Monthly Archives: July 2013

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.