Since I moved to Dallas-Fort Worth six years ago, I’ve witnessed in amazement the incredible growth this area has experienced. New attractions continue to pop up each year like The Star in Frisco, Legacy Food Hall in Plano and Texas Live! in Arlington. This growth doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, so I’ve rounded up the coolest new developments happening in DFW that should be on your radar. They’re sure to make your next weekend getaway even sweeter!
1. DISTRICT AT WILLOW BEND | OPEN NOW
When you visit Plano, you better come hungry. It’s turning into foodie heaven! The Shops at Legacy have been serving up deliciousness for several years, and Legacy West recently came on the scene with new dining concepts and Legacy Hall (the second-best new food hall in the nation). The Boardwalk made our jaws drop with tasty bites from Biscuit Bar, Urban Bear and more, all next to—you guessed it—a boardwalk. Now, The Shops at Willow Bend is joining the ranks with The District, a walkable foodie destination featuring restaurants like Knife, Whistle Britches and Mexican Cooking Co. Not convinced? Pop over to the new LC Kitchen, a made-from-scratch mini-food hall, located at the new Legacy Central campus.
2. PEPPA PIG WORLD OF PLAY | OPEN NOW
Grapevine Mills Mall has been a longtime family favorite. Sure, they have amazing outlet prices, but they also have a world of fun waiting at LegoLand, SEALife and now Peppa Pig World of Play — The first to open in the U.S.! For kiddos who love the classic TV series, this is a dream come true. There’s 14 themed areas to play in, including spots where they can take a journey on the bus with Peppa and her friends, jump in muddy puddles and explore Peppa’s house. The best part? Adult and child combo tickets (valid for one adult and one child 6 months to 8 years old) are available for under $30. You’ll also get a ticket discount if you buy tickets online!
3. FIREHOUSE GASTROPUB | OPEN NOW
This new foodie destination in Grand Prairie is exactly what it sounds like — AKA, pretty darn cool. The masterminds behind FireHouse are transforming an old Fire Station on Main Street into an indoor / outdoor space, where you’ll find burgers, a smoke house, coffee, Nashville hot chicken and even a secret garden bar. Don’t forget to snap a photo with their Insta-worthy hot pink wall (that ironically reads ‘No Instagram’). If you want to get a taste of what’s in store before FireHouse opens, head over to The Epic, where you’ll find them serving up a farm-fresh menu at Epic Eats and classy cocktails at The Pub (an upstairs speakeasy at The Epic).
4. THE WALL THAT HEALS | MAY 2019
Not all of us get the privilege to visit historic landmarks in Washington, D.C., but this year, one of them is visiting us. A traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be making a stop in Lewisville this spring, for four days only (May 2 – 5). Seeing the names of those who sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War is a moving experience, and for some, a healing experience. The Wall That Heals exhibit will be open 24 hours a day at Lewisville Lake Park, accompanied by a mobile Education Center where you can learn even more about the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington.
5. KIDZANIA USA | FALL 2019
When something is called KidZania, you know it’s going to be fun! No matter what your kid dreams of being when they grow up, they can experience it all in this one-of-a-kind city designed for kids. It’s like a giant indoor playground where imagination comes to life! Here, kids can play ultimate make-believe and spend the day as a Journalist, Doctor, Radio DJ or whatever they choose — all with real experiences and real KidZania currency. There’s nothing else like it in America…literally! The KidZania in Frisco’s Stonebriar Centre is the first to open the U.S., with more locations to open in New York and Chicago in 2020.
6. KAABOO TEXAS | MAY 2019
Ok y’all. When I read this lineup, I lost my mind! First of all, it’s incredibly eclectic: Both Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ludacris are on the list. Sure, I was a little confused, but I was more than okay with it (especially after reading that The Avett Brothers, Sting, Alanis Morisette, and The Killers will also be performing). But this extravaganza at AT&T Stadium in Arlington isn’t just a music festival — Kaaboo is going above and beyond by adding comedians, cuisine and experiences like pool parties and massages to the mix. I’m still not entirely sure what to expect, but I do know two things: It’s going to be epic, and I’m hoping it becomes a tradition.
7. GRAPEVINE MAIN | EARLY 2020
I’ve always found old train stations to be incredibly enchanting. Maybe it’s the detail, or the romance of catching a train to a new destination. Either way, I can’t wait to step back in time at Grapevine’s new train station! This soon-to-be landmark will be located in front of the new TEXRail line (so you can still catch the train), and include new cuisine, entertainment and Hotel Vin, a boutique hotel for travelers. Better yet, it’ll all be within walking distance of Historic Downtown Grapevine, making it easy to spend a day shopping, dining or wine-tasting before climbing aboard to your next destination.
8. MULE ALLEY | EARLY 2020
This year, even more Texan charm is heading to the Fort Worth Stockyards. New shops and restaurants are going to pop up along Mule Alley, including Second Rodeo Brewing Co., a “brewpub meets live music hall” created by Chef Jason Boso (mastermind behind Dallas’ Truck Yard and Twisted Root), and a new concept from Chef Marcus Paslay, featuring smoked meats and BBQ in an open kitchen setting. American Paint Horse Association will also call this new development home, offering travelers a chance to experience the beauty of the Paint Horse during their visit to the Stockyards. After a day of exploring Fort Worth, you’ll be able to hang your hat at the Hotel Drover — a new four-star hotel set to open in Spring of 2020.
9. GLOBE LIFE FIELD | SPRING 2020
Get ready to plaaaay ball! If you’ve recently visited Texas Live!, you may have seen all the progress happening next door at Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ new home in Arlington. Even if you’re not a Rangers fan, you’re sure to appreciate this epic ballpark. For starters, its’ roof is the first of its kind in baseball, made of a transparent material that’ll give fans the ambiance of an outdoor game with the comfort of A/C — and when the Texas weather is nice, the roof can retract in a matter of minutes. Talk about a home run! Although it won’t open until 2020, you can get a glimpse of what’s coming from the Hilti Observation Deck, located behind section 341 at Globe Life Park.
10. PGA HEADQUARTERS | 2022
In 2018, the National Soccer Hall of Fame relocated to Frisco. Now, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America is making moves to place their Headquarters in Sports City U.S.A. within the next five years. When it’s completed, PGA Headquarters will be home to two professional courses, a short course, and practice areas (totaling 45 holes), along with a clubhouse and full-blown Omni Resort. There’s no wonder why this development has already made plans to host the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in 2023! True, the courses aren’t expected to open until Summer of 2022, but as golfers know…good things take time.
NOW OPEN — EXCITING ATTRACTIONS FROM 2018
It’s true that all of these new developments are worth the wait, but let’s be real — It’s hard to be patient when you know how awesome they’re going to be! On the bright side, DFW had a lot of awesome attractions open up in 2018. I’m sure a visit to any of these will help you tackle the waiting game (and make you even more excited for what’s to come)!
One of Irving’s newest additions is this nifty music venue. I’ve yet to have the pleasure of seeing a show here, but big names like Harry Styles and The Flaming Lips have performed at the Toyota Music Factory since its opening in 2017. With over 20 restaurants and an indoor and outdoor stage, Toyota Music Factory is perfect setting for an epic evening.
One of my biggest disappointments each summer-end is that I can no longer take a dip in the pool or float down the nearest lazy river. Fortunately, one of Grand Prairie’s newest attractions has changed that! Epic Waters is a new, year-round water park—the largest in the nation—with nine water slides, a lazy river and a retractable roof to boot.
Gamers, rejoice—DFW now has the largest eSports stadium in the U.S.! Located in Arlington’s new entertainment district, this stadium is able to accommodate up to 1,000 fans gathered to watch big league esports. It also has one of the most cutting-edge custom LED setups in the world, making it the perfect space to cheer on your favorite gamers.
After its’ location in New York closed in 2010, the National Soccer Hall of Fame has relocated to Sports City USA! This new Hall of Fame in Frisco features virtual reality, gesture technology and interactive digital video boards that celebrate the big names in American soccer. It’s also the first Hall of Fame built within a stadium, which is great for those who want to check it out before catching an FC Dallas game at Toyota Stadium.
Even if you’ve already chowed down Legacy Hall, the new Box Garden is worth another visit. It’s the perfect outdoor hangout spot, with tons of places to sit (and fans to keep you cool), over 30 food stalls to choose from and 5 different outside bars—as well as 3 other bars inside. This beer-garden-meets-entertainment-hotspot also has free concerts regularly, so be sure to check the schedule before driving out to Plano if you want to catch a show.
Combine a first-class modern hotel with tons of delicious restaurants, a music venue and a beer garden and what do you get? Texas Live! This exciting new spot is right next door to the Texas Rangers new ballpark, Globe Life Field (opening in 2020), as well as a new go-to for visitors looking for the best entertainment experience in Arlington. Seriously, y’all — They have a wall filled with TV screens (perfect for watching the game) and even football legend Troy Aikman has opened up a restaurant here!