For your next layover at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, don’t just sit around the terminal eating airport food, feeling bored to tears. Take advantage of the time between flights and discover nearby Irving—it’s just a quick jaunt outside the airport. We’ve pulled together a few things to do in Irving, TX on a layover that will help you enjoy your time on the ground.

Founders’ Plaza

If you don’t want to stray too far, Founders’ Plaza is conveniently located at the airport and is an ideal place to watch planes take off and land. This spot is a DFW International Airport treasure. Over the years, Founders' Plaza has become a favorite place for travelers to spend some time before, after, or between flights. 

The Observation Area offers magnificent views of many types of aircraft as they launch into the sky or make their descent. In addition, the plaza provides convenient parking, picnic tables, telescopes, historical information, a commemorative monument, and a radio that broadcasts air traffic control communications from the FAA tower. Founders' Plaza is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Irving Arts Center

Located just southeast of DFW International Airport, the Irving Arts Center is an ideal place to unwind during your layover. As Irving’s central arts hub, you can meander through an outdoor sculpture garden, marvel at engaging exhibits of paintings, or explore the 10-acre complex. The center contains over 91,500 square feet of performing and visual arts space, including a sizeable main gallery which hosts over 20 exhibits every year. No matter when your traveling through DFW and Irving, there will be a captivating exhibit waiting for you at Irving Arts Center.

Jackie Townsell Bear Creek Heritage Center

Take some time to learn about some of Irving’s history at the Jackie Townsell Bear Creek Heritage Center. Located a short 15-minute drive from the DFW Airport, this important cultural center tells the story of the west Irving community of Bear Creek, one of the oldest African-American communities in the Dallas area. After emancipation, many freed slaves made Bear Creek their home, turning this region into a vibrant African-American community. At the Heritage Center, enjoy special exhibits, a native plant garden, and three historic structures: the J.O. Davis House, the Green House, and the Bear Creek Masonic Lodge.

Ruth Paine House Museum

Discover Irving’s tie to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy with a visit to the Ruth Paine House Museum. The home is where assassin Lee Harvey Oswal spent his last night of freedom before he would go on to take the life of JFK in downtown Dallas the very next day. Ruth Paine was the unassuming owner of the home who knew Oswal’s wife and extended kindness to him without knowing the impact he would make on history. The home has been restored to its 1960s appearance from when Paine took on a media onslaught after the now infamous crime.

Las Colinas

If you have a little more time between flights, make a beeline for Las Colinas in Irving. This master-planned community is home to some of the region’s best restaurants, shops, and music venues. Situated along beautiful Lake Carolyn, spend your layover wandering along the Mandalay Canals, snagging some Mexican cuisine at El Famoso, or admiring the local public artworks like the Mustangs of Las Colinas or Marble Cow Sculptures.