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The Itinerary: What to do in the Dallas Ft. Worth area for Cowboys Classic

Photo: Darren Carroll for Sports Illustrated

Ever since Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones built AT&T Stadium in 2009, it has been referred to as “Jerry World.” Situated in Arlington, Texas, equidistant from downtown Dallas and Fort Worth, the stadium was immediately notable for its massive scoreboard, museum-quality art and overall opulence.

That’s right, a football stadium has a collection of art that would put most museums to shame. Jones commissioned more than a dozen modern artists to create work for the stadium, which can be viewed by any of the 80,000 fans who can peel their eyes off the 2,100-inch screens that hover above the field.

There’s no question AT&T Stadium is an attraction in itself. A testament to the old adage that everything is bigger in Texas, the facility has already hosted some of the biggest events in sports: the NBA All-Star Game, college football bowl games, the Final Four and the Super Bowl.

It also hosts the annual Cowboys Classic, a college football kickoff game that has featured mega programs such as Alabama, LSU, and Oregon, and this year pits reigning BCS champion Florida State against Oklahoma State. But there’s plenty to do besides watching football. Regardless of your rooting interest, the Dallas-Fort Worth area features great food, bars and entertainment. Here's a look at some of the things to do.

AT&T Stadium Tours

The stadium is the world’s largest domed structure. Fans can go on art tours, architecture tours or get a VIP walkthrough with stops in a private suite, the Cowboys locker room and the field. Make sure to bring a football – you’re encouraged to toss a few passes while you’re on the field, or take a selfie with the famous Cowboys star at midfield.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

This is much more than a movie theater. These movie houses mix new releases and classic films and often host themed nights, all while delivering a full food and drink menu right at your seat. Forget popcorn and some generic film. At Alamo Drafthouse, you can watch a classic while munching on mini banh mi hot dogs while washing it down with some local microbrews. No screaming kids, no texting during the movie and more hatch green chile than you can imagine.

Museums

The DFW area features many museums. There are multiple tributes to aviation, including the Frontiers of Flight Museum, where you can check out over 200 World War II planes and even relics from the Hindenburg crash. If you're with the kids (or just can’t wait for the upcoming Jurassic Park sequel), check out Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, which is full of fossilized dino tracks. For bowling fanatics there’s the International Bowling Museum in Arlington, which houses the International Bowling Hall of Fame.

Billy Bob’s Texas

Touted as the world’s largest honky tonk, this massive venue is actually 30 separate bar stations. It hosts live music, bull riding and line dancing, while offering baskets of brisket, ribs, pulled pork and catfish. Billy Bob’s has been in the area for more than 100 years, with the current location dating to 1981. According to its website, the venue’s record for most beer bottles sold in one night is 16,000, during a Hank Williams Jr. concert. Billy Bob's once appeared on an episode of Walker Texas Ranger, and if it’s good enough for Chuck Norris, it’s good enough for you.

Arlington Skatium

You’re unlikely to find much ice in Arlington, so strap on your old-school roller skates and head to the Skatium. Perfect for kids, or anyone who wants to show off their sick spins and figure-8s.

New Texas Giant

You were expecting something smaller? Not in Texas, where the local Six Flags boasts the tallest steel hybrid roller coaster in the world. The original wood skeleton has been updated with a steel exoskeleton, all for a ride that rockets you at 65 MPH off a 153-foot drop. Not for the feint of heart!

Babe’s Chicken Dinner House

This BYOB joint serves some of the best fried chicken and biscuits in the area, at affordable prices. With homemade pies, chicken fried steak and other southern delights on the menu it’s good to know Babe’s is within walking distance of AT&T Stadium. You may need to walk afterward.

Damian’s Cajun Soul Cafe

One of the highest-rated restaurants in Arlington, this is a must-visit if you love gumbo, red beans and rice or ettouffee.

Chop House Burger

Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives impresario Guy Fieri dubbed the Chop House Burger one of the best in DFW. The delicacy features ground beef and brisket, steak sauce, bacon and cheddar.

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