North Texas: A Cultural Destination


North Texas has so much to offer residents who live here or out-of-towners who plan a trip to our region. DART’s kicking off our newest series, “Destination: North Texas” and over the next few weeks we’ll explore just what makes North Texas so special. Keep reading to learn more about the North Texas culture that makes our region a destination!

Feel that North Texas beat

These days, it’s easy to access great music.  Blues icons, from Lead Belly, to T-Bone Walker, made our region their home. Deep Ellum is one of these cultural music epicenters in North Texas having maintained its status as the hotbed of blues, jazz, and soul for decades.  Whether you’re travelling by car, a quick walk, or hopping on DART’s green line, Deep Ellum has great music venues from Trees to Dada Dallas to Three Links; all boasting great line ups and excellent shows that are sure to entertain.

Some of North Texas’s best music venues lay beyond downtown Dallas. Looking to catch some traditional country tunes outside? Look no farther than Love and War in Texas located in Plano. Residents from all over the region may want to journey up there via DART’s Red Line this summer or fall to catch some great country acts under the stars. And slated to open in the Fall of 2017 is Irving’s newest entertainment destination, The Music Factory. The Pavilion at Irving Music Factory is a groundbreaking convertible venue that can transform from a 4,000 seat indoor concert hall to an 8,000 seat outdoor amphitheater and is easily accessible by DART’s Orange Line.

Foodies are welcome

One of the best things about living in North Texas is the cultural mix that offers up some of the most exciting and interesting cuisine. Oysters: Check, Barbeque: Check, Tex Mex: Check. Whatever you’re craving, we can ensure North Texas has it! Visitors from all across our nation and the world, visit our region to try our phenomenal and unique culinary exploits. From El Fenix, to Cattleack Barbeque, to Keller’s Drive-In, North Texas has something for everyone.

We want to hear from you!

DART wants to know your favorite destination in North Texas! Tell us or show us by snapping a selfie and posting it via our Facebook page and we’ll feature you in an upcoming DART Daily!

Expand your knowledge

Up for some learning? You can’t beat the Perot Museum when it comes to interactive education and exciting exhibits.  Gather up the family and hop on a DART bus or train to downtown Dallas to catch the newest exhibition, “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed,” uncovering every piece of the Maya civilization. Been there, done that? North Texas has so much to offer when it comes to museums and education.  Check out some aviation engineering at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, or some great art at McKinney Avenue Contemporary.

Sports! Sports! Sports!

How can we talk about North Texas and not mention our athletic prowess?  From the Mavericks to even our local college teams, you’ll have no problem catching a live game when there are so many that are accessible in our area.

Whether you are visiting from abroad, or exploring your own hometown, North Texas has something for everyone.  So take some time and hop on DART to explore the music, sports, food, and history, and find out why North Texas is a destination our residents can be proud of.

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Consider DARTable Shopping This Tax-Free Weekend

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The first day of school is quickly approaching and many North Texas families are looking forward to saving money on back-to-school supplies and clothing this tax-free weekend.

This year’s sales tax holiday is Aug. 11-13. According to the Texas comptroller website, qualifying items priced less than $100 are exempt from taxes. This includes most clothing items such as dresses and blouses to jeans and button-down shirts. Almost all standard school supplies also are tax-exempt, including paper, folders, journals, pens, pencils and calculators.

Click here for a detailed list of items.

When heading out to the stores this weekend, consider these DARTable shopping centers:

Cityplace Market features the country’s first urban Target and other stores, which are a short walk from Cityplace/Uptown Station – on the east side of U.S. 75 Central Expressway. On the west side, you can catch the free M-Line Trolley to the West Village, which features national retailers, local boutiques and numerous restaurants.

Firewheel Town Center in Garland is an open-air shopping mall. Here, you’ll find plenty of specialty stores as well as larger retailers like Dillard’s and Old Navy. From Downtown Garland Station on the Blue Line, catch Bus Route 513, which will take you directly to Firewheel.

Irving Mall has the wide variety you would expect, from American Eagle and The Children’s Place, to Macy’s and Burlington Coat Factory. Ride the Orange Line to North Lake College Station and take Bus Route 501 to the mall.

Mockingbird Station, just steps from its namesake DART station, is a modern shopping center with boutique and big-name stores, including the Gap, Loft, Urban Outfitters and others, as well as many dining options.

NorthPark Center offers more than 200 retailers, restaurants and department stores. Take the train or bus to Park Lane Station, then ride NorthPark Center Shuttle Route 702, which will transport you to and from this legendary mall.

Shops at Park Lane occupies four city blocks and features a mix of designer-value and traditional retail shopping. From the lower level of the Park Lane Station, the Shops are on the other side of Park Lane; use the crosswalk near the Art Institute of Dallas parking garage.

Downtown Rowlett Station is close to two back-to-school institutions – Target is located right across Lakeview Parkway, and the Walmart Supercenter is a little further down along Bus Routes 385 and 887.

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Amaze Your Brain at Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, which is just a short walk from Akard Station, offers hands-on ways to learn about scientific evidence, mathematical concepts and natural history.

Explore your world through 11 mind blowing exhibit halls filled with magnificent prehistoric creatures, the wonders of space, and extraordinary experiences with wild weather, glistening gems, robots, sports, and more. Race a virtual T. rex, experience the power of earthquakes and construct model skyscrapers.

Spark little imaginations in a mini version of downtown Dallas and take in a variety of traveling exhibitions. Exhilarating 3D films, a Wolfgang Puck Café and outdoor leapfrog forest complete the day of fun. A world of scientific wonders awaits.

Take DART’s Blue, Green, Orange or Red line to Akard Station, then walk a half mile down Field Street to the museum.

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Thousands Expected to Attend Mayors Back to School Fair Today

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DART has already welcomed hundreds of people this morning at the 21st Annual Dallas Mayor’s Back to School Fair at Fair Park. The fair will continue until 2 p.m. and is expected to draw as many as 35,000 people before the event is over.

The Fair not only helps economically disadvantaged youth get the school supplies they need to start off the new school year right, but also offers the opportunity to get health screenings, immunizations and more.

The Dallas Mayor’s Back to School Fair is taking place at Fair Park’s Automobile and Centennial buildings, next to Fair Park Station. DART’s 5 Star van is parked between the two buildings. The agency also has a booth in the Automobile Building. If you’re planning to visit the fair, take the Green Line to Fair Park Station.

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

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photo courtesy of rollingstone.com

Friday, August 4

Legendary rock band Queen comes to the American Airlines Center tonight, with American Idol alum Adam Lambert filling in for Freddie Mercury. Fans and critics alike have said that Lambert is the next best thing to Freddie. Any way you cut it, they’re “guaranteed to blow your mind.” The AAC is next to Victory Station.

Saturday, Aug. 5

Don’t miss The Marketplace Garland, featuring fresh produce, baked goods, breads, unique items from local artisans and lots more. The event supports Good Samaritans of Garland, and it takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month through October, in the heart of Garland’s historic downtown square – a very short walk from Downtown Garland Station.

Addison’s annual Summer Series continues, providing great outdoor entertainment in Beckert Park – free as always. Spend this Saturday evening reliving the glory days of Journey, as channeled through the tribute band Escape. The park is near Addison Transit Center.

The first Saturday of every month means free admission and fun family programming at the Nasher Sculpture Center. It’s Target First Saturdays, and it’s a great way to bring out your preschool-to-elementary-school child’s artistic talent. The program features a lineup of activities that encourages creative thought through a monthly “Big Idea.” This go-around, the Big Idea is “Balance,” and the art project is “Plane Portraits.” Take any DART Rail line to St. Paul Station and walk three blocks North to Flora Street, or catch the D-Link.

Sunday, Aug. 6

It’s the opening day of Picasso/Rivera: Still Life and the Precedence of Form at the Meadows Museum. The visual dialogue taking place in 1915 between these two giants of modern art was awesome. The exhibition provides rich anecdotes, as well as an opportunity to find parallels and differences between the two artists’ canvases. The museum is on the SMU campus; go to Mockingbird Station and catch the Museum Express (Route 743).

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Congrats to Downtown Plano on Addition to National Register of Historic Places

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The National Park Service has added the Plano Downtown Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation, according to a City of Plano news release.

The National Register designation provides a prestigious recognition for Downtown Plano, promotes tourism and economic development, and provides eligibility for individual property owners to apply and receive state and financial incentives for rehabilitation of buildings.

Today, the Red Line runs along the right-of-way once occupied by the Houston and Texas Central Railway tracks, along which the town was originally platted. Just as passenger rail was essential to the city’s early growth, DART Light Rail has been key to the revitalization of Downtown Plano.

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August Change Improves DART Bus Service

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Several off-peak frequency enhancements will take place Monday, August 14, by DART. Customers should plan to obtain new timetables before bus schedule changes designed primarily to improve connectivity and on-time performance take place.

The changes are aimed at improving the DART customer experience and follow an extensive outreach process including social media, rider outreach events, public meetings, stakeholder interviews and participation of advisory and technical committees. More extensive service changes are planned for March 2018, with public meetings on proposed changes planned for September.

Details are available by calling DART Customer Service at 214.979.1111 or by going online to DART.org for adjustments to off-peak routes 24, 35, 444, 507, 521 and 531. Minor timetable revisions will occur on routes 39, 76, 155, 161, 183, 205, 208, 210, 283, 347, 350, 372, 374, 415, 444, 452, 463, 488, 501, 502, 504, 510, 527 and 549.

Click here for more information about the Aug. 14 service changes.

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Take DART to the Dallas Mayor’s Back to School Fair Aug. 4

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Free school supplies, health, dental and vision screenings, and immunizations are just a few reasons to attend the 21st Annual Dallas Mayor’s Back to School Fair Aug. 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Centennial Building in Fair Park. This event is expected to draw some 35,000 people, so the best way to avoid the traffic is to ride a DART bus or train.

The Fair helps economically disadvantaged youth get the school supplies they need to start off the new school year right. The 21st Annual Dallas Mayor’s Back to School Fair will take place at Fair Park’s Automobile and Centennial buildings, next to Fair Park Station. DART will have its 5 Star van parked between the two buildings. The agency also will have a booth in the Automobile Building.

Many students use DART to get to and from school, and families attending the Fair can learn about DART service. And students – on a firstcomefirstserve basis — also will receive a fidget spinner at the DART booth.

The Fair is free and open to the public. There will be helpful information on education, health and social services, as well as musical entertainment, kids’ activities, games, interactive demos and more. Attendees can find information about eligibility requirements for free school supplies at mayorsbacktoschoolfair.com.

The best way to reach the Aug. 4 event is on DART’s Green Line or by bus to either Fair Park or MLK, Jr. stations. If you have strollers in tow, remember, you can roll right on to DART Rail; the center car of each vehicle offers level boarding with the rail platform.

You can purchase transit passes on DART’s free GoPass ® app, which you can download from the App Store or Google Play store.

For more information, please visit DART.org or call DART Customer Service at 214-979-1111.

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Four Unique, and DARTable, Date Night Ideas

couple, night shotWhether it’s your first date, or date night with your significant other, there are lots of fun things to do in North Texas and getting there on DART can be part of the experience.

Here are some DARTable date night suggestions:

Enjoy an adventure at the Dallas Zoo

Kids aren’t the only ones who love animals. A visit to the Dallas Zoo, where 8,000 animals await, is a fun date idea. You and your significant other can ride DART’s Red Line to the Dallas Zoo Station, and once in the park, journey through several distinct wildlife habitats that offer interactive experiences such as feeding birds and even giraffes. The zoo even offers night programs. Visit dallaszoo.com to learn more.

Shop a local Farmers Market and prepare a meal together, at home

Spend quality time together cooking a delicious meal with the fresh produce you picked out at one of many local farmers markets. The Dallas Farmers Market (D-Link Bus Route 722), Farmers Branch Market (Green Line to Farmers Branch Station), the Marketplace Garland (Blue Line to Downtown Garland Station), Irving Arts Center Farmers Market (Orange Line to University of Dallas Station and Bus Route 505) and Downtown Plano Farmers Market (Red Line to Downtown Plano Station) are just some of your options. You can make a day of it, as many offer shopping, food, drinks and music. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy each other’s company. Check their websites for hours of operation.

Ride the Gondolas in Las Colinas

You don’t have to travel to Venice to have a gondola ride experience. You simply need to catch DART’s Orange Line to the Las Colinas Urban Center Station in Irving. A cruise along the beautiful Mandalay Canal and Lake Carolyn is the perfect ambiance for romance. Cruise choices vary from a simple ride for two to a fabulous dinner trip. Visit irving.gondola.com to learn more.

Learn to Swing Dance in Deep Ellum

Date nights don’t have to always happen on a weekend. Spend a Wednesday evening learning to swing dance at Sons of Hermann Hall, in Deep Ellum. Since 1996, this historic fraternal order ballroom has offered swing dance lessons every Wednesday, followed by open dancing. It surely will be an opportunity for you and your date to learn something new, together. Home to two light rail stations (Deep Ellum and Baylor University Medical Center, which is closest to Sons of Hermann ) and a stop on the D-Link bus shuttle, Deep Ellum couldn’t be more DARTable. Visit sonsofhermann.com to learn more.

Discover more DARTable date night options at DART.org/DARTable.

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

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image by Roderick Pullum for the Dallas Observer

The weekend forecast calls for hot temperatures, but there’s a whole lot of fun lined up to help you beat the heat – music, theater and the kind of outdoor parties that make summer, summer. Check out these DARTable events:

Friday, July 28
The alternative R&B star August Alsina comes to the House of Blues with his Don’t Matter Tour. Expect a New Orleans-grown gumbo of styles, drawing from hip-hop and other influences. The one thing that’s consistent is that he’s always raw, honest and straight to the point. The House of Blues is a short walk from West End Station.


Saturday, July 29

The last Saturday of the month in summer always means the Reunion Lawn Party – a fun get-together that happens on the lawn across from Reunion Tower, on the former site of Reunion Arena. The free event features live party music (this week it’s the soulful Special Edition Band). There will also be food trucks, the Nodding Donkey beer garden and lawn games. It’s a very short walk from Union Station.

Addison’s annual Summer Series has been providing great outdoor entertainment in Beckert Park this summer – and it’s always free. Spend this Saturday evening soaking up the sounds of contemporary keyboardist Lao Tizer, who will be performing with his quartet. The park is a near Addison Transit Center.

Family Night Out: Food, Fun and Fireworks is Garland’s way of closing out their Park and Recreation Month with a bang. There will be food trucks, children’s entertainment, bounce houses, games and music from Downtown Fever. Fireworks will conclude the evening at dark. It’s free and it’s in Central Park – about a mile walk from Downtown Garland Station or within a couple blocks of Bus routes 486 or 987.

Sunday, July 30
It’s the last performance The Bodyguard, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals at Music Hall at Fair Park. Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. The romantic thriller features a host of irresistible classics, including the massive hit, “I Will Always Love You.” Performances are at the Music Hall at Fair Park, near Fair Park Station.

Another last performance: Garland Summer Musicals’ production of Hello, Dolly! at the Granville Arts Center. The enduring classic tells the story of Dolly Levi, a strong-willed matchmaker who travels to Yonkers, New York, to find a match for the wealthy but miserly Horace Vandergelder. The Granville is right next to Downtown Garland Station.

 

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