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Subject: Outside DFW - looking for advice from locals rss

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Greg Mitchell
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My wife and I usually come in early for the con, and this year we're coming in the Friday prior. For a switch up, we're staying in Downtown Dallas in the lead up to the con.

So, two questions:
1) What can't miss attractions are there to see in Downtown Dallas? Planning to check out Dealey Plaza at the very least, and had a look at this thread from 2015 for other ideas. Anything else on the "can't miss" list? New spots, restaurants etc...

2) This year I noticed that my hockey team is in town to play the Stars right after the convention, so I'm going to stay a couple of extra days and check that out. Any advice on where to buy tickets? I can just go to the NHL website, but I want to make sure I don't overpay for a good/great ticket if I can avoid it.
 
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David
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Nodecam wrote:

1) What can't miss attractions are there to see in Downtown Dallas? Planning to check out Dealey Plaza at the very least, and had a look at this thread from 2015 for other ideas. Anything else on the "can't miss" list? New spots, restaurants etc...


While I am definitely not a local, on the restaurant front I will offer you this -- in years past, people have often mentioned Pecan Lodge for all your barbecue needs. However, this year Texas Monthly just happened to update their top 50 Texas BBQ spots and another Dallas spot, Cattleack, is now ranked #3 in the state (good ol' Pecan is elsewhere in the top 50).

Now this is not to say that Texas Monthly is the definitive source for BBQ rankings, but it at least put it on my radar. But what I can say is that Cattleack is totally worth a drive (or Uber) for a quick break from games. I made the trip that week, and despite the healthy line and spending half the con in a meat coma, it was remarkable barbecue.

Do note, they are only Thursdays and Fridays from 10:30AM-2:00PM (and they will sell out of things well before then). Though you can do a guaranteed 20 lb minimum pre-order for pickup -- if anyone is considering that, count me in...
 
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Chris Weiss
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Nodecam wrote:
2) This year I noticed that my hockey team is in town to play the Stars right after the convention, so I'm going to stay a couple of extra days and check that out. Any advice on where to buy tickets? I can just go to the NHL website, but I want to make sure I don't overpay for a good/great ticket if I can avoid it.


I guess that makes you a Habs fan. This will be the second year in a row that my Oilers are playing there on the Saturday. Aiming to go again this year. Really nice arena in Dallas. I was very impresssed with the facility. The crowd is a little dead but hey, not a traditional hockey market. Very cool goal song for the Stars too so long as you don't need to hear it too many times.

If you get a chance to catch a game, it is worth it.
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Bill Gallagher
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Nodecam wrote:
This year I noticed that my hockey team is in town to play the Stars right after the convention, so I'm going to stay a couple of extra days and check that out. Any advice on where to buy tickets? I can just go to the NHL website, but I want to make sure I don't overpay for a good/great ticket if I can avoid it.

Check the Dallas Stars Web site first - that way you're getting them directly from the team. A lot of the pro teams (NHL included) go through TicketMaster.

As a last resort, there's always StubHub and other similar sites.

I do try and take in some of the local culture while at gaming conventions (especially if it's easy to do so, which isn't the case with a convention in an airport hotel).
 
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Alejandro G.
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As a local, Hard Eight is not as great as some make it out to be. There are far better BBQ places to eat around in D/FW.
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Peter Hendee
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xpiredsodapop wrote:
As a local, Hard Eight is not as great as some make it out to be. There are far better BBQ places to eat around in D/FW.


While not the best BBQ, it is good and a fun BBQ experience. You get to experience the grills and will smell like smoke the rest of the day. And the free bean pot is different. The experience can make the trip worthwhile although maybe not once you have been there enough times.
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Edward Kowynia
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I live here now, have for about three years and have been here many times for work in the years prior.
I feel an absolute must is the 6th Floor Museum. You had mentioned Dealey Plaza but please make sure you get to the museum. It is well worth the time.
There are some world class art museums in Dallas. Before here I lived in both Chicago and Washington DC so had access to Chicago Art Institute and the National Gallery. The Dallas Museum of Art is very nice. Also, the Barbier-Meuller Museum has the largest collection of Samurai Armor in the world. That is a cool museum.
The Perot Museum (Nature and Science) is very nice as well.
The Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field is nice. Small but packed.
Not many people know about the Dallas Firefighters Museum, but it is a gem. Also the Marsh Military Museum. Worth the trip.
George Bush Presidential Library is excellent as well.
If you want to head over to Fort Worth, the stockyards are fun. Bit of nightlife with a pub crawl and there is a rodeo on both Friday and Saturday on most weekends.
Last, I am not sure on the timing, I would have to look, but if the State Fair is going, that is always fun.
Ok, hope that helps with non restaurant ideas.
Enjoy. It is a very cool city and I have lived in many.
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jerry baker
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its at BABES

its a fried chicken place.

its good
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Edward Kowynia
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Geez, almost forgot.
Dallas World Aquarium. That is nice.
If you like classic cars, there are several showrooms and car shows almost every weekend.
And if you are wine drinkers, find a way to get up to Grapevine, TX for an afternoon. Marketplace for several local wineries.
Can you tell I like it here.
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Asher D.
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xpiredsodapop wrote:
As a local, Hard Eight is not as great as some make it out to be. There are far better BBQ places to eat around in D/FW.


You can't just stop there!

Name them
 
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Aaron Wood
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The State Fair will be long over, sorry.

But I will second that the Perot Museum is terrific!

If you're into amusement parks, Six Flags over Texas is pretty good, and should be open during the weekends that you'll be here. It's about 20 minutes away in Arlington. Also, if you have any interest in football, Cowboys stadium offers tours, and it's an amazing building. Also in Arlington.

Which reminds me - be careful, as the DFW metroplex is a lot bigger than a lot of other cities, so be prepared to rent a car or take a long Uber/taxi ride. (my parents grew up in Minneapolis/St Paul, so assumed that Dallas and Fort Worth were right next to each other - they're about 30 miles apart)

EDIT - Also forgot to mention, one of the local gaming groups hosts a Pre-Con gaming event, can't remember the exact group name at the moment, but should be able to find it in the BGG Con forums.
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Joseph Cochran
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xpiredsodapop wrote:
As a local, Hard Eight is not as great as some make it out to be. There are far better BBQ places to eat around in D/FW.


I'm sure there are, but what it has that they don't is proximity to DFW. It's far better than most places any of us not from Texas will find, and it's not too much time away from the gaming table. So that combo is a win for me anyway.
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Joseph Cochran
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ahwood23 wrote:
EDIT - Also forgot to mention, one of the local gaming groups hosts a Pre-Con gaming event, can't remember the exact group name at the moment, but should be able to find it in the BGG Con forums.


Dallas Games Marathon: http://dallasgamesmarathon.com/
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Chad Ostrander
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siredofk wrote:

If you want to head over to Fort Worth, the stockyards are fun. Bit of nightlife with a pub crawl and there is a rodeo on both Friday and Saturday on most weekends.
Last, I am not sure on the timing, I would have to look, but if the State Fair is going, that is always fun.


The state fair ends October 22nd. so it will not be in session during the convention.
Also in fort worth is the fort worth water gardens.
 
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Greg Mitchell
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ahwood23 wrote:

Which reminds me - be careful, as the DFW metroplex is a lot bigger than a lot of other cities, so be prepared to rent a car or take a long Uber/taxi ride. (my parents grew up in Minneapolis/St Paul, so assumed that Dallas and Fort Worth were right next to each other - they're about 30 miles apart)


Really excellent point, and one I'm well aware of. We usually meet up with my cousin who lives in Ft Worth, so have never spent much time in downtown Dallas before. We figured it was worth checking out that part of the metroplex at least once. (It was also helped along by the Hulu series 11.22.63, which I enjoyed quite a bit)

As to Hard 8 - I agree that it was fun to go there, but I'm really looking for stuff to do downtown this time around, instead of the airport area. Pecan Lodge might make sense for us to try...

Thanks for all the ideas, keep 'em coming!
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Brian B.
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If you like art and live music, check out the Deep Ellum district in Dallas:

http://deepellumtexas.com/
 
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Tyler DeLisle
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There's a bunch of fun things to do to kill some time, but personally I'd say the only "can't miss" thing is Dealey Plaza. Kennedy was well before my generation so I didn't have a lot of interest in it, but was really surprised how fascinated I got when I finally did go out there. I spent the following week researching a lot and watching Kennedy-related movies, shows and documentaries afterwards. Make sure that you go across the street to the Grassy Knoll afterwards, find some crackpot conspiracy theorists who hang out there all day, every day. It really completes the experience.

Aside from that, since you're downtown there are some nice things in that area, the World Aquarium mentioned is really neat, some old factory building completely filled in with living fauna and waterfalls and wildlife. But be aware it's close to 40 bucks and only takes a few hours to walk through it all. The Perot museum is really neat, and the DMA is mostly free if you enjoy art.

Deep Ellum is pretty close to downtown, can hop a train if you need to easily enough (though be prepared to be asked for money multiple times). There's lots of divey bars and great food down there (including the must-visit Pecan Lodge).

If you're looking for something in particular food-wise, drink-wise could give better recommendations. Oh, you could always go up to the Reunion Tower downtown for a cocktail and/or appetizer for a sprawling view of the city from above. Great during sunset.

 
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Greg Mitchell
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TyDeL wrote:
If you're looking for something in particular food-wise, drink-wise could give better recommendations.


Not sure why I didn't mention it, but my wife doesn't eat gluten - which makes places like BBQ generally a safer bet, but also presents challenges for a lot of restaurants. I don't expect people will have specific recommendations for that, but if you do...I know she'd appreciate it.

As for spots for a drink - neither of us drinks much - I used to love beer, but it no longer loves me back

I was thinking we might check out "A Room with a Clue" which is a downtown escape room - maybe we'll look into doing an escape room elsewhere in town with my cousin and his family on Monday or Tuesday. Any particular favorites that people can recommend (we tend to avoid the horror themed ones)
 
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Jonathan Ham
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I'm on the north end of DFW and don't go downtown much, so these suggestions might be a little far.

My favorite restaurant is the Bavarian Grill in Plano. Authentic German food, and they do have a gluten free menu (though I haven't tried anything from it). If you're into video games, the National Video Game Museum is in Frisco. Focuses mainly on the history of the industry up to the '90s. Also has an attached retro arcade.
 
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Alejandro G.
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PeterHendee wrote:
xpiredsodapop wrote:
As a local, Hard Eight is not as great as some make it out to be. There are far better BBQ places to eat around in D/FW.


While not the best BBQ, it is good and a fun BBQ experience. You get to experience the grills and will smell like smoke the rest of the day. And the free bean pot is different. The experience can make the trip worthwhile although maybe not once you have been there enough times.


The free bean pot makes for an explosive night.

Zero Stars. cry
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Nodecam wrote:
TyDeL wrote:
If you're looking for something in particular food-wise, drink-wise could give better recommendations.


Not sure why I didn't mention it, but my wife doesn't eat gluten - which makes places like BBQ generally a safer bet, but also presents challenges for a lot of restaurants. I don't expect people will have specific recommendations for that, but if you do...I know she'd appreciate it.

As for spots for a drink - neither of us drinks much - I used to love beer, but it no longer loves me back

I was thinking we might check out "A Room with a Clue" which is a downtown escape room - maybe we'll look into doing an escape room elsewhere in town with my cousin and his family on Monday or Tuesday. Any particular favorites that people can recommend (we tend to avoid the horror themed ones)


The escape room in Southlake (https://www.reddoorescape.com/) is great. I have done The Gift and Taken, but would only recommend Taken if you know everybody in the group (it really requires a lot of communication)
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Nodecam wrote:
My wife and I usually come in early for the con, and this year
2) This year I noticed that my hockey team is in town to play the Stars right after the convention, so I'm going to stay a couple of extra days and check that out. Any advice on where to buy tickets? I can just go to the NHL website, but I want to make sure I don't overpay for a good/great ticket if I can avoid it.


Hi! I worked for the Stars for several years. Cheapest/most direct way to purchase is to go to the American Airlines ticket office and buy direct from them there. It cuts out a lot of the service fees people use. You can easily walk from the Plaza to the ticket office, unless it's a warm day and then you might want to drive.
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Darren Priddy
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Also in addition to Dallas Games Marathon event area for a ton of gaming, we have 3 descent stores in the area for board gaming to recommend. Generation X Comics & Games, Common Grounds Games & Madness Games and Comics as some of the big stores in the area for games if people take a break from the con to see the stores during food breaks.

Madness is the biggest by far & a few blocks from Dallas Game Marathon though it's a bit of a drive from BGGCon. Common Grounds is also in Dallas though off one highway leading to the BGGCon. Closest store is Generation X by 121/Harwood a bit west of the DFW airport (now doing a used game section too unlike last year).

Madness Games and Comics
http://www.madnessgames.com/

Generation X Comics & Games
https://www.facebook.com/Gen.X.Comics.Games/

Common Grounds Games
http://boardgamesdallas.com/
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