Monthly Archives: June 2013

Toasting the Top Dallas Brewery Tours

BreweryOne of the most unique things about the city of Dallas is the large amount of local breweries nearby. Since the law in Texas states that breweries cannot sell their products on site, they provide tours, which always include samples for those of age. Typically, they charge the equivalent of one pint of beer for admission and you get a collector’s pint glass to take home, as well. Here are some of the best choices for brewery tours in the area.

Deep Ellum Brewing Company

As one of the more popular breweries in Dallas, Deep Ellum provides tours for just $10. This includes four samples of their excellent beer and a pint glass you can take home with you. This tour tends to attract a younger crowd and many have described it as a party at the brewery. The tours are held every Thursday from 6pm to 8:30pm and on Saturdays from noon to 3pm.

Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Probably the most well-known and best distributed beer in the area comes from Rahr & Sons. They brew out of a 20,000 square foot facility and produce over 5,000 barrels of their delicious beers every year. Tours are held every Wednesday from 5 to 7:30pm and every Saturday from 1 to 3Pm. Each tour is $10 and includes three to six samples, along with a pint glass.

Peticola’s Brewing Company

Most well-known for the Velvet Hammer, Petocola’s is a brewery run by a former lawyer with a massive passion for beer. They just started regular tours in February and they don’t hold tours as often as some of the larger breweries. For $10, you can take a tour of the brewery on the first or third Saturday of the month from 1pm to 3pm. The tour includes three samples.

Four Corners Brewing Company

Another local brewing company with plenty to offer, Four Corners is most well-known for the robust porter and the “all day” ales they create. Ninety-minute tours are held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month starting at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. They also hold monthly block parties to showcase their beers. The block parties are $10 to $15 and the tours are $10. Each tour includes three samples and a pint glass.

Taste of Dallas is Back!

The Taste of Dallas will be held in the Fair Park from July 12th to 14th with plenty of top chefs, great food, excellent drinks and more. This will be the 27th year of the festival and will run for a full three days. If you love food and you want to discover some of the best culinary delights in Dallas, attending the Taste of Dallas will provide the perfect opportunity.

This year’s event will feature the Taste of the Town, Taste Tavern, Taste Curbside and The Sweet Factory. With all of these different tasting areas, you can sample foods inside from areas restaurants or outside from some of the top food trucks in the city. You can also enjoy beverages and your favorite desserts.

Chef Demonstrations

If you want to learn some of the secrets behind the best chefs in Dallas, the demonstrations will provide a look at how these culinary wizards make their top dishes. Demonstrations will be held throughout the weekend from top chefs including:

  • Daniel Winans
  • John Franke
  • Scott Jones
  • Anthony Van Camp
  • Antonio Marquez
  • Caris Turpen
  • Brad Phillips
  • And More!

Some of the top restaurants in the area will be on hand including:

  • Afghan Grill
  • Bangkok Thai Cuisine
  • Celebration Station
  • Crawdad’s
  • Jasmine
  • Cowboy Philly’s
  • Quaker Steak & Lube
  • Mesa
  • La Madeleine
  • Lockhart Smoke House
  • The Island Spot
  • Sheba’s
  • Selim’s
  • And Many More!

Not only can adults enjoy great food and plenty of fun, but kids can also enjoy their own air-conditioned fun zone and taste town. The kid’s zone will feature bounce houses, giant slides, toddler play areas and so much more.

Taste of Dallas will be open on July 12th from 4pm to 11pm, July 13th from 11am to 11pm and July 14th from 11am to 8pm. Admission for each day is $10 at the gate and parking is $15. Some areas within the event have an additional cost including:

  • Taste of the Town – $30 per day (includes general admission)
  • Taste Tavern – $30 per day (includes general admission)
  • Combination of the two – $50 per day (includes general admission)

VIP tickets are also available for the Taste Tavern for an additional fee. Find out more about the event at, http://www.tasteofdallas.org.

Where’s the Best Shopping in Dallas?

MallDallas offers plenty of great shopping options for residents in all different areas. Whether you’re looking for an outlet mall or a more eclectic experience, there’s something for everybody. Here are the premier choices for shopping throughout Dallas.

Dallas Galleria

Found off the Dallas North Tollway, the Dallas Galleria provides many stores within one area. This is one of the best choices for your shopping trip. The shopping center is attached to the Westin Hotel and provides great accessibility for visitors. You’ll find store, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, American Girl, Abercrombie & Fitch, Arden B, Ann Taylor and more within the Dallas Galleria.

West Village

Another premier area for shopping is West Village. Not only will you find plenty of great shops here, but also many excellent restaurants and entertainment options. Popular stores, such as Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, LOFT and more are found within the West Village. This are will also be expanding in the fall of 2014 to include even more stores, restaurants and entertainment options.

The Shops at Park Lane

If you want to find some of the larger stores all in one area, you can spend time shopping at The Shops at Park Lane. Larger stores, such as Old Navy, Dicks Sporting Goods, Whole Foods Market and Nordstrom’s Rack are all found in this outdoor mall.

NorthPark Center

Known as one of the best malls for upscale shopping in Dallas, NorthPark Center provides a variety of great shopping options. This area is surrounded by excellent restaurants and bars to enjoy after you’ve completed your shopping experience.

Allen Premium Outlets

For the bargain hunters interested in name brand merchandise at a discount, a short drive north to Allen is in order. The Allen Premium Outlets provides many great discount stores from top brand, such as Coach, Guess, Nike and more.

Top Football Camps in Dallas

CampFootball players in the Dallas area are given many unique opportunities to learn the game from some of the best coaches and players in the area. Many different camps will be offered throughout the summer for ages 7 to 18. Here’s a list of the top choices for your football player.

Football Camp at Cowboys Stadium

This camp is actually in Arlington, Texas as the stadium of the Dallas Cowboys. Anthony Spencer will be on hand to help teach the participants. This camp will be held June 24th and 25th.

Jay Ratliff Football Camp

Another football camp featuring Anthony Spencer will be held at the University of North Texas in Denton, just north of Dallas. Both overnight and day camp options will be offered and Jay Ratliff will also be on hand to help instruct kids ages 7 to 18. This camp will be held from July 11th through 14th.

Passing and Receiving Camp

Keith O’Quinn will bring his expertise to the Passing and Receiving Academy held in Denton at the University of North Texas. The camp is perfect for receivers and quarterbacks and will be held from July 9th to 11th.

Kicking, Punting and Long Snapping Camp

If you’re interested in the kicking part of football, you can attend a one-day camp specifically for kickers and long snappers. This camp will be held on July 11th at the University of North Texas in Denton.

3-Day Dallas Cowboy Football Camps

Five other football camps will be held throughout the Dallas areas this summer including:

  • July 8th to 10th at the Dallas Cowboy Center
  • July 10th to 12th at the McKinney/MJP Center
  • July 15th to 17th at the Dallas Cowboy Center
  • July 24th to 26th at the Dallas Cowboy Center
  • July 29th to 31st at Cowboys Stadium

All of the three-day camps are for ages 7 to 14 and feature instruction from players and coaches.

A Closer Look at Willow Bend

An established neighborhood on the old grounds of the Willow Bend Polo and Hunt Club, Willow Bend provides homes for nearly 4,000 residents. This neighborhood is found east of the Dallas North Tollway between West Parker Road and West Park Boulevard with the west border of Preston Road. It was established in the late 198os by a Norman Brinker, a restaurateur and polo enthusiast.

Many of the homes are two-story brick homes with a French country or English Tudor style. This isn’t the most luxurious neighborhoods, but provides many luxuries at a more affordable price than many other neighborhoods throughout the North Dallas area.

The Gleneagles Country club surrounds the neighborhood and provides plenty of amenities for members. Homes sell for an average of $450K to $600K and the average lot in Willow Bend is one-third acre. Many of the homes are over 5,000 square feet in size with the average range from 3,500 to 5,000 square feet.

Willow Bend is served by the Plano ISD, which provides some of the best schools in the area close to the homes located in the neighborhood. It’s not a small neighborhood like most of the other luxury choices in North Dallas, which provides many opportunities for friendships with neighbors throughout.

Those relocating to the DFW area choose Willow Bend because of the chic living and the many conveniences it provides. The country club right at the backdoor and the many nearby shops provide the diversity needed for any family. The Shops at Legacy are close by including many great restaurants, such as Jasper’s, Cru Wine Bar and Steve Fields’ Steak and Lobster Lounge.

Willow Bend is also close the Frito-Lay and JC Penney corporate headquarters and provides many homes for the management and executives of these two companies.

Family-Friendly Fun in DFW for the Summer

Summer is finally here and it’s time to have fun with your kids in the DFW area. Whether you’re new to the area and looking for things to do or you’ve been here all your life, it’s always fun to discover the city with the little ones. Here’s a list of some of the top choices for your summer activities.

Free Activities for the Family

1. Mini Water Parks and Spraygrounds

Throughout Dallas, you’ll find seven different spraygrounds allowing plenty of fun for the kids. These are found at Mildred Dunn, Pemberton Hill, Umphress, Danieldale, Ferguson, Lake Highlands North, Campbell Green and Ridgewood.

2. Family Film Festival

Free family movies are available every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am at Regal Theaters throughout the DFW area. All movies are rated G or PG and provide a great way to spend time with your kids without spending a fortune. Movies will run through the first week of August.

3. Fritz Park Petting Farm

Perfect for the little ones, this petting farm is found in Irving and provides a great free activity for families with younger children.

Other Family Activities

Many other activities are available throughout the area for families to enjoy. These activities are not free, but are great for family fun.

1. Dollar Day at the Zoo

Add July 15th to your calendar now and enjoy the Dallas Dollar Day at the zoo. All admissions are only $1 on this day only. Other zoos offer discounts, as well, such as the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville, which is doing a $2 day on July 10th.

2. Fort Worth Botanical Gardens

For just $1 per person, you can enjoy the grounds of these beautiful gardens.

3. Lewisville Lake

The third Saturday of each month includes a tour of the historic structures at the Environmental Learning Center and admission is only $5.

All of these events and attractions are perfect for families to enjoy. Whether you want to take the kids to the zoo or you’d rather spend time on the lake, you can find plenty to do as a family, this year without leaving the DFW area.

Family Fun with Snakes and Reptiles

Texas Discovery Gardens - Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/deaniemichelleevents/5580291568/The Fangs! Festival is coming to the Texas Discovery Gardens in Dallas on June 22nd. This festival will run from 10am to 3pm with plenty for the entire family to enjoy. The director of Horticulture, Roger Sanderson, will be on hand to discuss snakes and reptiles at 1pm. Enjoy the full discussion and take a tour of the snake exhibit with the entire family.

Along with the Fangs! Festival, you can enjoy everything the Texas Discover Gardens offers. This is a 7.5-acre garden with botanical collections including many native plants. The garden is the first one in Texas to earn a 100% organic certification and works to protect the environment through water conservation and other programs.

Take the entire family to the gardens on June 22nd for the reptiles and make sure you spend time within the other themed areas. The gardens include featured areas, such as:

  • A Butterfly Habitat
  • Circular Lawn
  • Collier Garden
  • Leftwich Pond
  • Earthkeepers Vegetable Garden
  • Master Gardeners’ Garden
  • Scent Garden
  • Shakespeare Garden
  • Faerie Blanton Kilgore Heirloom Rose Garden
  • And More!

Butterflies

The garden is well known for the many species of butterflies in the butterfly house. Every day at noon, butterflies are released into the conservatory for everyone to enjoy. Admission into the butterfly house is sold from 10am to 4:45pm and includes an insect display in the lobby, many tropical butterflies and more.

The Texas Discover Gardens is open from 10am to 5pm, so you can enjoy the entire Fangs! event with time to spare for other exhibits. The Fangs! Festival is included in the regular admission price, which is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for children age 3 to 11 and free for children under 3 years of age. If you want to enjoy the gardens on another day, choose Tuesday. This is a free day for anybody, but doesn’t include the butterfly house, which is sold at regular admission prices.

Summer Activities for Kids in Dallas

Kids_Bowling

The kids are out of school and now the challenge for parents is figuring out what to do with them for the next three months. This can be stressful for many parents because they have to work and with so many working from home, having the kids at home can make it hard. Here’s a list of some of the free things your kids can enjoy this summer.

Free Activities for Kids

1. Free Bowling

One of the best things you can do for your kids, which costs nothing is sign them up for free bowling for the summer. All you have to do is pay for the shoe rental and they can bowl free all summer long. Find our more information at: http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/.

2. Library Programs

Your local library has some type of reading program and many other programs for kids of all ages. You can drop them off for a few hours and they will love the time they get to spend with other kids their age.

3. Building Workshops

Home Depot and Lowe’s offer all types of building workshops and these events are not just for adults. Many are just for kids and offer a few hours of peace for you, while your child learns to build all types of things.

4. Free Apple Summer Camp

For kids ages 8 to 12, a free three-day camp is offered by Apple inside their stores. This camp leads up to the Apple Camp Film Festival, which provides the opportunity for campers to show off their work. Find out more here: http://www.apple.com/retail/learn/youth/.

5.  Crafts for Kids

At the Lakeshore Learning center, your children can enjoy free crafts every Saturday from 11pm to 3pm.

Many other free activities are found throughout the DFW area and many summer camps are very cheap. Check with your local church, YMCA and other recreation centers for full list of summer activities and camps your kids can enjoy this summer.

A Closer Look at Briarwood

Briarwood is an exclusive neighborhood with homes starting higher than $1 million. The area was established in the late 1930s and some of the original streets were named after the daughters of the founding family, the Elsby family. This community is found between Lovers Lane and Northwest Highway with a western border of Inwood Road and an eastern border of Midway road.

The neighborhood consists of 450 homes including homes ranging from depression-era cottages and bungalows to tudors and plenty of newly constructed homes. The newly constructed homes start with prices north of $800K, while many other homes in the neighborhood are also quite expensive. A lot found in the area is worth between $265,000 and $320,000.

Most of the homes are large with the average square footage ranging from 3,500 to 4,200 and lots ranging from 50 by 150 feet to 70 by 150 feet. With larger, expensive homes, this area attracts well established families and high profile business personalities. Not only are high profile people moving into this neighborhood, but also new families. With such a mix of different home types, the area attracts a diverse group of residents.

Briarwood is very popular because of the older homes and newer homes throughout the area. This mixture gives the neighborhood plenty of character and makes it one of the hottest neighborhoods in Dallas. Along with the good mixture of homes, many large trees and curvy streets are found here. Lovers Lane features many shops and restaurants within walking distance including Rex’s Seafood Market, Joni’s World Gifts and Billi Bonze.

When searching for the right neighborhood, it’s important to choose one with the right amenities, close by stores and everything you need. Briarwood is perfect for those looking for exclusivity, a large home and plenty of great local haunts nearby.

Animation Comes to Life at the Verizon Theatre

The Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie will present Archer Live on June 22nd at 7pm. This may seem a bit odd considering Archer is an animated TV show. Many thought this was just an April Fool’s joke when it was announced, but it’s really going to happen. Live action characters will bring this show to life with an all-star cast and excellent producers. From cheesy staging to the typical voice-overs, this show will capture all of what Archer is on TV, but it will live, on stage.

Not only will the show feature performances, but also a panel discussion, scene reading, clips never seen before and a question and answer session with those in attendance. The entire cast from the TV show will be on hand to answer questions, talk about the show and provide fans with an amazing experience.

If you’re not familiar with the show, it airs on FX, but can also be found on Netflix. A new season was recently released and it’s scheduled for a fifth season. Those interested in the super-spy world will love the TV show and the live show provides something you cannot get on TV. If you’re already a fan, this is a “can’t miss” event and may never happen again in Dallas.

A Little About the Show

The show is considered a super-spy series and uses sexuality, intrigue, gun play and many stunts to create amusement and fun for the audience. Archer works for his mother, which presents an interesting dynamic, as she’s the head of an International Intelligence Service. They spy for cash and the cast also features Archer’s ex-girlfriend and many villains.

Aisha Tyler, Lucky Yates, Jon Benjamin, Amber Nash and Casey Willis will be at the live show, along with the producers of the TV series. Tickets are $45 and the doors open at 7pm.