DFW’s must-visit spots for out-of-towners here for the holidays

By David ArkinNovember 27, 2023December 14th, 2023No Comments
Man helping daughter lace up ice skates

DFW’s Must-Visit Spots for Out-of-Towners Here for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again, where the family gathers from all over to celebrate the holidays. However, the question always arises – what activities await during their stay? There’s always the traditional movie nights and card games with cousins, but why not make their visit a little more exciting?

We’ve put together a list of 6 places to take your out-of-town guests this holiday season.

Where to Eat

Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

Tim Love, the chef/owner of Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, has crafted a menu inspired by the diverse array of cultures that have shaped the West, elevated with a touch of contemporary refinement. Menu items range from a unique selection of steaks and seafood to dishes such as Wagyu Tomahawk, Kangaroo Carpaccio, Rocky Mountain Elk Ribeye, Wild Boar, and Rabbit & Rattlesnake.

What to get: The Bison steak is full of flavor and cooked to perfection. If you want to try something a little more interesting, get the rabbit-rattlesnake sausages. They aren’t too gamey and very rich in flavor. 

Location: 2406 N. Main St., Fort Worth 

Phone: 817-740-8810

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 5 p.m.-close Mondays through Saturdays; closed Sundays.


Experience the culinary brilliance of chef Blaine Staniford through his innovative take on Modern American Classic cuisine. Located in downtown Fort Worth, this high-end restaurant offers a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere where patrons can indulge in an array of house-made seasonal cocktails and a dedicated snacks menu at the impressive bar. Make a dinner reservation to explore their expertly crafted dishes, highlighting an impeccable blend of flavors and cutting-edge culinary techniques.

What to get: The bacon wrapped stuffed filet is mouthwateringly delectable and the scallops with a half plate of capellini nero are perfect to share. Don’t forget dessert with the butterscotch pudding!

Location: 777 Main St., Fort Worth

Phone: 817-877-3388

Hours: 4-9:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; 4-8 p.m. Sundays


Holiday at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is always a crowd pleaser any time of the year, but it’s extra special around the holidays. Featuring the Christmas village, 12 Days of Christmas Gazebos, a musical tree and a mesmerizingly festive DeGolyer House, the Arboretum is the perfect place to bring the holiday season to life. Viewings can take place during the day or night and tickets must be bought in advance.

Location: 8525 Garland Road, Dallas

Phone: 214-515-6615

Tickets: Day tickets are $12-$20; Night tickets are $11-$35

Hours: Daytime entry starts at 9 a.m.; Evening views are at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

ICE! at The Gaylord Texan

Just a short drive over from DFW is Grapevine, and one of the coolest holiday attractions. ICE! at the Gaylord Texan is an annual tradition where each year is a different theme embracing the festive ambiance is brought to life in magnificent sculptures hand-carved from more than 2 million pounds of ice.

Visitors can enjoy a day immersing themselves in the holiday cheer or plan an overnight stay to enjoy exclusive privileges. This year’s theme is “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” full of activities and live shows for all ages.

Location: 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine

Phone: 817-778-1000

Tickets: Starting at $28.99 for adults 12 and older; $19.99 for children younger than 12

Hours: Noon-8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays. Extended hours are offered on Dec. 17-24 and Dec. 25-28, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and 10 a.m.-9 p.m., respectively.

Fort Worth Stockyards

The Fort Worth Stockyards provide a range of activities suitable for individuals of all ages. The main attraction is the cattle drive, occurring twice daily at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Viewers gather along the streets to watch cowboys on horseback guiding a herd of longhorn cattle through the center of East Exchange Avenue. Another exciting activity awaits in the stables.The Stockyards gives everyone the opportunity to saddle up and feel like a real cowboy (or cowgirl!) for a couple of hours. Numerous alternative activities are available, including exploring the Stockyard Museum, attending a real rodeo, learning how to line dance at Billy Bob’s Texas and enjoying authentic Texas barbecue. The Stockyards are our recommended first stop for any out-of-towner to make them feel like an authentic Texan. 

Location: 131 E. Exchange Avenue, Fort Worth

Phone: 800-433-5747

Tickets: Prices vary based on events

Hours: Hours vary based on events

Bass Performance Hall

For more than 25 years, the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall has stood as an iconic and nationally acclaimed performing arts venue in Fort Worth. Funded entirely through private contributions, the Hall stands out as a top-tier location for national touring artists and Broadway productions. Additionally, it proudly serves as the permanent residence for esteemed organizations such as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and the Cliburn. With a calendar full of events, visitors are sure to find a performance to enjoy.

Location: 4th and Calhoun Streets, Fort Worth

Phone: 817-212-4280

Tickets: Prices vary based on performance

Hours: Hours vary based on performance

Where to Play

Stockyard Rodeo Rink

This year is the second for the Stockyard Rodeo Rink, a professional ice skating rink spanning more than 4,000-square-foot with fire pits to help keep you warm. Last year, this magical winter wonderland included photos with Cowboy Santa, live music, a Cocoa Corral, holiday lights and a festive Christmas tree.

Location: 131 E Exchange Ave., Fort Worth

Phone: 817-625-9715

Tickets: $20 for kids; $25 for adults; $80 for family 4-pack

Hours: Ice rink is open daily and all sessions are 90 minutes

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Texas

This unique experience is an annual hit for visitors of all ages. Six Flags is usually synonymous with summer fun, but during this special time of year, the park lights up, succumbing to the seasonal joy. Guests can snack on sweet holiday treats while enjoying the dazzling light displays, and even receive a visit from Santa and his elves. There are several winter wonderlands to be enjoyed, and even a Holiday House of Horrors for those kids who might receive coal this year! If you’ve got little ones in your group, they’ll love the Story Time with Mrs. Clause.

Location: 2201 E. Road to Six Flags St., Arlington

Phone: 817-640-8900

Tickets: Tickets are based on event selection and start at $45

Hours: Hours vary depending on day and event