As a born and bred Texan, I was thrilled to find out that the 2016 Shop.org Conference would be held in Dallas! My love for the Lone Star state is well known around the Blue Acorn office and my excitement for a trip home has been building for months.
Whether you are a Cowboys fan or hater, Dallas has a lot more to offer than football and BBQ. Here’s a few things to do when you need to escape the convention center. Just promise me this… don’t embarrass yourself by asking for ‘cheese dip’ at any restaurant. You’re in Texas and that melty deliciousness is called queso.
Shop.org Block party
Pack your jeans and boots for the official kick off of the conference at the Omni hotel lawn. The block party will be the first stop for networking, drinks, and true Texas-style fun. Rumor has it there will be armadillo races (yes, races) and a mechanical bull.
Pro tip: Tell all your friends you’re in the Great State of TX on Snapchat. You might even find a squirrel filter to liven up your selfie.
Bonus Points: Snapchat your boss on the mechanical bull. Hard save for future blackmail.
Whether you’re in town from New York, LA or Minneapolis, I can promise you that whatever ‘mexican’ restaurant you frequent at home is nothing like true Tex-Mex. Again, refer to ‘cheese dip’ warning above.
While you’re in the Big D check out my favorite, Mi Cocina. There are several locations around the city but all just as tasty as the next. Seconds after taking your seat, a basket of warm, salty tortilla chips will grace your presence along with individual bowls of homemade salsa– so double dip all you’d like! You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu but I always recommend the Tacos de Brisket.
Bonus Points: Order a Mambo Taxi (or 3). Just don’t forget to set your alarm for the 8am session, they’re dangerous!
Whether you want to see live music, find a dive bar or go to a real honky tonk, Dallas has something for everyone. For sports fans, the Dallas Stars and US Women’s Gymnastic teams will be at the American Airlines Center. For smaller shows, definitely check out the Granada Theater’s calendar (link:www.granadatheater.com).
The Blue Acorn team is planning our evening next week around events that our partners are hosting. If you get email invites, be sure to RSVP early–these usually fill up fast!
Bonus: If you are really looking for authentic, Texas music and dancing you’ll need to drive 35 miles west to Ft. Worth (my hometown!). Billy Bob’s is a legendary dancehall that boasts the title of ‘World’s Largest Honky Tonk’ and known as a mecca in the country music industry. (link: billybobstexas.com/)
Escape the chilly conference center and get some culture!
Dallas has many world renown museums. If you arrive early or stay late (or just sneak out of the show for a few hours) you should check out these Here are the ones I always take out of towners:
Nasher Sculpture Center
An outdoor “roofless” museum situated in downtown Dallas housing the sculpture collection that has Instagram-worthy views around every corner.
Sixth Floor Museum @ Dealey Plaza
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is where evidence of a sniper was found following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Museum presents the social and political landscape of the early 1960s, chronicles JFK’s assassination and its aftermath, and reflects upon his lasting impact.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Unleash the kid in you at Dallas’ newest museum. After you gawk at the Tyrannosaurus rex model and take journey through the Solar System, be sure to stop by the gift shop to get your kids a momento– they’ll be much happier than the branded squishy balls and pens you normally bring back from a work trip.
Visit Blue Acorn in the Exhibit Hall
Two-step your way over to booth # 7073 to meet yours truly and our team of eCommerce experts. Besides given free advice, we’re raffling off a Texas-sized teddy bear from our client, Vermont Teddy Bear.