Arlington is a great example of Texas being about big, lager than life things. In the city of Arlington the sports franchises are big, the theme parks are wild and the music is loud. If you are looking for a quaint getaway then Arlington is not the place but if you are looking for a city with a Texan sized attitude then Arlington can (almost) match Dallas and Fort Worth.
Here are the 25 best things to do in Arlington:
1. Get your thrills at Six Flags Over Texas
This massive amusement park attracts visitors around the country during their time spent in Arlington and in the surrounding state of Texas. Thrill rides include two themed around Batman and a superman water ride which is guaranteed to leave you soaked. There are also plenty of rides to cater for the less adventurous visitor to the park. As with all Six Flags parks, there are plenty of places to eat throughout the park as well as live entertainment and shopping.
2. Visit the home of the Dallas Cowboys
Whether or not you like American Football, and whether or not you support the Dallas Cowboys, you should still have a look at the AT&T Stadium during your time in Arlington. The stadium is an incredible feat of architecture. It is the largest domed structure in the world and has a capacity of over 100,000 fans. Throughout the year the stadium hosts some of the most popular performers from around the world (at the time of writing Beyonce is about to perform live here). Available tours include exploring the various artwork that covers the walls of the stadium and VIP guided tours.
3. Tour Globe Life Park
Although not as much of an architectural masterpiece as the AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Park is more iconic. The ballpark is home to the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball Franchise and has also been the venue for two World Series Championships as well as the all star game in 1995. Tours of the stadium include access to backstage areas such as batting cages and press box and take place everyday in the off season.
4. Learn about the history of bowling
The Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame was relocated to Arlington from Missouri in 2008. It may not sound like an attraction for those of us who don’t enjoy bowling but you may well be surprised by what is on offer here. For starters, the museum explores history from 5,000 years ago when, you may be surprised to know, the first evidence of the sport dates from. As well as this, the museum explores the founding fathers of the game as well as what the coming years may entail for the sport.
5. Visit the Arlington Convention Center
The number 1 event and convention center in Arlington and the state of Texas is the Arlington Convention Center. The center is a meeting and exhibit space that regularly hosts a wide range of events and has something to appeal to everybody. The center has over 50,000 square feet of exhibit space. Typical conventions include car shows, travel shows and home conventions as well as the more unusual trading card and comic book conventions.
6. Shop ’til you drop at The Parks at Arlington
The Parks at Arlington opened in 1988 and is situated in South Arlington. The mall was renovated in 1996 and now looks the part in the 21st Century. The mall contains lots of shops, some of which are one off boutiques others which are large chains. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink within the mall. Opening hours vary from shop to shop but the mall itself is open from 10 in the morning until 9 at night.
7. Go wood skating
It may not sound as romantic as ice skating but the Arlington Skatium is a great place to try roller skating on a hardwood floor. The Skatium can host parties and lessons for groups of people as well as pubic free skating sessions. Check the Skatium’s website for details on classes and cost of entrance.
8. Catch a performance at Theater Arlington
Opened in 1973, the Theater Arlington was the city’s first professional theater venue. As well as performances of both well known and lesser known shows, the theater conducts various acting classes for novices and seasoned veterans alike. Performances this season include Calender Girls and My Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra. Throughout the season their are also several youth productions.
9. Become an Alley Cat
If the Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame has inspired you to go bowling, then you will not find a better place the Alley Cats. It is the only Arlington attraction that is open all year round, 365 days, and has a full service bar and its own catering company providing quality “bowling alley” food. Alley Cats is not just any bowling alley and aside from having a game, you can bowl in the dark, climb a climbing wall and watch informational videos on some of the huge state of the art screens in the facility.
10. Pop into Dave and Busters
Dave and Busters is a place to have fun. This bar stocks a vast collection of Midway games for all ages worth a combined total in excess of $1,000,000. The collection of games on offer tops 200 and you don’t need to worry about coins or cash as they use the Dave and Busters Power Card. The card allows you to save reward points whilst playing which can be redeemed against money saving offers.
11. Drink a local beer
The Division Brewery became the first locally owned brewery in Arlington when it opened. The brewery is known for its unique flavors and features Indian pale ales, blondes and pilsners accompanied by more unusual sour fruity beers and very dark stouts. The brewery is often packed out with locals and tourists alike wanting to sample some of the fine ale on offer.
12. Get wet at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
If you did not get drenched enough on the Superman water ride at the main Six Flags park, then why not visit Six Flags Hurricane Harbor? The park offers a huge range of water rides and pools to keep all ages entertained including the unusual Banzai Boggan which skims riders across the water like a pebble. On a hot Texas day it is also a great way to keep cool. As you would expect there is food and drink served within the park so you won’t go hungry.
13. Visit Lake Arlington
Lake Arlington is fisher’s paradise. The lake is very popular with fisherman due to its large bass inhabitants. It hosts regular competitions throughout the year. The lake is also a great place to kayak or canoe and it is possible to rent kayaks. The Lake also has a paddling trail which is the first of its kind in the Texas and is a unique chance to get your feet wet whilst taking a stroll.
14. See some art at UTA
Located at the University of Texas Arlington campus, The Gallery at UTA is a must for art buffs. The Gallery is just under 5,000 square feet in size and, in addition to the various works of art on display, The Gallery also hosts lectures, seminars and screenings which educate visitors on various aspects of modern art. The Gallery is free and open to the public. The Masters of Fine Art exhibition, which takes place in May, is well worth a visit due to the high standards of work.
15. Visit UTA again
Another reason to visit the University of Texas Arlington campus is the planetarium. This concrete dome with a 60 foot diameter features state of the art planet projection and immersive surround sound. It is one of the largest and most impressive facilities of its kind in the state of Texas. Check out the summer schedule on the planetarium website to see the best times for Stargazing in Texas and other entertaining and educational shows.
16. Visit an Arlington icon
The Arlington Music Hall, located in downtown Arlington opened in 1950. It has since been a big part of the live music and entertainment scene in the city playing host to some music legends over the years including Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn. Nowadays, the hall hosts big name musicians as well as local acts and is a great place to see some live music. If you don’t fancy seeing a performance, you should still visit the hall and get a snap of the iconic “now showing” board above the building’s entrance.
17. See tomorrow’s artists today
At the Studio Art Center and Gallery (also part of the University of Texas Arlington) you can see current students making glasswork, painting and making sculptures as well as an impressive collection of works completed by students. The student run space is split into different studios including metal, ceramics and glass and each can be visited and seen in action.
18. Visit the Arlington Museum of Art
Located in downtown Arlington, the Museum of Art is the best place in Arlington to see collections of art, even rivaling those in Dallas and Fort Worth. The exhibits are ever changing, meaning that even if you have been before there will be something new to see. Tickets cost $8 and, with four floors of unique and thought provoking artwork, offer great value for money.
19. Go to Top O’Hill
Top O’Hill Terrace was known as Vegas before Vegas after the land was bought and a casino was opened here. There was also a brothel and tea room. The structures still stand today and tours of the casino building, stables and other structures are available by appointment. No group is too small but each person must donate at least $5.
20. Explore River Legacy Park
This 1300 acre park in Arlington is a great place to unwind or get active using the many trails for hiking or cycling. As well as miles and miles of trails, the park has its own science center with animal exhibits and exploration stations. The science center is a great place to learn about the flora and fauna that can be found within the park.
21. Go shopping at the Arlington Highlands
The Arlington Highlands, located in the DFW Metorplex, are both a retail and office space and offer plenty to keep you entertained. There are places to eat and drink, a huge selection of shops and other attractions. If you are looking to do some shopping whilst in Arlington, you won’t do much better than visiting Arlington Highlands.
22. Go indoor rock climbing
Indoor rock climbing is becoming more and more popular and this venue in Arlington is a great place to give it a go. Dyno Rock Indoor Climbing Center has a range of walls to suit all difficulties and ages with difficulty levels spanning from complete novice to insanely tough. Classes are available and again, they cater for all skill levels.
23. Go bargain hunting
If you enjoy bargain hunting or looking for antiques then Cooper Street antique mall is a great place to. Even if you don’t enjoy shopping, you will find the antique mall almost like walking around a museum with the wealth of different objects from different historical periods. Exploring the 53,000 square feet makes for thirsty work so be sure to make a stop at the Tin Tulip Tea Room.
24. Walk the dog
This one is really only for travelers with a canine companion but if you have brought a pooch along with you, then Tails and Trails is the perfect place to visit. The park has dog walking trails as well as play areas, split into large dog and small dog areas, where dogs can socialize and make new friends.
25. Visit the Carl Knox Jr Park
Forming the perfect break from the cities neighborhoods and apartment blocks, the 13 acre Carl Knox Jr Park is a great place to soak up the sun and relax or play some sports. The park is named after the basketball hall of famer Karl Knox Jr so as you might expect there are basketball courts. Aside from these there are also bmx tracks, fishing areas, a biking or hiking trail and shaded playground areas to allow children to escape from that Texas heat whilst still enjoying themselves.