Saturday, September 30, 2023 Sep 30, 2023
76° F Dallas, TX

The Ultimate List of Dallas Summer Must-Haves

We present our list of warm-weather essentials, from coolers to pools, guaranteed to up your entertaining game when the thermometer tips into the triple digits.
By Ginni Beam, , and |
Elizabeth Lavin

Food and Drink

Custom Taiga Cooler with hard selters inside

Custom Taiga cooler, $229

Taiga Coolers are bringing full customization to the ice chest game. With the option to add a graphic and select your bin and lid colors, you’re all set to rep your favorite team. Plus, they’re made of plant-based plastics for the environmentally friendly tailgater.

We tasted all of the hard seltzers so you don’t have to. Click here to learn which flavor is for you.

$229 at Taiga Coolers

Potager in Blue salad plate, $309

Fine china isn’t just for holidays. Use table linens to cushion grandma’s wedding plates in the basket, and mix in new pieces for a modern edge. Color—the brighter the better—should be your unifying theme.

$309 at Ellis Hill

Icone flatware set in pink, $114 for a 5-piece set

$114 at Blue Print

Ceramic dinner plate in “citrus taj,” $63

$63 at Blue Print

Striped cocktail napkins, $28 set of 4

Set of 4 for $28

Poros cereal bowl in fern, $55

$55 at Blueprint

Custom piñata, $100/ft.

Alfonso Hernández doesn’t advertise his artisanal piñata line, but word has gotten out. As he honed his craft over the past six years, his too-amazing-to-break party decor spread through local celebrations and small businesses. Beloved TV characters, Jurassic Park-caliber dinosaurs, and life-size mascots rendered in papier-mâché, sometimes with dynamic or electric elements, push the boundaries of the art form. A custom creation will run you about $100 a foot. If you decide to keep it for display after the party instead of stuffing it with candy, store it in a controlled environment out of direct sunlight.

Explore the Piñatas

Custom cakes start at $65

After a heartbreaking hiatus while founder Sam Cade temporarily relocated to NYC, Cade’s Cakes is back in Dallas with incredible—and incredibly delicious—confectionary renderings of everyday objects. You can spot Cade herself on the new Netflix series Is It Cake? She won’t tell us if she won, but she promises to keep us supplied henceforth with custom sheet cakes and jaw-dropping cake sculptures. The only limits are our imagination and our budget. For a portable, no-frills sugar fix, try her deconstructed “Cake Guts” in a jar.

Order Now

The Comfortable Kitchen, $17.99

The Defined Dish author Alex Snodgrass’ second cookbook contains more than 100 recipes, many Paleo compliant.

$17.99 on Amazon

Outside Activities


Pickleball bundle, $725

The bundle includes a net, 4 paddles, and 3 balls.

$725 at Get Autside


Equal parts high-performance tool and aesthetic marvel, Warstic sluggers come endorsed by current and former MLBers such as Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Brent Rooker, Delino DeShields Jr., and Ian Kinsler, who came on as a company partner in 2016 (along with Jack White of The White Stripes). The sports apparel company—founded in 2011 by Ben Jenkins, a former minor leaguer and branding expert from Lake Highlands—tripled in size this past year and expects even more success in 2022.

Choose your bat’s color, materials, engraving, and specs, or stop by Warstic HQ in Deep Ellum to get custom fit like a pro.

Shop Warstic Bats Now

Nomad grill and smoker, $649

Open, it can cook up to 30 burgers at once. Closed, it turns into a smoker. And the heat sinks and perforated shell mean you can fire it up on your picnic table or your tailgate without harm. The whole thing weighs just 28 pounds. Nothing is painted, so it won’t corrode, peel, bubble, or chip.

$599 at Nomad Grills

Tower Ball, $190

Work your way around the tower, throwing balls into color-coded holes of decreasing size for increasing points.

$190 at Caliber Games
Solo Stove Bonfire

Solo Stove Bonfire and stand, $265

$264.99 at Solo Stove

Loop Chair, $595

Austin-based Tupelo Goods offers sleek, hoseable tables and chairs for outdoor ease.

$595 at Tupelo
Autside Bags & Board

Autside Bags & Board, $550

Glen Collins enlisted his friend Matthew Hufft, an AIA award–winning architect and fabricator, to reinvent the classic cornhole design. Among many innovations, a magnetic pin used to lock the folded legs in place can then be used to keep score and also acts as a bottle opener. And Glen worked with the Flower Mound-based Bagdaddys (the owner of which has a special needs child) to make sustainable bags filled with recycled tire pellets.

$550 at Autside

Plungie pools

Prefabricated concrete Plungie pools are manufactured in Dallas and delivered to your door. They start at 12 by 7 feet ($16,000) and go up to 20 by 10 feet ($23,000). You’ll need to get building approval, dig the hole, hire a crane, and have a plumber and electrician hook things up. But at least you don’t have to sit around and wait for the concrete to dry.

Learn More



Garden watercolor kit, $34

$34 at Commerce Goods & Supply

Mosaica dessert plate in pink, $65

$65 at Blue Print
Garden Snake Woven Blanket

Garden Snake woven blanket, $150

Heather Clark is the artist behind these woven blankets that work equally well as bed toppers or picnic floppers. Made of cotton, they can be machine-washed and air-dried, allowing you to add an element of art to your turf table.

$150 at Spirit of Salt

The Little Art Bus

Niki Little started her artistic career working out of the trunk of her car. Now, with The Little Art Bus, she’s got a commercial driver’s license and operates a traveling studio on wheels. One D Magazine staffer swears it is the perfect party. Kids are contained on the bus with helpers and craft projects to keep them occupied for a couple of hours; parents are welcome to pull up chairs and open some vino. Don’t have kids? Adults are welcome to bring their vino on the bus and get their painting on. There’s no fuss, no muss, and no cleanup. Messy kids and husbands can simply be hosed down on the lawn.

Craft party for up to 12 artists, $350 plus $35 for each additional child. 

Learn More

Archie planter, $69

Karla Gallegos started by creating horticultural designs for restaurants;  at her new shop, she’ll outfit your home. 

2010 Greenville Ave.

$69 at Carpa Designs

Long-sleeved front zip swimsuit, $245

We’ve been to the dermatologist enough to know that more is more when it comes to swimwear. Lisa Moore’s Dallas-based start-up, Cover, makes stunning UPF 50+ suits in short-sleeve, long-sleeve, and high-neck versions.

$245 at Cover

Lele Sadoughi visor, $65

$65 at Lele Sadoughi

Classic chess set, $29

$29 at Blue Print

Pick Up Sticks, $20

$20 at All Good Things

Backgammon set, $1,925

$1,925 at Ellis Hill

Rainbow cards, $13

$13 at Blue Print

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