7 best ways to beat the summer heat around Dallas-Fort Worth
True, the heat of summer can be unbearable at times. But cooping up at home and cranking the AC is a bit anti-social, so finding ways to keep cool while out and about is a necessity.
Below are seven great options for beating the heat during the long Texas summer, from family-friendly options to the great reliever: booze.
Booze it up
There's almost nothing better — for those of legal age, of course — than a cold beer or other alcoholic concoction to both relieve and take your mind off the heat.
Although there are plenty of brewery tours to choose from around Dallas-Fort Worth, Martin House Brewing Company in Fort Worth stands out. The use of cans — and unique, larger cans at that — bucks the bottle trend, and beers have fun names like the Imperial Texan and Rubberneck Red, the latter in honor of the Toadies. Martin House hosts tours every Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon.
If beer isn't your thing, head to Urban Crust in Plano, where the top floor features the 32 Degrees Bar. Beer is served at a constant 32 degrees, while liquor taps of Tuaca, Patron Silver Tequila and Jagermeister flow at an extra chilly -5 degrees. As if that weren't enough, the bar itself has a strip of ice on which you can place your drink to keep it cold until you finish.
Downtown water features
Both Klyde Warren Park and Sundance Square Plaza are relatively new additions to the downtowns of Dallas and Fort Worth, respectively, and the two areas instantly became prime gathering spots for anybody looking to enjoy the great outdoors in an urban area.
People have quickly discovered that prancing through the ground-level fountains at both venues is a free, easy and fun way to cool off. Although you can enjoy the fountains at Klyde Warren at any time, Sundance Square has recently instituted rules asking that visitors only frolic in the water between 2 and 6 pm.
If you don't feel like getting wet, you can also take advantage of the plentiful trees at Klyde Warren Park or the giant umbrellas in Sundance Square Plaza.
Most people only think about ice skating when the weather turns colder, but Dallas-Fort Worth isn't hurting when it comes to indoor ice rinks. The Ice Skating Center at the Galleria in Dallas and Ice at the Parks in Arlington provide the most versatility, as they give visitors venues surrounded by multiple shopping and dining options.
If you're looking for a stand-alone experience, you can take advantage of the open skate opportunities at Polar Ice House in Grapevine or Dr Pepper Starcenter, which has locations in Euless, Farmers Branch, Frisco, McKinney and Plano.
A cool breeze can be a savior in the Texas heat, so imagine being blasted by winds of 130 mph or more. That's what you get at iFly Indoor Skydiving in Frisco, which gives you the free-falling experience without actually having to jump out of a plane. The vertical wind tunnel lets you float and flip with no fear that you'll come crashing to the ground. What's cooler than that?
Popsicles for everybody
Forget ice cream or frozen yogurt; popsicles are all the rage right now in Dallas thanks to newcomer Steel City Pops, which opened off Greenville Avenue in May 2014. And these aren't your cheapo popsicles from an ice cream truck. They come in gourmet flavors like hibiscus, pineapple jalapeño, avocado and chocolate chili, among others.
Fort Worthians don't need to despair for their lack of popsicles, though: A location is coming to 908 Currie St. in the West Seventh District in July 2014.
There's no reason staying cool and getting some education can't go hand-in-hand. You can — and should — spend hours at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The Perot is known for its educational and entertaining exhibits, including temporary ones like the World's Largest Dinosaurs and Build-It Garage. They also show 3-D movies about cute creatures like pandas and butterflies in a theater sponsored by National Geographic.
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History may not be as extensive as the Perot, but it has one thing the Perot doesn't: a state-of-the-art planetarium. The Noble Planetarium has multiple shows about the wonders of outer space, and their powerful star projector lets you see deeper into the universe than you ever thought possible.
Yes, water parks are a pretty obvious solution to the heat, but they've never been as plentiful in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as they are now. With a fifth location in White Settlement opening in June 2014, Hawaiian Falls now has us surrounded, with locations in the suburbs in almost any direction you travel.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Arlington is the standard-bearer, with thrill slides like Der Stuka and Dive Bomber among multiple other attractions. NRH2O in North Richland Hills serves the Mid-Cities, while places like Hydrous Wake Park in Allen and Little Elm, Cowtown Wake Park in Fort Worth, and Aqua Shop inside the Shops at Willow Bend in Plano let you test your wakeboarding and surfing skills in a controlled environment.
If you're looking for nice staycation, Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine has an 80,000-square-foot indoor water park that rivals any of the outdoor ones. Just down the road, the Gaylord Texan has one of the best hotel pools around, with a giant lagoon, lazy river and 27-foot waterslide.