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Your Guide to Rodeo Houston

If you live in Houston, you know exactly what Rodeo Houston means to the city. Cowboy hats and boots, live music, carnival rides and the world’s largest livestock show and rodeo. Known as the best tradition in Texas, Rodeo Houston is much more than just entertainment. It’s a celebration of Texas culture that aims to educate and raise money for various charities around the state.

Go Texan Day kicks things off. The day celebrates the unofficial kickoff of the 20-day Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Houston residents dress up in their Texas best, sporting jeans, cowboy hats and boots to school or work, showing off their western pride for tradition. You’ll see #GoTexanDay everywhere on local social media, from Houston news stations displaying their Rodeo style to elementary school classrooms full of tiny Texas boots. Go Texan Day is a day for everyone of all ages to come together to celebrate Texas’ Western heritage and raise awareness for rodeo season.

The Rodeo takes place at NRG Park in Harris County and takes over NRG Stadium, NRG Arena and NRG Center. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was first established in 1932 as the Houston Fat Stock Show and has now grown to more than 30,000 entries. The show is organized by three categories of competitions known as the Junior Show, Open Show and Youth Show. The show sets world records in the junior market auctions, raising more than $12 million in 2016. Submissions for the junior auctions include school art as well as different types of livestock and wool entries.

The official sport of Texas is rodeo and at Rodeo Houston, you’ll understand why. Events include tie-down roping, bareback riding, team roping and more happen throughout the event. The bull riding competition tests the cowboy’s physical strength as he faces off with a bull weighing up to 2,000 pounds whose single thought is removing the rider off its back. Participants in these events come from across the nation in hopes of taking home one or more of the Rodeo’s coveted grand prizes, totaling a $2.17 million payout.

Every night after the rodeo dust settles, a superstar will steal the show. With this year’s performances from pop star Camila Cabello and EDM entertainer Zedd, the music is larger than life, true to Texas tradition. Not to mention the performances from some of country music’s finest including Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Zac Brown Brand and much more.

Looking to get in on the action? Check out ticket sales here.

Community

Opening Day: Baseball Returns to Dallas and Houston

Major League Baseball is back on March 28! In Texas, this means it’s time to bust out the baseball caps and get ready to support the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. And if regular season baseball seems a bit early this year, it is! This is the earliest opening day in the history of the game (outside of international openers). But as any baseball fan will tell you, it’s never too early to play baseball!

Dallas

The Texas Rangers will start the season at home at Globe Life Park in Arlington. They will face off against the Chicago Cubs at 3:05 p.m. The Rangers have their sights set on a better finish in the  American League West this year and will look to Mike Minor to begin the season on a high note. The Opening Day starter was 12-8 in 2018 with a 4.18 earned run average. This will be Minor’s first Opening Day start of his career. For information on tickets click here.

If you live in Dallas but can’t make it to Opening Day, you’ll have 81 other chances to visit Globe Life Park before the team moves into its new home next door in 2020. Check out the Rangers’ 2019 schedule here.

Don’t live in Dallas? Darling Homes has you covered. Check out all of the gorgeous homes Darling Homes in Dallas has to offer so you’ll never miss another home game.

Houston

The 2017 World Champion Houston Astros will face the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg to kick off their 2019 campaign. The game begins at 4 p.m. Last year, the Astros won the American League West before bowing out to the eventual world champion Boston Red Sox. For information on tickets to this game click here.

When the Astros return home, be sure to check out the team’s home field, Minute Maid Park. Take a look at the Astros schedule here.

Don’t live in Houston? Check out all the beautiful homes Darling Homes in Houston has to offer so you’ll never have to miss a home game.

Community

Darling Homes Presents 2019 Red Carpet Concert Series

Love is in the air on this Valentine’s Day thanks to Darling Homes and Frisco Arts’ 2019 Red Carpet Concert Series, presenting “A Night of Romance” at the Lincoln Experience Center at The Star in Frisco.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with an intimate concert featuring America’s No. 1 Romantic Pianist, David Osborne, also known as the “Pianist to the Presidents.” The acclaimed pianist is the first of two planned shows this year as part of the Red Carpet Concert Series.

Osborne, an international Steinway artist, has performed for Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush. When he’s not touring with “The David Osborne Trio”, Osborne regularly performs at the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, making his performance at the Frisco Arts Center on Valentine’s Day a truly special and romantic experience.

“A Night of Romance” will be one to remember as guests can enjoy beloved and original romantic tunes surrounded by stunning art in red by Frisco artist Leticia Herrera. The mixed media artist, who currently resides in McKinney, Texas, combines her talent for art with her deep and strong sense of color after discovering her emotional connection with color itself. The night will showcase her works featuring the color red, known for its association with the feelings of passion, desire, love and Valentine’s Day.

Wine, hors d’oeuvres and tasty desserts will be served before the show and complimentary valet will be provided. Cocktail attire is recommended.

Don’t wait to purchase tickets as seating is limited. VIP tickets cost $100 each and $85 for Frisco Arts members. VIP tickets include pre-concert hors d’oeuvres, wine, desserts, a private performance and after-party with the artist (including dessert).

Give the gift of an unforgettable evening of world-class music and art this Valentine’s Day with “A Night of Romance”, part of the 2019 Red Carpet Concert Series presented by Darling Homes.

For more info on show dates and tickets visit here.

Community

Exploring the Bayou City

You may know Houston as the “Space City” because of its ties to NASA but did you also know Houston is referred to as the “Bayou City”? Home to 10 winding waterways that flow through the surrounding area, the Bayou City name reflects the connection of the hustle and bustle of the city to the possibility of exploring nature around every corner.

Buffalo Bayou Park, one of the country’s greatest urban green spaces, connects the city to all the beauty and adventure in Houston. Whether you’re biking on winding paths along the waterway or canoeing through Lost Lake, Buffalo Bayou Park is a popular destination that gives city residents the opportunity to become one with nature.

Not only does Buffalo Bayou Park offer beautiful scenery, it’s also a popular destination for beautiful dining. The Kitchen at the Dunlavy is an extraordinary venue, lit gorgeously by bright chandeliers hanging above the dining space and surrounded by large windows overlooking the banks of Buffalo Bayou Park and Lost Lake. Voted by CNN as one of the most romantic restaurants in the world, the Dunlavy is the perfect place to enjoy delicious Southern Californian-style cuisine or even host a special event. In the evening, the restaurant transforms into a stunning space made for a dream wedding or an exquisite cocktail party.

Other famous restaurants to enjoy in Houston include Nobu, a world-renowned Japanese restaurant with polished service and a local twist, and La Lucha, serving gulf oyster “gems” and finger-licking good chicken and biscuits. The city’s diverse culture enwraps Houston cuisine in a way that showcases the most delicious dishes from around the world.

Shopping in the city is abundant thanks to the world-renowned Galleria in Uptown Houston. With more than 375 stores and a grand ice rink, The Galleria is an oasis for retail therapy. For more of an outdoor shopping scene, residents can explore Memorial City Mall or the art deco-styled River Oaks Shopping Center.

If you’d rather hit the course than the stores, Houston has an expansive golf scene with weather that allows for gorgeous golfing almost any day of the year. Seven different courses are located throughout the city of Houston so golfers will never need to travel very far.

Located right in the center of Texas Medical Center, Rice University, and the Museum District in Downtown Houston, Hermann Park Conservancy is a master-planned green space that is treasured by all who have the chance to experience it. From the Miller Outdoor Theater to the Houston Zoo to the Japanese and rose gardens, Hermann Park is a cultural and recreational hub. Receiving the General Design Award of Excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Hermann Park is a spectacular space full of beauty and adventure.

The first word spoken on the moon was “Houston”, giving the city its other nickname, “The Space City”. Space Center Houston is NASA’s Official Visitors Center and showcases the early Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab projects and today’s International Space Station and Space Shuttle programs. Visitors get the chance to see actual spacecrafts and a walk-through space experience thanks to the center’s state-of-the-art space simulators.

As much as there is to do in Houston, there’s no place like home. If you’re looking for your dream home in the Bayou City, let Darling Homes in Houston help place you in the perfect Houston home. Call 713-401-2008 today for more information.

Community

Best Places to Live: Frisco

Just last year, Frisco was rated the number one place to live by Money Magazine. The city that was once a small, quiet community is now the most sought out place to call home. So why all the fuss? The city of Frisco provides a higher quality of life for its residents. From its outstanding schools to its spectacular shopping and dining, Frisco is making a name for itself that is recognized nationwide.

People are Flocking to Frisco

Known as a city of progress, Frisco has consistently been one of the fastest growing cities in the country since 2000. Today, Frisco is home to over 180,000 residents!

Business and Jobs

Jobs in Frisco are projected to grow by nearly 15 percent over the next four years, thanks to the reasonable cost of living the city affords its residents. Blue-chip companies like AT&T, Toyota and Oracle have built offices in Frisco so they can provide jobs where houses are affordable for their employees. The growing city has made room for multiple major corporate headquarters in its mixed-use developments. Employees relocating to Frisco will experience a diverse community of skilled workers that are delighted in the city’s lower cost of living and shorter commute times.

Homes

With the high quality of life and the rapid population growth, there is plenty of room for home builders to flourish in Frisco. Darling Homes is among the top builders in Frisco with nine authentic communities to choose from.

The communities these homes are located in are not your average neighborhoods. Newman Village, a master-planned community built around a deep appreciation for European and Mediterranean architecture, has created an eclectic streetscape like no other. The Estates at Shaddock Park is another master-planned community that offers residents a central location with resort-style amenities and a 6-acre park.

Edgestone at Legacy provides residents with miles of winding trails throughout the community as well as neighborhood parks and upscale amenities like a fitness center and a clubhouse with a swimming pool. Canals at Grand Park is home to low-maintenance luxury properties that offers homebuyers modern style with upscale suburban comfort.

Education

The Frisco Independent School District is a top-rated school district with an extremely high graduation rate of 98.2%. Frisco’s exceptional public-school system has more than 70 campuses in the area with 92% of their students meeting state standard in all grades and all subjects. The district also offers high school students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in specialized programs from health science to hospitality through their state of the art Career and Technical Education Center.

Frisco ISD also benefits from private partnership arrangements that provide high-level sports, art and technology for the city. Its partnership with the Dallas Cowboys allows high school teams to use the NFL team’s indoor athletic practice facility, the Ford Center at The Star, for practice and games.

Entertainment

Speaking of the Dallas Cowboys, the team chose to move their world headquarters to Frisco, noting that the city aligns with the Cowboy’s core values, which include youth sports, health, safety and community. Not only are the Cowboys calling Frisco home, but so are seven other Dallas-area professional sports teams who have moved their headquarters to the city, making Frisco a sports enthusiast’s dream.

However, if sports won’t draw you to the city, the shopping might. You can occupy your time with over nine million square feet of retail and dining, award winning hotels, parks, concerts and events in Frisco. Stonebriar Centre in Frisco offers locals a variety of entertainment from shopping through a wide range of incredible stores to relaxing at the movie theater or dining in a full-service restaurant. The Shops at Legacy offer even more dining and shopping opportunities. Want more? Downtown Dallas is just 25 minutes away, offering access to exciting Metroplex destinations.

Weather

Last but not least, you can’t forget about the excellent weather the city sees almost every day. With an average of 232 clear days per year, you can’t help but enjoy a better quality of life in Frisco.

Thinking of making the move to Frisco, too? Take a look at some of the exceptional communities and properties that Darling Homes has to offer. Let us build you the home of your dreams in the number one place to live.

Community

For Darling Homes, the Giving Season Means Giving Back to Local Communities

As the year begins to close, people turn their attention toward the giving season. In addition to the presents expected under the tree this time of the year, many charities also rely on the months of November and December to help fund their worthwhile operations year-round.

There are numerous worthy charities in Dallas as well as excellent charitable organizations in Houston. At Darling Homes, the company trains its focus on being good partners in the community throughout the year. Nevertheless, the holiday season always makes for a festive time to do even more.

In December, team members from the builder’s Frisco office wrapped gifts and donated cookies and other snacks for Dallas Life, the largest homeless recovery center in North Texas. This is the second year Darling Homes has participated in the gift-wrapping drive for the group’s Christmas Toy Store. The store allows parents to shop for their kids, picking out special gifts for their family which are then wrapped on-site by volunteers, giving the children a special surprise waiting for them under the tree.

The Taylor Morrison sales team also staged a food drive for Frisco Family Services Food Pantry in November, creating ready-made cookie kits from the more than 600 pounds of flour, sugar and baking items that the team received in donations from the Dallas Division staff. The kits were free for shoppers at the pantry and the contents in each kit did not count toward the weight of the food allotted each family per visit, giving each family a special treat for the holidays.

For the ninth straight year, Darling employees rounded up coats and outwear to help the less fortunate combat the area’s coldest months. This November, they donated approximately 300 coats to the Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC), a CitySquare program that aids young adults who have aged out of foster care and are integrating into society. The remaining coats will be distributed through CitySquare to men, women and children in need throughout the Dallas area. To date, more than 6,000 coats have been donated.

Meanwhile in Houston, the giving continued. Houston team member, Michael Carroll, hosted a party at his model home where he collected toys to send to Texas Children’s Hospital for their treasure chests. The toys were a welcome sight for the children, many of whom were battling life-threatening illnesses. The treasure chests allow children staying at the hospital to pick out a special toy for the season.

Michael’s idea to give back also inspired other Darling Houston team members. For Michael and his co-worker, Brandi Parker, Texas Children’s Hospital had been an important part of their immediate family. Each had seen their sons diagnosed with cancer and treated by the hospital.

To give back, Michael and Brandi collected toys during an event hosted at Darling’s Woodforest 65s model and at their team Sales Rally on December 5. By the end of the day, they were able to deliver an SUV full of toys to the Texas Children’s Hospital Downtown.

Inspired by what Brandi and Michael had done, David Vigil collected toys at an event with over 60 attendees at Darling’s Waterbridge model home. David’s nephew is currently battling Neuroblastoma, a cancer that attacks the adrenal glands. The toys collected at the event were delivered by Brandi to the Texas Children’s Hospital in The Woodlands.

Not only did the Houston division demonstrate their generosity by donating toys to various Texas Children’s Hospitals, but they also gave back to the Gamez and DeLaCruz families through the Houston Children’s Charity Outreach 2018. The two families were emotional and grateful as a parade of team members guided carts full of presents down to family’s vehicles.

There are many charitable organizations that Darling Homes contributes time and resources to each year. For the Texas homebuilder, the giving season lasts all year long.

Community Travel

Best Places to View Fall Foliage in Texas

Leaves are beginning to change in Darling Homes communities in Dallas and Houston, and there are a few hidden gems throughout the Lone Star State where visitors can go to experience autumn’s beauty.

Below are three Texas state parks and natural areas that offer visitors an unparalleled look at fall colors, and this leaf color map from Thrillist is an excellent tool to keep track of when leaves are at their most brilliant.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Lost Maples State Natural Area, located northwest of San Antonio, is known for its radiant beauty during autumn. Filled with striking maple trees that turn brilliant hues of orange, yellow and red, Lost Maples is renowned for its rugged beauty.

At this park, visitors can indulge in a variety of outdoor activities, including:

  • Over 10 miles of trails meandering along the edge of a 2,200-foot cliff
  • Camping at a selection of over 30 campsites
  • Fishing in the Sanibal River or Can Creek
  • Geocaching
  • Wildlife watching
  • An off the grid weekend – no cell service here!

Tyler State Park

At Tyler State Park, a peaceful retreat nestled in northeast Texas, visitors will delight in seeing the changing leaves from the comfort of the car with a scenic drive or getting an up close view at the vibrant hues from one of many hiking and walking trails.

This beautiful park offers its visitors a plethora of activities, including:

McKinney Falls State Park

Near Austin, at McKinney Falls State Park, visitors will find themselves enchanted by the capital region’s hill country, where Onion Creek flows over limestone ledges to create a breathtaking waterfall. During autumn, this scenic park is brimming with incredible colors.

While visiting McKinney Falls State Park, explore the outdoors by:

  • Camping at one of 81 sites
  • Mountain or road biking
  • Fishing in Onion Creek
  • Bouldering
  • Joining a Ranger Program on birding, geocaching and more

Texas is filled with incredible opportunities to see fall foliage while exploring the outdoors!

Community Fashion

Finding the Best Shopping in Dallas and Houston

For fashionistas, people shopping for new clothes for an event, or those simply looking to enjoy a day out on the town with friends, there are numerous shopping destinations near Dallas or Houston Darling Homes communities with convenient access to today’s best brands.

Dallas

When it comes to shopping in and around Dallas, there is no shortage of fantastic choices. NorthPark Center provides its patrons with a broad range of shopping, dining and event options. This metropolis often houses special displays inside, such as its current exhibition on ‘The Fabric of Opera’.

Stores at NorthPark Center include:

  • Neiman Marcus
  • Versace
  • J.Crew
  • Express
  • Fossil
  • Williams-Sonoma, and a variety of other shopping options

In Allen, the Allen Premium Outlets are conveniently located near several Darling Homes communities and provide a large, walkable outdoor mall filled with opportunities to get high-quality brands at great prices.

Outlet stores include:

  • Ann Taylor Factory Store
  • Guess Factory Store
  • J. Crew Factory
  • Loft Outlet
  • Armani Outlet and much more!

At the Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, locals can take a day to go to a movie, grab lunch from a snack station or dine in a full-service restaurant, and shop at their favorite stores::

  • Athleta
  • Bath & Body Works
  • Disney Store
  • Vera Bradley and a wide range of other incredible stores

Houston

It’s easy for residents of Darling Homes communities in the Houston area to find first-class shopping close to home.

One of the best destinations in Houston is The Galleria, an upscale retail hub that houses delectable dining options including FIG & OLIVE, Nobu Houston, The Oceanaire Seafood Room and more to cater to any craving. This exceptional space is renowned for being the largest mall in Texas and home to extraordinary special features, including an expansive ice rink that is adorned with a giant Christmas tree during the holiday season.

Stores include:

  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sephora
  • Nordstrom
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Lululemon Athletica
  • Armani Exchange and hundreds of other choices

At Katy Mills Mall, a large indoor mall in Katy, near the Darling Homes community of Elyson, shoppers can purchase goods from:

  • Bass Pro Shop
  • Calvin Klein
  • Coach
  • Converse and more popular stores

Market Street, a diverse shopping center situated in The Woodlands, offers its customers a full experience with restaurants, local artworks and an ongoing calendar of social events. Stores here include:

  • Kate Spade New York
  • Francesca’s
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Lucky Brand and other stylish options

Both Houston and Dallas have incredible, upscale shopping opportunities for residents to enjoy year-round.

 

Community

Celebrate Labor Day near your Community

Labor Day was created to honor the American labor movement, and the federal holiday provides a much-desired three-day weekend for many workers across the United States. With an extra day off, Darling Homes residents in Dallas or Houston can join in a celebration near their communities to revel in the unofficial end of summer.

Dallas

Parade of Activities | Garland

Head to Garland to catch a parade starting at 9 a.m. in the historic downtown area. Following the parade, the festivities will continue with a car show, a kids’ BBQ festival and more Labor Day activities.

Truly Texan Labor Day | Plano

For a truly Texan Labor Day, head to The Texas Pool in Plano for a fun-filled day in the sun. The regular snack bar will be open for business, and food trucks for Kona Ice and 5-OHH BBQ will be on location to keep visitors well-fed throughout the day. Modeled after the state of Texas, this community pool features:

  • Diving board
  • Two water slides
  • Island and a wading area for kids

Houston

Luau for all Ages | Spring

Wet’n’Wild Splashtown in Spring is throwing a Labor Day Luau for all ages on Monday. Enjoy the incredible fun of a waterpark and stay cool under the hot sun with some added elements, listed below, to make the holiday more memorable:

  • Fire and luau dancers
  • Face painting
  • Balloon art

Restaurant Weeks | City-wide

Foodies in Houston can take advantage of the last 2018 over the weekend. This annual fundraiser gives residents and visitors special deals for exceptional dining throughout the city while contributing to local food banks. With brunch and lunch deals for $20 and dinner options ringing in at $35 and $45, diners enjoy delicious and photo-worthy meals for a good cause.

American History

Military personnel have the opportunity to view a bit of history on Labor Day with free entry for active duty members and their families to all three presidential libraries and museums in Texas.

How will you spend Labor Day?

Community Food

Get a Taste of Texas Coffee

Darling Homes’ communities in Dallas and Houston are situated in suburbs filled with hidden gems from boutiques to restaurants and more. Whether you’re a resident or visitor of the community, take time to explore the surrounding area and enjoy one of these local Texas coffee shops or cafes.

Dallas

Darling Homes builds an incredible range of homes in several communities in McKinney, which is also home to a series of highly-rated coffee shops and cafes. At the McKinney Coffee Company, a new family-owned establishment in town, delicious varieties of coffee and pastries are on display. That’s not all the shop has to offer the city – this location is filled to the brim with artwork made by friends and loved ones of the coffee shop’s owners, giving it a unique and cozy atmosphere.

Spoons Cafe, also in McKinney, offers its loyal customers all-day breakfast, lunch, comfort foods, snacks and dinner options throughout the day. Nestled in a historic building with sidewalk seating, this cafe has gained a reputation for its friendly atmosphere, including weekly live music, and good food.

At Snug on the Square, locals can indulge in a menu of quick, delicious bites and coffee creations at their McKinney or Prosper locations. The coffee menu offers both coffee classics and specialties, including honey cinnamon lattes and sweetly inspired drinks such as cini-mini mochas, peppermint bliss and snickerdoo.

Houston

In Cypress, Darling Homes residents can head over to The Bake Shoppe and Cafe for a refreshing meal and a cup of joe. The homey atmosphere at this cafe provides its customers with fresh drinks, food and dessert and the high-quality care doesn’t stop there – this cafe offers an entire line of frozen lasagnas for patrons to take on the road for a later meal.

The Season’s Harvest Cafe treats its guests to only the freshest ingredients. The restaurant in Cypress is a farm-to-table establishment, utilizing locally-grown and in-season foods for their menu. With meat and vegan options available, this cafe has options to offer every diet.

For impeccably decorated cookies, cake pops, quick bites and savory coffee, Plum Coffee is the place to visit in Cypress. This adorable location has a full range of food choices, but it’s known for its dessert and pastry menu, which are great to take to parties or on-the-go.

What is your favorite coffee shop or cafe near your Darling home?