailed blue iris and red-streaky veins. The fiberglass sculpture looks like it belongs on the side of a quirky roadside attraction, not on the lawn of one of Dallas' swankiest hotels, but who are we to judge.

7. Drink a local brew at Braindead Brewing
Deep Ellum
Even if IPAs aren't your thing, Deep Ellum's first brewpub cooks up great bar food (Coma Burger anyone) and its large patio along Main Street makes a great spot for people watching on a warm spring day.

8. Discover Dallas' haunted past while getting sauced
Part bar crawl, part ghost tour, Nightly Spirits guides will lead you through pubs with dark pasts while regaling tales of paranormal activities along the way. You might not be a believer of the things that go bump in the night after the tour, but at least you'll have a nice buzz.

9. Stay at The Adolphus
Stay a night (or three) at the Grand Dame of the Dallas historic hotels. Built in the early 1912 as the city's first true luxury hotel, The Adolphus with its antique rugs, rich leather sofas and limestone fireplace still remains an icon of luxury in the heart of Downtown.

10. Stand in line at Pecan Lodge
Deep Ellum
Sometimes standing in line is the price one pays to enjoy tender smoked brisket, saucy pulled pork and finger-licking ribs. The Deep Ellum barbeque joint that Texas Monthly once named the second best barbeque in all the land might have the most famous food line in all Dallas, but it's worth it.

11. Combat prejudice at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
The new 55,000-square-foot Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is a state-of-the-art technologically immersive museum aimed not only to teach the history of the Holocaust, but to advance human rights by combatting prejudice, hatred, and indifference.

12. Explore the nation's largest Arts District
Whether you like modern, mid-century, or ancient art, visual or performing art or you are just a sucker for gorgeous architecture, our 20-block Arts District has you covered. See a performance by the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, hear the sounds of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, or journey through the Dallas Museum of Art.

13. See Dallas from a trolley
Jump on one of the M-Line's restored vintage cars with names like Green Dragon, Betty, Miss Daisy, and Petunia. The four-mile loop connects the Arts District museums with Uptown's shops and nightlife.

14. Watch a sunset at The Statler
Grab a drink and settle yourself into a chair on the 19th floor of the retro-chic Waterproof Bar at the historic Statler hotel. The panoramic views of Downtown Dallas provide a stunning backdrop day or night.

15. Spend an afternoon at Klyde Warren Park
Food trucks, ice cream carts, mobile libraries, dog parks, life-sized Connect Four, chess boards, a Croquet court, grass lawns, live music, kid's activities, botanical garden, a jogging trail. Seriously if you haven't made it to Klyde Warren Park yet, it should be the first thing you do after you read this list.

 16. Get presidential at George W. Bush's Library
North Dallas
Revisit the 43rd president's eight years in office at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. While you're there snap a photo behind the Resolute Desk in a replica of the Bush Administration's Oval Office.

17. Wear green to the St. Patty's Parade
Lower Greenville
Join more than 100,000 of your favorite green-loving friends for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival on Lower Greenville. Start the day by watching the 90-float parade, then stick around for the block party.

18. Drink an original frozen margarita
East Dallas
If you are looking for a beverage with authenticity, pony up to the bar at the birthplace of the margarita machine - Mariano's Hacienda. In 1971, drawing inspiration from 7-Eleven's Slurpee machine, Mariano Martinez invented the frozen margarita machine forever changing the landscape of happy hours on hot summer days. Mariano's is a stop on the Margarita Mile, so be sure to get your check-in while you're there!

19. Watch a game at American Airlines Center
By all predictions both the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Stars will have great 2020 seasons, so grab tickets to watch the sport teams while they're hot.

20. Explore activities on the Trinity River
Various Dallas locations
The Trinity River stretches 710 miles – the longest river contained within a single state! Enjoy various outdoor activities along the river corridor, like hiking at the Trinity River Audubon Center, ropes courses at the Trinity Forest Adventure Park, and even dining at the 15-acre restaurant destination at Trinity Groves.