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Community

Getting Ready to go Back to School

Summer break is winding down in most school districts, and Darling Homes’ residents in Dallas and Houston communities are preparing their children to go back to school for the year.  

From getting ready to do homework to preparing for early mornings, the school year can bring big changes in the daily routine for all of your loved ones, but PBS offers a series of tips and tricks that can help everyone feel prepared for the new schedule.

Think Ahead

Meeting the teacher, touring the school, getting any necessary books and school supplies ahead of time is a great place for students to start.

Go Shopping

From pencils and notebooks to textbooks and locker decor, each child’s school list will vary depending on the school, grade and specific classes. Setting aside time for a shopping trip is a fantastic way to meet individual needs before the semester starts.

In addition, shopping for nutritious snacks, signing up for extracurricular activities and planning ahead for difficult classes or subjects can make a large difference heading into a new year.

Another important tip is to take time to adjust to the new schedule. A steady timetable for each day can help children feel more ready for the year.

Setting aside time for exercises at home like reading, writing or other educational activities can also help students get back into the swing of everyday learning.

Heading back to school with the proper materials and preparation is made easy by all of the incredible schools and shopping areas surrounding Darling Homes’ communities in Dallas and Houston.

 

Community Music

Celebrating Jazz in Houston Style

Fans of jazz music in the Houston area will delight in the chance to attend the annual Houston International Jazz Festival on August 4, near many Darling Homes Houston communities.

Held at the House of Blues, this event brings together musicians and jazz enthusiasts eager to celebrate various styles of the music. The 28th annual event has tickets ranging from $45-$60 and features international, regional and local jazz musicians.

With two-time Grammy Award nominated artist Mindi Abair performing with the band The Boneshakers and other artists including Althea Rene and Ashleigh Smith, this year’s festival is bringing in talent that jazz fans won’t want to miss.

Doors open at the House of Blues at 7 p.m., with the show beginning at 8 p.m., with options including standing room and cabaret tables. While this annual event draws some big acts to Houston, the local jazz scene continues throughout the rest of the year.

Jazz Houston offers locals of all ages music lessons throughout the year and hosts events and concerts to help connect city residents to jazz as well. Restaurants and bars, including the House of Blues, help spread the music through the city.

At Catbirds, visitors can enjoy cocktails and scrumptious bites while indulging in jazz events. Martini Blu, a jazz cafe, not only offers up drinks, food and incredible music, they also hosted their first Jazz & Wine Fest earlier this year and continue to host music events.

Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a jazz lover or a local wanting to explore more of Houston’s concert scene, the city’s restaurants, bars and festivals provide plenty of opportunities to explore the area and its culture.

Community

Discover the Best of Texas at Local Museums

Looking for an escape during the hot summer months in Texas? You don’t have to travel far from your Houston or Dallas Darling Homes communities to find fun, educational and entertaining venues at local museums.

Houston

One can’t-miss museum in this region of Texas is the Space Center Houston. Known as the gateway to the NASA Johnson Space Center, this incredible space allows people of all ages to get a firsthand look at space exploration, with attractions including a Mission Mars exhibit, opportunities to meet astronauts, historic mission control and artifacts from trips to outer space.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers visitors an incredible range of interesting and educational displays. From an exhibit showcasing Sherlock Holmes artifacts to Death By Natural Causes and wildlife photography, this museum provides unique perspectives on the world with its wide-ranging, fascinating content.

Last, but not least, art lovers living or visiting the area will enjoy touring The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. With changing content, current exhibits include selections of Indian art from nearly four centuries, European art from 1500-1800 and designs from the digital age. Fans will delight in seeing fresh displays and art pieces as new artwork comes through the museum throughout the year.

Dallas

Dallas is rich with presidential history, and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is the perfect place to kick off an educational tour of the city. With archives showing millions of records from the Bush administration to 9/11 Memorial materials and a replica of the Oval Office, take a dive inside the office of the president at this incredible museum.

A piece of American history is commemorated in Dallas with The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, marking the assassination and surrounding events of President John F. Kennedy. Materials center around JFK, painting a picture of his life, death and ongoing legacy in the United States.

Museum-goers of all ages will revel in the exhibits at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. With Ultimate Dinosaurs as the current temporary exhibit and permanent displays including gems and minerals, dynamic earth and engineering, this museum is sure to pique any visitor’s interest.

Don’t miss out on the chance to visit a local museum in Houston or Dallas this year!

Community Lifestyle

Staying Fit Indoors During the Summer

From cycling to barre to boxing and group classes, fitness trends are ever-changing. Gyms and other exercise spots near your Darling Homes community in Dallas and Houston help residents stay fit indoors during the hot summer months.

This article from Self helps break down the results from the American College of Sports Medicine’s survey that identifies some of the top exercise trends of 2018. One of which is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Companies like Orangetheory Fitness  focus on high intensity workouts in a group setting, providing an effective and efficient way to get fit.

Classes at local gyms and boutique fitness hotspots, provide a fun and upbeat way to exercise indoors. Group fitness classes are a big point of interest this year, including everything from yoga to barre and kickboxing to spin.

Bodyweight training and strength training are also seeing a surge in popularity this year. Because bodyweight training doesn’t require equipment, it’s an easy way to stay fit at home with push-ups, crunches, squats, lunges and more. Strength training helps boost muscle mass and provides a fairly simple way for fitness fans to stay in shape in the gym or potentially at home. Darling Homes has a variety of home designs with flexible spaces that could be converted to become a personal gym.

Personal training is also seeing an uptick in interest, with people hiring trainers to help them reach their goals and train them on the best exercises and practices for indoor exercise.

Another fitness trend that continues to grow is to follow progress and activity on wearable tracking devices. With well-known options including Fitbit and Apple Watches, more and more technology is being developed every year. Items like the Motiv ring, an activity tracking ring, and technology in your clothing to track heart rate, motion and more, continue to gain traction.

No matter what activity piques your interest and keeps you active, there are plenty of indoor options near your Darling Homes community in Dallas or Houston to keep you cool while staying fit.

Community Lifestyle

Best Staycations Near Your Darling Homes Community

There’s nothing quite like a summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean you have to travel far. These are our top picks for a fabulous and exquisite staycation near your Dallas or Houston community.

Dallas

Vacation close to home with amenities for all ages, including adults-only zones at the Hilton Anatole. Jadewaters, the hotel’s resort-style pool area, strikes the perfect balance of relaxation and luxury featuring Leisure Cove Pool that is adults-only on weekends as well as a swim-up bar, two water slides, a lazy river and a splash area for children. Elevate your poolside vacation with exclusive guest offers like picnic packages, cabanas, American Girl packages and more.

Situated between Dallas and Fort Worth, the Four Seasons Resort and Club showcases high-quality accommodations and offers a broad range of amenities including babysitting services. With indoor and outdoor tennis court options, access to an award-winning golf course, fitness classes, boutiques and a choice of three pools (must see: the Agave Pool & Bar), guests will have no shortage of options for relaxation and entertainment.

Houston

The Marriott Houston Marquis, near Discovery Green Park, creates a charming, luxurious oasis in the heart of the city. A rooftop infinity pool and lazy river set the scene for soaking up a Texas summer. Other hotel features include the PURE spa and multiple dining locations ranging from a coffee house to tapas and Mexican. The hotel’s central location is ideal for those looking to explore their city for a few days.

Hotel ZaZa, in the Houston Museum District, has unique room designs and services to delight its guests. With concept rooms including a Rock Star Suite, Fatal Charms suite, Soho Loft and Villa Champagne, guests may never want to leave their room — unless, of course, they want to head to the ZaSpa. The spa offers guests a choice of salon services, sauna, body wraps and exfoliation treatments. The Monarch restaurant, with views of the Museum of Fine Arts, has different menus of creative, fresh cuisine for every meal of the day.

Finding staycation options near your Darling Homes’ community is an easy and fun choice for you and your loved ones to enjoy a weekend away from home without having to travel far.

Community Fashion Lifestyle

Explore Local Texas Boutiques

Darling Homes’ communities in Dallas and Houston are known for their proximity to employment centers, restaurants and recreation options, but some communities are also close to charming, local boutiques and shops.

Dallas

Both Frisco and McKinney are home to local shops and artisans near incredible Darling Homes’ communities. From home decor to baby gifts and clothing, these boutiques have something to offer every shopper.

Frisco

The Charlotte Jones Collection at the Omni Frisco offers tourists and residents access to carefully curated goods including clothing for men, women and children as well as home goods. This shop, located by the Ford Center at the Star, also offers Dallas Cowboys merchandise.

The Blue Door Boutique, a Frisco favorite, gives shoppers a unique and tailored experience with stylists offering advice for customers sifting through clothing, jewelry, gifts and antiques.

McKinney

Update your summer wardrobe with a stop at Cotton Hearts in McKinney, where merchandise includes a beautifully manicured collection of clothing and accessories. Shoppers will find the perfect balance of elegant yet casual attire

For true Western Style, look no further than Orisons Boutique. From glittery cowboy boots to chic dresses and menswear, Orisons’ motto of “We Dress Texas” rings true.

 

Houston

The Woodlands

Residents of The Woodlands can stop by Marta’s, where jewelry, gifts, shoes, accessories, beauty supplies and more are well-stocked.

Diva Boutique puts a focus on women’s clothing, with tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes and accessories to find your complete outfit close to home.

Sugar Land

The summer season is in full swing at Anything Bling in Sugar Land. This boutique offers a mix of fun and classy sundresses, adorable tops and the accessories to compliment any outfit.

For a true Texas selection, head over to Fabulous You where you’ll find hand-selected items including unique tees, trucker hats, turquoise jewelry and boots.

Do you have a favorite boutique near your Darling Homes’ community? Let us know where you love to shop locally!

Community Lifestyle

Celebrate the Fourth of July in Texas style

In Dallas and Houston, near Darling Homes’ communities, residents are getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July with live music, good food, parades and more.

Dallas Celebrations

July 3

Head to a Texas Rangers game against the Houston Astros on July 3 or 4 for an all-American good time. After the game, the audience will experience an Independence Day treat with a fireworks show.

In downtown Arlington, Light Up Arlington is bringing in live entertainment with a beverage tent, food and activities including train rides with fireworks starting at about 9:45 p.m.

Red, White & Boom fireworks will light up the Dallas skyline from the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge, with the festival running from 6 to 10 p.m.

Fourth of July

Darling Homes residents in Frisco will have convenient access to the Frisco Freedom Fest at Toyota Stadium, which kicks off at 4 p.m. Live entertainment, local vendors and more fill the afternoon with fun before fireworks after the FC Dallas match is over.

In McKinney, another celebration titled Red, White and Boom! Starts at 10 a.m. with a parade followed by a block party in downtown. At Craig Ranch in McKinney, beginning at 5:30 p.m., live music, kids’ activities and other festivities will keep the party going until the fireworks show at 9:45 p.m.

Houston Celebrations

Celebrations of our nation’s independence continue in Houston, where the stars and stripes will be on display at a number of local events.

July 3

At the Miller Outdoor Theater, experience Independence Day with a free concert by the Houston Symphony at 8:30 p.m. followed by a fireworks show.

Residents of The Woodlands can catch the symphony’s show the day before at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion at 8 p.m.

Fourth of July

Looking to escape the July heat? Take your loved ones out to the Snow & Ice Celebration at Memorial City Mall from 1 to 4 p.m. and cool off while playing in 30,000 pounds of snow while indulging in frozen treats and enjoying live entertainment.

Missouri City is hosting its own series of events from 6 to 9 p.m., with activities, food and entertainment leading up to its traditional fireworks show at Buffalo Run Park, with seating available at Thurgood Marshall High School.

Keep your Fourth of July traditions and explore your community events by checking out one of the incredible opportunities to mark the holiday near your community.

Community Food Lifestyle

Indulge in Food Truck Cuisine this Summer

Beginning in early June and continuing through the rest of the month, Sienna Plantation is hosting Food Truck Fridays.

Darling Homes residents at Avalon at Sienna Plantation are welcome to partake in this delicious weekly event taking place from 5-9 p.m. every Friday. The fun doesn’t stop at Avalon at Sienna Plantation, with food truck events taking place throughout the Houston and Dallas areas throughout the summer for Texans to enjoy. This would be a good opportunity to say something about our communities and the ability to enjoy these types of events or simply a closing remark like “ everyone can experience the innovative twist on dining al fresco”.  

On Friday evenings at Sienna Plantation, the Sawmill Lake model home park is being transformed into a foodie’s paradise. With a changing lineup of food trucks accompanied by live music performances, this free event is open to all ages looking to satisfy their appetite and enjoy a night out with neighbors and friends.

The fun doesn’t end in June. Food truck fans can look forward to the Houston Food Fest on August 18. This celebration will bring together over 100 different cuisine options, from food trucks, to local restaurants and vendors. From noon to 10 p.m., Houstonians will delight in sampling a wide variety of provisions from local artisans.

Dallas is no stranger to the food truck frenzy. With websites like Roaming Hunger and Food Trucks In, foodies can easily find their favorite mobile meals throughout the area.

On Saturdays throughout the summer, different trucks gather at Klyde Warren Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dallas-area families, socialites and all taste buds in between are welcome to try out new local cuisine and relax at the 5.2 acre park. A selection of trucks for upcoming weekends are kept posted on their event page, letting locals know which mobile restaurants will be rolling in.

With food trucks serving up delectable treats from coffee to ice cream, pizza to BBQ and everything in between, Darling Homes residents in Houston and Dallas will delight in the incredible range of options to try out this summer at a local food truck.

Community

Concerts Hitting the Lone Star State this Summer

Summer is just around the corner, and Darling Homes residents in Dallas and Houston are celebrating by booking tickets to see some of their favorite performers play in Texas over the next few months, with artists from The Eagles to Miranda Lambert all visiting the Lone Star State in the coming months.

Summer Concerts in Dallas

Kesha and Macklemore are coming to Dallas on June 20 with their dual concert at the Starplex Pavilion. Tickets are selling fast for the duo, who both released new albums last year. Between the pop star and alternative hip-hop sensation, this concert is sure to be a good time.  The Eagles are coming to AT&T Stadium on June 23. Though the band hasn’t put out a new album since 2007. The Eagles are known for their catalog of hits dating back to the early 1970s, including “Take it Easy” and “Hotel California.”

On July 20, Sam Smith makes his Dallas debut at the American Airlines Center. Known for his soulful songs and lyrics, Smith found fame in the U.S. with his single “Stay With Me.” On this tour, the singer is featuring his latest album, The Thrill Of It All.  Country fans won’t want to miss Jason Aldean’s concert at the Dos Equis Pavilion on July 28. Aldean has been a country music staple for over a decade, churning out hits including “Big Green Tractor” and “A Little More Summertime.”

Summer Concerts in Houston

In Houston, the incredible lineup of artists coming to Texas continues at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, in The Woodlands. Rock band Weezer hits the stage with The Pixies on June 29. Both bands have produced alternative rock hit songs. Weezer recently released their 11th studio album, Pacific Daydream.  Other concerts hitting the stage at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion this summer include Paramore with Foster the People on July 13, Counting Crows on July 22 and Imagine Dragons on August 4.

Another concert hotspot in Houston is the Toyota Center, welcoming artists like the GRAMMY-award winning Smashing Pumpkins on July 17. This is the first tour for Smashing Pumpkins, known for songs such as “1979,” in nearly 20 years.

Smashing Pumpkins isn’t the only big-name band to play at the Toyota Center this summer. Hall & Oates, along with Train, will take the stage on July 26, featuring full separate sets and a joint set from the bands. Panic! At The Disco, known for songs such as “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” will play at the venue on August 3.

No matter what your favorite genre of music is, venues in both Dallas and Houston are offering up a great series of concerts for you to experience live music this summer.

Community Lifestyle

Creating a Memorable Texas Father’s Day

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and throughout Texas there are special activities to help the dad in your life have a special day. Darling Homes residents in Houston and Dallas don’t have to look far to find one-of-a-kind Father’s Day specials to make the day memorable.

Father’s Day Fun in Houston

Houston has a wide range of options to choose from for fathers and father figures. For a fun, leisurely activity, Topgolf Houston-Katy recommends making reservations in advance. Reserve a bay for you and your loved ones and spend a day practicing your golf shot and having fun while indulging in delicious food and drinks. Topgolf provides a good balance of activity and down time for those looking to relax, eat and have a fun day.

The Secret Group is putting on a special, all-ages comedy show for the occasion called “Dad Jokes” where fathers get in for free. The doors for the show open at 7 p.m. on June 17, and tickets for those who aren’t dads are just $5. While you’re laughing, enjoy a raffle, drink specials and free samples.

Hop over to Revival Market before the show, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. to indulge in a day of feasting on fried chicken. Featuring scrumptious chicken and side dishes, live music from the Will Van Horn Trio, games for the whole family and beer selections from Spindletap. This outdoor event is a great option for getting out of the house and enjoying Houston cuisine.

Father’s Day Activities in Dallas

In Dallas, the fun continues for dads with more special events to mark Father’s Day. Shannon Brewing Company, located in Keller, near several Darling Homes communities, is throwing its third annual DadFest on June 16 from noon to 5 p.m. Featuring a plethora of beer choices, live music and food from Hicks BBQ and Just Encased, this event also includes an ugly tie competition.

The Dallas Arboretum is offering up specials for Father’s Day, including a special Father’s Day menu at the Terrace Cafe with beer samples, free iced tea for dads and live music. Enjoy the gorgeous gardens with the extra additions featured on both June 16 and June 17.

At Campion Trail’s Sam Houston Park in Irving, there will be a Father’s Day kite flying event providing fun for all ages. With the help of their parents, kids are taught how to build their own kites, followed by a day of kite-flying fun in the gorgeous park.

Celebrate with your dad or father figure this Father’s Day by checking out one of the incredible events in Houston or Dallas near your Darling Homes community.