Summers in the City: Happenings in Downtown Dallas this Summer

Now that school’s out and the afternoons are growing longer (as well as lazier), it can feel like there are that many more hours in the day to fill. Whether your family is looking for something different to do on a 3-day weekend or planning a full-blown staycation, you’ll find no shortage of things happening in Downtown Dallas. Here’s a quick look at a few of the must-see, must-do and must-have experiences on offer this summer.

Through July 16, The Dallas Museum of Art will continue to host a number of discussions and events around its major exhibition, “México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde.” This is the show’s first and last stop in the United States after receiving a rapturous response in Paris. Make sure you step inside what The Dallas Morning News calls a “sprawling time-machine of art from the first half of the 20th century” while you still can, and give yourself at least a half day to take the complete tour. You’ll discover over 200 works of art — paintings, sculptures, photography, drawings and films — filling the DMA’s Chilton I Gallery.

Just north of Downtown Dallas’ Arts District, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science has educational fun for summer days and nights alike. Their popular Discovery Days series offers afternoons of family-friendly enrichment, giving visitors opportunities for hands-on exploration of topics such as Humanity, Architecture and Adventure. For something to tickle your after-hours fancy, check out the Perot’s adults-only Social Science nights. The eclectic activities on the menu include experiments, performances and discussions, all made livelier thanks to the addition of signature cocktails curated by Wolfgang Puck.

The Dallas Farmers Market isn’t the kind of place to take the summer off. In fact, summer is the ideal time to sample their wares, from fresh local produce to unique home decor. Burn the midnight (well, 9PM) oil on their First Fridays. Enjoy live music, craft beer and good food, and be on the lookout for offers and promotions exclusive to the late night festivities. Also recurring on the Farmers Market’s events calendar: Wee Little Wednesdays. Bring the kids for story time, narrated by the expert tale-spinners from the Dallas Public Library, at 10AM. Their imaginations sparked, older kids can then get crafty by attending complimentary workshops beginning at 10:45 a.m.

The State Fair of Texas may be months away, but Fair Park is far from idle in the months leading up to that annual autumn celebration. Through June 4 at the Fair Park Music Hall, Circus 1903 recreates the golden age of family-friendly, three-ring entertainment with music and award-winning puppeteers. Foodies will want to mark their calendars for the 2017 Taste of Dallas. Now 31 years old, this festival features food and beverage samples from more than 50 area restaurants and artisans. It begins with a 21-and-over kickoff event at Gilley’s Dallas on Friday, June 9 and runs through Sunday, June 11. While you’re savoring burgers, barbecue (prepared under the supervision of Smoke’s Tim Byres) and craft brews at Live Fire, the kids can romp through the free attractions at the Family Fun Zone. Finally, come back June 21 – 23 for the Fair Park Olympic Day Games for Kids. The Cotton Bowl will play host to this event allowing local children to get into their game of choice, test their competitive mettle and be inspired by visiting Olympians and Paralympians.

If you’re looking for a little physical activity for yourself, join a recreational adult sports league through the T. Boone Pickens Family YMCA at 601 N. Akard St. Air conditioned environments are nice, but there’s something to be said for getting some fresh air even when outdoor temperatures feel like they can’t rise any higher. So don’t forget Klyde Warren Park. Fitness activities at this popular green space include yoga, tai chi and Zumba. Not to mention the local musicians and DJs performing there on Thursday evenings — after all, dancing does burn calories. And, once you’re ready to refuel, fleets of food trucks make Klyde Warren a great dining destination (sunny or shaded) from 11AM to 3PM daily.

From world-class fine art to body-sculpting classes, Downtown Dallas is always the place to be. What makes your June, July and August quintessentially Dallas? And where do you see yourself Downtown in the coming months? Share your memories and plans with us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for our newsletter for more recommendations on great things to do, see and experience in Downtown Dallas.