Sometimes playing games is actually good for one's relationships. Game playing has even been known to foster new ones. At least, that's the case when the games are played at Common Ground Games. No one is required to play Cards Against Humanity. Most of the game playing during the week revolves around Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, Pokémon, Star Wars: LCG and community-centric games. Thursday nights from 6 p.m. to close serves as a new game demo and board game night, and most every Saturday from noon to 8 p.m., there's open gaming (although, technically, Common Ground is always open gaming, that's just the day there's no scheduled game event). Attendees can buy, borrow or BYOBG, then grab a table. All are welcome: That is to say, there's no intimidation — backgammon, Risk, Telestrations, Mysterium and Tyrants of the Underdark are all perfectly acceptable. Most folks bring fellow players with, but friends can be made over shared strategies and/or snacks. As always with gaming (and relationships), snacks and hydration recommended.

We've lost our significant others for hours on end in this unassuming warehouse that's stocked to the gills with, well, wood — and we've been lured in ourselves by the promise of design inspiration. We weren't disappointed. Inside Wood World, there is indeed a world of lumber in all its forms. You'll find exotic varieties, like Peruvian walnut and beautiful striped zebrawood or plain old plywood in all its practical glory. And when the vast array of timber starts to make your head spin, the well-versed staff is there to tell you what pieces are best for your big ideas, what tools you'll need, and whether or not you're about to bite off way more than you can chew.

High-end florists are in no short supply in Dallas, but we've always had a soft spot for this one in particular, founded by local floral dynamos Luit and Jamie Huizenga. Now run by Doan Do, the shop still consistently produces some of the most artistic, elegant and stunning arrangements in town thanks to the efforts of its long-term designers, most of whom have been churning out paves, bouquets and custom florals for close to a decade. The mix of French, Eastern European and Latin American aesthetics is an obvious indicator of the diversity of the staff, and the shop's loyal following among Dallas high society is a nod to their artistry and emphasis on quality. We love the less traditional offerings, though: Beautiful succulent blends with impeccable construction, funky orchid designs and whimsical color combinations never fail to floor their recipients.

Behind every successful working parent is good childcare. Seriously, if you don't have a good, reliable source for childcare, you're screwed. And even then, chances are that you're still going to question whether you're doing the best thing for your kids. Spanish House, which has built a devoted following among East Dallas parents, takes all that doubt out of the equation. Their Spanish immersion nursery and preschool programs combine the necessity of daycare with the power of dual language learning. Staff speak to the children primarily in Spanish while providing top-notch care and creative educational programming. The drop-off line is a mix of local artists and musicians, professionals and mother's-day-out types who enjoy peace of mind while their kids learn español. One caveat: Get your bebé on that waiting list while they're still in utero. The waiting list here is muy gigante.

It'll Do Club

We're sticklers about bedtime for the most part, but once in a while we are more than happy to bust up a bedtime routine in favor of busting a move. Local party doyenne Alicia Duncan provides the venue for kids to break out and get down about twice a month at the venerable It'll Do Club, and while the dancers are teeny-tiny, the good times are in no way diminished. One recent Friday, the lighted dance floor was packed with toddlers and preteens, decked out in strobe-lit jewelry and hopped up on food from Easy Sliders (one of Disco Kids' frequent food truck vendors). The music was loud enough to facilitate some serious grooves, but not so loud that the pediatrician's gonna kill your buzz, and those kids were jammin'. And the parents weren't exactly wallflowers — the full bar is available and the DJ occasionally inspired some parental booty-shaking with well-placed Prince or B-52's tracks. For upcoming Disco Kids events, which are $5 each for kids and free for parents, see their official Facebook page.

Recycled Books Records CDs

Known as "the big, purple building on the square," Recycled Books is a beacon for book and music lovers from across the country. Located in the historical Wright's Opera House on the corner of Locust and Oak streets in Denton, Recycled offers three levels filled with shelves of used books. It's quite a change from the tiny storefront on University Drive where Recycled first opened in the early '80s. Today, the used bookstore is emblematic of Denton's "independent and arts-loving spirit" and offers rare books, records, CDs, DVDs and VHS (as well as other collectibles) all at affordable prices. "Just as Walt Whitman commented that great poetry requires great audiences, Recycled is able to be what it is because of its great customers and the community it's a part of," its website reads, and the Observer agrees.

The Army Store

There's nothing like a well done military surplus store. Sure, they often appear the same, with racks of old uniforms, displays of button insignia, dangling backpacks from various nations and cheeky T-shirts that say "Infidel" in Arabic. But the Army Store, Dallas' oldest surplus store, takes the concept to a professional level. The prices are reasonable, the stock is clean and well-presented and the staff friendly. Even better for aficionados, the stock rotates nicely so fresh finds are there to reward repeat visitors. The family-owned store doubles as the best place in Dallas to buy airsoft paintball weaponry.

Best Place to Buy Something Cute for Baby and You

Gypsy Wagon

A modern cowgirl's oasis in Knox-Henderson, Gypsy Wagon offers a plethora of clothing, home decor, shoes, hats, children's toys and clothes. Although abundant in its bohemian Western wear, the store is carefully curated. From Free People tribal dresses to Minnetonka leather cowboy hats, Gypsy Wagon carries the perfect outfit and accessories for a festival weekend or a road trip to Marfa. Bring that Boho Texas feeling home with their home goods selection — from cactus vases to bright hand-stitched pillows. Have a little cowgirl? Check out the kids' corner with onesies from KicKee Pants, embroidered Mexican dresses, leather baby moccasins and cowboy boots. And if you are shopping with the little one, the cute plush unicorns and longhorns will make for a great distraction.

This outlet is where craftsmen carefully stitch, stud and staple leather gear for BDSM sex. In 2005 California-based Leather Masters bought a boot shop and opened a fetish supply outlet in Deep Ellum. It may not seem like a big deal to the uninitiated, but having experts on staff and the ability to make alterations on premises is a huge plus. Honestly, who wants to be uncomfortable when dangling from a harness while someone whips your genitals? Well, you know what we mean.

Look at your neighbor's yard. Behold the array of large rocks and stones laid out in such complex and bewildering patterns that future archaeologists could try to match them with myriad astronomical alignments. Then ask yourself, how do I get my own yard looking as Druidic and mysterious? The answer, you wannabe pagan, is AAA Sand & Stone. It's a 5-acre playground of earthen material with enormous racks of rocks, slabs of stone, collections of car stops, miles of mulch and groupings of gravel to examine. Watch your fingers and back muscles as you handpick your rocks, or depend on their delivery service and fleet of trucks to deliver.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of