An autumn harvest fair. A Memorial Day celebration, punctuated by a 21-gun salute. A kids' summer camp complete with archery, swimming, and a meet-and-greet with a friendly raccoon mascot. These are just a few of the events hosted by Grand Prairie Parks & Rec, a department that has garnered a Gold Medal from the National Recreation and Parks Association. Its recreational facilities??including a pool with an aquatic climbing wall??and frequent social events bring the city together year round. Under the bright sun or starry skies, visitors can dance at a concert in the park, rather than just dancing to the rhythmic creak of a swing set. For longer excursions, the 791 lakeside acres of Loyd Park feature 221 campsites replete with cabins, picnic areas, and trails. There, visitors can paddle out on the water in a rented kayak, play a game of volleyball, or sleep overnight under the stars.
The Dallas Auto Show celebrates it 30th anniversary in 2011 by showing off 700 of the world’s newest cars, trucks, and SUVs from more than 30 manufacturers, a showcase of vehicular innovation covering more than half a million sprawling square feet. This year's Dallas Auto Show sports a group of green exhibitors, with manufacturers highlighting planet-pampering hybrids, such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, and Toyota Prius V. Automotive enthusiasts of all ages can spend hour after hour kicking tires, smelling new-car smells, and learning the ins and outs of the latest produce from the world's foremost car farmers. Autophiles looking for a more active experience can take part in the all-new ride and drive event, during which attendees can get their kicks behind the wheel as they test drive new road-rompers from Ford, GM, Kia, Toyota, and Subaru. Cameras and video recorders are allowed inside the fest, helping guests preserve their memories, enhance their online dating profiles, and remind their old family wagons that they can be replaced.
A toy store for adults, Speed Dreams equips wannabe racers anywhere in Texas with a host of luxury and exotic vehicles to spin through the streets. The sleek fleet includes such models as a black Maserati GranTurismo S, a Ferrari California convertible, and a Bentley convertible GTC. Speed Dreams hosts guided tours through downtown Dallas four days per week, putting drivers behind these luxurious wheels as they cruise around historic Oak Cliff, take pictures at Winspear Opera House, and fend off the advances of valet parking attendants at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
Rustic charm meets opulent décor inside The Old Warsaw, where white tablecloths and burgundy drapes mingle with chandeliers and grand paintings, setting the scene for decadent plates of French continental cuisine honed over six decades. Dishes range from classic French fare such as escargot and chateaubriand to braised pheasant and roasted duck, all of which can be paired with any of 460 wines procured from regions such as Europe, North America, and South America. As diners sample rich seafood crepes and lobster bisque, live musicians tickle eardrums with soft melodies, special songs for birthdays and proposals, and occasional legal advice.