Cover photo: Downtown Dallas at sunset
Photo: Greg K Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull
We visit Dallas multiple times each year and, on a visit a few months ago, we found ourselves discussing how much it has changed in the past ten years. The downtown, West End, Victory Park and uptown areas have nearly grown together, with dozens of new high rises, commercial districts, parks, and museums now in the area.
One of the biggest additions came in 2012 with the opening of the beautiful Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Victory Park. The museum joins many other top Dallas attractions, from iconic destinations, such as the Sixth Floor Museum and Reunion Tower, to long-term spots of tranquility and beauty, such as the Dallas Arboretum.
Deciding we would like to spend a day reacquainting ourselves with the city where we lived for nearly two decades, we paid Dallas CityPASS a visit to develop an agenda for a day of exploring Big D.
Save some cash with Dallas CityPASS
If you are new to CityPASS, here’s how it works. CityPASS offers discounted admission to popular attractions in numerous cities across the U.S. Each CityPASS booklet contains pre-paid vouchers for the attractions, which don’t have to be used in any specific order, just sometime within 9 days of their first use. CityPASS booklets can be purchased online or at the ticket offices of any of the attractions.
We first tried out CityPASS in Chicago and, since then, we have recommended it to all of our traveling friends. CityPASS saves time and money and is simple to purchase and use.
The CityPASS attraction choices in Dallas (and their individual admission fees) include:
- Perot Museum of Nature & Science ($27 – general admission $19 + one film $9)
- Reunion Tower GeoDeck ($16 general admission)
- The Sixth Floor Museum ($16 general admission) OR the Dallas Zoo ($15 general admission)
- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden($15 general admission) OR George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum($17 general admission)
Purchasing each of the attractions individually totals $73 – $76. The Dallas CityPASS booklet price is $46. That’s a savings of $27 – $30 per adult or about 40%.
For the optional attractions, we selected the Sixth Floor and the Dallas Arboretum. If you have the time and can’t decide on the attractions that require a choice, there’s a coupon in the back of the CityPASS booklet for a discount on regular admission to those attractions you didn’t select to visit using the CityPASS voucher.
Exploring Dallas with CityPASS
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Located near the Dallas Arts District in Victory Park, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science has 11 permanent exhibit halls to explore. From hands-on interactive displays to a 3D theater, the museum has something of interest for all. Visitors can discover the wonders of Earth, marvel at gems and minerals, ponder what it means to be human, and explore fossil finds in the Life Then and Now Hall.
Dallas CityPASS includes general admission to the museum and entry to a 3D film.
Reunion Tower Geo-Deck
An iconic part of the Dallas skyline, Reunion Tower is one of the most recognized structures in Dallas
The Geo-Deck is located on one of three floors in the Reunion Tower “ball” and offers unobstructed 360° views of the DFW area. Free telescopes are available on the outdoor deck and zoom cameras are provided on the inner deck.
The tower is also home to two restaurants. The rotating Cloud Nine Café on the floor above the Geo-Deck offers lunch and is open for private events at other times. On the top floor of the ball, Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck serves drinks, appetizers, and dinner in the evening with Dallas skyline passing by as a backdrop as the restaurant rotates. We visited Five Sixty early evening for some great social hour drinks and food, then headed down to the Geo-Deck for sunset shots at dusk.
The Dallas CityPass booklet includes general admission access to the Geo-Deck. The last elevator up the tower is 30 minutes before closing. A Day/Night upgrade is also available for an additional $5, allowing two visits within 24 hours.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza or the Dallas Zoo
We had not toured the Sixth Floor Museum for decades, so we decided to pay it a visit versus the Dallas Zoo. That said, we’ve been to the Dallas Zoo, a wonderful place for a family visit, which dates back to 1888, and is the largest zoo in Texas.
Located in the building that housed the former Texas School Book Depository, the Sixth Floor Museum has numerous historical documents and artifacts relating to the events surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
The sixth floor, where Lee Harvey Oswald’s rifle was found, is home to the museum’s main exhibit, John F. Kennedy and the Memory of a Nation. Special exhibits can be found on the seventh floor and the museum’s gift shop is located on the first floor. Photography is not allowed on the sixth floor but is permitted on the seventh floor.
Dallas CityPASS provides museum entry and includes an audio guide.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden or the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
The next selection on the Dallas CityPASS agenda is a choice between the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden or a visit to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
We opted for a morning at one of the prettiest spots in Dallas, the Dallas Arboretum. With 66 serene, beautiful acres on the southwest shore of White Rock Lake, a quiet morning at the Arboretum was just too enticing to pass up.
Visitors are treated to vibrant displays of seasonal color as they stroll the tranquil paths that wind through expansive lawns and meticulously maintained gardens. With 19 named gardens, allow plenty of time for a visit. The Arboretum has several dining options available or visitors can bring a picnic or order food to go and enjoy their meal on the grounds.
CityPASS includes general admission and the Hoffman Family Gift Store offers 10% off your purchase to CityPASS holders.
Should you get a Dallas CityPASS?
While Dallas attractions aren’t as expensive as those found in some large cities, you still save $27-$30 per adult and that’s enough to enjoy a nice dinner with the savings. CityPASS is easy to use – purchase ahead of time online or at the first attraction – and you are good to go. The booklet is good for 9 days following the first use, so you have plenty of time to get to the four attractions you select.
Want to know more? Find out all the details on the Dallas CityPASS website.
Disclosure & Disclaimer: We received complimentary Dallas CityPASS booklets for this review. The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.