Company’s Coming | Ideas to Keep Cool in Dallas-Fort Worth

Company’s Coming | Ideas to Keep Cool in Dallas-Fort Worth

Our first family of summer house guests arrive this weekend. The challenge? How to arrange a week’s worth of fun activities – taking into consideration the consummate Texas sunshine and without spending a fortune. Dallas friends, do you have company coming to visit this summer? Wondering what to do?  I did some research and here’s what I came up with.

Get excited.  You can visit top Dallas attractions (all but one is under air) at the fraction of their price. Have you heard about the Dallas CityPASS ticket booklet? It’s valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use. Cost: $48, adults (a value of $81); $32, kids 3-12. It includes admission to:

 

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Perot Museum of Nature and Science

 

So CityPASS is a great start. But wait there’s lots more….

 

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Trinity Audubon Center   $1 admission in August. Hiking trails, nature center and for $15 per person a guided Night Hike Owl Prowl Thursday, Aug 10th from 8-10 pm.

 

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Dallas Arboretum Live local music at twilight on Thursdays July 14-28. And in August, $1 admission all month along with $2 hotdogs, root beer floats and pies and $4 ice cream sundaes.

 

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Klyde Warren Park  has free concerts with local bands Thursday nights… and food trucks of course.  From July 13-August 10th the public is invited to build a Ninjago-theme giant mosaic with 79,320 Lego bricks.  We love this award winning urban space!

 

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Dallas Museum of Art   General admission is free. The Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion exhibition goes through August 27th showcasing 45 of her exquisite outfits from 15 collections. 

 

DAD_VisualArts_Nasher_05Nasher Sculpture Center – considered one of the foremost collections of sculpture in the world.  Friday July 21st is the next ’til Midnight at the Nasher. A free evening with outdoor concerts by Sudie and Bryce and then a showing of one of my favorite movies  Sing Street.

 

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Dallas World Aquarium A world truly class aquarium. $20.95 per person, $14.95 for children, and since it’s all indoors, it’s great no matter the weather.  

 

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White Rock Lake Paddle Board & Canoe Hourly canoe, kayak & paddle board rentals on White Rock Lake. This is a popular activity so get reservations ahead of time for sure. 

Just outside of Dallas:

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Dinosaur Valley State Park –  1.5 hours away in Glenrose, Texas – $7 per person over 13. Bring swimsuits & wade over actual dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy riverbed where the first sauropod trackways were discovered.

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Burgers Lake   Bring a picnic for a fun day at a spring fed lake with lots of water slides etc. $15 per person 

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Ft Worth Stockyards Touristy, but fun and free.  Watch long horn cattle run down  main street at 11:30 am and 4 pm. 
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Kimbell Art Museum  Free and always inspiring. The exhibition A modern Vision: European Masterworks from the Phillips Collection is here through August 13th. 

Where else would you recommend taking visitors in DFW?  I’ve got 48 hours until the first guests come ya’ll.  

 

Creating Gemütlichkeit

Creating Gemütlichkeit

When we lived in Germany I learned the word gemütlichkeit.  It does not easily  translate into English. It’s a combination of a great space plus people and it represents a mix of feelings that people long for in every culture. It’s coziness and warmth, peace and friendship, belonging and community.  Space plus people combined in a way that nurtures and restores.

A few years ago my husband and I got a table at Oktoberfest in Munich and invited dear friends to join us. The Ochsenbraterei Tent definitely had gemütlichkeit.  Gemütlichkeit is 5,000 people singing in unison the old John Denver song “Take me home, country roads…”

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But it’s not all about a massive party.  This concept of gemütlichkeit translates into smaller settings like our homes.  It could be sitting around the dinner table with your family or your favorite neighbors.  It could be on the back patio with an old friend.  This is something I try to create in every home I work on and really this is the heart of this blog.

Creating gemütlichkeit does not require a big budget, big space or an immaculate, Instagram-worthy home. It does require purposefulness — thinking through the needs of your family and those you love.  It’s creating a place where people feel deeply that they belong there.

My head is full of ideas on home and entertaining for future posts, but foremost the key component in creating gemütlichkeit being relaxed.  You can have the most perfect space and absolutely no gemütlichkeit. We’ve all been there.  If the meal you are planning is going to stress you out, then it would be better not to make that.  And if you don’t like your space and it’s preventing you from having your neighbors over, then it’s worth being purposeful to change it.  All of us need more gemütlichkeit in our lives and my hope is that this blog can encourage that.