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You are the star of these super-awesome summer daycations

Share photos from your day’s adventure on your social media pages and hashtag #Advocatedaytrip

It’s summer, and it seems all your friends and acquaintances are enjoying lavish vacations. You can’t click on your favorite social media site without images of their surfing and seaside lounging slapping you in the eyes. You wonder: “Am I the only person with a job and a budget in this world?” For starters, you are not alone. Furthermore, you don’t have to travel far for relaxation, entertainment and excitement.

For the landlocked Lake Highlands dweller, follow our story for four tailored-to-your-taste itineraries, each less than 30 minutes from home.

Forestwood Antique Mall and Garden Tea Room: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Forestwood Antique Mall and Garden Tea Room: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

WEST: A THROWBACK KIND OF DAY

Head slightly west of our neighborhood for a day of nostalgia and whimsy with a dash of spice and action.

IT IS AN OVERCAST, BREEZY MORNING. The heat, at this early hour, is not yet oppressive. It’s your day off, and you are feeling sentimental and venturesome. “Let’s do something meaningful,” you think. Now, before you get going, are you one of those wake-up-hungry types?

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Yes, I must feed. Go to #1.    

No, I prefer to work up an appetite. Go to #2.

1
You take the Royal exit off Central Expressway and find a comfy booth at Cindi’s NY Deli, a tried-and-true institution featuring fluffy flapjacks and hearty omelets plus Jewish staples such as Challah breads and Matzo ball soup. You praise the staff for the all-day breakfast offerings and generosity with the coffee refills. Man, those pancakes hit the spot! Now, do you jump right into physical activity or ease into your day with a quiet shopping excursion?

Let’s get physical. Go to #5.

Shopping sounds like adequate exercise for now. Go to #2.

2
You travel back in time — that is, to Forest Lane at Inwood — arriving at Forestwood Antique Mall, which specializes in sports memorabilia, folk art, collectables and rare jewelry. After scoring a Battle Armor Skeletor Evil Lord of Destruction action figure for your vintage toy collection (fist pump!), you enjoy lunch at the mall’s Garden Tea Room — it opens at 11 a.m. and serves classic comfort foods including casseroles, soups and chicken fried steak until 2:30 p.m. Maybe Forestwood merely whet your shopper’s appetite, or perhaps you met your antiquing quota for the week — which is it?

I could shop some more. Go to #3.

I am one parcel away from Hoarders Buried Alive; let’s just look at some cool old things. Go to #4.

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You cruise along Forest until you arrive at the North Dallas Antique Mall, nestled in a shopping park at Marsh. You feel giddy and proud, discovering treasure after treasure including mid-century modern, Mad Men-era knick-knacks, old records and eight-tracks. Nothing can stop you now that Linda Rhonstadt’s Greatest Hits is in your possession. Your reusable shopping bags are full, but is your tummy?

No, let’s eat. Go to #6.

I’m stuffed and ready to continue my daylong escape from reality. Go to #4.

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Museum of Biblical Art: Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

You go back. Way way back. Like 2,000 years back. The Museum of Biblical Art, located at Park Lane and Boedeker, offers all the adventure you can stomach — births, death, war, gore, peace, passion … One kindly docent explains that in 2005, a fire destroyed the museum and some 2,500 works inside, but that from the ashes rose a more magnificent venue of 30,000 square feet featuring biblically themed art that, be you devoutly religious or not at all, fuels the soul. Your soul might be filled, but is your gut?

That loaves and fishes story made me hungry. Go to #6.

I’m not hungry, but I am inspired. Let’s carpe this diem!  Go to #5.

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As you enter the cardiovascular exercise paradise known as Jump Street, off Central Expressway at Royal, you immediately revert to childhood. You are 10 again as you bounce and test your trampoline-dodge ball (yes, that is all one thing) and arcade game skills, or ride the mechanical bull. Now you’ve worked up an appetite. Are you down for a quick margarita and pulled-pork fajitas or do you prefer something a little less heartburn inducing?

Bring on jalapeno flavored everything. Go to #6.

BUT my ulcer is acting up. Go to # 7.

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Tupinamba: Photo by Kim Leeson

Tupinamba: Photo by Kim Leeson

Tupinamba restaurant is new to Preston Hollow Village, at Walnut Hill just west of Central Expressway, but this institution has been serving up tacos, fajitas, rice, beans, margaritas and the gamut of Tex-Mex staples for almost 70 years. In other words, the staff here knows its stuff, and that serves you well. Yum!  You are pumped full of tacos and Jose Cuervo. As the psychiatrist would ask, “how does that make you feel?”

Tequila makes me sleepy. I’m calling it a night. [Thank your designated driver, and go to bed.] [END]

The night is young — what else is there? Go to #8.

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The Mermaid Bar: Photo by Rasy Ran

The Mermaid Bar: Photo by Rasy Ran

Enter familiar territory — NorthPark Center. Tucked inside Neiman Marcus department store, you discover the fabled Mermaid Bar, which opened at the same time as the mall in 1965. You admire whimsical murals by Danish artist Bjorn Wiinblad — Stanley Marcus commissioned them in the 1960s. Reliably good food, service and the “nostalgia effect” has kept customers coming back throughout the years, general manager Chad Boyle tells you. “This is the destination of ladies’ lunches in Dallas — grandmothers brought the mothers, and the mothers brought the daughters, and that’s how it’s been for 50 years,” he says. You smile and try The Mermaid Sampler, which includes a cup of soup, fruit and half a chicken salad sandwich. Now that you’ve had a light meal, do you feel like socializing or sitting in a dark theater where someone else provides the entertainment?

I enjoy live music and potent potables, and I don’t have any children with me. Go to #9.

I’m feeling antisocial, yet oddly in the mood for an old, feel-good movie. Go to #8.

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Every third Wednesday of the month, Studio Movie Grill (at Central Expressway and Royal) takes audiences back in time with its Family Rewind series, featuring favorite childhood movies at retro prices — $3 a ticket. It is July, so you grab a soda and settle in for a screening of “The Neverending Story.” You leave with thoughts of luckdragons and childlike empresses dancing in your head, not to mention that catchy theme song. “Dream a dream, and what you dream will be … eee ah eee eee …” Speaking of dream, are you ready to hit the pillow or up for more activity?

Neverending Story? More like the neverending day. I’m done. [END]

I could do more — how about live music and adult beverages? Go to #9.

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Velvet Elvis, the deliciously divey lounge you discover at 3720 Walnut Hill (near Marsh) draws a mixed crowd, and you feel totally cozy inside its walls. You like to lounge, play pool and have eclectic, but not persnickety, musical taste, which makes this place, which offers live mainstream rock music from just about every decade, perfect. Oh, and cheap, strong drinks — you appreciate those too. It’s the ideal way to wind down your pleasant and fulfilling day. [END]
Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

EAST: [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE]’S DAY OFF DAY

Travel 10-20 minutes east of our neighborhood, give or take, to the Garland area, for a day of out and indoor adventure, and tantalizing tourism with splashes of refreshment along the way.

AS SUNLIGHT PEEKS THROUGH your bedroom blinds, you hear the TV weatherman report it’s going to be clear and hot today — but not 105 hot. More like 90 hot. Not too bad! You guzzle your coffee and think, “I am ready to take on the world! I am going to get so much work done today!” But then you remember you have the day off. Even better. Today, you are going to make Ferris Bueller look like a hack. Is your stomach growling or should you knock out your al fresco exercise before the mercury rises?

I am famished. Go to #1.

Let’s start with a scenic hike. Go to #2.

1
Head east of Lake Highlands to downtown Garland, where at the corner of Main and 9th you find Hubbard’s Cubbard, a country diner that serves up gargantuan gravy-drenched biscuits. You opt for a pancake sampler. The breakfast menu, with its dense starches, fluffy eggs, crispy bacon and endless stream of stout coffee has drawn diners from far and near for more than 35 years. Now, are you ready to work off some of those calories, or do you need some quiet, indoor time to digest?

Let’s get physical! Go to #2.

I could walk, but prefer to do so indoors. Go to #5

2
Head just a few miles east/northeast of our neighborhood and downtown Garland to the Rowlett Creek Preserve, at 2525 Castle near Centerville. This wooded single-track trail system offers more than 16 miles of path-pounding options for adventurers on foot or bike, plus scenic picnic areas and open greenbelt spaces. Before heading in, you check the Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association’s trail guidelines, posted near the trailhead. This helps you determine the proper trail — flat or bumpy, long-distance or short loop — for your skill level and intentions. This trail has something for everyone. Bet you are hot and thirsty now, huh?

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Yes — bring on icy cold refreshment. Go to #3

Yes — but I could use something with a little punch. Go to #4

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TC Shaved Ice: Photo by Mark Davis

TC Shaved Ice: Photo by Mark Davis

You swing into TC Shaved Ice for the smoothest, sweetest, snowiest cones around. You are familiar with the White Rock Lake area location and are happy to learn there is one perfectly situated on today’s route, at 503 S. Garland, across the street from Garland High School. The only inconvenience is the mind-blowing plethora of flavors — do you order the bubble gum, amaretto or wedding cake? Or something more traditional, like pina colada or peach? Heck, you are feeling adventurous — make it a Tiger’s Blood and Tutti-Fruiti knockout (that is, shaved ice with creamy vanilla ice cream on top and bottom). Now let’s take advantage of that sugar rush — you have energy to burn. Up for some low-impact exercise, want to geek out at a hat-making factory, or would you like some adrenaline with that energy blitz?

A relaxed game of golf sounds nice. Go to #7.

I’d like to tour the country’s biggest hat-making factory. Go to #5.

Want to get high, in the most legal way possible. Go to #6.

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White Rock area resident Wim Bens founded Lakewood Brewing years before he finally, recently opened the Lakewood Brewing Company taproom, which happens to be located smack dab in the middle of your Garland daycation, at 2302 Executive, near Jupiter and Miller. “It’s fate,” you think, as you hunker down with an award-winning lager such as Temptress or the American style wheat beer Rock Ryder. If your tummy is rumbling, one of the food trucks frequently parked outside the venue shuts it up in no time. You check out the merchandise booth where you pick up a cool LBC trucker hat and a keychain that opens bottles, and spot a sign promoting taproom tours. You like tours, so you have a look around. At this point, you are totally chill. Do you want to stay that way?

Sure, got any more tours? Go to #5.

I am ready for some heart-pumping action — bring on the water slides! Go to #9.

My heart wants to pump, but I forgot my bathing suit. Go to #6.

5

rockwall cowboyhatGarland — it’s so close, yet it sometimes feels like a different state (of mind, if nothing else). Garland, in many ways, is that Texas of the movies — the one in which characters don steel-toed boots, bulky silver belt buckles and 10-gallon hats. Fully embracing your day as a tourist in your own backyard, you partake in this truly Texan excursion — a tour of the Resistol and Stetson factory, the largest manufacturer of hats in the country, at 721 Marion near Forest and Garland. You might not own a cowboy hat, but you still find the process of making one fascinating — collecting and felting the fur of beavers, rabbits and minks; pressure rolling; dyeing and customizing — and are surprised at the number of craftsmen and women who touch one hat from start to finish. You are so impressed that you visit the Resistol Outlet Store, which flanks the factory. Now hang on to that new cowboy hat, because it’s time for some real action and adventure. The only question is, can you handle heights?

I get a kick out of high places, what do you have in mind? Go to #6.

I am a bit of a daredevil, within limits. Go to #9.

I prefer to stay grounded. Go to #7.

6
A Lake Highlands couple was following their passion when they opened Sky Helicopters in the early ’90s, and you are psyched that they did, because now you are reaping the benefits. Connie and Ken Pyatt operate the heliport, at 2559 S. Jupiter. A large portion of their business comes from photographing news footage for local broadcasts, but that, while a groovy side note, does not concern you today. The skyline tour — which flies passengers over landmarks including White Rock Lake, Downtown Dallas, Cowboys stadium and the Rangers’ ballpark — is a little out of your price range at $375 for a half hour (you’ll come back in the winter for the holiday lights tour, you promise yourself), but the flight simulator lesson/flight combo is right up your alley. For $159, you receive 30 minutes of instruction followed by 30 minutes in-the-air practice in a controlled environment. You believed you could fly, and now you have. This is the best day ever. Are you hungry or too hyped for food?

Starving. Go to #8.

I spotted some intense-looking waterslides from the air, and I am interested. Go to #9.

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While you are no Jordon Spieth, you can hold your own on the green. Heck, even a novice or new student of the game can have a blast at the Firewheel Golf Park, which is where you find yourself on this summer day (fortunately, you called ahead to book your tee time: 972.205.2795). The park includes three regulation courses; Avid Golfer magazine rated one of them number two among highly competitive “mid-priced courses ($50-$59)” class. Green and cart fees are even lower after 1 p.m. If you worked up an appetite on the course, stop by the Branding Iron Restaurant and Patio, a full service eatery overlooking the rolling topography. If you’d rather ditch the fancy and get down and dirty with some barbecue, that’s also an option.

Barbecue sounds good. Go to #8.

I’m not hungry, but I am also not ready to call it a day. Go to #10.

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Meshack’s Bar-B-Que: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Meshack’s Bar-B-Que: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

No Texas daycation is complete without some real barbecue on your plate. You happen upon Meshack’s Bar-B-Que, at 240 E. Avenue B, and you just aren’t sure — “This place is a shack,” you think. You observe the weeds overtaking the parking lot, the few stumps ostensibly for sitting, the rudimentary pictures of meats and sandwiches and almost bolt, but something stops you in your tracks — the aroma of pecan smoke. As you eat your ribs — dark, tangy sauce adhering to your fingers and the corners of your mouth — you realize that it is all about the meat and nothing else matters. You are utterly satiated, but there is still fun to be had. You could do something active, adventurous — a thing that also will wash away all traces of barbecue sauce on your body — or you could sit in a cool, dark room and watch someone else’s adventures.

If you mean a waterpark, bring it on. Go to #9.

I’m all for action, as long as I don’t have to do the acting. Go to #10.

9
Hawaiian Falls: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Hawaiian Falls: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Inside Hawaiian Falls, you enjoy water-soaked adventures — streak down towering slides with names like The Torpedo, shoot along winding tunnels, pseudo surf the Hawaiian Halfpipe, swim among the waves and splash your way around gushing play areas (with or without your kiddos). Or just soak up some rays on Breaker Beach or relax on a float as you attempt to drown-out the noise of the ecstatic children who surround you. An adult ticket costs $23. (Kids and seniors are $16). What a deal! By now you are likely pretty pooped, right?

Yes, I think I am … snores. [END]

I could watch somebody else do something. Go to #10.

10
Do you feel pretty? You sure do after your night at the Garland Summer Musicals inside the fabulous Patty Granville Arts Center at 300 N. 5th in Downtown Garland. It’s June, which means West Side Story runs the 12th-24th of the month. (Secure tickets in advance by calling 972.205.2790). Rumbles, romance and regret softened with singing and choreographed dance numbers — what a way to polish off a
great day! [END]
Mercy Wine Bar: Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

Mercy Wine Bar: Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

NORTH: MY BIG FAT FAR NORTH DALLAS ADVENTURE

Food, flight, culture, comedy — it all awaits you, just few miles north.

IF YOUR KIDS ATTEND Richardson ISD schools, you might frequently find yourself driving north for ball games and choir concerts. But today is special, because you realize there is actual fun to be had in this oft-forgotten land. This day promises weird and wonderful experiences, so with which do you want to begin — the weird or the wonderful?

Let’s ease into this with the wonderful. Go to #1

I eat weird for breakfast. Go to #2

1
Valley House Gallery: Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

Valley House Gallery: Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

Head north on I-635 and take Hillcrest to an artistic oasis, hidden away from the busy intersections. The intimate Valley House Gallery at 6616 Spring Valley showcases regionally and internationally recognized artists in various mediums. You find your moment of Zen in the outdoor sculpture garden lush with plant life, canopy trees and a tranquil pond. You’ll forget you’re in Dallas at all. Now, are you hungry for action or for food?

Bring on the action. Go to #2

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I crave adventure, the edible kind. Go to #3

2
You played the video game Room Escape back in the day, regularly putting your investigative and problem-solving skills to the test — and dominating! So you are over the moon to learn that this is a real-life thing. You arrive at Escape Expert The Experience, located in an industrial park at 13663 Floyd Circle, where you immerse yourself in scenarios such as Attic Panic, Secret Vault or the uber-challenging Mind Matrix. The goal once inside the room is to escape by finding and using clues, thinking creatively and responding quickly to stressors. While it is popular for parties and corporate circles, you find Escape Expert, at $28 per person, to be a groundbreaking mind-and-soul-sharpening exercise — other individuals and couples, those fortunate enough to know this place exists, agree. That got the tummy growling, but is your stomach as adventurous as your spirit?

Yes, let’s try out some hole-in-the-wall ethnic eateries. Go to #3.

Not exactly, mine is a meat and potatoes kind-a belly. Go to #4.

3
More choices! The sharable Mediterranean dishes at Pera Wine and Tapas at 6006 Belt Line; those heaping mounds of densely flavorful dumplings and pad Thai at charmingly rustic Thai Soon at 101 S. Coit; or the upscale Indian fare at Mughlai Restaurant at 5301 Alpha — you finally settle on one, and make a mental note to come back for more. Now, when you take a vacation, you always bring home souvenirs. A daycation should be no different. Do you like your shopping high end or chicly shabby?

Upscale, baby. Go to #5.

Keep today funky. Go to #6.

4
Neighboring Addison offers a dining Mecca full of coma-inducing comfort food. Do you order the adult mac ‘n’ cheese at Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill at 5000 Belt Line? Try the famous chicken and waffles at Buttons Restaurant at 15207 Addison? Or some New England clam chowder and Maine lobster at Lefty’s at 4021 Belt Line? You pick one and waddle, dazed and satiated, back into the blinding sunlight. You decide to walk it off. But indoors, of course. You have two choices. Both are malls. Both are old, but loved. Both offer fun attractions for kids. Do you prefer a more traditional mall experience or one that is a little rougher around the edges but loved by local artists?

Sponsored Message

The all-American mall. Go to #5.

OK, you have my attention. The artsy one it is. Go to #6.

5
Galleria: Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

Galleria: Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

At the Galleria, off I-635 at Dallas Pkwy., you find four levels of shopping — staples such as Nordstrom and Belk plus tourist favorites including Field of Dreams baseball memorabilia shop — dining and entertainment. The ground floor is dedicated to ice skating and eating — slip, slide, spin and work up an appetite for Tex-Mex at Mi Cocina. You score major points with your daughter when you take her for afternoon tea at the American Girl Bistro, where dolls are treated like kids, and where they provide dolls if you happen to have left yours at home. It is not at all creepy! Are you up for more shopping?

Sure! Go to #6.

No, I’m up for some down time — a relaxing place with some food, perhaps.Go to #7.

No, I’m up for some up time! Go to #9.

6
The once declining Valley View Center is making its comeback even before the $3 billion redevelopment turns it into Dallas Midtown. Scores of local artists have moved in to create the Gallery at Midtown, hosting free art walks 6-10 p.m. every third Saturday of the month. You chill out while the little ones wear themselves out on the ground floor bounce house, then maybe you catch a movie at AMC Theater.  Your next move will rely on your level of energy, enthusiasm, bravery and expendable income.

I am fired-up, daring and rich.  Go to #9.

I’m fun, but on a budget. Go to #8.

I’ve had enough for one day. Let’s wind down. Go to #7.

7
You cozy up with a bottle of wine and a cheese plate at Mercy Wine Bar at 5100 Belt Line. The warm, low-lit atmosphere and live jazz music help you wind down after your exhausting journey to the center of the mall.  Are you done?

I’m done. [END]

I found a second wind. Go to #8.

8
Stand-up comedy, can be awkward — it’s hit or miss, but that’s part of its appeal. Addison Improv hosts famous and unknown comedians. It’s June 18-20, so you see John Witherspoon, who has starred in movies including Friday, Next Friday, and Friday After Next as well as alongside the Wayans brothers in sitcoms. You arrive early for dinner before the show — the menu has a little something for everyone, from steak to fried catfish. You make a mental note to bring the kiddos back to the Sunday afternoon all-ages comedy and magic show. As the comics say, “Good night, [Far North] Dallas!” [Drops mic.] [END]
9
You are embarking on the ultimate daycation denouement — all it took to get here was clear skies, a daring spirit and $500-$700. Epic Helicopters operates out of nearby Addison Airport. You custom plan your Dallas landmark tour or romantic sunset tour or aerial fireworks watching, available on certain summer nights. You can even pipe your own music through the helicopter speakers. Talk about ending on a high note. [END]
Trees: Photo by Benjamin Hager

Trees: Photo by Benjamin Hager

SOUTH: YOUTH-GONE-WILD DAY

You booked your best babysitter for this one, because today is about recapturing your youth.

YOU DON YOUR OLD Trippin’ Daisy T-shirt and Dr. Martens, and you bring your favorite flannel in case the air conditioning at the brewery becomes uncomfortable. (What? You’re still hip. Just older and better prepared these days.) The first tribute to your carefree youth? Sleeping late. Leisurely sip your coffee. Heck, watch the third hour of the Today Show, a broadcast the Daily Beast recently called “a tense mess … the atmosphere weird … the conversation a barrage of inanity and interruptions.” It’s fascinating, you think. Like a car crash. You zoom 20 minutes south of the Lake Highlands nest for your Deep Ellum-ish daycation. Your first destination is lunch — it’s about the time Deep Ellum wakes up. The neighborhood’s restaurants routinely make local and national headlines, so your choices are exciting and abundant. But how long are you willing to wait in line?

As long as it takes! The longer the line, the sweeter the reward. Go to #1.

Less than half an hour. Go to #2.

1
Pecan Lodge: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Pecan Lodge: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

You arrive at legendary Pecan Lodge at 2702 Main well before its 11 a.m. opening, because the line forms early. You enjoy chatting with an eclectic group of fellow lunchers as you wait — it’s all part of the charm. You thought you knew what to order, but by the time you reach the counter you are struggling — the brisket, the handmade smoked sausage or the “hot mess,” which combines barbacoa, chipotle cream cheese, sea salt-crusted sweet potatoes, butter and green onions? Oh heck, you just throw caution to the wind and scarf down the whole lot of it, with all apologies to those at the back of the line, who might go without because of your gluttonous ways. A cold beer on the spacious patio washes away all traces of shame. “Now,” you think to yourself, “I should walk off some of those delicious calories, but how?”

Strolling art galleries. Go to #3.

Shopping. Go to #4.

2
So much to do, so much to eat! Maybe you’ll have the Chinese noodles at Monkey King Noodle Co. Or a gooey grilled cheese at Uncle Uber’s. Or fresh seafood at Deep Sushi. Or chicken fried steak at All Good Café. You wind up choosing the Chicago-style dogs at Luscher’s Red Hots — after all, owner Brian Luscher is your Lake Highlands neighbor. Next, how to best walk off those meaty calories?

Stroll nearby art galleries. Go to #3.

Shop. Go to #4.

3
The power of the Dallas Arts District often overshadows the small, indie galleries that showcase emerging or lesser-known artists. A quick hit list includes: The Kettle Art Gallery at 2650-B Main, 500X Gallery at 500 Exposition, Barry Whistler Gallery at 2909 Canton, and Kirk Hopper Fine Art at 3008 Commerce — and that is just the few you can cram into this arts-and-entertainment packed day. They say the best art comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable. The abstract prints and ingenious installations along your gallery tour have you teetering on the fence between comfortable and borderline basket case. Self-medication arguably is in order — is stimulation or relaxation your indulgence of choice?

Chill out with a cool brew. Go to #7.

Pep up with coffee. Go to #8.

4
No vacation is complete without the procurement of knick-knacks, clothing and accessories. Daycations deserve gratuitous memorabilia too! You snag one-of-a-kind souvenirs at In Accord, a fair-trade gift shop at 2719 Main stocked with handmade goodies from local artists. You score a used book and limited edition stamps at Deep Ellum Postal & Grocer at 3100 Main (it’s part post office, part thrift store). And you hunt treasures at Lula B’s Antique Mall at 2639 Main. Are you hungry now, or in the mood for further exploration?

I ate a whole cow for lunch. Let’s expand my mind, not my gut. Go to #3 or #5.

I could go for a snack and a caffeine boost. Go to #8.

5
You once thought groovy mind trips belonged to children of the 1960s. But today’s visit to the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art at 3109 Carlisle expands your whole inner universe. The MADI movement cannot be put in a box. It is a way of thinking. It is color and playful complexity. It is free-form poetry, theater, performance, books, music and bold manifestations. OK, those manifestations — of which the museum showcases some 800 — consist of geometric shapes and, yes, boxes, but utterly delightful boxes that frequently spill rebelliously out of their conventional frames. The whole refreshing thing about MADI is that the pieces are what they are, and you need not read into them. “MADI artists refuse to make the object representative, but rather focus on the object and the colors themselves,” notes the museum owner. “One does not have to look for meaning behind the art. Just enjoy each piece for itself.” Oh, and it is free. (But you are so uplifted that you leave a $5 donation.) The museum has the distinction of being the only permanent one in America dedicated exclusively to MADI art. Anyway, getting your mind blown makes you thirsty. You need a place with icy cold beverages in an interesting setting — do you go old school/modern twist with a basic brewery, or for craft cocktails served in a whimsical setting, summoning memories of your glory days?

Since I could not afford them in the 90s, I’ll take a chance on those fancy cocktails. Go to #6.

I like beer. Go to #7.

6
Stepping into the Black Swan Saloon feels like a hug from Eddie Vedder, kisses on the cheek from Siouxsie and all of her banshees. Framed Toadies and Rev. Horton Heat posters line clean, shellacked walls. Vintage Pac Man and Donkey Kong screens occupy tabletops above shiny hardwood floors, near a stylishly curved bar. But the product here is all grown up — Bloody Marys and spirits made with fresh mixes and fruits from nearby Dallas Farmers Market and signature cocktails such as the Four-Leaf Clover or weirdly wonderful four-pepper tequila infusions. If the choices become overwhelming, start with old favorites like Shiner and Dos XX or one among a rotation of seasonal brews. If this did not get you in the mood for further exploration of revitalized Deep Ellum, nothing will, so how do you envision today’s finale?

Dancing and drinking until the wee hours. Go to #9.

Loud, live music. Go to #10.

Hint: if you need a pick-me-up, swing by #8 first.

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For a $12-$15 admission ticket, you receive a souvenir pint glass and three beers at Deep Ellum Brewing Co. Tours and tastings are noon-3 p.m. Saturdays — you missed that window, so you hang out on the patio and sip craft brews, play board games and snack at one of the many food trucks parked outside. Should the day end here?

Yes, time to stop pretending I’m 21. It’s past my bedtime. [END]

I can go all night long. Go to # 9 or #10.

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After consuming an espresso and a sweet snack at the spacious and friendly Murray Street Coffee Shop at 103 Murray, you are totally recharged. So what’s your idea of the best way to cap off this daylong adventure?

Dancing and drinking until the wee hours. Go to #9.

Live, loud rock and roll. Go to #10.

9
You absolutely tear it up on the dance floor at Adair’s Saloon at 2624 Commerce, a Deep Ellum honky-tonk with live music every night. You don’t divulge your secret, which is that you previously snuck in a few blues and swing dancing classes, taught Tuesdays and Wednesdays by Dallas Swing Society at nearby Sons of Hermann Hall, at 3414 Elm. [END]
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Trees on Elm Street and The Bomb Factory on Canton — whose stages supported the likes of Kurt Cobain and Radiohead before they were household names — were elemental to Dallas’ music scene in the 1990s. Thanks to one Lake Highlands couple, the venues are thriving today, and that thrills your live-music-loving soul. Clint and Whitney Barlow re-opened Trees a few years ago, and more recently, The Bomb Factory, where grand opening week hosted Erykah Badu and The Toadies.  It’s June, so you catch rapper Tyler, The Creator at The Bomb Factory on the 5th or D’angelo — the R&B singer whose first album in 14 years, Black Messiah, has garnered a massive amount of buzz — on the 16th or blues/boogie/soul singer Benjamin Booker at Trees on the 9th.  Or all of the above — because this daycation is like the 90s movie Groundhog Day, you live it over and over all summer with slight variations each time.  [END]