We were going to make a top 10 list of things to do in Arlington, but let’s face it, it was hard. Between sports, art, the outdoors, and its place in history, the city has a lot to offer. So, instead we decided to turn the list up to 11 and include another attraction. To be honest, it was really the only way to do this great city justice.
1 If you are new to town, we first suggest you take it easy and check out the Arlington Museum of Art. Many people would agree, it is one of the best artistic destinations in North Texas. Known as a venue that promotes world class traveling exhibits (Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rembrandt), you are going to get a chance to see some of the best art ever produced. It does not host a permanent collection though, so if you see a show you wish to catch, make sure you get there while you can.
2 No matter if you have been interested in the stars for as long as you remember, or are just finding out how great our universe is, Planetarium at the University of Texas – Arlington has a show for everybody. What does it take to be an astronaut? How does dark matter affect theories in astrophysics? Classic rock and lasers? Childhood explorations? Hey, the sky’s the limit. They are only open on the weekend though, so if you are planning on visiting, check out their website in advance to make sure you can get in.
3 There is only one International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame in the world, and it is in Arlington, Texas. This unique destination provides an incredible look at bowling’s 5,000-year history. When you get there, take part in interactive games and exhibits, as well as learn about both the past and future of the sport. And, if you have a little extra time, head to the nearby training center for some tips on how to improve your game.
4 For a more active experience, the Arlington Skatium might be the place for you. Here you can rock out to pop music while spinning your wheels on a classic wooden indoor skating rink. Special times are set aside for preschoolers, homeschoolers, as well as the open public. There is also a food stand, and arcade on site, so if you need to take a break, or a bite, you are covered.
5 Arlington is really a destination spot for people that love sports. No matter if football is in season or not, AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, is worth checking out. Four different tours are available, depending on what you want to see. So, head down to the field and throw a ball! Experience for yourself what it is like to play for “America’s Team”.
6 Is baseball more your thing? Arlington can still deliver. Since 1994, Globe Life Park hosts Texas Rangers home games 81 times a year. Hourly tours are available, even off season, which allows for a lot of flexibility in your schedule. And, if you can’t get a tour, the surrounding lakes and streams are great to explore.
7 Night time is the right time for dinner and a play. If you are in town, Theater Arlington is definitely the place to do it. This award-winning 199-seat theater really knows how to put on a high-quality production. Shows rotate throughout the year, so check out their website before you go. Comedy or tragedy the choice is yours.
8 Sometimes you just need to take a break from a busy week and get back to nature. By far, Lake Arlington is the perfect place for that! Its paddling trail was the first ever created in Texas, and is still one of the best in the state. And, its well-managed supply of bass, crappie, and catfish provide great sport for anglers. Otherwise, if you aren’t that into fishing there are places to rent jet skis, pontoons, and canoes. So, if you do plan to visit, all you need to do is bring your sense of adventure!
9 River Legacy Park covers 1,031 acres of woodland and is home to over 400 species of wildlife, including armadillos, turtles, a herd of wild boars, and the occasional black panther. Its biking trails (road and mountain) are well manicured, as are its hiking and running trails. If you have younger children, they are going to be thrilled by the playground, which has a life-sized T-Rex skeleton. And if you don’t have younger kids, borrow some from a friend or relative so you have an excuse to check it out for yourself.
10 Top O’ Hill Terrace was one of the region’s largest underground gambling dens and brothels in the 1920’s. While many people were only there for the chance to win big, many tourists came at the time just to enjoy the estate grounds. In 1956, the property was bought, and converted to the Arlington Baptist College, which still exists there today. The school maintained the artwork, and the grand architecture at the terrace, so you can still visit and see the old casino, brothel, underground escape tunnels, and tea garden.
11 No “things to do in Arlington” list would be complete without mentioning Six Flags Over Texas. In case you are not familiar with this internationally known amusement park, it has both the tallest and fastest roller coasters in Texas. But, if you are going to go, plan a whole day around the experience. At 212 acres, it will take you a while to see everything.
As we mentioned, this is only a top 11 list of things to do in Arlington. We can guarantee that no matter what kind of vacation you are planning, or if you are just looking for something new to do in the area, there is an almost unlimited number of more things to explore. But this is just our list. If you are a visitor or a local, what are your favorite places around town?