Exploring The Big D, TX-OU Weekend

Dallas Skyline at night. (Photo: DCVB -Clay Coleman)
Dallas Skyline at night. (Photo: DCVB -Clay Coleman)


By Steve Lansdale

THE RED RIVER RIVALRY is one of those must-see games. When the Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners square off Oct. 12 in Dallas, fans will jam the highways to attend the ultimate destination game (at least for the regular season).

But the game lasts only a few hours and Dallas has far too much to offer to simply race into town and make a hasty exit after the game. For those who make the pilgrimage to the Big D to watch the Rivalry, keep in mind there are countless things worth seeing while in town.


Texas fans enjoy a game at the fair. (Photo Jim Sigmon/Univ Of Texas)
Texas fans enjoy a game at the fair. (Photo Jim Sigmon/Univ Of Texas)

1. The State Fair of Texas is the easiest place to get to as the Cotton Bowl sits right in the middle of Dallas’ Fair Park section. The event will feature its usual array of foods which fairgoers should refrain from telling their cardiologists about, with new menu items such as deep-fried biscuits and gravy, deep-fried brownies, “Fernie’s deep-fried Whole Lotta Chocolate” and fried pecan caramel candy. The state fair will also showcase live music, parades, rides (including a ride that takes guests almost to the top of the new 500-foot Top o’ Texas Tower), midway games, car and livestock shows. The iconic Big Tex, which stood more than 50-feet tall and greeted generations of visitors before burning on Oct. 19, will be replaced by a slightly taller version, complete with a built-in fire-suppression system.

For tickets and more information: http://www.bigtex.com/sft/index.asp


2. The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened in May on the Southern Methodist University campus, just six miles north of the Cotton Bowl. The library is the 13th presidential library in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) system. Bush Center visitors will learn about the 43rd U.S. president and his wife, Laura (an SMU graduate) and gain access to features including interactive museum galleries, a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, permanent and temporary exhibits, and a 360-degree high-definition wall in Freedom Hall. Aimed at welcoming guests of all political leanings, the Bush Center is also the site of the George W. Bush

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Institute, a public policy center that was founded in 2009.

For tickets and more information: http://www.bushcenter.org


The Perot Museum exterior.
The Perot Museum exterior.

3. For those bringing young fans to Dallas, make sure to check out the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The museum includes an incredible array of exhibits, focusing on topics ranging from the expanding universe (featuring numerous displays about the solar system and beyond) to the Being Human Hall that explains numerous aspects of the human body and mind. Families can also visit an interactive engineering and innovations hall in which visitors can try an assortment of inventions, the Discovering Life Hall that shows fossils, one-celled organisms, cross-sections of the human body and complete ecosystems, as well as a kids’ section that includes displays with plants and live animals. The museum also features a Sports Hall, in which visitors can hit balls at assorted targets and can race against computer-generated images of pro athletes.

The museum gets very crowded and sometimes sells out, especially on weekends, so get your tickets early: http://www.perotmuseum.org.

4. The Sixth Floor Museum (http://www.jfk.org) is located in the sixth and seventh floors of an early 20th-century warehouse once known as the Texas School Book Depository. The museum chronicles the assassination and legacy of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history. The exhibit also features bipartisan news reports, photographs and videos from assorted news outlets that chronicle arguably the most famous event in Dallas history. The museum offers a series of public programs and on Oct. 12 the program will feature former Associated Press photographer Fred Kaufman, who took one of the first pictures of Lee Harvey Oswald after he’d been taken into custody, and who also covered the Jack Ruby Trial.

5. Fans are coming to Dallas for football, right? In that case, make a weekend out of it. Stick around until Sunday night and watch one of the NFL’s most storied rivalries when the Dallas Cowboys host the Washington Redskins at 7:30 p.m. The Redskins won both contests against the Cowboys last season, but Dallas enjoys a 62-44-2 advantage in the all-time series. Limited single-game tickets remain available through Ticketmaster.com, but as the game approaches, the best deals likely will be found through secondary ticket sellers like Stubhub.com.

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 6. The local ESPN Radio affiliate (103.3 FM) is gearing up for the annual invasion of Longhorn fans as well. As part of its “Lunch with a Legend” series, ESPN Dallas 103.3 and Morton’s Steakhouse will kick off Texas/OU weekend Friday, Oct. 11, with a lunch with former Doak Walker Award winner and Texas legend Ricky Williams. Midday hosts Richard Durrett and Ian Fitzsimmons will broadcast live from Morton’s (2222 McKinney Ave., Dallas, Texas 75201), and will have Williams join them on-air at 1 p.m. To make a reservation, call Morton’s Steakhouse at 214-741-2277.