Guests Guide to Dallas: Parents or In-Laws


updated January 2019

We’ve all been there before. Your mom and dad call and say they’re coming to visit you for the weekend. Or your bestie texts to tell you she’s got a work trip to Dallas scheduled and she’s going to spend the weekend once her meetings are done. Now comes the dilemma – what to do with them for a whole weekend?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our Out-of-Town Guests Guide to Dallas series! So let’s find out what to do with your parents or in-laws!

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While you sleep in, send them off on a Saturday morning stroll around downtown Dallas to discover some of the city’s surprising architectural secrets. The Dallas Architecture and Design Foundation runs 90-minute tours every Saturday morning that highlight Dallas’s iconic skyline and buildings. Tours vary depending on the week and take place either in the Arts District, West End or Main Street.


Regardless of their political leaning, a visit to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is always interesting. Plus the building is beautiful, and if you happened to go to SMU, then your parents will get an added bonus of seeing your alma mater. The highlights of the presidential museum? The replica of the Oval Office and theexhibits commemorating the events of September 11.


Head to the Arboretum to show them off Dallas’s beautiful nature. From high tea to strolls through gardens to special talks and activities, you could even make a whole day out of it. And if your parents or in-laws are visiting during the fall or winter, don’t miss taking them to see Autumn at the Arboretum or 12 Days of Christmas displays!

If it’s the height of the summer though, skip the Arboretum and head to the Dallas Museum of Art instead!


Fun Fact: the Dallas Arts District is the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation! For evening entertainment for the ‘rents, this beautiful area is never short of art, dance, music and culture. Check out the current shows at the Winspear Opera House, Meyerson Symphony Center or Wyly Theater.


Whether or not you can actually afford any of the shopping offered in Highland Park Village, it’s a spot to at least window shop with the parents. One of the oldest outdoor shopping centers in the country, Highland Park Village exemplifies old California and Spanish styles, and is even a National Historic Landmark! Whether you go for the shopping or the history lesson, your parents will be in awe of the sheer luxury of this shopping center.


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fine dining at The french room OR BULLION

If your parents or in-laws love fancy and fine-dining, impress them with a reservation at two of the hottest “tasting-menu” restaurants! (And get a free meal out of it too!) Both The French Room and Bullion serve modern french food in equally impressive atmospheres. The French Room, within the historic Adolphus Hotel, has more of a traditional feel, set in a stunning grand European-style room, while Bullion has more of a contemporary feel, taking place in the coolest gold shaped space ship of a restaurant.

brunch at hattie’s or up on knox

Come Sunday morning, it’s time to show off Dallas’s favorite meal: brunch! We recommend the two upscale spots, Hattie’s located in Bishop Arts or Up on Knox located in the Knox District. While at Hattie’s, make sure mom or dad orders the chicken and waffles. Hattie’s serves some of the best in the city, and is a staple southern dish for parents to try! At Up on Knox, try the delicious pastries! Beyond the food and atmosphere, we love both of these spots for their locations. Bishop Arts and Knox are the perfect walkable neighborhoods to walk off your meal.

dinner at sassetta, gemma or sachet

All three of these restaurants are always consistent with quality and ambience, and offer a well-rounded, upscale and shareable menu that is sure to please everyone. We love Sassetta’s mid century modern decor and their pastas and pizzas. This Design District restaurant has never disappointed! At Gemma, order one of the two pastas that never disappoint, and hit up neighbor Veritas Wine Room for a glass of wine before or after dinner. And lastly, for Highland Park’s Sachet, make sure to order a meze for the table to share!

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the mansion at turtle creek

The five-star Mansion at Turtle Creek is beautiful and perfect for a parental retreat! We love it because it’s quiet, tucked away from the energy and noise from Uptown, within the Turtle Creek neighborhood. It’s also scenic, with a view of the creek and its trees and walking paths. Lastly, the Turtle Creek neighborhood is safe, something every parent cares about! Additionally, the hotel has a gorgeous pool, lively bar and acclaimed restaurant.

the adolphus hotel

While we don’t love the Downtown neighborhood at night, the Adolphus is worth the stay. This stunning historic hotel is one of our favorite places in the whole city. Your parents will be in awe and they might never want to leave! The hotel offers casual dining at City Hall Bistro, upscale dining at The French Room, decadent cocktails at the French Room Bar, a spa and a pool deck, a barber shop and a coffee shop, and lastly, a beautifully curated shop.

Hotel crescent court

The Crescent, located within the heart of Uptown, is a Dallas landmark. This historic complex that houses the luxurious department store Stanley Korshak along with several restaurants including Sixty Vines, Nobu and The Capital Grille, also has a contemporary hotel, just recently renovated! The rooms are great, the spa is second-to-none and the cherry on top? Guests who stay at the Hotel Crescent Court have access to the ultra-exclusive and private Crescent Club that overlooks the Dallas skyline!