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A Closer Look at Lake Highlands

As one of the most popular neighborhoods in Dallas, Lake Highlands is a place many new residents call home. It was established in 1927 and still has a country feel today. Many of the homes were built in the 1950s, while Moss Farm Estates was developed later in the 1970s. Residents of Lake Highlands enjoy plenty of amenities and large homes.

This area of Dallas provides homes for nearly 85,000 people and the average home sells for $250,000. Building a home in this neighborhood is a bit expensive and starts around $800,000. Most of the homes have over 2,000 square feet with some ranging far beyond 4,000 square feet. If you’re looking for a larger home, this is a good area.

Why Live in Lake Highlands?

The wooded neighborhood found just two miles from White Rook Lake, provides plenty of privacy in a family-friendly atmosphere. The Richardson Schools are top notch and the new Town Center has everybody in the area buzzing. The Lake Highlands Town Center covers a total of 70 acres with 20 acres dedicated to parks and open spaces. Over two-million square feet of structures are part of the development with over 300,000 square feet dedicated to retail.

DART has developed a light rail station in the area and a hike and bike trail extends the White Rock Lake trail system to the neighborhood, as well. This allows bikers to actually pedal to the American Airlines Center and back.

This neighborhood is most attractive for families, young professionals and investors. It attracts interest from all over the city and many newcomers to the Dallas-Fort Worth area settle in Lake Highlands. It has become a favorite for those looking to downsize from a massive home to a moderately sized home or for those moving to the area with families requiring multiple bedrooms.

Two Upcoming Festivals in Dallas

The fall is a season full of fun, laughter and festivals. Many events will happen in September and October as temperatures in the city of Dallas begin to cool off. This is the type of year many residents look forward to because of the great events and two upcoming festivals should be on your list.

Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival

Held from August 31st to September 2nd, this festival will provide all types of fun. Combining music and BBQ is popular in Texas and this festival gives you the best of the Blues and BBQ. Many top artists will take the stage, such as Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughn and John Mayall. Along with these great artists, some of the best BBQ choices will be available.

Pitmasters will compete in the People’s Choice barbecue event on Saturday with the final battle on Sunday. Admission to the festival is $5 for a one-day ticket or you can choose special seating options ranging from $25 to $40. Each day, the festival will start at 2pm and continue through the night.

Grapevine GrapeFest

Grapefest - Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/apbutterfield/6160325683/It may sound like this event is all about grapes, but it’s really about wine. This is one of the best wine festivals in the state and brings many of the top connoisseurs to the area. With plenty of wine on hand, tastings available, food pairings, awards and more, this is an event for everybody. Even the kids can come and enjoy the carnival rides and live music.

The festival will happen from September 12th to September 15th. Each day it will kick off at 10am, except on the 15th when it will start at 11am. This is an event full of fun and for the price, its well worth it. Children ages 6 to 12 get in for $5, adult admission is $8 and senior passes are only $5. A weekend pass can be purchased for $18 and a weekend souvenir pass can be purchased for $23.

The Top Art Galleries in Dallas

Art GalleryDallas is a city full of culture and art. Many galleries are found throughout the city, but only one can make it to the top of the Dallas A-List. The winners were announced recently for many categories, after votes from those throughout the city were tallied.

LuminArte Gallery

LuminArte took the top spot, which comes as no surprise. This gallery is found in the Dallas Design District and showcases many award-winning artists. Whether you’re searching for the perfect piece as a collector or you just love art, this is one place you must visit. The gallery represents over 40 artists from many different countries throughout the world. They also provide education opportunities and workshops regularly.

Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery

Vetro is a unique studio with plenty of glass blown art on display. This is a place for nationally recognized glass artists to showcase their work and provides one of the best collections of this type of art found in the world. Taking second place, this gallery provides regular classes, workshops, demonstrations and special events. Vetro is also one of the few air-conditioned glassblowing studios in the entire country.

Samuel Lynne Galleries

Contemporary art is found at Samuel Lynne Galleries with plenty of artist showing off their work. Color and effect are important to this gallery and only the best work makes it on the walls. Samuel Lynne place third out of the art galleries in Dallas.

Honorable Mention

Many other galleries made the list and provide plenty of beautiful artwork. Those receiving an honorable mention include:

  • Texas Art Gallery
  • The Wit Gallery
  • Artspace111
  • Kettle Art
  • Christopher Martin
  • Valley House Gallery
  • Firehouse Art Studio & Gallery

Visit each of these galleries to find the best art throughout the DFW area. Each gallery provides a unique style for collectors, designers and the artsy fartsy crowd.

Two Brewery Tours Perfect for the Beer Snob

Texas is full of craft breweries and the DFW area provides many great choices. Brewery tours are great for adults looking to get out of the house, enjoy a little bit of time with friends, learn about brewing and sampling some great brews.

Deep Ellum Brewing Company Tours

An adult paradise full of flowing beer and plenty of fun, touring this brewery provide adults with a necessary escape. The Deep Ellum Brewing Company offers tours every Thursday starting at 5pm. This isn’t just a tour of the brewery, however. Tours includes a brewery glass, live music, a lesson in how beer is made and complimentary beer. Food trucks show up after the tour and provide samplings, as well.

The cost for the tour is $10 and the brewery is found at 2821 St. Louis Street. For more information, visit deepellumbrewing.com.

Lakewood Brewing Company’s Saturday Tours

A micro brewing company with plenty to offer, the Lakewood Brewing Company provides tours every Saturday from Noon to 3pm. This is the time for beer lovers to join and discover the beauty of a beer made by Lakewood. Found at 2302 Executive Drive in Garland, this is a dirt-cheap tour with plenty of great samples. You will be able to see the inner workings of the company, enjoy the after party, sample three beers and leave with a souvenir glass. The food trucks will show up providing samples, along with plenty of live music. For just $10, you can tour the brewery and enjoy this excellent party.

For more information visit, lakewoodbrewingcompany.com.

Many other DFW breweries provide tours for beer lovers. Some of the best beer in Texas comes from DFW. Discover something new or see how your favorite beer is made this weekend at one of the craft breweries in Dallas.

The Best Portrait Photography in DFW

Recently the Dallas A-List began releasing their “Best of” for many categories throughout the area. One of the hardest things for families to leave behind when relocating is a great photographer capable of capturing their beautiful family in the right light. However, moving to Dallas provides the opportunity for a new photographer with a new eye. Here are the top three Photographers according the A-list.

Third Place – Still Moments Photography – McKinney, TX

A favorite of many throughout the suburb of McKinney and the Dallas area, Still Moments Photography is owned and operated by Sarah Elizabeth. She specializes in the use of natural light and provides an unmatched passion, which comes through in every image.

Still Moments Photography is known by many as a true artist finding smiles, even from some of the most stubborn children. She specializes in newborn, child and family photography with an incredible love for capturing the perfect image capable of drawing emotion when viewed by the family.

Even though Still Moments didn’t take the top spot, Sarah Elizabeth received more “tips” or “comments” from voters than any other photographer did in the top five.

Second Place – Lisa Felthous Photography – Saschse, TX

Specializing in maternity, newborn, child, family and senior portraits Lisa Felthous has been a finalist on the Dallas A-List before. As the runner-up, Lisa Felthous Photography is a great choice, especially if you relocate to the southeast of Dallas.

First Place – Brandi McComb Photography – Saschse, TX

The winner of best portrait photography according to the Dallas A-List was Brandi McComb Photography. Brandi has recently added a studio giving clients the option for props, backdrops and more within a studio setting. Brandi works with musicians, actors, newborns and many other subjects in her photography.

Breaking Down the Top Three Choices

Since the winners are chosen by public vote, it’s important to understand what each of the top three really brings to the table. Both Lisa Felthous Photography and Brandi McComb Photography are great choices if you live in the southern part of DFW. However, those relocating to the north DFW area, including McKinney, Allen, Frisco and many other top suburbs are better served by the talents of Sarah Elizabeth of Still Moments Photography.

Finding the Right Recreation Center in Dallas

If you just moved to the Dallas area, you might be a bit confused with your new surroundings. Many things provide all kinds of entertainment for adults and children throughout the Dallas area. With 47 recreation centers in the city, it’s important to understand which ones are closest to you.

Central

Recreation centers found in Central Dallas include:

  • Eloise Lundy – 1229 Sabine
  • Exall – 1355 Adair Street
  • Reverchon – 3505 Maple Avenue
  • Samuell Grand – 6200 East Grand
  • Ignacio Sargosa – 4550 Worth

North and South Central

Recreation centers in the north and south Central areas of the city include:

South

  • Beckley Saner – 114 West Hobson
  • Cummings – 2976 Cummings
  • Fruitdale – 4408 Vandervort
  • John C. Phelps – 3030 Tips Boulevard
  • Singing Hills – 1909 Crouch Road
  • Tommie M. Allen – 7071 Bonnie View

North

  • Campbell Green – 16600 Parkhill Drive
  • Churchill – 6906 Churchill Way
  • Fretz – 6950 Beltline Road
  • Timberglen – 3810 Timberglen Road

East

Recreation centers in the east part of Dallas include:

Southeast

  • Exline – 2525 Pine Street
  • Fireside – 8601 Fireside Drive
  • Janie C. Turner – 6424 Elam Road
  • Juanita J. Craft – 4500 Spring
  • Kieberg/Rylie – 1515 Edd Road
  • Larry Johnson – 3700 Dixon
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. – 2922 M.L. King Drive
  • Pleasant Oaks – 8701 Greenmound

Northeast

  • Harry Stone – 2403 Millmar
  • Lake Highlands North – 9940 White Rock Trail
  • Ridgewood/Belcher – 6818 Fisher Road
  • Willie B. Johnson – 12225 Willowdell Drive

West

Recreation centers in the western area of the city include:

Southwest

  • Anita Martinez – 3212 North Winnetka Avenue
  • Aradia – 5420 North Arcadia Drive
  • Jaycee/Saragoza – 3114 Clymer
  • Kidd Springs – 711 West Canty
  • Kiest – 3080 South Hampton Road
  • Martin Weiss – 111 Martindell
  • Nash Davis – 3710 North Hampton Road
  • Park In The Woods – 6801 Mount Creek Parkway
  • Thurgood Marshall – 5150 Mark Trail

Northwest

  • Arlington Park – 1505 Record Crossing
  • Bachman Therapeutic – 2750 Bachman Drive
  • Grauwyler – 7780 Harry Hines Boulevard
  • Polk – 6801 Roper Street
  • Marcus – 3003 Northhaven Road
  • Marcus Annex – 2910 Modella
  • Walnut Hill – 10011 Midway Road

All of these centers provide great programs for those moving to the central area of Dallas.

The Top Parks for Dallas Residents

ParkNo matter what part of Dallas you live in, there’s a great park near you. Many neighborhoods have their own park and many suburbs provide multiple parks packed with activities for the entire family. Of course, a short drive to one of the top parks can provide plenty of fun, as well. Here are some of the best parks throughout the DFW area.

White Rock Park

A bit of a different type of park, this massive area provides a lake, six playgrounds, plenty of trails, wetland areas, picnic areas, fishing piers and more. With many outdoor activities available for the entire family, you’ll have all kinds of fun at this Dallas park.

Reverchon Park

The Central Park of Dallas, this 46-acre area provides tennis and basketball courts, trails for hiking, baseball fields and more. It includes a state-of-the-art playground and the Reverchon Recreation Center for indoor activities.

Bob Woodruff Park

If you settle in the northern suburb of Plano, you can enjoy the baby swings, fishing pier, sand volleyball court, recreational trail and picnic facilities found at Bob Woodruff Park. Rent a pavilion for your next event or spend a day hiking on over 1.5 miles of trails.

Celebration Park

Another suburb park found in Allen is Celebration Park. This park provides softball and baseball fields, basketball courts, a swimming pool, hiking trails, picnic tables, a playground, a pavilion and a hockey rink. It’s one of the best community parks to the north of Dallas and just a short drive from many of the top neighborhoods for new residents.

These are just four of the most popular parks found in and around Dallas. With over 21,000 acres of parks, 17 lakes and over 61 miles of trials, it’s not hard to find a great park for your summer and winter activities.

Entertaining the Kids on a Budget

Kids PlayingMoving to Dallas, settling in and finding activities to keep your kids busy before schools starts up again can be difficult. Sometimes the stress of moving can make it hard to adjust, while other times it eats up your budget making it hard to afford fun activities for your family. Here are some of the less expensive things you can do in and around Dallas.

 

Ride the Trolley

The M-line trolleys provide air-conditioning and heat, while running all year long. Rides are free with donations accepted. The trolley runs Monday through Thursday from 7am to 10pm, Friday from 7am to Midnight, Saturday from 10am to Midnight and Sunday from 10am to 10pm. Kids love the trolley and this is a great way to get to another attraction or just enjoy your free time aboard the trolley.

NickelRama Arcade

You might think, just because the word “nickel” is in the name there’s no way this is a cheap place to go. Maybe it’s just an old name and games used to cost a nickel back in the day. Not all games at NickelRama cost just a nickel, but some still do. You can play games here with your kids for hours for less than $20. Games range from one to six nickels in price.

Cool Off at Splash Factory

Found in Grand Prairie, Splash Factory provides plenty of water fun for your kids. With age-specific areas including ground sprays, a magic tough gun, spray cannons, play structures, a water wall and power geysers, this attraction will provide plenty of fun for all ages. The cost of admission is just $1, so load up the van and bring the entire neighborhood!

Fritz Park Petting Farm

Another great free activity for kids is the Fritz Park Petting Farm found in Irving. This petting farm allows kids to come and enjoy cows, goats, sheep, deer, turkeys, rabbits, peacocks and many other animals free of charge. It’s open from 10am to 6pm Tuesday through Saturday and 2pm to 8pm on Sundays.

Helping Your Children Adjust After Relocating to Dallas

ChildrenMoving to a new city can be stressful not only on the adults, but also on the children. This exciting adventure will certainly lead to new friends, new experiences and so much more. However, if your children don’t adjust to the changes, it can cause many issues for them. Young children don’t always understand why you moved and they need a little help. Here are some tips to help make it easier on your children.

Discuss the Move with Your Children

Before you uproot your family, discuss the move with everybody. Make sure your children understand where you’re moving and why. Don’t try to hide the truth and do your best to answer all your children.

It’s Okay to Feel the Move

Both children and adults will get emotional during a move. Helping your children understand that it’s okay to have feelings and emotions due to the move will provide them with a safe environment to adjust.

Visit Dallas Early

Taking your family to Dallas before relocating to the area can help them adjust. They won’t feel like you’re moving them to a foreign land if they’ve already seen some of what the city offers.

Say Goodbye to Friends

It’s important to allow your children to say goodbye to their friends before you leave. Help them get email addresses, phone numbers and other contact information, so that your children can stay in contact with their friends.

Get Involved

Any opportunity to get involved in community activities with your children or for your children can help them make new friends and adjust to the new environment. Sign them up for activities, go to festivals and spend time enjoying Dallas once you’ve settled into your new home.

These five tips will help you provide what your children need to adjust to the new location. A healthy and save environment makes it easier for kids to adjust and the sooner they get involved with other kids their age, the easier it will be for your children to accept the move.

Choosing the Right Suburb of Dallas

Relocating to Central Texas doesn’t mean you have to live in the heart of Dallas. The city is surrounded by great suburbs ready to provide an excellent new home for you and your family. If you prefer to live near a big city without actually living in the city, you need to choose the right suburb for your style.

Northeast Dallas

Northeast Dallas provides suburbs for a few types of families. This area includes McKinney, Allen, Richardson and Plano. Richardson is the closes to the city and is located just outside the 635 loop. It’s the perfect choice for those commuting to downtown regularly.

Plano and Allen are great for those looking for a bit more affordable housing compared to the rest of the Northeastern suburbs. Luxury is found in McKinney and in parts of Allen. If you’re looking for the best suburb of Dallas, McKinney was ranked as the second best place to live in the United States.

North Dallas

The North Dallas Suburbs can be very expensive, but provide a great home for families looking for luxuries and plenty of things to do. Frisco, Prosper and The Colony provide great family living and large homes. This area is home to a soccer stadium, plenty of shopping and some of the finest restaurants in the entire DFW area.

Other Excellent Dallas Suburbs

The top suburbs of Dallas are all found to the north of the city. This area is growing like crazy and caters to families. Other popular suburbs include:

  • Flower Mound
  • Sunnyvale
  • Little Elm
  • Grapevine
  • Lake Dallas
  • Lewisville
  • Carrollton

All of these areas are found in the top 50 suburbs in Central Texas. These are the top areas around Dallas providing new residents with the big city amenities expected, along with the small city feel perfect for families.