Klyde Warren Park

If you're looking to get in shape on the cheap, your workout schedule is available at klydewarrenpark.org. The downtown deck park offers a workout class every single day, from zumba to boot camp, but the best class on the docket takes place at 10 a.m. Saturdays. Hosted by the Dallas Yoga Center, the instructors are experts at guiding you into and out of challenging positions. Pair it with a boot camp or meditation class to feel the burn or find your inner zen. The best things in life really are free.

Fans of Sunstone Yoga love their signature "Fire" class, sort of like Bikram except the room is kept at a slightly less heatstroke-inducing 98.6 degrees, but Sunstone's menu of classes has expanded. At locations all over town, this chain of yoga studios offers multiple styles and some daily non-yoga classes like strength training and barre. No matter which studio you visit, you'll find an inviting atmosphere and friendly instructors. Take Sunstone up on a free trial week. If you like it, you can buy a monthly unlimited pass, which gives you access to any class at any location. These yogis help you stretch your muscles and your dollars.

Klyde Warren Park

Straddling a freeway, this downtown oasis has become a grassy magnet for workers needing a break, high-rise dwellers craving a look at ground-level life, museum-goers, ATTPAC visitors, lovers, mommies with baby strollers and power walkers. With artsy lighting, well-kept landscaping and a steady stream of pedestrians and bench-sitters, the Klyde is a fave for selfie-taking tourists and Uptown dog owners taking designer mutts out for a whiz (remember those poop bags). A knitting group meets one day a week in the park, a book club on another (weather permitting). You'll find picnickers, Frisbee tossers and, because of its location, a few of the overnight "campers" who didn't make it to the homeless shelter in time. Rain or shine, for the rich or poor, the Klyde awaits, a blanket of calm atop a busy thoroughfare.

Lee Harvey's

When you visit Lee Harvey's on a Sunday afternoon, you'll likely fumble with the gates, only to have to push your way through a small pack of friendly dogs on your way to the bar. If you're not a dog lover, this might sound miserable, but when you watch your furry friend join the pack of free-roaming bar hounds, you'll smile with pride. There just aren't enough places where your pup can socialize while you imbibe. Dog Day Afternoon is the perfect spot. The bar itself tends to attract people with big dogs — there's one frequent guest that is the size of a horse — but the dogs are mostly friendly, and even a shy dog will feel at home under a picnic table by your feet.

Maintaining the proper workout motivation can be challenging. The skinny bods on the Katy Trail can set off one's shame spiral in a big way. White Rock trails are a battle for turf among walkers, runners and cyclists. Now there's a new road to conquer. After years of delay, the Trinity Strand Trail is complete. Linking the Design District and Medical District, the 7.8-mile, non-motorized concrete path may one day serve as the backbone of a vibrant urban neighborhood. For now it cuts through a depopulated landscape of warehouses and office buildings — which isn't a bad thing. The level of urban grittiness is non-threatening, even pleasant, and the areas along the trail make it look like the epicenter of a coming zombie apocalypse. Nothing invigorates a run or bike ride quite like the thought of being chased by the undead.

Several dozen millennia ago, when most of humanity was still chasing prey across the African savanna, there was no running gear to speak of. That all changed when running transitioned from survival skill to healthful avocation and people realized the beauty of foot coverings that provide arch support and those billowy shorts that stop at the upper thigh. No place in Dallas has mastered the art of selling these and related accessories quite so well as RunOn! Their gait evaluations, performed by a consistently knowledgeable staff, are indispensable for selecting the right shoe for all but the most casual runners. The stores are big enough to have an ample selection but not so large as to be overwhelming. RunOn! is also a great hub for connecting with local running groups.

Three days before Major League Baseball's July 31 trade deadline, the Rangers were dead. Deader than dead. They were five games below .500 and eight games behind the American League West-leading Houston Astros. But in the succeeding six weeks, the team went out and got the best pitcher available on the trade market (Cole Hamels) and caught up with the Astros. Despite being beset by injuries — the team's best starting pitcher, Yu Darvish, won't start a game this year — the Rangers have given DFW baseball fans one of the sport's tastiest delicacies: competitive, tense games throughout the last month of the season. No one saw it coming, but new manager Jeff Banister and his players have made it happen.

A couple of points: One, GO Kickball's list of rules fills nine pages, unlike the grade-school game you remember in which the only rule was "aim for the head." Two, among those rules is a strict ban on booze. No alcohol allowed at all. (Also different from school days. It was a tough school.) Despite that, GO Kickball in Dallas has grown to cover five sites and 25 different teams each season. It's that 200-lb. kid we all hated playing against in elementary school, the 11-year-old with the 5 o'clock. This is the same game you grew up playing, played now by failed, post-college athletes. And while some play for camaraderie — there's plenty of that — some are out to prove they shouldn't have been cut from the JV soccer squad, and watching them is pretty entertaining in its own right.

gokickball.com

With apologies to the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association and the fine work they do maintaining more than a dozen off-road bike trails in the area, we're skinny-wheel, city-traveling cyclists here. We prefer our paths to be fast, relatively smooth and reachable by pedaling from our front doors. Relatively lightly used for now, Santa Fe passes from woods and lake into the heart of Old East Dallas, through barrios and light industrial neighborhoods into Deep Ellum, where you can pick up Main Street straight across downtown. It's a comprehensive slice of the city, with places to stop for beer and chow along the way. (And really, don't pass up a chance to zip down Main Street, especially on weekends. East to west is gently downhill, so you can easily pace traffic and feel like Kevin Bacon in Quicksilver.)

friendsofsantafetrail.org

Eagle Gun Range

A few years back, Eagle Gun Range set up a Christmas promotion offering shooters free photos with Santa, who would be "bringing his favorite toys to share in the Christmas photos — his AR-15 and other firearms of choice." This was two days before the Sandy Hook school shooting. (They canceled Santa.) OK, so unfortunate timing, but that doesn't mean the idea itself was bad. Why not Santa? People like guns. Even some of use here at the Observer wouldn't mind a Sig under the tree. And here's the maddening thing for gun opponents: Professional, safety-conscious ranges like Eagle are the best argument going that government has no business infantilizing honest citizens by telling us we can't have guns. Eagle has a knowledgeable, friendly, well-trained staff and instructors who offer private lessons; an extensive schedule of CHL classes; affordable, high-quality rental guns; and safe, well-maintained shooting lanes in one of the best ventilated ranges in North Texas. Truth be told, we'd rather see the guys like those at Eagle and North Texas' other quality ranges with guns on their hips than some law enforcement officers we could name.

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