This eclectic town is home to numerous interesting and unusual event venues. From mums to motorcycles, here are a few local favorites.
The City of Dallas traces its history to John Neely Bryan establishing a trading post on the east bank of the Trinity River in 1841 to serve a diverse population moving into the area. Throughout the following decades, the population steadily grew and included immigrants from Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland. Today the city has a population of more than 1.2 million people, and is now the third largest in Texas and the ninth largest city in the country.
Dallas is made up of dozens of distinct neighborhoods including Deep Ellum, the Design District, Highland Park, Trinity Groves, Lakewood and the Arts District, offering a vibrant mix of cultures, interests and experiences. With more than 85,000 hotel rooms in the City of Dallas and roughly 122,000 guest rooms available in the greater metropolitan area, Dallas stands ready to offer visitors not only accommodations, but one-of-a-kind events that are memorable and meaningful.
“As a progressive city with Southern appeal, Dallas offers unparalleled amenities, including hotel room rates at a fraction of the cost of other major metropolitan areas,” says Phillip J. Jones, president and CEO of Visit Dallas. “We also have two major airports with more domestic nonstop flights than any other U.S. city. Located just three hours from each coast, doing business in Dallas is clearly a good business decision.”
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
A number of indoor and outdoor venues are available for events throughout the Dallas Arboretum’s 66 acres. Whether planners are hosting a traditional day meeting, network event, holiday party or banquet, the lush gardens and historic homes serve as the perfect backdrop. This fall, planners can be among the first to host an event at the Arboretum’s most recent addition, A Tasteful Place.
A Tasteful Place is the Arboretum’s brand-new, $12 million culinary venue and garden. The 2,400-square-foot building features floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides and an adjacent 3.5-acre edible display garden of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. The Barbara and Bob Bigham Scenic Overlook provides views of White Rock Lake as well as the downtown Dallas skyline. Interior space at A Tasteful Place can accommodate up to 250 guests in a theater-style arrangement. The exterior garden can hold up to 200 for a cocktail reception.
A Tasteful Place was inspired by the growing movement of eating and cooking with fresh, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients. Daily tastings, cooking classes and demonstrations are held throughout the year, making use of the indoor teaching kitchen and outdoor tasting room at the venue. Excess harvested ingredients are used by the in-house caterer in salads, sandwiches and other dishes.
Not as new, but just as unique, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is home to the 5,000-square-foot Rosine Hall, the majestic 21,000-square-foot DeGolyer House, the two-story Alex Camp House and a variety of outdoor spaces throughout the entire garden. Amenities at the Arboretum include free Wi-Fi for all venues, on-site security, a private entrance for event guests and vendors, event staff to assist with logistics and a large list of approved caterers.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden can accommodate groups ranging from small retreats to corporate meetings of up to 600 people. The Arboretum is located on the southwest shores of White Rock Lake, about 15 minutes from downtown Dallas.
CrashedToys is a powersports auction house by day and innovative event venue by night. This original and eclectic 45,000-square-foot facility is just minutes from downtown Dallas, and offers three unique event spaces: The Cage, The Clubhouse and The Boneyard.
The Cage is the primary entry point into CrashedToys and can accommodate up to 325 guests for a reception. The roughly 5,000-square-foot space has garage-style doors that open to a patio overlooking the beer-garden, as well as a quiet space on the north side of the building. Black polished concrete floors and steel beams add to the industrial feel of The Cage. The space includes a scrolling LED ticker sign, eight large flat-screen televisions and full audio-visual capabilities.
The Clubhouse is the primary showroom of CrashedToys and provides approximately 20,000 square feet of event space. In this distinct setting, the auction inventory is visible and accessible to guests. The Clubhouse also features a full-service bar, pool tables, pinball machines, a pingpong table, 30 flat-screen televisions and a soft seating area. The space can accommodate 500 seated guests and up to 750 people reception-style.
The Boneyard is a great setting for an outdoor event. The space incorporates a stage with an audio-visual system and custom stage lighting. The Boneyard features the Dead Man’s Bar, fire pits, misting fans and four flat-screen televisions, and is capable of hosting two full-sized food trucks within the 10,000-square-foot space. The capacity of The Boneyard is 300 people seated or up to 600 standing guests.
“CrashedToys Dallas offers a distinctive setting for corporate groups that may be looking to depart from the hotel conference setting. Our three uniquely themed event spaces create a one-of-a-kind backdrop for meetings and events, only five minutes from downtown hotels,” says Currey Hall, director. “An outdoor food truck yard and beer garden, large built-in bars, 41 video screens, hand-painted murals, a state-of-the-art audio-visual system and incredible industrial fixtures and furnishings are just part of what make CrashedToys a favorite. On-site event management, catering and bar staff make planning a conference or event at CrashedToys Dallas a stress-free experience.”
Catering and bar services are provided by G Texas Catering. With a total of nearly 35,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, and a backdrop of hundreds of motorcycles and ATVs, custom one-off artwork, graffiti and murals, CrashedToys is an event venue like no other.
The Cidercade is an arcade and bar created by the Bishop Cider Company. The venue features more than 165 arcade games and 24 ciders on tap. Cidercade is located at the Bishop Cider production and distribution warehouse in the Design District, 2 miles from downtown Dallas. For unlimited gaming, guests pay $10 per day or $20 per month. Cidercade is family friendly during daytime hours, but 21 and over after 8 p.m.
Bishop Cider was founded in Dallas by Joel and Laura Malone, who sought to create a more natural cider without the overly sweet and artificial flavors of other ciders. No brown sugar, cane sugar, fructose syrup or honey is used in the production of Bishop ciders. The only sugar is in the apple juice, which is sourced domestically from the Pacific Northwest.
All Bishop Cider beverages are gluten-free, vegan-friendly and made by Texans.
Cidercade offers some basic bar snacks, but encourages patrons to bring their own food or have it delivered from area favorites such as Social Pies or Pie Tap. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays the venue hosts food trucks, and a schedule of featured food trucks can be found on the Cidercade website.
At 12:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month, guests can take a free tour of the cidery. Co-founder Joel Malone is often onsite to share how Bishop Cider turns apple juice into one of Texas’ finest adult beverages. Private events at the 17,000-square-foot warehouse can accommodate groups of up to 511 people. Bishop Cider Company still operates a tasting room at its original location in the Bishop Arts District.
Houston-based Valencia Group introduced its one-of-a-kind, retro-inspired court concept hotels in 2013 with the opening of the Lone Star Court in Austin. Following the successful opening of a second court-concept hotel, Cavalry Court in College Station, Valencia Group determined the Dallas metro area would be the perfect fit for its newest court property. Texican Court is located directly across from the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, and is slated to open this fall.
Texican Court is inspired by classic Spaghetti Western films and a blending of cultures from Mexico and Texas. “We wanted to bring the theme song from the film ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ to life through the design of this hotel,” says Valencia Group President and CEO Doyle A. Graham, Jr. “When you listen to the song, you can envision the larger-than-life vistas filled with dramatic backdrops and excitement, and we captured the essence of the tension and drama characterized by this song in the walls of this hotel to create a captivating experience for our guests.”
The 152-room Texican Court will feature Spanish mission-style architecture including stucco, wood and a subtle Texas flair. The public spaces are contained in three single-story buildings resembling a Mexican hacienda, much like those built by ranchers who settled the area. A low and dark tequila bar contrasts the adjacent limestone walls of the expansive reception area. Arches, stone, terra-cotta, steel and reclaimed barn wood greet guests in the shaded open-air lobby entrance.
To bring this vision to life, Valencia Group collaborated with Rottet Studio, a Houstonbased international architecture and design firm. The two companies have partnered on multiple Valencia Group hotel properties, including both Cavalry Court and Lone Star Court.
The boutique hotel grounds are comprised of three distinct courtyards featuring treelined walkways, wood burning fire pits and a circular swimming pool. The hotel restaurant and bar, Two Mules Cantina, is easily accessible through the courtyards and offers one area for dining and another for live music and expanded bar services.
Texican Court has more than 3,500 square feet of event space, including outdoor areas throughout the courtyards and indoor space in the Little Chapel. This indoor venue was heavily influenced by the design of Spanish missions, such as the Alamo, and features deep, recessed entrances and windows, and wood-clad ceilings with timber trusses.
“The Texican Court’s 3,500 square feet of unique meeting and event space will provide an almost movie-set backdrop for business meetings, social activities, weddings and more. The design is strongly influenced by Spanish missions and other small chapels across Texas,” says General Manager John Thomas. “The property features several exterior event settings that are defined by groves of trees, canopies of shade, granite courtyards, wood-burning fire pits, garden walls, terra-cotta plazas and festival lights.”