|photography by Bode Helm, hair/makeup by Jeanna Doyle and Brandy Michele Adams/The Campbell Agency, fashion stylist Stephanie Quadri, models Anna Anami, Amy Mueller, and Chad Rhose/Kim Dawson Agency, special thanks to Dallas Dream Cars|
1. Go Topless
It’s really not that hard. Just leave the scarf at home, then tool on over to DFW Elite Auto Rental and hop into a 1986 Rolls Royce Corniche Convertible, yours for 24 hours starting at $450 for weekdays. Or try Dallas Dream Cars, where you can get a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air (pictured). After that, it’s up to you, the highway, and your flowing locks. DFW Elite, multiple locations. 214-247-4700. www.dfweliteautorental.com. Dallas Dream Cars, 972-910-9900. www.dallasdreamcars.net.
2. Paddle your butt off
You could get yourself a canoe, but then you’d need some sort of roof-mounted carrying contraption for your car, and that starts to sound like a hassle. If you’re a spur-of-the-moment, let’s-get-in-the-water person like we are, head to High Trails Outfitters, 40 years in business and boasting the largest selection of canoes and kayaks in Texas. Get yourself a one-seat Advanced Elements inflatable kayak for $400. Throw in a paddle, a life vest, and a foot pump. It all fits in your trunk. Bingo, you’re tooling around the lake an hour after you left the house. Then go back to High Trails for some kayak lessons, you goofball. 3610 Marquis Drive, Garland. 972-272-3353. www.hightrailscanoe.com.
3. Get jazzy with it
Maybe you don’t know so much about jazz—and no, a propensity to use jazz hands doesn’t count. It’s not too late to learn thanks to the the Dallas Museum of Art’s Jazz Under the Stars. Each Thursday evening starting in May, downtown Dallas is transformed into a romantic, music-filled mecca. And the best part: it’s free. Just pack the car with a picnic dinner (don’t forget the wine!), blanket, and smooch-worthy date, and you’re good to go. Please refrain from scatting. Thursdays, May 10–June 28. Downtown. 214-922-1200.
4. Hit the road
Sure, the miniature golf is nice, and Electric Alley offers more than 100 video games, but the main reason people come to SpeedZone is to get behind the wheel. Lap your friends on the Slick Trax, Turbo Track, and Grand Prix courses, then challenge a buddy to a dual in the Top Eliminator Dragster. It may not be highbrow entertainment, but there’s nothing like the smell of fuel and rubber to inspire a lead foot. Just go easier on the gas on the way home. 11130 Malibu Drive, Dallas. 972-247-7223.
5. Rub sweaty elbows with A-listers
The social ladder can be difficult to navigate. Here’s a way to climb one rung, at least for the evening. Gather $500 from petty cash and get thee to The Art Ball—arguably the most anticipated social event of the year—happening at the Dallas Museum of Art on May 5. This year’s theme is Continuum, and if you can’t celebrate the growth, development, and future of the museum, then you don’t deserve to celebrate at all. Social celebs expected: Suzanne and David Droese (she’s this year’s chairwoman), Lynn and Allan McBee, Todd Fiscus, Marguerite Hoffman, and Piper and Mike Wyatt. May 5. 1717 N. Harwood St. 214-922-1353.
|photography by Kevin Hunter Marple|
6. Knox yourself out
Channel your inner pedestrian by spending an afternoon on foot on one of the most well-stocked stretches of commerce in Dallas. First, fortify yourself with mussels and a sidecar at Toulouse before heading to Smith & Hawken to pick up some French larkspur seeds in Parisian pink. Next stop Froggie’s 5 & 10, where you can buy a kite for Junior and then take a flight of your own at Best Cellars. End your journey with an unavoidably brief stroll through Iota and a peppermint-Oreo concrete from Wild About Harry’s. You’ll work off the calories on the trek back to your car. Knox Street, just west of Central Expressway.
7. Get nostalgic on the grass
What was the best … concert … ever? Was it the Beatles in ’67, the Eagles in ’78, or Billy Joel in ’81? (If you said Hogpig at the Double Wide in March, go to the next item.) Then Cool Thursdays at the Arboretum are for you. Pack the cooler with dinner and drinks, grab a blanket, and let cover bands transport you to a time when your belly was flat. The lineup includes A Hard Night’s Day (Beatles tribute), 4 Way Street (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young cover), Christie’s Ex (Billy Joel tribute), and Key West the Band (Jimmy Buffet). May 3 through August 2, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Martin Rutchik Concert Stage, 8525 Garland Road. 214-515-6500. www.dallasarboretum.org.
8. Listen to “The Song That Goes Like This”
Winner of the Tony Award in 2005 for Best Musical, Monty Python’s Spamalot hits the Music Hall at Fair Park as part of the Dallas Summer Musicals series. The Washington Post says the touring version is even funnier than the Broadway hit, because this one isn’t chockful of self-congratulatory big-name stars. Let’s just hope they keep in the “huge tracts of land” joke from the show’s inspiration, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Always a crowd-pleaser. June 19 through July 8. Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave. 214-565-1116. www.dallassummermusicals.org.
9. Get wet downtown
At Fountain Place, you’ll find watery bliss. More than 150 fountains and streams surround the skyscraper. But most people want to sit in the central plaza, among the dancing fountains, where the water shoots up in rows of 10 or 12, then dies down, only to rise again, this time in another formation, and then a third. Lingering till twilight is a perfect way to end a summer day. Dancing fountains on Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 1455 Ross Ave. 214-855-7766.
10. Ride a monorail
Get a view almost as good as that of the 67.5-foot-tall giraffe on the 1-mile, 20-minute monorail safari ride over the Dallas Zoo’s six African habitats. Once it gets too hot (mid-June), you’ll have to suck it up and hoof it through the 95 acres of critters. Through June 15. 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway. 214-670-5656. www.dallas-zoo.org.
11. Play fetch on Swiss Avenue
The dog park at White Rock Lake is great if you (or your mutt) are the social sort. But where can a dog-owning misanthrope go? Try the small park on Swiss Avenue, in the shadows of downtown. It is clean. It is large enough to give a tennis ball your best heave. And if a pug builds up the courage to frolic with a mastiff, no policy will prohibit their frolicking. The way it should be. On Swiss Avenue, between Oak and Liberty streets.
|photography by Doug Davis|
12. Ride a gondola in Las Colinas
It isn’t Venice, but where else are you going to ride a gondola in North Texas? Thanks to Gondola Adventures, you and a guest can float around the Mandalay Canal and Lake Carolyn in a bona fide Venetian boat. Sure, the sights aren’t as good as in Italy, but the food is Italian. Departing from and returning to the Omni Mandalay Hotel, you can enjoy a catered meal from Trevi’s, the acclaimed restaurant within the Omni. For $325, the top-of-the-line “exquisite dinner cruise,” you get a two-hour ride and a three-course meal, as well as Italian music courtesy of a CD or, if you’re lucky, a singing gondolier. Magnifico. 221 E. Las Colinas Blvd. 972-830-2083. www.gondola.com/irving.
13. Get serenaded in front of a Di Suvero
Break out your strolling shoes and head over to the Nasher Sculpture Center for Symphonic Sundays. Eat brunch at Café Nasher by Wolfgang Puck, listen to the sounds of chamber music from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and even take in a guided tour of the Garden if you wish. Finished? Consider yourself very European. May 20 and June 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 2001 Flora St. 214-242-5100. www.nashersculpturecenter.org.
14. Catch a fly ball for cheap
If you worry about the expense (“A hot dog is how much?”) of bringing the family to a night at the ballpark, don’t. The Teddy Section of Dr Pepper Ballpark, home to the Frisco RoughRiders minor league baseball team, is now all-you-can-eat. For $18 per seat per game, fans both young and old can sample unlimited ballpark staples such as fresh-grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and Dr Pepper products (natch). Kiddos can also dance along with the team’s mascot, Deuce, while parents score a few adult refreshments with the money they saved on snacks. 7300 RoughRiders Trail, Frisco. 972-731-9200.
15. Span the thermometer
The Spa at the Crescent offers a pair of services ideal for those who favor temperature extremes. Start with the Hotter’n Texas Summer Rock Massage, a 50-minute healing treatment incorporating stretching, hot stones, and relaxation. Next, cool your heels with the Cool-Gel Pedicure, designed to soothe worn-out legs, particularly those plagued with pesky veins, and invigorate fatigued feet. Playing chicken with the mercury never felt so good. 400 Crescent Court, Dallas. 214-871-3232.
16. Praise Jesus and pecan-caramel sticky buns
Suffer no longer from church-service growly stomach, for House of Blues has the cure. Scheduled to open in May in Victory Park, HoB features Sunday Gospel Brunch, in which a gospel choir provides an inspirational backdrop to your buffet choices. With offerings such as homemade macaroni and cheese, prime rib, cornbread muffins, and white chocolate banana bread pudding, your caloric sinning on Sunday is forgiven in advance. 2200 N. Lamar St. 214-978-2583. www.hob.com.
17. Shop, rock, and sip
Tempt your significant other, the one who hates to shop, with Second Saturdays: Rock the Block at the West Village. Why shop inside when you can find food, fun, and fashion outside? This month and again in June, catch free live music performances while shopping summer sales at Accomplice, Armhole, Ella Bleu, Banana Republic, and Glass Slipper. Celebrate all the great bargains you got by picking up a bottle of wine at Cork, the chic new interactive wine shop that has 700 wines you can taste test. If your stomach starts to call, head to The Fish for sushi. Shoes, sushi, and Shiraz—what more could you ask for? 3699 McKinney Ave. 214-219-1144.
18. Get krunk
Let’s face it, you aren’t fly. Oh, maybe you’re already in bikini shape, but you don’t have the dance moves all the kids are throwing out there now. And there’s just no excuse for that. Have you seen a hip-hop video lately? Do you know how easy it is to lean with it, rock with it? No? Time you learned. Dallas Power House of Dance has classes that teach young and old how to get their groove on. Although easy is relative. You will sweat. June 11 through August 2. 12300 Inwood Road, No. 124. 972-960-2484. www.dallaspowerhouse.com.
19. Visit Southfork—Really
Yes, it’s the bane of Dallas’ identity in the 21st century, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to prepare yourself for the off chance that the big-screen movie based on J.R.’s Dallas indeed hits theaters this winter, as it’s still scheduled to. So you need to get yourself out to the place that everyone identified with the show and the city. Besides, Southfork is more than its clichés. It is Americana. Lucy’s wedding dress, the gun that shot J.R., heck, the ranch itself—Southfork is irresistible. After the tour ($9.50 for adults), take the Southfork tram to the “dinner camp.” The beef brisket is smoked and delicious. 3700 Hogge Road, Parker. 972-442-7800. www.southfork.com.
20. Get a bit dodgy
May is the last month you can partake in the sweet dodgeball games going on in Mesquite, courtesy of the Dallas Dodgeball League. Show up, throw some balls, bean some kids, all for $5. What doesn’t sound fun about that? May 12 and May 26, 3 to 5 p.m. Mesquite Scott Dunford Recreation Center, 1015 Green Canyon Drive. www.dallasdodgeball.com.
|photography by Doug Davis|
21. Drink beer and wash your clothes
We guess you could do that at home, but it’s much more fun at Bar of Soap, a dive-bar-cum-washateria in Fair Park. The best time for laundry may very well be noon to 2, when Bar of Soap offers 75-cent draft beer. You don’t even need to bring detergent along. They sell it at the bar. 3615 Parry Ave. 214-823-6617.
22. Spend a half-mil on a cute one-bedroom
Real estate agents consider summer “the home-buying season,” but a lesser-known saying is that “June is the condo-gettin’ month.” So, got $500K? Want to “live in a work of art”? Get your sub-prime in order and head to One Arts Plaza, the Arts District mid-rise opening in June. You’ll plunk down at least that much on one of the 68 units available. Not only will your neighbors include La Barrett herself, but you’ll get amenities such as outdoor fireplaces on the terrace, bulthaup kitchens, and a 500-square-foot interactive video display from Lincoln World headquarters for 7-Eleven. The Slurpee possibilities are brain-freezing. 1722 Routh St. 214-520-4466. www.oneartsplaza.com.
23. Learn how to say “Can you hand me my bikini top?” in Spanish
Hitting on pool boys is easier when you speak a foreign language. Learn the basics of Spanish at continuing education classes at Southern Methodist University, beginning May 14. These “full-immersion crash courses” are three nights of foreign phrases, culture, and giggling at others’ pronunciation. When you’re finished, saying “You’re hot” never sounded so exotic. 6404 North Ownby Drive. 214-768-9035. www.smu.edu/continuing_education/.
24. Perfect your meat’s internal temperature
Nothing says summer like barbecue, so you’d better do yours right. For $125, The Mansion on Turtle Creek executive chef John Tesar will teach you the finer points of perfectly charring steaks, fish, and veggies at the Guys and Grills cooking class. From noon to 3, Mansion chefs will guide you through the basics on Hasty Bake grills, then turn you loose to share your medium-rare dominance with the world. June 9. 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd. 214-559-2100. www.mansiononturtlecreek.com.
25. Live it up at Legacy
Assemble your girlfriends for a night out in the ’burbs at The Shops at Legacy, beginning with a film from Angelika Plano’s Classic Chick Flick series (Grease, June 20; A Streetcar Named Desire, July 25; Doctor Zhivago, August 22). Once you’ve laughed, cried, and taken advantage of $2 off select bottles of wine, cross the street to Martini Park, where you can find your perfect 10: a cocktail of gin, elderflower syrup, and orange blossom water. Then move on to Jasper’s for a nightcap of cherry limeade (in pie form, that is). 7200 Bishop Road, Plano.
26. Take a Euro vacation in Addison
Unlike, say, everywhere in Europe, there are few places in Dallas where you can find an elegant restaurant with live music that you don’t have to shout over and a patio with a view that’s not a dirty alley or a high-traffic street. The solution is Avanti Euro Bistro at Addison Circle. A little Italian ceviche and carpaccio, and almost any selection from the extensive wine list make this a Dallas (okay, Addison) summer evening outing with a European twist. Book a reservation on a Friday night, and you won’t be mournfully singing “O Solo Mio.” 5001 Addison Circle, Addison. 972-386-7800. www.avantirestaurants.com.
27. Get a massage for your soul
The halcyon days of summer can quickly turn wearisome. Recharge with a Taize worship service, held at 5:30 p.m. every Saturday at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. Taize originated in France and couples silent prayer and meditation with soft music and quiet singing. St. Michael’s interpretation includes candlelight, “centering” music, and scripture readings, as well as the distribution of communion. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be a member of the flock to enjoy your hour of bliss. 8011 Douglas Ave. 214-363-5471. www.saintmichael.org.
28. Have a picnic for one
You’ve gotta do fried chicken for picnics, but why wait until you need a bucket? Get yourself a two-piece at Brothers Fried Chicken, the finest chicken shack in Dallas. Then, while the greasy box of salty goodness is still hot, sprint two blocks to enjoy it at Buckner Park, at the corner of North Carroll Avenue and Worth Street. You’ll need to preemptively work off what you’re about to add on. 4839 Gaston Ave. 214-370-0800.
|photography by Doug Davis|
29. Do it in the front seat
Remember the old Gemini drive-in, off Central Expressway? It was razed to make room for an auto dealership. Alas. But with a little effort, you can still catch a flick from your car in North Texas. There are two drive-in theaters just a short trip from Dallas: the Galaxy Drive-In Theatre, 45 minutes south of town, and the Brazos Drive-In Theatre, about an hour and a half southeast. The Brazos has just the one screen and often sells out. The Galaxy offers four screens and a bit more cinematic variety. Brazos: 1800 Pearl St., Granbury. 817-573-1311. www.thebrazos.com. Galaxy: 5301 N. I-45, Ennis. 972-875-5505. www.galaxydriveintheatre.com.
30. Ponder the fate of your ninth-grade steady
Rest assured you’ll be Googling her or him after watching The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare in the Park, beginning June 13 at the Samuell-Grand Ampitheatre in Lakewood. Enjoy an al fresco performance of the tragedy, while sipping a glass of wine, nibbling cheese, and asking yourself: “When was my life this romantic? Oh, yeah, ninth grade!” June 13 through July 21. Samuell-Grand Ampitheatre, 1500 Tenison Parkway. 214-559-2778. www.shakespearedallas.com.
31. Organize your own summer art tour in the Design District
Did you know that Dragon Street alone houses nine art galleries? Round the corner, and you’ll find even more, including Marty Walker. So instead of meeting the gang at the West Village, urge everyone to take a stroll on a warm summer evening, and explore galleries such as Holly Johnson, Conduit, Craighead-Green, and Photographs Do Not Bend. Maybe you’ll sample some wine, perhaps you’ll have a difference of opinion about what a piece means, but you’re certain to find something you like. That’s because all of these galleries offer something different than the one before it on the tour. 1525 Stemmons Freeway. 214-698-1300.
32. See yourself laughing in the Purple Rain
We saw the movie again recently, and we were reminded how flat-out awesome Morris Day and The Time were. Actually found ourselves muttering “whatever happened to …” during “Oak Tree.” Well, Richardson is what happened to ’em. For just $20 for a three-day pass, see MD&TT and other awesome has-beens like Foghat and Eddie Money at Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival. Try to sit still during “Jungle Love.” Dare ya. May 18 through 20, 6 p.m. to midnight. Galatyn Park, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. 888-512-7469. www.wildflowerfestival.net.
33.Get hot on the Katy Trail
Maybe you’re atoning for Mambo Taxis. Perhaps it’s a basket of Snuffer’s cheddar fries. Let’s not even discuss your embarrassing refusal to share a bite of the Heaven & Hell Cake the other night at Stephan Pyles. Combat those calories by finally getting in summer shape and running the Katy Trail 5K. Attempt to set a record—Olympic or personal, it’s up to you—because the faster you complete the race, the sooner you get to sample food and drink from some of the best restaurants in town. May 17, 6:30 p.m. Reverchon Park, 3505 Maple Ave. 214-303-1180. www.katytraildallas.org.
34.Step out for some air
It might be over 90 degrees in Dallas, but over Dallas—say, at 13,500 feet—it’s quite chilly. You need to get there. And then jump. Northeast of McKinney, in Whitewright, and after a couple hours of instruction, you’ll be chilling at more than 2.5 miles up, getting ready for your first tandem skydive. Honestly, that shivering is because of the cold. Really. Take a chance and take the leap. The best day is on Wednesday, when only the regular skydiving junkies are going up. 1039 Pvt. Road 438, Whitewright. 800-759-3483. www.skydivedallas.com.
35. Run the White Rock Yogurt Marathon
Here’s the drill: buy a large cup of double-chocolate yogurt at the TCBY at Mockingbird and Abrams, and see if you can drive around White Rock Lake before finishing it. It can be done, but not easily. Turn right out of the TCBY drive-through onto Mockingbird, head east to the West Lawther Drive exit, and mosey along the White Rock two-lane, taking care not to hit, or share any yogurt with, those too-healthy cyclists. 6402 Mockingbird Lane.
36. Save your soul
The homeless don’t just get hot in the summer. They get hungry, too. Phil Romano and his wife started Hunger Busters seven years ago to fulfill the goal that “everyone deserves a freshly made meal.” In other words, the Romanos and their team of volunteers aren’t passing out canned goods or foods everyone else has passed on. Instead, every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Hunger Busters provides as many as 400 homeless people with soup prepared at Eatzi’s, sandwiches from Nick & Sam’s, toiletries, and clothing. The Food Foundation. 1925 Cedar Springs Road, Ste. 104. 214-220-0031. www.hungerbustersdallas.org.
37. Plant some rocks
Listen up, lawn lovers. Your endless seas of green grass need too much water. That’s the fact. You’ve got to find inspiration in the world of xeriscape (from the Greek word “xeros,” which means “dry”), the landscaping technique that puts a premium on water conservation. So take the self-guided Water-wise Garden Tour, sponsored by the city of Dallas, an all-day event where you’ll see examples of homeowners who’ve figured out how to save agua and have a beautiful garden. There will be demonstrations at public parks and gardens on xeriscape techniques. June 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 214-670-3155. www.savedallaswater.com.
38. Rollerblade your calves into submission
If you’ve always wanted to rollerblade through the art-deco dream that is Fair Park—or just wanted to learn to rollerblade—check out Zephyr Camp Rollerblade at Fair Park. Camps are geared toward beginners, families are welcome, and no experience is needed. Cost is $239 for 10 hours of professional instruction. May 19 and 20. Fair Park, 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd. 888-758-8687. Pre-registration required at www.camprollerblade.com.
39. Go cougar hunting
The cougar is menacing and deadly. They are best hunted after 10 p.m. on Friday nights. The best stalking grounds? The Ghostbar at the W Hotel. High atop the city, you, too, can try to bag one of these elusive creatures. Be careful. She took her ex’s everything and her wiles are well-honed. But she’ll make a man out of you. A well-kept man. 2440 Victory Park Lane, 33rd floor. 214-720-9909. www.ghostbar-dallas.n9negroup.com.
40. Stay on your toes
You may be too old for tutus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay on pointe. Dallas Ballet Center offers children and adult classes, the more advanced of which include pointe work. Forget the devastation to your summer pedicure and instead think of developing lean limbs, superior balance, and graceful carriage. Maybe that tutu wouldn’t look so bad after all. 8530 Abrams Road, Ste. 608. 214-348-3224. www.dallasballetcenter.com.
41. Learn to fly
If you’re a fan of both the Foo Fighters song and A River Runs Through It, then, brother, it’s time you learned to fly-fish. Come check out the weekend classes for beginning fly fishermen at Bass Pro Shops in Grapevine, where they’ll teach you everything from fly tying to casting. And, of course, they’ll be happy to show you the equipment you’ll need. Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. 2501 Bass Pro Drive, Grapevine. 972-724-2018. www.basspro.com.
42. Bike for a good cause
Just because Lance Armstrong stopped riding doesn’t mean you can. Nor does it mean you can’t start. A good place to give it a go, no matter your skill level: the Sam’s Club MS 150 is a two-day cycling adventure through North Texas that raises funds to help people living with multiple sclerosis. The minimum required pledge is $300 per rider, which is not much to pay to help MS research. Besides, you start in Frisco, go to Fort Worth, stay overnight, then head back from Texas Motor Speedway. What a tour, what a deal, what a ride. May 5 and 6. www.ms150.org. 214-373-1400.
43. Pretend you’re a super-rich moonshiner
DFW Drive Your Dream offers several day-long motor tours on which you get to drive exotic cars through the scenic back roads of the northern Hill Country, southeast of Fort Worth. You’ll want the fastest, bestest tour. You get to take turns with four other drivers behind the wheels of a Bentley Continental GT, a Ferrari F430, a Ford GT, a Lamborghini Gallardo, and Porsche 911 Turbo. Each cranks out about 500 horsepower (the Bentley actually manages 552 horses), so DFW DYD leads the tour with a radar detector-equipped Bandit, and all cars have two-way radio. It’ll set you back $1,389, but lunch is included. 214-247-4700. www.dfwdriveyourdream.com.
44. Move very slowly
When we took acting classes, we used to have to do tai chi exercises in the mornings. This just in: 16-year-olds don’t dig tai chi. But once you mature, you realize how relaxing, healthful, and healing the ritual can be. Tai chi at the Museum, held at the Dallas Museum of Art, makes for a great way to enjoy weekend summer mornings. Saturdays, 9 to 10:30 a.m. 1717 N. Harwood St. 214-922-1200. www.dallasmuseumofart.org.
45. Get your feet wet
After the demise of the high-dive at area pools last year, a full-immersion swim seems so overrated. Instead, relive the days of jumping through sprinklers—though in more tricked-up fashion—at the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center spray-ground. Kids will enjoy the fountains, manmade geysers, and water-spouting tubes, and you will appreciate the free admission and the park’s water-saving design. But parents of daredevils need to be alert; there are no lifeguards to police your munchkins’ antics. After all, we wouldn’t want the spray-ground to go the way of the high-dive. 9940 White Rock Trail, Dallas. 214-670-1346.
|photography courtesy of Sprinkles|
46. Sweeten your summer wedding with Sprinkles
It’s only at special occasions where we can indulge without guilt in our favorite dessert: cupcakes. This hip Beverly Hills-based bakery opened a Dallas store in March, and it offers a Sprinkles Cupcake Tower (three tiers of yum) for your special event. Flavors change daily, but go for a tasting every day of one week and munch on gorgeously decorated cupcakes full of vanilla, red velvet, or chai latte goodness in a warm, rich, wood-paneled setting. The tops of these suckers are so large that our managing editor almost choked to death trying to stuff the entire thing in his mouth on a $20 bet. Hey, there’s a good game to play at your reception. Sprinkles Cupcakes, Plaza @ Preston Center, 4020 Villanova Drive. 214-369-0004. www.sprinklescupcakes.com.
47. Listen to one hand clapping
The pond at the Japanese Garden in Fort Worth is the Zenniest place in North Texas to let yourself be one with relaxation. The 7-acre garden, part of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, not far from the Museum District, ushers you into a timeless world and keeps you there. Take quarters, because it’s 25 cents a shot to buy food pellets to feed the koi. Go May 19, and at the FWBG proper you’ll have the added aural sensation of the Fort Worth Herb Society Festival (for an extra $5, children under 6 free). 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. 817-871-7686. www.fwbg.com/japanese.htm.
48. Stare at a building
Grab a blanket and your movie-watching partner and head to the “B-Reel at the Belmont” series at the Belmont Hotel in North Oak Cliff for a night of cheesy movies and cool cocktails. Every other Tuesday night at sunset, they project laugh-out-loud movies against the side of the hotel, under the stars. Happy hour specials help any bad effects go down easy. The Princess Bride (May 29) with a mojito back? We are so there. Through October 30. 901 Fort Worth Ave. 866-870-8010. www.belmontdallas.com.