Indoor Activities to Check Out this Winter in Downtown Dallas

Although Texas is known for its mild winters, we’re still vulnerable to the occasional Arctic blast that can send temperatures plunging well below freezing, and for days at a time. As soon as that chill fills the air, we like to take advantage of all that Downtown Dallas has to offer — indoors. Make sure to check out these exciting (and well-heated!) adventures the next time the mercury drops.

The Dallas Museum of Art is currently hosting a long-term loan from the Keir Collection of Islamic Art. This groundbreaking exhibit is the largest public presentation of this very private collection, and many of these pieces have never been shown in any museum. While touring the gallery, make sure to find the rock crystal ewer from Egypt, one of only seven in the world and the only one in the United States. Admission is free.

If your tastes lean more toward history than art, then stop by the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Not only is the museum itself a must-see (and do) for all Dallasites, but this year their curators have also mounted a special exhibit dedicated to President John F. Kennedy’s funeral ceremonies. Mourning a President runs through February 19 and explores how a grieving nation paid its respects to JFK in the three days following his assassination. View the original funeral program, read eulogies, look over Jacqueline Kennedy’s notes, watch vintage film footage and pay your respects to the five-foot-long American flag that flew at half-staff above the Senate Wing of the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the events of November 22, 1963. Entry to the exhibit is included with museum admission ($16).

Viewing the wonders of the natural world doesn’t require a field trip out into the cold — thanks to the Perot Museum of Nature and ScienceJourney to Space,” on display until May 6, gives visitors of all ages a fascinating look at life among the stars. The exhibit’s highlights include two walk-through, rotating labs that mimic the International Space Station, giving visitors the sensation that they’re actually floating in orbit. You can also get a close-up look at Neil Armstrong’s helmet and gloves from the Apollo 11 mission and hear astronauts tell stories about how they perform everyday activities (like washing their hair) in zero gravity. Note that the exhibit does require a surcharge ($10), in addition to general admission ($20).

When the forecast calls for gray skies and highs in the 30s, there’s no better comfort to be found than curling up in front of the fireplace with a good book. The Friends of the Dallas Public Library’s Winter Book Sale will be taking over the Downtown Central Library January 27 and 28. Choose from thousands of titles spanning every conceivable genre, and shop knowing that proceeds from the sale go to support a number of great causes — including Mayor Mike Rawlings’ Summer Reading Challenge and the library’s own GED classes. If you’re looking for even more bookish guidance, then visit Deep Vellum Books in Deep Ellum. Over a cup of coffee (or tea), one of the experts at this funky shop will be happy to recommend the best in contemporary world literature and independently published writing to you. Who knows, you may even discover a local author whose work you may never have encountered otherwise.

Last but not least, your enjoyment of Downtown Dallas doesn’t have stop after the winter sun has gone down. Head to Music Hall at Fair Park and catch an evening showing of the Broadway hit On Your Feet.” Currently on its first-ever nationwide tour, this salsa-inflected musical tells the remarkable story of Latino star Gloria Estefan’s rise to fame. “On Your Feet” dances out of Dallas March 11, and ticket prices vary.

Don’t let frigid temperatures put a freeze on your fun. Join us on Facebook and Twitter and tell us about your favorite Downtown destinations for brightening — and warming — up an otherwise dreary winter day.