The last school bells are ringing for the year, and the peaceful days of kids being hidden out of sight are coming to a close. What once was an empty shopping mall is now a chaotic wasteland of preteens without parents to keep them in line. Roving packs of hormones are free to enjoy their summer, thus ruining ours.
While these kids might be able to ruin most places, there are still a few safe havens left — a scattered group of remaining structures where kids aren’t allowed in, where adults can enjoy some peace as they mark the calendar, counting down the hours until school is back in session. Here are a few of those places adults can hide now that summer vacation has started.
Do as the Kids Do, But With Drinking
Seeing all the kids out playing, you can’t help but drift back to memories of your youth. Memories of playing football and being picked last, playing baseball and being picked last, asking your parents which child they loved more and … you get the picture. Dust off your gym shorts and sweat band and enter an adult kickball league. This time you can be picked first because you’re paying for it.
Organizations such as Lonestar SSC have official adult kickball leagues open to any schoolyard athletes looking to reclaim their youth. There’s a heavy emphasis on the adult part of the league; the minimum age to sign up is 21, so all players can take part in the happy hour that starts immediately after the game is over. The leagues are co-ed, so not only are kids not allowed, there’s a chance you could meet that special someone to make some of your own. Outdoor options are available, but since everyone is aware it’s Texas, indoor kickball is the preferable choice for the non-heat stroke inclined.
Kickball is far from the only sport places like Lonestar SSC offer. There are adult leagues for basketball, softball, flag football and various other sports. Kickball is just one of the only ones you can reasonably play half-loaded from pregaming. Seven-year-olds play it, and they basically have the motor skills of a drunk adult.
Laugh (or Heckle) at a Comedy Show
Now that the public schools have washed their hands of your kids, the TV is hijacked with the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon or HBO. Within a week, you’ll have forgotten what adult programming looks like. Remedy that with a trip to a comedy club and laugh at things your kids aren’t allowed to hear.
The majority of shows are 21 and older because comedy clubs don’t make their money selling nonalcoholic drinks. The youngest person you’ll see in the building is probably the one onstage.
It won’t be a long drive, either, because no matter what city you live in, there should be a club close to you. From Dallas Comedy House in Deep Ellum to the Arlington Improv to Hyena’s in Fort Worth, laughs are available in almost every metropolitan area.
If the costs are a little too high on the weekend, you can always go to a comedy club on the weekdays when there are free open mics. Usually there are drink specials, and the 21-and-older policy is still strictly enforced.
Set Sail in Kid-Free Waters
Public pools will be a special level of hell for the next three months, and even if you have a pool, you’ll probably find kids you don’t know in it. If swimming is out but you love the water, try a late-night adults-only cruise. Going to stop you right now — it’s not what you think it is — get your mind out of the gutter.
Harbor Lights Cruises books late-night cruises throughout the summer on its 57-foot double-decker party boat. It’s 18 and older for the Moonlight Cruise, so you don’t have to worry about any smaller humans running around with floaties while you enjoy the night. The boat holds up to 90 passengers as it sails around Lake Ray Hubbard, and the price isn’t a wallet destroyer at $20 per person.
The cruises are BYOB with Harbor Lights supplying all the cups and light refreshments to mix your alcohol with. But really, isn’t every place BYOB if you just hide it?
Discover a New Favorite Band
Dallas is enjoying a surge of talented musicians of all genres, and now is the perfect time to get to know all of them. The cover prices for the small local shows in Deep Ellum are minimal, and more important, they’re all in bars, which we all know shouldn’t be letting children in. If yoy're watching a band and you see the bouncer letting children in, you’re at a Chuck E. Cheese and you need to leave.
Larger venues like The Bomb Factory and Trees have a rotation of national touring acts mixed with prominent local bands, and a quick check of the upcoming summer calendar will surprise you with a lineup of artists you forgot you loved. If you want to stick with the safety of what you know, this town is neck-deep in cover bands playing all your favorites like a Spotify playlist come to life.
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If you end up at a Selena Gomez concert, you deserve all the kids you’ll be spending the evening with.
Learn a New Skill
If there’s one thing kids hate, it’s learning. Ask any of them if you can tear their eyes away from their phones. So if you’re looking for somewhere to go at night with not a kid in sight, you can guaran-damn-tee you won’t find one at a night class. And by no means are we advocating taking a calculus course because math is evil, and that sounds worse than just dealing with 13-year-olds in a movie theater (barely). There are fun classes you can go to at night without trying to earn a degree.
Pinot’s Palette hosts evening classes where you can learn how to paint while getting a much-needed buzz. The course is 21 and older as wine and beer will be served while you start your journey to being the next Picasso. As you enter the classroom, a selected piece of art will be on display that the class will replicate at workstations. The instructor will guide you, step-by-step, into making your blank canvass a mostly exact duplicate of the painting you’re looking at. Afterward, take the painting home and tell your friends you did it without any help. Take the art world by storm and make millions until you’re found out as a fraud.
And you can owe the entire adventure to avoiding kids for three months out of the year.