Many may think that summer requires a vacation somewhere many miles away, but staying local can be just as exciting as a trip away from home. Whether you’re an art buff, adrenaline junkie or a shopping pro, Dallas-Fort Worth is filled with engaging and unique DARTable spots to make your summer “staycation” experience one to remember.
For Art Fanatics
For art fans, summer is prime time to view extraordinary works by famous artists. Luckily, you don’t have to go to The Louvre or The Met to see beautiful art – the DFW area has extensive collections to suit your need for more visually intriguing entertainment. Unique, approachable paintings at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas are sure to bring a little culture to your summer, but if doing rather than viewing is more your style, enjoy a painting class with a glass of wine at Sip-n-Doodle in Plano. For family-friendly and free hands-on activities, visit the Dallas Museum of Art. Interactive entertainment for creative types are often included in the free, general admission from 11am to 5pm. Other options for an art-day-out include the Irving Arts Center or Nasher Sculpture Center.
For Family Fun
Getting the whole family organized for a vacation can be tricky. Organizing your group for travel while making sure everyone is getting the most out of their vacation is no simple task. The good news is, staying local offers all the joys of fun out with the family, but with none of the hassle of making sure everyone packed a toothbrush. Give the kiddos a fun summer in town at the Dallas Zoo, right off the Red Line, where you get up close with a lion or make friends with a giraffe. Or let your little ones release their inner animal at Nickelrama Arcade in Garland that, yes, takes real nickels at their vintage and modern arcade games. For a little more adventure, Summit Climbing in Carrollton offers beginner classes for the future rock climbing expert. Refuel and soak up a little summertime sun with a picnic in Klyde Warren Park or the Audubon on the Trinity River. Finally, don’t be afraid to feature a little education this summer to go back to school fresh – check out a rare local film at the Angelika, or take a tour at the Sixth Floor Museum or the George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU for a quick history lesson.
For Outdoor Adventurers
Soaking up the beautiful summer sun is a must for all outdoor adventurers. White Rock Lake and the Arboretum are iconic for their beautiful views, but there are many other DARTable spots perfect for joggers, picnic-lovers and Ultimate Frisbee fanatics like Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve in Plano. We also recommend a trip to the Trinity River Audubon Center to explore their 5 miles of trails through 3 eco-systems: wetland, forest & prairie. Last, but certainly not least, Top Golf provides all the fun of the sport with some added flair. Earn brownie points among your friends with point-scoring golf games, all with the comfort of a food and drink menu and covered sitting areas.
For Treating Yourself
Life can be stressful. Work, school, chores…they all pile up and they all mean that summer is prime time to treat yourself. Spa Castle in Carrollton is a great DARTable stop to refresh and renew yourself with body scrubs, massages, spa pools and hand/foot reflexology. They can even organize your group visit for you to to relieve stress before you even arrive. Or, try a day of shopping at NorthPark Mall, including Lush. They have a variety of products made for a day of pampering like their popular fizzing bath bombs and foot soaks. At the end of the day, enjoy a dinner at Eno’s Pizza and dessert at Dude Sweet, both in Bishop Arts. Top off the perfect day with a night cap at the Midnight Rambler in Downtown Dallas. After all, calories don’t count on vacation, right?
For Branching Out
A summer staycation doesn’t have to mean your own backyard. It’s okay to branch out a little by hopping a city or two over to widen your vacation parameters. Denton is known for its eclectic shops and interesting eateries, and DARTable with a quick transfer to the DCTA. Spots worthy of a visit include the infamous Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream (we recommend the Bees Knees on a sugar cone.) The retro diner-style interior will give you a blast from the past just in time to stop into Mad World for some oldies vinyl. After your quick stroll around the Downtown Square you can stop in for music at a live show at Dan’s Silverleaf. If Fort Worth is more your style, take DART to the TRE for a fun day out at the beautiful Botanic or Japanese Gardens. Downtown offers just as much beauty in architecture at Sundance Square, and masterpieces at the Amon Carter Museum of Art Fort Worth plays hosts to several world-class museums that are a good addition to any staycation.