On a single day in the middle of World War II, actions in three isolated incidents represent an ethical lesson taught to this day at the Dallas Holocaust Museum. On that day—April 19, 1943—three Belgian men attacked a train destined for Auschwitz, freeing its passengers; the occupants of the Warsaw Ghetto united in revolt; and at the Bermuda Conference, officials from the British and American governments declined to take action against ongoing atrocities in Europe. The Dallas Holocaust Museum’s main exhibit locates a crucial distinction in presenting these three events: the difference between "bystanders" and what the museum calls "Upstanders." The exhibit was created in the hopes that every visitor would become an "Upstander," moved not only to remember a horrific past but also to take action when faced with modern threats to human rights.
A self-guided audio tour relates the heroism of those who stood up on that date in 1943 as museum guests explore artifacts, photographs, and a full-size boxcar. Special exhibits that often focus on photography supplement the permanent installation, and testimonies from volunteer survivors and liberators provide a firsthand perspective on the historical tragedy and its lessons. Along with exposing more than 30,000 students and 22,000 walk-in visitors to its messages annually, the museum advocates engagement with the world through educational programs designed for everyone from educators to law-enforcement officials.
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.
For the past 20 years, Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park has been one of Dallas’ primary sources of satisfied screams, launching Texans into lower orbit with palpitating rides that test the confines of physics. Thrill-seekers can exhaust adrenaline reserves on hair-raising attractions, including the seven-story bungee jump, the Skycoaster, and the Texas Blastoff, which acts like a giant slingshot that rockets riders 70 miles per hour toward the sky. Nothin’ but Net sends amusement park goers plummeting on a 130-foot freefall, and the Skyscraper's enormous propellers whip guests around with 4 gees of force before serving up views of the city’s stunning skyline. Thanks to precautions designed specifically for each ride, Zero Gravity boasts a flawless safety record, whereas the park’s flexible schedule jump-starts hearts seven days per week, making it the perfect place for family, weekend, nighttime, and group activities.
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.