Why Vacation When You Can Staycation in Dallas?

“I’ve always wanted to go there, I just never have time,” says every student at SMU about Dallas attractions. If you are staying in town for Fall Break, use this time to explore the amazing city we call home. Sure Vegas and Austin City Limits are fun, but DFW has its own set of tricks up its sleeve. From a tiny village made out of pumpkins to indoor skydiving, Dallas has endless opportunities for fun.

Dallas Staycation, things to do in Dallas during Fall Break

Free Things to Do in Dallas

  • Walk or ride your bike around White Rock Lake at sunrise or sunset
  • The Dallas Museum of Art
  • Explore Dallas’ most Instagram-worthy wall murals in Bishop Arts District and Deep Ellum

Fall Themed Dallas Activities

Dallas Arboretum

The Arboretum is famous across Texas for its array of pumpkins during fall. This year, the garden features “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” with pumpkin displays to replicate the classic story of Charlie Brown. Tickets to the Arboretum are $17 per person, plus $9 for parking.

State Fair of Texas

Nothing screams Texas like Big Tex, fried food, and live music. The state fair is $16.50 online for students and you can take the Dart from Mockingbird Station directly to the state fair’s entrance.

Fright Fest

Six Flags Over Texas already started their Halloween horror nights at their park. Enjoy (or scream and cry about) their employees in costume and frightful haunted houses.

Where to Eat

Pecan Lodge

As one of the most popular BBQ joints in Dallas, Pecan Lodge will have you drooling while you wait in line for their well-known cuisine.

Emporium Pie

Located next to Pecan Lodge, you should save room in your appetite for this dime. Enjoy some pumpkin pie or apple pie with a scoop of ice cream to get into the feeling of fall.


This food truck turned restaurant is new to Dallas and is worth a visit. Serving street-style tacos and great appetizers, this is perfect for a casual first night of Fall Break.


This new Italian restaurant is tucked in the middle of Bishop Arts District. This is a great location to explore during Fall Break because it is further from the SMU campus.

Rise No. 1

Located off of Lovers Lane in Inwood Village, Rise is serving up a pumpkin soufflé for fall!

Day Trips Near Dallas

Fortworth Stock Yards and Billy Bobs Honky Tonk

You can embrace your love for country music and cowboy boots by exploring old-town Fortworth and dancing the night away at Billy Bobs. Their website includes the dates of fun concerts, like Billy Currington on October 12, and bull riding competitions. Students also get in free on Thursday nights with a student ID card.

Magnolia Market in Waco

Calling all Chip and Joanna Gaines fans. Waco is only three hours away! Grab a friend and carpool to this tourist attraction for the day. While you’re at it, grab some coffee at Common Grounds, a Baylor fan-favorite featured on HGTV show Fixer Upper starring Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Henrietta Creek Orchard

Calling all apple lovers! Pick your own apples and get some cute pictures for the gram while you’re at it. This apple orchard is located in Roanoke, only a 47-minute drive from SMU.

Preston Trail Farm’s Big Orange Pumpkin Farm

With hayrides and a corn maze, this pumpkin patch will make you feel like a kid again.

Enjoy Your Fall Break

Whether you are staying in Dallas, going home to see family, or taking a trip with friends, remember to eat good food, take pictures that will last a lifetime, and get some rest on the drive/flight back to school!

Where is your favorite spot in Dallas? Comment below and we will share your suggestions on our social media pages including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat (@smu_ccpa).