Best in Dallas

All the things you thought Dallas didn't have

Dallas Zoo

Well, hello!I’ve been slacking and now I’ve enlisted help! Note that my last entry referred to our Korean student. Well, returning to teenager-parenting slowed down my blogging regularity. But she’s in Korea for the summer, so back to the keyboard!

This post is a guest entry from my daughter Bonnie. I’m including some of the awesome pictures she and husband Chris took. Enjoy!

Which Zoo?

“Let’s go to the zoo!”

It’s summer, and time to think of things to do with the kids. The zoo sounds like fun, but it’s hot, and you’ve heard from everyone who knows anything that of COURSE the Fort Worth Zoo is the best. But who wants to drive out to Fort Worth in this heat?

I’ve got news for you – Dallas has taken up the zoo-experience gauntlet and is truly now the place to be. The Giants of the Savannah section that they’ve been advertising so heavily really is as impressive as it seems (and don’t miss feeding the giraffes!), with large, realistic habitats and lots of viewing areas. The older section is pretty great, too – it’s always been beautiful, and moving the elephants and lions has given the zoo some space to spread out.

The most important difference, though, between the Dallas and Fort Worth zoos, is air conditioning. The Dallas Zoo has several very comfortable (and non-commercial – you don’t have to buy lunch, or feel like you should, to sit) air-conditioned seating areas. They double as classrooms, so they may be occupied occasionally, but when they’re open they have great views of the areas they’re located in (one in the Giants of the Savannah exhibit and one overlooking the gorilla exhibit near the tunnel) and pleasant couches and chairs.

Next time you’re deciding which zoo to go to, and wanting to beat the heat, check out the Dallas Zoo. You won’t be disappointed.

Yes, this is Dallas!What is this anyway, and why are they always so comical?

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Downtown, Outdoors, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Howdy, Folks!

It’s that time of year again – we’re just days away from opening day of the great State Fair of Texas. You know, I actually know people who have lived here a long time and have NEVER BEEN to the Fair. Something about crowds and a questionable part of town… Well, their loss. The fall has been Fair time in my family for my entire life. As a child, I remember well coming home with an upset tummy because my Dad would let me eat anything – corn dogs, cotton candy, ice cream bars and taffy – we found plenty even before the days of the fried food competition. Add a few “funhouse” type rides and maybe a roller coaster and it was all worth the uncomfortable ride home.

My personal favorite place at the Fair is the Creative Arts building. I won a ribbon there as a teenager for a hooked rug. I love seeing what people can do with a camera or a sewing machine or other sometimes unlikely media. And don’t miss the butter sculpture.

The Fair has really come a long way in the last few years with beautiful landscaping and wonderful displays of gardening. I understand there’s a new greenhouse display this year and I look forward to it.

Music, new cars, arts, working animals and clever animals and birds, daily parades – we can spend a day and honestly never even make it to the Midway rides. One ride that shouldn’t be missed, however, is the Texas Star. The largest Ferris Wheel in the Americas marks the skyline of the Fair. The lines are long and it’s a bit pricey, but worth the wait.

So take an evening or a weekend day and visit Big Tex. They’re putting him up tomorrow. He’s always reminded me of my late Uncle Norton, who was the real deal.

The Fair opens Friday and runs for 24 days. Tickets are $15 at the gate but look for discount tickets (at Kroger & McDonalds) and special discount days. Every school student in the state receives a free ticket – don’t let it get lost in a locker or backpack!

September 19, 2010 Posted by | Edible, Fair Park, Historic | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Grapevine Springs Park

Hidden away in Coppell is a little gem of a park which has been a favorite shady spot since Sam Houston traveled the area negotiating with the Cherokees.  Grapevine Springs Park was improved by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s and the stonework remains.  Large homes and city facilities are encroaching on the area, but the park is still a quiet oasis with water, trails, picnic tables, and towering pecan and oak trees.  Located at the end of Park Street south of the 300 block of W. Bethel Road.

March 20, 2010 Posted by | Historic, Outdoors | , , | Leave a comment