This year, the oppressive Texas summer decided to stick around well into November. The temperatures have been high, but this week, we've skipped right from summer to winter. During the six preceding months, it hasn't exactly been easy for Dallasites to do outdoorsy things without worrying about losing half of their enitre body weight in sweat.
But now, finally (and mercifully) fall...errr, freezing temps... have arrived. Turn off the Netflix reruns of Gilmore Girls that you've been immersed in and get out and explore these eight non-summer activities.
The summer isn't exactly a great time for the Dallas Arboretum. Sure, they've tried to kick things up a notch with outdoor concerts and other events, but it's just been too damn hot to stand around and look at flowers.
Fall Winter is the perfect time to visit the Dallas Arboretum, especially if you like looking at pumpkins and weirdly shaped gourds. There are still plenty of blooms to admire, and they've even got their Christmas decorations up for people who just can't wait until after Thanksgiving.
Nasher Sculpture Center Museums are generally a welcome, well air-conditioned respite from summer heat, but many of the best works at the Nasher Sculpture Center are outside, and there's something unsettling about inspecting massive hunks of metal that have been baking in hundred-degree temperatures all day. Now that the weather has cooled, check out outdoor and indoor works from Jonathan Borofsky, Alexander Calder, and Tony Cregg. Plus the incredible special exhibitions from Thomas Heatherwick and Anna Bella Papp.
Go birdwatching at the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary
Birdwatching sounds about as interesting as watching paint dry, but it's actually pretty fun if you know what to look for and have a good pair of binoculars.
Fall Winter means that there are cool weather birds in DFW, many of which are much prettier to look at than the grackles that you're used to seeing on top of your car. You can also hike the nature trails, take the kids to see the animatronic dinosaurs, or just bring a picnic and enjoy a few hours away from real life.
Galaxy Drive-In There are too few drive-in movie theaters in Dallas, but Galaxy Drive-In is the perennial best. Still, there are plenty of Dallasites who have never made the trek out to Ennis to take in a double feature. Bring lots of blankets so you can roll down the windows, bundle up, and sip on that flask of contraband whiskey that you snuck in your bra while you take in this year's Academy Awards contenders.
It's way too freaking hot to sweat it out in a Korean sauna for most of the summer, but the new
cool freezing temperatures create the perfect contrast. After you've spent a few hours lounging in hot tubs and sweating out all those mysterious toxins, walking out into fifty degree weather is insanely refreshing. Besides, you could most definitely use a massage or facial before the hectic holiday season.
Lavender Ridge Farms Farms aren't only interesting in the spring and summer, but you'll want to get to Lavender Ridge Farms on a day slightly above freezing. This Gainesville farm has a perfectly bucolic setting, a surprisingly good farm cafe, and plenty of fresh lavender to ensure that you and your home smell appropriately floral. Wear a jacket, and enjoy lunch on the screened-in patio for a laid-back day trip.
ArtWalk Dallas There is a surprising amount of public art in Dallas. ArtWalk Dallas is a free, self-guided tour of some of Downtown's best indoor and outdoor art, and has some surprising stops. You probably haven't thought about the Old Federal Reserve Bank or Pegasus Plaza as hotspots for Dallas art, but there are some great pieces on the 32-stop tour that every Dallasite should see at least once. Bundle up for this one.
Bachman Indoor Pool If you're still pining for summer, Bachman Indoor Pool may be one of the only places to get your warm-weather swimming fix. This self-described "best kept secret in Dallas" is open for open recreation for at least a few hours each day, and can be rented for private use if you really, really need to have a pool party for your birthday. Bring your beach towel, crank up the Jimmy Buffett, and maybe you can stave off the reailty that just got really, really cold.