One of our favorite places to walk around, window shop and g’nosh in Dallas is the Historic Bishop Arts District in North Oak Cliff. With a reputation as one of the most unique neighborhoods in Dallas, this is a great place to bring out of town guests. I tend to frequent the Bishop Arts District with my teen and her friends or my mom and visiting relatives, often with my toddler in-tow.
Bishop Arts is an eclectic mix of over 60 independently owned shops, eateries, bars, theaters and art galleries. You’ll find anything from cigars and gourmet chocolate, to vintage soda pops, furniture, clothing, art and more. One consignment shop we recently strolled into, Design on a Nickel, is volunteer based, all workers are volunteer and 100% of its profit serves the homeless. How cool is that!? (I ended up buying a beautiful ring there for only $10!)
A favorite of photogs, Bishop Arts’ colorful murals, hand lettered signs, vintage street lamps and brick pavers combine to create a sort of small-town square feel combined with modern, urban grit that is somehow very satisfying. The arts district is a beautiful example of how creating and supporting locally owned and independent businesses is a culturally enriching and worthy investment.
If you are vacationing in Dallas and you want to get a feel for the creativity and ingenuity of the local culture, Bishop Arts should definitely be on your itinerary.
Bishop Arts Events
The district is home to many regularly scheduled events, including but not limited to:
First Thursdays of each month, 6-9pm, with an occasional Wine Walk
Brew Riot: Celebrating the art of brewing with a Home Brew Competition
Oak Cliff Film Festival: showcases the best of independent and brave filmmaking of all stripes from Texas-based filmmakers, as well as everywhere else.
Bastille on Bishop: July 14, 2015: honor Oak Cliff’s historical roots with French inspired activities, music and wine
(free to attend but visit the site if you want to purchase wine tickets)
Christmas in July: July 25, 2015: Festivities begin at 7pm and include a decorated street and neighborhood, sales at local shops, carols, special performance of Charlie Brown’s Christmas, sweet treats of the holiday variety, snow! and photos with the one and only Santa Claus. (Note: we’re not sure if this is annual, but we sure hope it will be.)
Blues, Bandits and BBQ: Annual BBQ competition, kids activities, live music
Stache Dash: Annual 5k supporting male health initiatives
Kessler Theatre: music shows, performance art & films
Texas Theatre: movies & events, lots of indie films, documentaries and occasional free screenings
The Bishop Arts Theater Center: plays,concerts, dance, fine art, films and conferences
The Oak Cliff Cultural Center: often sponsors free events at venues in the Bishop Arts District
How to get to the Bishop Arts District
Bishop Arts District, Dallas, TX
Now, go out and have some DFW free fun! Let us know about your Bishop Arts District experience in the comments below. We want to hear any “Know before you go” tips that might be helpful for those visiting with kiddos or entertaining the in-laws. Also, let us know if there are any events we should add to the list.