Top Outdoor Activities in Dallas

What To Do in Dallas when it is time to get out of the house 

You know that it is a little thought in the back of your mind when moving to a new city.  You are asking yourself “What to do in Dallas when I can’t stand being in the house today?” Well, I think we have you covered here. This is for those who want a little more out-of-doors experience!

The City of Dallas is maintaining and operating 406 parks on its entire 21,000 acres (85 km2) of parkland. Fair Park is its flagship park measuring a total of 260-acre (1.05 km2), and which hosted the Texas Centennial Exposition back in 1936.

Texas’ first and largest zoo which was opened in 1888, Dallas Zoo, is also housed in Dallas, all 95 acres (0.38 km2) of it.

Furthermore, the city’s parks are comprised of 17 individual lakes, which include Bachman and White Rock lakes, measuring a total land area of 4,400 acres (17.81 km2).

Jogging and Biking

But that is not all, there are also jogging and biking trails traversing a total of 61.6 miles (99.1km.), including the Katy Trail, which is also the home to 276 sports fields, 47 neighborhood and community recreational centers, 60 swimming pools, 173 basketball courts, 232 playgrounds, 112 volleyball courts, 258 neighborhood tennis courts, 126 play slabs, 258 picnic areas, two driving ranges, 477 athletic fields, and six 18-hole golf courses. (yes, we know about you golfers…)

The biggest Urban Park in the USA?

If you must know (it isn’t as if we are bragging – facts are facts), Dallas is also a part of the ongoing Trinity River Project in the Great Trinity Forest, measuring a total land area of 6,000 acres (24 km2). It is the largest urban hardwood forest in the whole of the United States and is proudly part of the biggest urban park in the country. They recently constructed a new addition to the park – The Trinity River Audubon Center, which opened in 2008. This park serves as a gateway to numerous trails as well as other nature viewing activities in the region. It is also the 1st LEED-certified building developed by the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department.

These recreational facilities are strategically located all over Dallas providing a wide array of traditional and contemporary recreational activities. Some of these activities involve sports, athletics, cultural events, summer playground camps, and programs that help address community concerns such as wellness, life management skills, and juvenile violence.

Here are some specific recreational activities and facilities that you can find!

Reverchon Park’s Local League Baseball Game – This is a public park located in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas, lying along Turtle Creek. The park is also adjacent to the Katy Trail. Going inside, people would have to take the main entrance located at Maple Avenue and Turtle Creek Boulevard. The Reverchon Park is comprised of 46 acres of land (0.19 km2) offering around 40 recreational and leisure programs for its citizens. This includes tutoring, health screenings, yoga, athletic leagues, volleyball, and other after-school and extra-curricular programs. This park is also home to numerous baseball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a playground designed for children of all abilities.

Fair Park – This is not just a 277-acre (1.12 km2) recreational park, but an educational complex as well located in Dallas. It is registered as a National Historic Landmark and a Dallas Landmark which is comprised of 6 performance facilities, 9 museums, 1 lagoon, and the biggest Ferris wheel in all of North America. Several buildings inside the complex were built for the Texas Centennial Exposition back in 1936. This drew over six million visitors at that time. Many of these buildings are still around today and are recognized as significant examples of Art Deco architecture.

Dallas Zoo – This zoo has a total land area of 106-acre (43 ha) located 3 miles (5 km) south of downtown Dallas in Marsalis Park. The zoo was built in 1888; hence, it is not just the largest zoological park in Texas, but the oldest as well.  It is being managed by the non-profit Dallas Zoological Society which houses 1,800 animals of 406 species. This zoo is also an accredited member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

White Rock Lake  – This lake is a reservoir located in the eastern section of Dallas and was formed by damming White Rock Creek. Today, this creek widens into the lake just before it continues southward out of the spillway and empties into the Trinity River. The lake covers a total area of 1,254 acres (5.1 km²).

Bachman Lake – This is a small freshwater lake originally built in 1903 by Bachman Branch, covering a total land area of 205 acres (0.83 km2), and located in the Love Field neighborhood of the northwestern section of Dallas. It also lies on the northwest boundary of Dallas Love Field right in the airport’s landing path. It was built as a water source for the city, but then it was too small for the residents’ needs and was later on supplanted by White Rock Lake in 1911.

Katy Trail – This trail has a lot of uses. It is a walking, jogging, bicycling and inline skating path running through the Oak Lawn and Uptown areas of Dallas. It follows the path of the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, known before as MKT or the Katy, hence its name today.

Trinity River Project – This is a public works project in Dallas which began in 2000 and was supposed to get finished in 2010 until the schedule of completion was pushed to 2012.  The goal of this project is to redevelop the Trinity River. Its mission is to turn the river’s path into a collection of trails, sports fields, recreational opportunities, and nature centers. With a total land area of 10,000 acres (which includes the Great Trinity Forest, which at 6,000 acres (24 km2) is touted to be the biggest urban bottomland forest in the world), it has garnered the title “largest urban park in the U.S.”

Cedar Hill State Park – This park is located on FM 1382 and the eastern shore of Joe Pool Lake in Cedar Hill, Texas, 10 miles southwest of Dallas. In 1982, it was acquired by Texas and in1991; it was opened to the public. This 1,826-acre (739 ha) park is operated and managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  It has a total of 355 camping sites within five camping areas. It also houses picnic areas, boat ramps, fishing jetties, and swimming areas.

What to do in Dallas?  Just about a little of EVERYTHING!

Indeed, the city of Dallas provides numerous recreational activities, centers, and facilities for both its residents and visitors alike, which offer innovative and creative leisure programs that will foster healthier and happier lifestyles as well as enhance the quality of life for all ages.

Interested in Eating Out?  Check out our discussion about Restaurants in Dallas!

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