Let's face it: Most kids are in dance class to fulfill a very specific dream that involves wearing a tutu, twirling a bit and tapping. We're not all going to the Bolshoi, you know? That's why we love AD Dance: if you're a ballet prodigy, you're definitely in good hands here, but if your kiddo is content with the experience, this high-quality, low-pressure and inexpensive studio in the heart of East Dallas is a sure bet. The instructors have impressive resumes; there are plenty of options for all ages, skill levels and interests (including hip hop and jazz); and owner Amanda Dalton takes dance seriously but also seems like someone you would have borrowed a Cure sweatshirt from in high school. Another major plus to this sweet little studio? The recitals are blissfully simple: no all-day affairs or zillion-dollar portrait packages required.

Kathy Tran

It's been a tough couple of years amid a global pandemic, and it's easy to forget about tending to your spiritual side when constantly faced with life-and-death scenarios. Next time you're feeling depleted, treat yourself by beelining for the best metaphysical store in Big D: Botanica Esoterica. This welcoming shop offers nothing but the best vibes plus top-notch tarot card readings and cathartic spiritual cleansings. Its beautiful candles and bracelets are packed with positive energy, and its excellent selection of Santa Muerte statues will fill you with awe. Trust in Botanica Esoterica's expert, caring staff to help you shed your psychic pain.

It seems like there's a new story every other week about the last Blockbuster Video franchise, located in Bend, Oregon. Half the time, the stories overlook some of the other movie stores that rent and sell Blu-Rays and DVDs, like our very own Movie Trading Company, particularly the one on Belt Line Road near Addison. This MTC branch packs every inch of floor space with rows of new and used DVDs, CDs, pop culture collectibles and video games from pretty much every generation of gaming. If it doesn't have what you're looking for, the staff will try to find another location that does and have it shipped to you. The end caps are always stacked with recommended classic re-releases from specialty publishers. Everybody behind the counter looks and sound like they live and breathe movies, music and games, so you're likely to get an interesting recommendation or spark an interesting conversation about why you're voluntarily subjecting yourself to a DVD copy of The Wizard starring Fred Savage.

Since Fry's has gone the way of Stein Mart and Radio Shack, a better alternative electronics purveyor emerged. Micro Center is like a sensibly sized version of Fry's with a much better selection, fairer prices and a staff who actually know about the stuff on the shelves. The Dallas location has items from the big name brands like Apple and Sony to the lesser-known (and cheaper) brands. Even if the store can't control the markups that the big brands foist upon us with every new model, something is always available in a clearance bin or a competitive sale. It's hard to walk out of this place with nothing, even if it's one of those tiny flashlights stocked at the checkout line.

Appliances are serious business. When your fridge goes out, you run the risk of food spoiling. What about your washer? You don't want to have to wear the same socks all week. Garbage disposal? Food clogs up the sink. Luckily, Lewisville-based All Dallas Appliance services appliance across the area. The folks there will do same-day repairs at your home, so you don't have to lug your stove in or borrow your buddy's pickup. All Dallas Appliances takes calls seven days a week, and their technicians work on all major appliances. If your busted appliance is fixable, their repairmen can fix it.

You can't look snatched without a fresh pair of brows – and that's on periodt (as they say). So get those face caterpillars all cleaned up by visiting this Uptown establishment run by one woman who masterfully executes a range of services quickly and at an affordable price. In addition to eyebrow threading, the shop offers customers henna tattoos, waxing and eyelash extensions, and walk-ins are accepted. Head there outside of popular business hours because parking is a doozy, and the waiting area is pretty tight.

Esthetician Maggie Moore has golden hands. A Maggie's Beauty Bar signature facial will take your face from drab to plush and glowing. What sets Moore apart is her thoroughness. Clients will not leave her table without every inch of their face cleaned, exfoliated and moisturized. No pore is left clogged. As part of her signature facial, Moore ups the ante with a luxurious scalp, neck and arm massage. Every drop of anxiety, tension and stress melts away as she gently rubs away at knots while a customized hydro jelly mask seeps goodness into the skin. With a derma-planing add-on, exfoliation is maximized. Your skin has never looked better. Post-facial, she'll walk you through a customized skin plan with medical-grade products to sustain your glow.

Furniture shop Modified Home sees customers by appointment only, which is a great way to avoid impulse-buying investment items — like that overpriced fluff from McCouches-To-Go you regretted the second it was delivered. If you're looking to make a home with character through intentional, original and individual furnishing, owner Allison Bonifay is your new leader. Bonifay's inventory is rich in midcentury modern gems with wooden pieces, statement sofas and chairs so neutral they could've been a Kim K collab.

Danny Fulgencio

Local gardeners know that keeping their plants healthy and blooming can be a challenge in North Texas' climate. That's why they turn to this 71-year-old garden center for plants, advice and education. North Haven should know something about surviving Texas weather extremes: The North Dallas center was reduced to rubble by a massive tornado in October 2019, reopened four weeks later only to be and struck by a second, smaller, less-damaging storm in 2021. It not only sells hardy perennials, it is one. The family-owned garden center offers countless varieties of outdoor and indoor plants, a building dedicated to tropical varieties, along with a cafe and ready-made boxes and kits for those looking to get into growing their own food. Its many gardening classes, along with its "garden coach" program, can help both novices and experienced gardeners develop a green thumb.

Carl Hallowell

If you're in the market for a new traditional Japanese tattoo, look no further than Dallas' own Carl Hallowell. For decades, Hallowell, who works under the honorific title "Horisho," has perfected his craft. His laser-like attention to detail, use of vibrant colors and flawless line work truly set him apart as one of Texas' great tattoo artists. Hallowell is also a skilled listener and communicator, helping to create the exact design that his customers envision. Whether you're investing in a jaw-dropping backpiece or a timeless half-sleeve, Hallowell has you covered. Horisho is a true master of the art of tattooing.

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