The largest urban bottomland hardwood forest on the continent, Great Trinity Forest is a sprawling 6,000-acre expanse of greenery that's home to more than 130 species of birds and Trinity River Audubon Center headquarters, named by D magazine one of the things You Must Do in Dallas. With your Family Pass you'll receive a plethora of exclusive perks, including a newsletter subscription, unlimited free admission for two adults and their children or grandchildren, free Third Thursday lectures, discounts on summer camps and other programming and amnesty in the coming avian war on mankind. Family Pass holders also gain access to restricted bird-watching hours on Friday and Saturday, ideal for observing the glamorous lives of the forest's American red-tailed hawk, horned lark, yellow-billed cuckoo, great blue heron, and more.
Hosted by former Dallas Cowboys Jay Novacek and Kevin Smith, Sportz Partnerz's ESPN "Lunch with a Legend" events invite fans to meet, greet, and eat with a selection of NFL players and veterans in private luncheons with no more than 100 attendees. Rudy's chefs barbecue infinite amounts of brisket, sausage, and chicken to fuel mingling among fans and football stars. The intimate event allows lunchers to get close enough to smell the fame for 90 minutes of posing for photographs, listening to NFL stories, and snagging barbecue-sauce-smeared autographs. The roster of NFL guests will vary by day and location, and a complete list will be available upon registration.
On Aquaponics and Earth’s sustainable farm, tilapia pools teeming with fish come up against rows of organic plants, which they hydrate via the farm’s energy-efficient growing and waste-recycling system. Founders and aqua-farmers John and Teresa Musser began experimenting with high-yield aquaponics in response to the crushing poverty they saw abroad and invented much of the equipment and methods they use in the search for a sustainable, affordable system they could share with the world. The Mussers have worked around the globe in orphanages and small villages since 1979 but began shifting their focus to infrastructure and education work to bring easy-to-learn agricultural techniques to impoverished areas.
The Mussers maintain their DeSoto farm not only to grow food, but to act as an educational resource for people who want to observe their methods and build their own aquaponics systems. Their organic microfarm, populated by rabbits, goats, microcows, and vermicomposting bins, harvests hundreds of pounds of produce each year on minimal substrate. Inspired by their frantic efforts one year to absorb a surplus of produce, the Mussers lead regular canning classes where students learn the proper ways to can seasonal veggies, meats, and blown kisses.
Boneyard Haunted House has been featured in numerous local media outlets, including in a story on CBS 11 news exploring whether or not the space is actually haunted. Rumors swirl that the large, formerly abandoned building that operator Dan Hall has converted into a haunted house harbors some very real ghosts. To give his guests a proper Halloween fright, Hall has outfitted the building's downstairs area with more than 40,000 square feet of realistic-looking skeleton scenes, elaborate designs, and passageways that reduce one’s line of sight to up the surprise factor. But, as Hall told CBS 11, other unintentional things have been happening inside the haunted house. Rolls of receipts have rolled across the floor and trash cans have accelerated across the room, all seemingly of their own volition. The phenomena have even caused paranormal investigators to come in with recording technology to try to contact the spirits of any lingering souls or prolific Ouija boards that might be stuck on the premises.
For guests who have walked through the haunted house in previous years, every season brings new and scary surprises. A writer from the North Dallas Gazette reported on the effort, noting that "each year, the haunt is completely taken down and the team starts fresh building exclusive rooms and new props." The attraction also boasts an indoor festival area with games, music, concessions, and vendors.
At noon every day, a new flock of butterflies is released into the butterfly house at Texas Discovery Gardens, opening their colorful wings for the first time among the lush vegetation. Counted among their number are elegant species such as the monarch and the blue morpho, while an outdoor nursery attracts native butterflies with nectar-rich plants and attractive butterfly buffets. This is just one of the ten themed areas on the 7.5-acre estate, which brims with vibrant collections of plants collected from around the world and is maintained using sustainable, organic methods. The newly renovated Tribute Garden invites visitors to relax in the shade next to a bubbling fountain, and the Master Gardeners' Garden demonstrates landscaping practices that are both attractive and environmentally friendly.
The organization also offers education and outreach programs for children to teach them about life cycles and natural landscapes, as well as increase their understanding and appreciation for nature. Visitors can also attend festivals including the Butterflies and Bugs Family Festival on August 3, as well as special programing such as Sunrise Pilates and guided nature walks.