Kidstuff from your trusty Weekly editor and the author of a daddy blog that you should definitely (probably?) check out, The Dadding Hack.
I finally see the allure of Dallas. After all these years. And all the pro-Fort Worth things I’ve written. Dallas, now, is “just a short drive away!”
That’s what I’ll tell my son when he’s sitting in his car seat for nearly an hour on the way to Big D from our home in North Fort Worth. But hey. At least we’re getting out of the house on the weekend, right? At least we’re doing something that families are supposed to be doing, according to every parenting blog on the planet and all of my friends’ so-cute-they-hurt Facebook posts. At least we’re not at home driving one another up the freakin’ wall.
The DMA and the Perot have drawn me to Dallas. So have Trees and Three Links. And, a lonnng time ago, The Bronco Bowl, for a Ripper Owens-fronted Judas Priest show. (The verdict? Not half bad!) And there was this awesome bed and breakfast where my wife and I stayed this one time, but other than that, I haven’t done Big D often.
But now that my wife and I have a kid who is old enough to engage in conversation but not old enough for sports or other extracurricular activities, I am willing to do whatever I need to –– read: drive for hours –– to find something fun for my family to do on the weekends. Otherwise, it’s the same ol’ same ol’ at our house (blocks, yardwork, toy cars, Kroger, Frozen, repeat).
I’m not saying there isn’t fun family stuff in the Fort. I just think that daytrips can be a hoot. And today and tomorrow appear prime for getting the heck outta Dodge. Tips: Bring snacks and lots of wipes, and, in the words of my wife, you’d better be wearing your “patience pants.”
But shorts will probably be fine for Dinosnores at the Dallas Zoo. Inspired by the Giants of the Jurassic exhibit, get up close and personal with some of the zoo animals, and, uh, dig some dino-themed activities and a special night tour 7pm-10pm Fri-Sat at 650 S R.L. Thornton Fwy (469-554-7500). Registration required. Tickets $50-80. Maximum of 10 participants per tent.
I admit. I have my moods. Sometimes I want to be really urban: shuffling through the concrete canyons, eating street tacos, looking at art, jamming to disco, showering in a library sink. Other times, I want to be really white. Like Cole-from-Bachelor Party white. Can you blame me? I grew up in the ’80s, when being white and manifesting all that being white in this country implied –– popped collars, cardigan sweaters, and khakis, German cars, tennis/golf garish McMansions, sticking your chin out when you talked –– was everyone’s American dream, no matter his or her skin color, creed, or station in life. Now that I’m all grown up (well, y’know), have a family of my own, an am painfully aware that preppies have become synonymous with a particular political party that never fails to piss me off, I still have my white moments. And I don’t care. I’m still going to go to the Starbucks at University Park Village. Still going to listen to George Winston. (December rules.) Still going to root for the Fightin’ Texas Aggies. Still going to enjoy martinis. And I’m still going to write about Concerts by the Creek.
The vanilla-ness of the performers is not what thrills my inner Cole Whittier. And it’s not the time (7-10pm the first Friday of every month from April through Oct. 24). It’s the location: Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm (970 Garden Park Dr., Allen), a.k.a. The Whitest Place in North Texas.
Concerts by the Creek is sort of like a bizarro version of our Friday on the Green. Instead of cool, gritty, independently owned food trucks, there’s a Cheesecake Factory, a Panera Bread, and a P.F. Chang’s. Instead of parking lots, an apartment building, and a bank, there’s a creek. And instead of awesome, progressive music onstage, there’s, well, very nice music for very genteel ears. Admission is free.
All this talk of preppiness, don’t forget about The Whitest Town in North Texas. Around 9:30pm tonight, gather ’round Lake Grapevine for a 12-minute fireworks show. While the lake parks are closed due to increased water levels at Lake Grapevine, viewing is available at designated areas nearby, including the rooftop of the Gaylord Texan Resort, where a DJ will be spinning the hits (nuthin’ but the hits), and the parking areas at Grapevine Mills. Gaylord parking starts at $15. Parking at the mall is free. For more information, call 817-410-3185.
Don’t forget your “patience pants.”