Published October 2015 on FunCityStuff.com
Fall is among us and that means cooler temperatures and more FUN events throughout the area. In celebration of layered looks, less humidity and pumpkin everything, I have compiled a list of favorite Fall finds in DFW. From kid-friendly festivals and family fun to nightlife sips and scrumptious sweets, there is something to enjoy every day from now until the arrival of winter.
Pumpkin & Autumn-Inspired Eats & Treats
Hypnotic Donuts in East Dallas features a Pumpkin Pie Donut with a Spiced Pecan Glaze. [Ed. note: The one in Denton has "The Great Pumpkin" - pumpkin spice cake donut with cream cheese glaze and a sprinkle of cinnamon.]
Pinkberry Dallas treats those looking to keep cool on sunny days to a Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt.
Parliament pours a Pumpkin Spice Latte-inspired cocktail to those 21 and up.
Café Modern, located within the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, has a full seasonal menu that includes a delish squash risotto.
The Ginger Man Pub serves up brown-sugar-sweetened Pumpkin Ale in Dallas.
Rahr Brewery in Fort Worth has $10 tours and tastings year-long, and right now they have an award-winning Oktoberfest brew.
The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens Pumpkin Festival
Hands down one of the nation’s most impressive pumpkin patches, adults and children alike can enjoy the wonder and beauty of Autumn at the Arboretum this time of year. Aside from the acres of gardens, fountains, floral lined pathways and historical home tours, through November 25th guests can even shop for their holiday pumpkin right outside of the Pumpkin Village. The award-winning village features over 75,000 pumpkins and gourds and offers many photo opportunity locations, including a straw horse drawn carriage, pumpkin huts and a watchful scarecrow. Foodies: Daily bratwurst tastings and Mon-Fri Harvest Tea are options to nosh in nature.
State Fair of Texas
Fall just isn’t complete without a trip to the fair. Especially if you live in the state that hosts elaborate and sprawling State Fair of Texas. Come down and visit Big Tex with only five days to spare and enjoy an array of classic fair games, contests, rides and traditional fair eats. Music headliners, the 2016 State Fair Auto Show and a an acclaimed Lone Star Horse Spectacular event at 3, 4 and 5p daily in the Pan Am Arena are among some of this year's most popular draws.
Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival & Chili Cook Off
Taking place in Farmer’s Branch at the Farmer’s Branch Historical Park is October’s Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival and Chili Cook Off. On October 16th and 17th, guests can enjoy live music from a long line-up of local and traveling musicians like LeeAnn Womack, as well as taste some of best chili in DFW, all for FREE! [Ed. note: Tastings are $3 per person, but entry, parking and concerts are free.] There will be an on-site arts & crafts market, too.
Fall is a season of celebration. A time where the weather cools and hearts warm up to the thoughts of family, good food and of course, FUN.
By Mandi Pimental
During the scorching hot days of summer, our thoughts wander to the cool breeze and sparkling waters of the ocean. Millions will flock to beaches around the world, laying out their towels to sunbathe, participate in a weekend game of sand volleyball or take on the surf on boards and water toys. However, some will be partaking in all of these various activities… in the buff.
Whether you are comfortable baring all, or are just curious and want to cross something daring and new off your bucket list, the following list of nude beaches is the best of the best when it comes to privacy and breathtaking scenery.
Little Beach, Maui, Hawaii – Little Beach, located on the island of Maui, is deemed an “unofficial clothing-optional beach”. Although sunbathing nude is illegal in Hawaii, the law has not been enforced on this isolated strand in years. Surrounded by volcanic rock, high shrubbery and driftwood, it is secluded from the eyes of those in surrounding areas. A beautiful beach to visit, it is also a great place for whale watching and body surfing.
Red Beach, Crete, Greece – The name originates from the red rust color of this beaches sand, which makes this a truly beautiful picturesque locale with the stunning cobalt blue water contrasting. A naturist favorite, this beach, as well as the resort that sits upon it, allows nudity throughout (except for the dining room where clothing must be worn). The sand is coarse so sunbathers are cautioned to lie on towels when sunbathing (ouch!). The beach also features ancient caves to check out if you’re feeling adventurous and a coffee bar.
Samurai Beach, Australia – Samurai, a half-mile stretch of white sand beach, is home to the annual naked beach Olympics and nudist picnic. You can participate in egg and spoon races, sack races, and body painting competitions, among other events. The location itself is beautiful and private, but make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen. Above Australia, you will find the thinnest areas of the ozone layer.
Praia do Pinho, Brazil – Rio may have made the skimpy G-string bikini popular, but if you head south you will be expected to cover even less, and by less, we mean nothing at all. Known as the “clothing not optional’” locale, tourists from around the world flock to this private stretch of beach to bare all. Unaccompanied males are not allowed on the beach without a female friend or a membership to the International Naturist Federation. If you plan to make a weekend out of it, the beach has an inn and ocean view cabins nearby. Just think of how light you would have to pack.
Saline Beach, St. Barts – One of the hottest of the hot spots, this sizzling beach is home to A-List stars and the rich and famous. When stars want to bare all, secluded from the peering eyes of the paparazzi, they head to this long stretch of sand on the posh islands southern coast. A word of caution, the winds here can get quite rough which can cause rough swimming conditions.
While some may find the idea of hitting the beach au naturel embarrassing or too extreme, those that support the naturist movement express that they love to live life exactly how they were born. Next time you want to hit the beach, you have got a choice to make… bathing suit or birthday suit? A benefit to the latter, no tan lines. Just something to think about.
by Mandi Pimental
Sometimes finding motivation for the gym can be hard, and we can sympathize. When you are seeking a boost of energy, its decadent things like a piping hot latte or an afternoon nap that sound more enticing than putting in a sweat session. The solution? Being able to rock extremely fashionable workout attire and gear that you’ll be excited to use. Let’s face it, kicking back on the couch watching the latest reality TV drama in our new bright sneakers would make us feel incredibly guilty.
We’ve compiled a list of who we think are the five hottest fitness designers, and our top choices from their lines, so that you not only look good while getting fit, but that you also gain benefits from your workout attire.
Juicy Couture is not just about matching velour and hot handbags anymore. They infuse youth and fun into their workout gear by pairing fun colors with youthful prints (hello hot pink and leopard!). With a wide selection ranging from yoga gear to hoodies, the clothes are designed to protect you from the elements. Juicy Couture offers something for everyone. The materials are also high quality, which means good support and fabrics, like their jersey knit compression sports bras, that will be comfortable during your stretching sessions. Visit www.juicycouture.com to see the full line.
Juicy Couture Racerback Sports Bra - $32.00
Reflective Leopard Short - $48.00
Slim Drawstring Leopard Pant - $98.00
Nike shoes may be cute and colorful, which is certainly an attribute that makes it fun when coordinating your workout ensemble, but Nike is a brand that truly knows how to make an amazing workout shoe. No matter your exercise preference, whether you are a runner, a climber, or tennis pro, Nike has a shoe for you. Comprised of breathable fabric, lasting materials and a shape that actually enhances your posture as well as your workouts, Nike is a definite pick on our top five list. With their wide array of shoes, clothing, athletic attire and workout accessories, this brand is a great place to start if you are going to make an investment in your workout gear. Without a good supportive shoe, running and certain exercises could potentially be harmful to your feet, knees, ankles, and hips. By investing in a good shoe now, you can save yourself money, and pain, later. Visit www.nike.com to shop or visit a Nike retailer near you.
Lululemon is a favorite line for female athletes worldwide. Not only are their workout clothes fashionable, they offer a full line of options for female runners and yogis alike, while designing attire that is made to last. Whatever your workout routine consists of, Lululemon has a style of clothing and fabric designed just for you. With five specifically designed categories and performance enhancing fabrics, they stand by their name of being a quality brand, utilizing quality fabrics that work and stretch with your body and its movements. Using a signature fabric called Luon, the pieces are designed to wick away sweat from even the hardest workout session. To check out all of the lines and styles that Lululemon has to offer, visit www.Lululemon.com to shop or find a store near you.
Tracker Stretch Short in white - $54.00
No Limits Tank in grey - $64.00
Luxtreme cropped running pant - $86.00
For the California girl at heart, Roxy is the top choice. For you fitness fashionistas that like to play in the surf, run along the shoreline and spend endless summer days playing sports on the sand, Roxy offers an extensive line of high quality workout attire. By incorporating fun prints and bright colors, like lime green, hot pink and melon, Roxy inspires energy before you ever put your foot to the pavement. Using an Italian-made, nylon-spandex fabric to create their pieces, the fabric stretches easily and won’t lose its shape. It is also quick drying and extremely breathable, making this line a perfect choice for sand volleyball under the sun or your hot yoga classes. Visit www.roxy.com/fitness for more styles and colors.
Pictured: Spike short in pink - $44.00
Roxy Neoprene Enhanced Capris -$34.00
Australian based fashion line, Mix, is now offering laid-back and affordable active wear and we couldn’t be happier. Known for simplistic design and quality clothes, their pieces are comfortable and cute. While not high-performance, their lounge style casual separates are perfect for light days in the gym, jogging and dance class. Offering sports bra and hoodies, cropped pants and a vast array of leggings in various styles and colors, the line offers a diverse selection for the girl seeking ultimate comfort. For more, visit www.mixapparel.com.
Pictured: Racerback runner tank $12.00
Drawstring lounge pant in pink - $20.00
By Mandi Pimental
Dating back to 1885, the time of its creation, the bicycle has been the main type of transportation in many regions of the world and still is today. Not only is a bicycle a greener mode of transportation it is also great exercise. Like any of life’s accessories, if you know how to shop, your bicycle can be your most fabulous accouterment and your greatest tool outside of your gym bag. With many varieties to explore, I will take you on a tour of some of the options when it comes to finding the right bicycle for not only your personal style type, but your regions terrain as well.
For The Commuter: The Road Bike
The most popular type of bike when shopping for the general casual biker, the perfect fit would be the road bike. The road bike, built for traveling at medium to high speeds on paved roads, are built less for fast bursts of speed and more for endurance and long distances when using them to commute or use for exercise. The road bike typically has more gear combinations, similar to a mountain bike and less high tech features making them user-friendly. Tires are usually narrower and high-pressure, rocky or uneven terrain is usually unadvised.
For The Adventurer: The Mountain Bike
Another popular type of bike is the mountain bike. While many consumers will purchase a mountain bike as their day-to-day transport bike, the mountain bike was designed for off-road cycling. Much like how the Jeep was made to standout against other SUV’s in the automobile world. Generally, mountain bikes can
be classified into four categories based on suspension: Rigid, hard tail, soft tail and full. This is important to inquire about when shopping because it will give the consumer insight on how the suspension handles, and how the wheels move. The mountain bike is made for the unpaved environment and therefor used mostly for sport and exercise over general transportation. Mountain bikes differ from road bikes in many ways. First being the larger tires made for gripping rocks and gravel. Second, their brakes are made to be more powerful than a general street bike, and possess lower gear ratios for steeper pathways that have poor traction.
For The Athlete: The Racing Bike
The racing bike is the standout star athlete in the group. Sleek, lightweight and lightning fast these beautiful bikes are built for speed. Competitive bike racing is a widely popular sport, athletes look for the best of the best when purchasing their bicycles. Unlike the bells and whistles of the mountain and road bikes, these bikes have minimal accessories, drop handlebars and narrow tires. The handlebar design allows for a riding position that is aerodynamic and the gear range is minimal. This allows the bike to operate at optimum efficiency. Carbon fiber is used in the higher end models of the racing category and makes for a very lightweight model.
For The Casual Rider: The Beach Cruiser
The beach cruiser is built for style, and my personal favorite. Unlike their lightweight counterparts, the beach cruiser is built with a heavy frame and designed for comfort over performance. Padded seats and curved back handlebars allow the rider to sit comfortably and ride with ease. The cruiser model was the bike standard throughout America in the 40’s and 50’s. Traditionally, beach cruisers operate on a single speed and have easy brakes. Today you are able to find models with up to seven speeds, and the introduction of the use of aluminum to design them have made them lighter weight than what they once were. Most popularly seen near the beaches, riding along the boardwalks, beach cruisers are available worldwide.
For The Happy Couple: The Tandem
The tandem bicycle, introduced in 1898, was developed to allow multiple riders to use one bicycle together as transportation. Now used in not only casual biking but racing as well, the tandem bicycle is still popular and relevant today. A popular vacation rental, you can sit two (or more) individuals, one in front of the other, and cruise. In comparison to a traditional one-seat bicycle, the tandem bike has double the pedaling power, as two individuals work together. It does however possess the same wind resistance and weighs less than twice as much as a single weighs. With those factors taken into consideration, a tandem cycle can reach higher speeds faster than a single rider bike making it a good choice for someone who wants to get around quicker, and who loves company.
by Mandi Pimental
Summer is peak time for outdoor fitness and activities. From the sky to the surf and all the land stretched out in between, your options for adventure are endless.
If you are looking to get your feet wet, and seek an adrenaline rush, parasailing is something to look into this season. Many resort destinations offer it at the local marina, starting around $65 for a standard 600 ft. flight. For those new to this exhilarating excursion, you will be taken to a dock to meet your boat and driver, and safely be secured into a harness before being lifted to get a birds-eye view of the land and sea. You can expect to see amazing views of the islands below, whether you opt to take off from the waters in the Bahamas, the Florida Keys or Catalina Island in California. You can opt for a dry flight, or you can request to have your feet dipped in the water for an extra thrill.
For a good leg and core workout, opt for stand up board. A little easier than jumping into a surf lesson, stand up board, or SUB, allows you to stand and paddle a board through ocean or lake waters. On a board slightly larger than a surfboard, you will use balance to stay upright and navigate yourself through the water with a single oar. The beauty of this sport is that you can adjust its difficulty to your level. Start on your knees, rowing slowly and work your way up to standing and cutting through the water at higher speeds. Certain cities, like Manhattan and Hoboken, offer stand up board water tours.
For fans of full water immersion, snorkeling and diving are the top choice. Enjoying the beauty and color of underwater life, your experience can vary greatly from coast to coast. Recommended are the waters of Hawaii, Australia and the Western Caribbean where you will find the clearest and warmest waters. You can opt to take a snorkeling tour on an organized excursion or you can pick up your own gear and head to a local lagoon or reef to explore on your own. Safety is important, so make sure you check out locations ahead of time to make sure that it is safe to swim, and that you don’t disturb reef or wildlife that isn’t meant to mingle with humankind. You can generally rent gear if you snorkel or dive through a company, however, if you are going to opt to venture out on your own, buying your gear in a bundle will save you money and time searching for each individual piece. Look for bundles that include a quality silicone mask, a comfortable mouthpiece, durable fins, and a carrying bag.
For land lovers, summer specific sports allow you to a break from the norm when it comes to fitness and how we spend our outdoor time with friends and family. Heading to the local beach or park for a game of sand volleyball gives us a great sweat session without feeling like work. You can also opt to get a team together to play throughout the summer. Make sure to wear supportive workout gear that will allow you to stretch and jump, and don’t forget a powerful SPF to protect yourself from the suns harsh rays.
Tennis is also a great option for heart-pumping cardio. It is also another sport that allows you to be social. You can join a long-term league, play at a local court with friends or sign up for lessons if you are new to the sport and are looking to try something that will challenge you. Wilson’s Pro Staff 95S and Head’s Graphene Prestige Pro tennis racquets were named two of the top racquets for 2014. Priced at $199 and $189 respectively, they are on the professional end. If you are looking for a good racquet to get you started, the Wilson OS500 is a good place to start, priced modestly at just $39.99.
Though not strictly a summer activity, hiking ranks high on the favorites list. Minimal gear is needed, and you can do it almost anywhere. Hiking allows you to feel a sense of adventure, whether you are exploring your own city or blazing mountain trails thousands of miles from home. Make sure you wear a good hiking shoe to protect your ankles and your feet from the elements, like the Adidas Terrex Swift hiking shoe, and bring plenty of water. It is a good rule of thumb to bring more water than you think you will need in case you are out longer than planned or if it’s warmer than anticipated. Also, pack a light snack and apply sunscreen and bug spray to exposed skin.
Remember that summer is a time for adventure, making memories and letting go of stress. Whatever sports or activities you choose to partake in this summer, make it something you enjoy. Try something new. Get outside, and more importantly, get outside your comfort zone.