There was a time when looking down the barrel of Clyde Barrow's gun wouldn't have seemed too appealing. But now people visit the second floor galleries of the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture just to get a glimpse of the infamous weapon, which shares space with more than 1,000 other artifacts, including the first traffic light in Dallas County and handcuffs worn by Lee Harvey Oswald. Taken together, these artifacts trace Dallas County's past from prehistory to the present day, a timeline visitors also explore via the museum's 41 touchscreen computers, four mini theatres screening specially commissioned films, and hands-on activities on topics such as architecture and pioneer life. More hands-on activities await in the education center, where youngsters learn about their local heritage thanks to exhibits on Dallas County children.
Housed in the Old Red Courthouse, a restored Romanesque building from 1892, the museum is practically a large-scale exhibit unto itself. Its many architectural flourishes include a four-story grand staircase, a restored clock tower, and two original stained-glass windows from the courthouse's original collection of more than 100. Tours of all four floors grant visitors access to areas not otherwise open to the general public, including the courtroom and the judge's tightly guarded gavel shed. The historic building makes a fitting setting for the special exhibits that grace the first floor gallery several times a year.
While strolling the halls of Madrid's famous Prado Museum in the 1950s, Texas oilman and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows fell in love with the rich tradition of Spanish art. Gradually building a collection of Iberian masterworks from throughout the centuries, Meadows helped found his eponymous museum to house and display the art. Now among the largest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, the Meadows Museum surrounds visitors with masterpieces from the 10th century through the 21st. The collection's highlights include Goya's darkly evocative Yard with Madmen, Picasso's patchwork Still Life in a Landscape, and Míró's colorfully surreal Queen Louise of Prussia.
Outside the museum's elegant colonnade, an encircling garden recalls Renaissance palaces with manicured bushes, stately gravel paths, and feral court jesters. Beautiful sculptures by modern greats fleck the garden, with such pieces as the 13-foot, wireframe head Sho, by modern Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa. Below the plaza, Santiago Calatrava's monumental Wave dominates the approach to the museum, with gently undulating iron beams, suspended over a serene reflecting pool that will itself never know the joy of forming a wave.
The frosty rink at Americas Ice Garden is always abuzz with wintry activity, hosting skaters ready to carve out figure eight8s during public hours or rehearse for impending competitions at freestyle skates. Athletes just breaking into the sport can attend skating and hockey classes, or commit to two weeks of drama and vocal exercises of saying "triple lutz" 10 times fast at ice-theater camps. The fun but demanding camps culminate in a production staged on the ice for a crowd of spectators. When thespians clear out, the rink is free to once again host parties or broomball matches.
Sunlight streams through 12 stories' worth of glass prisms, exploding into rainbows that dance on the trees, plants, and spouting fountains that fringe the well-chilled oval at its home in the heart of the Plaza of the as. The prisms are suspended in a next-door atrium, home to many shops and cultural attractions near the ice garden, including the Dallas Museum of Art.
A fleet of nine carriages bearing the NorthStar insignia clips and clops through the city streets of Dallas and Fort Worth, ferrying riders through historical tours and evenings filled with romance. Passengers watch the city skyline pan past their open-top carriage or opt for shelter beneath a cloth canopy as they visit historic locales. Ahead of them, a professional driver sports a white tuxedo shirt, boots, and Western hat, and his noble steed, trained at the company farm to be gentle and politely decline drag-race challenges, maintains a natural grace. Since its establishment in 1990, the company has had the honor of participating in a number of special local events, including football-victory parades and the Adolphus Children’s Christmas Parade.
Within Studio Movie Grill's expansive auditoriums, towering screens enrapture audiences seated in plush leather recliners and at dining tables. As the familiar celebrity faces in blockbuster and cult-classic features deliver Oscar-worthy lines, sneakily quiet waiters deliver meals from a full menu decorated with more than 100 items, including gourmet pizzas, smoked ribs, and cocktails infused with the spirit of Daniel Day-Lewis. Bartenders at the lobby bar dole out glasses of premium liquors, wines, and draft beer before and after shows.
When a building starts to sway, it's generally a sign of stiff winds or poorly maintained architecture. At Pump It Up, however, it's merely an indication that another energetic child has occupied one of the bouncy fortresses. The facility boasts a climate-controlled indoor playground, complete with inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and, of course, houses that beg kids to safely bounce off the walls. The staff invite parents and kids for open playtime and also help host private birthday parties and camps that combine playtime with arts, crafts, and pizza.