Seattle has the Space Needle. St. Louis has the Arch. New York has the Empire State Building. And Dallas has…Reunion Tower! The observation deck of the iconic Dallas landmark is reopening Saturday, October 5 after a stunning renovation.
At 470 feet, the view of the city is breath-taking, but that’s not all the technologically savvy new GeO-Deck has to offer. Named to reflect the “geodesic sphere” shape of the Tower, the new observation deck is loaded with interactive display screens. Each touch screen can pull up a myriad of engaging material. Locate and read about famous Dallas landmarks on the map. Watch a seven and a half minute video on the JFK assassination (Dealey Plaza can be seen from the Tower.) Zoom in on the view from one of 5 streaming video cameras.
As I soaked in the new space at the press event today, I could imagine my 5th, 4th, and 1st grader going to town on the large iPad-like screens. They would learn some important facts about Dallas. Or, they might just zoom in on some window-washers via the streaming cameras like I did. They would also love the open-air deck outside the glassed-in area. All that city-gazing might just work up an appetite.
If visitors do get hungry, they’re in luck. Opening one level below the GeO-Deck is Cloud Nine restaurant. It’s operated by the Wolfgang Puck Group which also runs the famous rotating restaurant, Five Sixty, on the top level of the Tower. Cloud Nine is a casual dining option during the day that serves food with a Texas twist. (In the evenings, it becomes a bar/lounge area.) The meals are surprisingly affordable. My favorite by far was the Sweet and Sour Kale Salad ($10). Kid’s options include chicken tenders, fish sticks, grilled cheese, and hamburgers ($6 each). The Pecan Praline Pie ($5) was a delicious dessert. But it’s also fun to spring for the Signature Chocolate Tower ($10) which is adorable and yummy.
Ticket prices are comparable to other city’s tall landmarks that I have visited. $16 for adults, $8 for kids age 4-12, and kids under 3 are free. Other buildings I’ve been in didn’t even have as much to offer as Reunion Tower. Between the amazing views, the interactive digital screens, and the restaurant, there’s a lot to experience.
Here’s a tip: Looking for a memorable date night? Forget about visiting during the day, and come at night when the skyline is lit up magnificently. Sun-Thurs the tower is open until 10 PM. On Friday and Saturday it’s open until 11:30 PM. One fun new feature is that they take a digital photo of your group (or you and your date) at the base before you ride up in the elevator. At the top, find a kiosk and scan the photo receipt to pull up your picture. You can change the background, post it to Facebook, and email it. Let everyone know you and your sweetie are at the top of Reunion Tower!
Check out the Reunion Tower website for helpful information when planning a visit. Union Station is very close, so consider traveling by DART. This might be one of the most interesting and unique Dallas sites to take out-of-town visitors to see. It’s also a fun and educational family outing for residents, especially those with school-age children.
Our beloved city is kicking it up a notch by taking a long standing symbol and turning it into a technologically advanced, must-see monument. That’s some serious Tower Power!