Best 5K/Fun Run 2016 | YMCA Turkey Trot | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Color runs, cancer runs, beer runs, meat runs (that last one is an actual event, not an intestinal disturbance, at least not intentionally) — Dallas has runs and races of all length and themes, but we're giving the nod this year to the traditional Dallas favorite. Why? For several reasons: It supports local YMCAs and their programs; it's not in the heat of the summer; it's a good excuse to get out of the house and away from the family for at least part of Thanksgiving; and a 5K run burns roughly the number of calories contained in a slice of pumpkin pie. We can walk the 5K with our dogs and burn about the same calories. If we're ambitious (we're not) the 8-mile course in the Turkey Trot bags us TWO pieces of guilt-free pie, and a little light warm-up and cool down means we can toss on some whipped cream, too. Some run for competition, some for health. We run for pie. We win.

Readers' Pick:

YMCA Turkey Trot

Basketball, dodgeball, kickball, volley ball and something called pickleball (a mash-up of tennis, pingpong and badminton), Dallas' recreation centers have all your balls covered with their free to low-priced leagues, and not just for seniors or kids. Regular adults can join in too. Since these are city leagues, don't expect the free-flowing booze you might get in private intramural groups, but on the other hand, you don't have to get the boozing expected in some private leagues. Team sports not your bag? The city's rec centers also offer a full schedule of classes at various level in the martial arts, yoga and assorted fitness classes. Prices range from free to $180 for league entries.

Readers' Pick:

Dallas Sport & Social Club — Sand Volleyball

REI has always offered the most complete inventory of high-quality outdoor gear and clothing in Dallas, but the problem in the old days was its location in a place reachable only by an almost inaccessible LBJ Freeway service drive. Now in their second year in a sleek new store on Northwest Highway, across Shady Brook Lane from Half Price Books, REI is easy for most city-dwellers to get to and well worth the effort. Prices are competitive on tents, packs, bags and all kinds of gear for a wide variety of outdoor pursuits from climbing to paddling. You can also spend a fortune here, if you've got one to spend. This is one of those stores where the problem is never finding what you really need. It's finding what you don't really need but buying it because it's cool.

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Sure, the city renamed the Continental Avenue bridge this year for former Mayor Ron Kirk, the driving force behind the plan to build a high-speed tollway underneath the pedestrian bridge/park. But let's not hold grudges and rather celebrate the fact that Dallas has this fine amenity over the Trinity with a peerless view of downtown and the Trinity River. Not only that, but every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, weather permitting, V12 Yogo offers free community yoga classes on the bridge known as the gateway to Oak Cliff. So go, stretch out and bask in the feeling you're in a cool, human-friendly city. Do your downward facing dogs while contemplating the irony of being in a pedestrian park named for a man whose vision was to turn the Trinity into a highway. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Readers' Pick:

White Rock Lake

Want to practice mindfulness? Looking for that lithe body hiding beneath a beer belly? Need a workout that won't add to the ache in your joints? Want to get your therapist off your back? These are all good reasons to find a yoga studio, especially one like SYNC Yoga & Wellbeing. Located in the Austin-wannabe development at Sylvan Thirty, the studio straddles Ten Ramen and Juiceland. And with instructors this patient and attentive, you'll be straddling the mat in no time. Classes range from traditional flow to yoga for healing to match with your priorities. Want to try a meditation class? They've got that too. If you're new to the studio, the first 30 days cost just $30 – a deal that's hard to beat for an unlimited month of yoga.

Readers' Pick:


Dallas hasn’t been home to a world champion boxer since Curtis Cokes won the world welterweight title in ’66. But a 27-year-old boxer from South Dallas looks primed to put Dallas back on the map in the sport. Mo Hooker started fighting at 13, competing in 100 amateur bouts before he went professional in 2011. In his pro career he’s undefeated. He’s knocked out his opponent in 16 of 23 bouts. Last June he earned the WBO NABO super lightweight title and in December he was signed with Jay Z-owned sports management company Roc Nations Sports. Keep an eye out for Hooker, who’s sure to compete in a championship fight soon and be on HBO himself.

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