With four seasons, a long multi-cultural history, and a sprawling metroplex, there's a lot to see and do in Dallas year round. But when you go can depend on how much you want to spend, what festivals you're hoping to experience, and the degree of tolerance you have for the high heat and humidity that settle on the city during the summer months.
Wondering when is the best time to visit Dallas? Here's the skinny on the high (temperatures), the low (seasons), and the month-by-months.
High season is the best time for air conditioned escapes (June to August)
Dallas may be hot in the summertime, but that's still when people have PTO to burn and the kids are out of school. Expect higher hotel prices during the summer, and extra competition for the beer garden seats in front of the fans and sprayers. Take advantage of Dallas' love affair with air conditioning by ducking into shops, restaurants, bars, museums, and live music venues.
Shoulder season is the best time for getting outside (March to May, September to November)
With cooler, dryer temperatures, spring and fall are prime time in Dallas for enjoying the city's parks, food trucks, pedestrian trails, and patios. Visit in these seasons and you'll have a chance to, say, jog your way to the Katy Trail Icehouse without soaking in sweat or take in the skyline from Trinity Groves without the heat shimmering on the horizon.
Low season is the best time for beating the crowds (November to March)
With hotel prices at their lowest and the crowds thinned out in popular spots like Dealey Plaza, you'll really have some elbow room in The Big D. You won't have to fight the heat and humidity, either, but you may want to pack some cozy layers – it can still get chilly in Dallas, and even get genuinely cold if 2021's devastating snow and ice storm is any indication.
Head to a film festival for the whole family in January
Dallas eases into the New Year with dry weather and a parade honoring Martin Luther King Jr. that culminates in festivities at the African American Museum on the grounds of Fair Park. Also on deck is the KidFilm Festival, the oldest and (and the biggest, this is Texas after all) all-ages film festival in the country.
Key Events: MLK Parade, KidFilm Festival
Celebrate Mardi Gras in February
Dallas is balanced geographically between the Gulf states and the southwest, so it's maybe not surprising that The Big D takes a cue from its eastern neighbors and has its own Mardi Gras celebration every February featuring live country music at the Historic State Fairgrounds.
Key Events: Dallas Blooms, West End Mardi Gras
March celebrates the Irish American community
Since 1983, March has been all about honoring the Irish American community in North Texas, which itself dates back to the 1700s. The Irish Festival involves Celtic music, traditional dancing, and even some horse shows – this is Texas after all.
Key Events: North Texas Irish Festival, St. Patrick's Day Parade
April is for art festivals
The prime spring weather – still relatively cool and dry – is perfect for festivals and happenings. Cue Dallas Arts Month, a full slate of gallery showings, art talks, and even true crime theater experiences. Next up is Deep Ellum Arts Fest. What started as a small neighborhood block party has turned into a major event with 100 original bands and singer-songwriters rocking out from 5 stages, a juried arts show, street performances, and food trucks galore.
Key Events: Dallas Arts Month, Deep Ellum Arts Fest
May is full of outdoor festivals
As the weather starts to warm up, Texans turn to indoor events like the International Film Festival or savor the last of the spring weather in Richardson at Cottonwood Arts Festival. What started as a little hippie happening in 1969 has since evolved into a serious juried art show that features over 200 works of art as well as hands-on activities for kids and families.
Key Events: Dallas International Film Festival, Cottonwood Arts Festival
Bring an appetite in June
Things start to heat up with Taste of Dallas, a beloved celebration of the city's restaurant scene. Reunion Tower (that's the big disco lollypop on the skyline) hosts parties in the park at the base of the building, complete with live music, lawn games, and plenty of cold beer. Best of all, Juneteenth on the 19th commemorates the day the last slaves in Texas learned they had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier. The MLK Community Center, The University of Texas at Dallas Multicultural Center, and African American museum are just a few of the institutions who put on celebratory events.
Key Events: Taste of Dallas, Juneteenth, Reunion Lawn Party
Watch the fireworks in July
Since 1972, Dallas has had its own Shakespeare company. Every summer, they present live productions at the Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre in East Dallas. Also in July, Fair Park puts on a big celebration for the Fourth, with water shows, fireworks, food trucks, and more.
Key Events: Shakespeare Festival, Fair Park Fourth
September is all about state fairs
It should be no surprise that Dallas hosts one of the biggest, longest state fairs in the country, one chock full of Lone Star culture, from ranching and livestock events to the museums of Fair Park throwing their doors open to educate fairgoers on Hispanic and Black culture in Texas.
Key Events: Dallas Pride, Texas State Fair, Dallas Jazz Fest
Attend a football game in October
The Dallas Cowboys aren't the only team in this football-loving town that get a standing ovation. Every October since 1900 the Cotton Bowl inside Fair Park fills up with fans of the Sooners of the University of Oklahoma in Norman and the Longhorns of the University of Texas at Austin. They go toe-to-toe for a gold ten-gallon hat, natch, and the rivalry runs deep. If sports isn't your thing, the Stevie Ray Vaughn concert celebrates one of Dallas' best-beloved sons, the legendary blues musician who grew up in the Oak Cliff neighborhood. He's honored every year with a memorial concert and other festivities.
Key Events: The Red River Showdown, Stevie Ray Vaughn Remembrance Concert
December is the season to be merry
December is a great month to take to the streets for epic runs and holiday fun, making the low season lively as the year winds down.
Key Events: Dallas Holiday Parade, BMW Dallas Marathon
You may also like: