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9 Dallas arts and culture activities impossible not to love

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Put on your Dallas dancing shoes for an artsy night on the town

The Big D isn't just cowboy hats and open skies. In fact, Dallas has cultivated quite a reputation as a center of arts and culture. Next time you head to the big city, make sure to put these venues on your list of things to do.

1. The Texas Theatre

Put on your Dallas dancing shoes for an artsy night on the town

Image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Whether you're checking out a dark movie or looking for a piece of history, the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff will not disappoint. This old-style theater was originally built in 1931 and it is the location at which police officers converged on Lee Harvey Oswald — the man implicated in the 1963 assassination of JFK.

2. Deep Ellum Brewing Company

We are in the midst of an American renaissance, and it is the rebirth of the local brewery and beer garden. Get a feel for Dallas culture by hopping over to Deep Ellum Brewing Company's taproom in the heart of Dallas. You'll enjoy the sights of Dallas proper, as well as five year-round brews and a multitude of seasonal selections.

3. Meyerson Symphony Center

Put on your Dallas dancing shoes for an artsy night on the town

Image: David Welsh/Flickr

The Meyerson is an architectural masterpiece located in the Dallas Arts District. It is the home of the world-class Dallas Symphony Orchestra and it also showcases famous art and sculptures from the likes of Henri Laurens and Andy Warhol.

4. Nasher Sculpture Center

Put on your Dallas dancing shoes for an artsy night on the town

Image: evanrudemi/Flickr

Need some inspiration? Head to Nasher's indoor and outdoor sculpture gardens for artistic views of modern art to spark your imagination. Nasher also features a steady supply of speakers, musicians and exhibitions for cultural events all year long.

5. Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Dallas boasts a multitude of dance companies, but the Dallas Black Dance Theatre in the Dallas Arts District holds a particular appeal among the crowd. It's comprised of a company of 12 dancers who perform contemporary dance in a style that draws from modern, jazz, ethnic and spiritual choreography. Check out their calendar of performances so you won't miss their stunning work the next time you visit Dallas.

6. Barcadia

Put on your Dallas dancing shoes for an artsy night on the town

Image: signal the police/Flickr

As its name suggests, Barcadia is where bars and arcades collide. The result is nothing short of delightful, particularly for those travelers who are still kids at heart. You can play classic games from Sega, Nintendo and Atari while munching on uptown-style bar food. Oh, yeah, and there are life-size Jenga blocks on the patio, in case I didn't have you at bar food and Sega.

7. Dallas Museum of Art

Put on your Dallas dancing shoes for an artsy night on the town

Image: Drriss & Marrionn/Flickr

Sure, you can check out the Dallas Museum of Art any time it's open — but you simply have to visit for one of the venue's Late Nights, which fall on the third Friday of each month. View art exhibitions, enjoy a concert and go on a tour behind the scenes up until the museum closes at midnight.

8. House of Blues

Put on your Dallas dancing shoes for an artsy night on the town

Image: Homies in Heaven/Flickr

The House of Blues is the "it" venue in Dallas, but it's much more than a place for nighttime performances. Swing down to the House of Blues on Sunday morning for the biweekly gospel brunch. You'll hear traditional and contemporary gospel music by talented local performers while enjoying an all-you-can-eat Southern brunch.

9. The Majestic

Put on your Dallas dancing shoes for an artsy night on the town

Image: rjones0856/Flickr

There's no shortage of enjoyment at The Majestic, which borders between downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum. The intimate venue features varied performances from legends like Don Williams and UB40, all the way down to fledgling high school musicians. You can even catch performances from comedians like Patton Oswalt and Eddie Izzard. You just have to know what you're looking for and you'll find it.

This post was brought to you by Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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