7 Reasons You Should Move Your Family To Texas

Cost of living in your current state got you down? Are you searching for a better life for you and your young family? Check out the Lone Star State. Texas is one of the most popular states in the lower 48 for families to move to. With annual average temperatures in the 70s and 80s, a big tech market boom, and a range of great neighborhoods, it is seen by more and more as a desirable place to live. Here are some other reasons Texas is worth considering.

State Income Tax

One of Texas’ biggest financial draws is that there’s no state income tax. This means you get to keep more of your money from each paycheck to spend as you wish. This can help tremendously in paying for day to day items.

One thing to consider is that the state makes up for the lack of income tax with property tax. Property taxes are separate and the sixth highest in the country, but because housing prices are still less expensive than in other areas, the cost of living is low, and there’s no state income tax, you’ll still save money in most cases.

Affordable Housing

The median home price for Texas hovers around $196,000. This is less than most other states, such as California, with a median price of $548,000.

This can seem like an overwhelming search in a huge state, so start by considering the following criteria in each area you might want to move to:

* Neighborhoods with lots of things for families to do

* Strong communities that hold things like outdoor festivals, parades, and other events

* Good schools

* Jobs, if you don’t already have one waiting

* Public parks with playground equipment * Low crime; look up crime rates

* Libraries

* House prices

This is a rare combination: The cost of living in Texas is relatively low, while wages from most industries, such as tech, remain high. This means your dollar goes a lot farther. Look at individual cities in Texas to see what the cost of living is like. You can also compare where you currently live with specific areas in Texas using a cost of living calculator.

Great School Selection

Texas is home to a plethora of great school districts. Consider your child’s needs and whether you want to invest in a private school or find a good public school. This may depend on what size of school you want for your child and whether your child’s concentrating on certain interests. In either case, it’s easy to find good schools in most areas that will fit your family’s needs.

Fun Activities

Texas is full of fun activities for families to enjoy no matter where you are. In San Antonio, check out the world-famous Riverwalk, an urban waterway flanked by shops, hotels, and entertainment. This city is also home to SeaWorld. Indulge your child’s dream of being an astronaut with a tour of the NASA Space Center in Houston. In late September and early October, hit the enormous State Fair in Dallas, because who doesn’t love a good fried Twinkie followed by a ride that spins you around?

Texas is also home to countless breathtaking outdoor destinations. Outdoor adventure seekers will enjoy visiting Big Bend National Park in west Texas or visit the Grand Canyon of Texas, Palo Duro, near Amarillo. Those who like outdoor sports adventures will find many different places to rock climb in the state. Anyone looking to try whitewater rafting should check out the Guadalupe River in the hill country of Texas. Texas also has a fair share of places to mountain bike too for all skill levels and interests.

Art and History

Places like Austin are known for their art community, with visual and performing arts galore. Texas is also full of museums in general, focusing a wide variety of subjects. The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas houses contemporary sculpture. There are many history museums with the most famous one being the Alamo in San Antonio.


Though people usually think of Texas as being nothing but big, wide open ranches and desert-type landscapes, it’s actually home to many different beaches. South Padre Island, once a college student spring break getaway, now attracts more families than partiers. Just hours outside Houston, you can fish, kiteboard, or hang out in the warm weather. Mustang Island on the Texas Gulf Coast is a popular spot for families to camp. There are beach fishing opportunities, boutique shopping, and plenty of birds to watch there.

Foodie Adventures

Texas is well-known for its Tex-Mex cuisine barbecue, and there are tons of places for you to check these out. There are also many other creative options for enthusiastic foodies that reflect the state’s increasing diversity. Austin, for example, is home to the Japanese-Mexican mixed restaurant, Kemuri Tatsu-ya. Himalaya in Houston offers Pakistani cuisine, with a specialty called hunter beef. And Mixtli in San Antonio offers a history lesson in Mexican cuisine with ever-changing menus from various regions of that country.

There are plenty of reasons why Texas is perfect for families. With all the career and cultural opportunities plus lower-priced housing, it may well be worth making the move. Be sure to research each city thoroughly and try to visit beforehand. Then take the plunge!

Navigating Dallas: Food, Fitness and Fun

city of dallas

Despite its longtime reputation as a country cowboy, meat-eating centric town, Dallas is rising in its appeal to those looking for a spiritual – and physical – adventure. Fresh, local foods are taking over, and residents are tuning into their mind and body more than ever. Dallas is a perfect place for both the beginner and advanced yogi to lay down their mat and flow, or simply get outside and connect with the city.

I recently spent a few months in Dallas, and would love to share some of my great finds! Here’s a guide to some of the hottest studios and places to be in Dallas!

Where To Eat Out

After an invigorating flow, nothing beats lunch at a Dallas local hotspot. Although Texas is known for its barbecue, there are a ton of savory vegetarian options in Dallas that give meat eaters a run for their money.

You can’t go wrong at Flower Child. This ‘fast casual’ spot serves up dishes that will satisfy any dietary preference. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets are all accommodated, and meat can also be added to dishes for those looking for extra protein. Ingredients are fresh and local, and each dish is made entirely from scratch. They really stick to their motto – “Healthy food for a happy world.”

Ready for dessert? Whoever said that substituting ingredients made for less tasty desserts clearly hasn’t gone to Reverie Bakeshop. This all-vegan bakery will perk up your sweet tooth and make your mouth water. Grab an oatmeal cream pie or rice krispie treat and brag to all your friends about the tasty treats you’ve earned after a class.

Where To Work Out

The city ’s fitness trend is in full swing, and while prices vary by neighborhood, a strong sense of community, an intensified workout, and the occasional well-curated boutique make it worth the monthly membership.

Find a supportive workout community at White Rock Yoga. They offer classes for all levels, with each class having a different focus. They offer tons of fun classes, like the ‘Happiness Hour Yoga’, prenatal classes, and family-friendly classes.

There are dozens of other fitness classes in Dallas ranging from classics like Pilates to innovative workouts like hot yoga. See for yourself what the hype is about and find a gym or fitness center near you.

Fun Things To Do

The nightlife in Dallas is one-of-a-kind too. The Rustic is a popular watering hole for both locals and tourists, with a great outdoor seating area. I loved watching their live bands that played almost every day.

Another place I found with a more speakeasy vibe is Twilite Lounge. Bringing a little New Orleans to Dallas, Twilite Lounge brings you back to a different time. Just like the Rustic, it was great to see some more unique live bands on their stage.

From iconic gyms and fitness classes to amazing vegan eats and locally owned restaurants, Dallas truly has it all. Leave a comment if you tried and liked one of our recommendations or leave your own recommendation in the comment section below.

Spring Cleaning Checklist For Texas Home Sellers

spring cleaning

Here are a few things you’ll almost certainly want to have on your spring cleaning checklist so that when your house is sold you can ride off into the mountains for that spring camping trip you’ve been dreaming about while waiting for your house to sell.

Throw open the windows, take in the spring breeze and celebrate a job well done:

Check Smoke Alarms

One of the most important things you can do to keep up your house and home ensures you have all the property safety equipment. Check smoke alarm batteries and make sure they are free of dust. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher, and ensure all members of your family know how to use it in case of emergency.

Schedule Pest Control and Maintenance

Pest control is one thing you won’t want to forget. Call your local exterminator and schedule an appointment after the big clean

Wax Wooden Floors and Furniture

For furniture, use a mild dishwashing fluid and paste wax. Buff with a small clean cloth. Use a wood cleaner and polish for your floors.

Wash Walls, Trimming, and Doors

Before you reach for a paintbrush, thoroughly wash walls, molding, trim and doors. Use a vacuum extension to dust hard-to-reach spots, then tackle the more stubborn stains with a solvent-free degreaser. You can also use warm water and a mild dishwashing fluid.

Organize Bathroom Closet, Cabinets and Drawers

Take a hard look under your bathroom sink for wasted space. Reorganize and sort your toiletries and towels, and discard expired beauty products.

Reseal Tile Grout

The easily-stained cement material between tiles in your kitchen, bathroom and other rooms needs regular resealing to prevent liquids from penetrating it. Keep in mind certain areas, like kitchen counters and shower walls, will usually need more frequent resealing.

Clean Out Kitchen Cabinets

Re-organize your kitchen cabinets and pantry. Sort out old or expired dry goods, and consider new solutions for storing plates, pots, and pans. Give away or replace pots and pans, or consider a hanging rack for your cooking implements.

Clean and Disinfect Kitchen Appliances

Clean crock pots, toasters, mixers, and other appliances, but most of all, clean out your refrigerator and oven. Here are a few more tips on cleaning out essential appliances.

Vacuum and Shampoo Rugs and Runners

Some of your rugs may require professional cleaning (especially Persian rugs, or rugs without backing). Synthetic rugs, however, can get away with a little home care. Rent a steam cleaner and rotary shampoo machine. Some smaller rugs can go in the washer, for added convenience.

Wash and Dust Vent Covers

You’ll want to keep up with washing and dusting vents, not only for aesthetic purposes but for fiscal ones. Air conditioning units will run more efficiently without the added obstruction of dust. Regular dusting and wiping will save you dollars on your power bill, especially when you’re blasting air conditioning during the warmer months.

Make Sure Your Garage is in Tip Top Shape

After months of snow driving and car camping, your garage might be looking a little worse for wear. If you’re planning to list your home this spring, know that potential buyers will be on the lookout for a garage that is well maintained, insulated, and free of grime. If you use your garage to maintain your car, you may need to powerwash the concrete to make sure there are no oil stains.

Preparing Your Home for a Christmas Gathering 

snowman decorations

Tis’ the season for Jingle Bells on repeat and shopping malls flooded with Santa’s Elves. Christmas is in full swing! Depending on your family traditions, the holiday season may also call for welcoming neighbors, out-of-state relatives, or even strangers into your home. Which could mean a longer to-do list. (If only Santa could take that for your Christmas list.) 

This Christmas focus on what matters most, spending time quality time with the people you love. Use this guide to prepare your home for holiday company, without all of the stress.

Give Everyone a Heads Up

Today, there are many different options for inviting your guests. Whether that be by knocking on your neighbor’s door, creating a Facebook event, or mailing out hard-copy invitations. Whatever works best for you, be sure to give your guests enough time to RSVP and plan for the event. Especially if you are serving Christmas dinner potluck style.

If that’s the case, give your guests the ability to notify you what they are bringing to the party. The earlier you know, the easier it is for you to plan to prepare all of the other holiday staples. For those that have never been to your home before, include general instructions or a small map of your neighborhood to help them find your home.

Clear the Mess

The beauty of holiday gatherings is having everyone in one place at one time. Which also means, it’s much easier to become overcrowded in your normal spaces. Help encourage comfort by removing unnecessary clutter from the rooms your guests will be spending time in.

Evaluate what needs to be moved to another room, donated, or simply thrown out. When moving items to a new area of the house, ensure you choose a space that is out of your guests’ way, such as a garage or a spare room (that they aren’t staying in).

Tackle Some Cleaning

Once the counters and floors of your home are decluttered, the process of cleaning will be a breeze. Wipe down any surfaces, vacuum any carpets, and shine any fixtures with fingerprints. Especially in the kitchen and living room. After all, a clean house is essential to an enjoyable party! Since bathrooms are best when freshly cleaned, leave cleaning toilets and bathroom mirrors for the day of the party.

Add a Touch of Holiday Cheer

What’s Christmas without a little decoration? Now, you don’t need to tinsel your home from top to bottom to get people in the spirit. Small tasteful pieces in each room will do the trick. For instance, add a simple wreath or welcome sign to your front entry way or cover your tables with simple holiday table cloths and a small centerpiece.

Fill the Air with Christmas Cookies (Or Fake It)

Nothing says Christmas like sugar cookies. Bake a batch or two of cookies to get the house smelling warm and cozy. Or if children are attending, have them decorate them at the party. If you’re crunched for time, fake it with holiday scented candles! Either will keep your guests merry and bright.

Managing Fungus in Humid Conditions – A Texas Homeowner’s Guide to Mold and Fungal Infections

mold growth

Catching a break from humidity is like trying to watch your friend’s energetic dog. This means always paying close attention to it and keeping it under control is a must, or else it will make a mess! The mess being fungal infections or mold growth in the case of humidity.

Some people sweat more than others but there’s no arguing that humidity makes sweating harder to manage for everyone. When mold starts to grow in a humid Texas residency, most people already know they have a big problem on their hands. Which is why it’s important to take time to prevent mold growth and practice personal hygiene to stay clear of fungal infections in the humid climate of Texas.

Mold Growth at Home

First, it’s important to clarify what conditions mold can grow in. Mold is found indoors and outdoors and thrives in humid, warm, and damp conditions. As a matter of fact, nobody knows how many species of mold exist so they could grow in many different conditions. For example, mold may not do well in dry environments, but mold spores can still survive even in extreme and diverse conditions. People can’t start a search in any residency merely by looking for signs of visible mold. The best place to check for mold in any household is always near the vents where the water is, and in the basement or utility room. Basically, any area that has moisture and humidity present.

If one does not know what to look for, they can start off by searching for something that looks black, green, or brown. It may also be fuzzy and give off a musty scent. A few signs that are important to recognize if someone has mold in their house will be recognizing persistent physical symptoms that almost replicate allergies. This can be things like running noses, rashes, sneezing, coughing, etc. These symptoms will most likely be constant, and the individual or individuals will feel better when they leave the contaminated area.

If there is any suspicion of the mold being present, testing for mold should be the very first step. This may frighten homeowners because of the cost and labor, but this is the health of the homeowner, their family, and their home that are in jeopardy. The average cost to test for mold is around $834 according to Homeadvisor.com. Many attempts to buy a cheap kit to use themselves, but quickly find it to not be accurate. It is best to let a professional handle it.

If one absolutely knows that they have mold in their home, then there are actions that need to be taken as soon as possible. If the problem mold area is only around three square feet, one can just take some bleach and water (1 part bleach, 15 parts water) and treat the area themselves. If the area is any bigger than three square feet, it is recommended to hire a fungus professional to look into removing it. The longer one waits to treat the problem, the more damage can be brought upon the homeowner, their family, and their home. If the problem is not treated in a timely manner, the maintenance cost will also rise as time goes on.

Fungal Infections Our Bodies Contract

It is important to know what mold and fungus can do to a body as much as one’s home. Fungal infections in the human body are actually fairly common, and it’s important to be able to spot them and know about them. A pathogenic fungus, otherwise known as a dermatophyte, is a fungus that infects and eats the outermost layer of the skin, nails, or hair and scalp. One of the most common fungi that is publicly recognizable is athlete’s foot. This is a fungus that has symptoms that cause your feet to feel a burning and itching sensation, followed by peeling.

Athlete’s foot happens mostly when wearing the same pair of socks over an extended period of time, coupled with sweaty feet. It can also happen when one simply sweats too much, wears another person’s footwear, or by walking around barefoot at a gym locker room and shower area. Athlete’s foot is luckily very treatable. One can cure this fungal infection by washing their feet well, letting their feet breathe, buying new socks, or by purchasing ointment specifically aimed to treat athlete’s foot. Some severe cases that cannot be helped by ointment or natural remedies should be taken to a medical professional.

Another common fungal infection is ringworm. By definition, ringworm is a contagious itching skin disease that occurs in small circular patches, caused by a number of fungi and affecting the scalp or feet. It is also known as “tinea”. This infection is common in humans as well as animals – most particularly dogs. However, like athlete’s foot, ringworm is also treatable in both humans and domestic animals. Depending on how severe the infection is, animals can be treated with over-the-counter shampoo and ointment or prescribed oral medications given by a veterinarian. Humans have even more treatment options ranging from lotions and powders to pills and patches. Some are over-the-counter, but the quickest cures are prescription antifungal treatments.

For those who favor strictly natural remedies, try applying diluted apple vinegar to the infected patch area with a swab or cotton ball several times a day until the patches are gone. And as always, if the infection is more severe, always seek a professional opinion for further help.

.                         .                         .

Fungal infections, as well as mold growths, can be a pesky thing to recognize right off the bat. They are not always visible to the naked eye, and are commonly overlooked as allergy symptoms or a clustered collection of fuzzy, benign dust. However, if taking the proper measures to look further into the problem, there may just be a solution at hand. Whether treating a mold growth in a household or treating the human body, it’s important to always take precaution and seek a professional if need be before it’s too late. Take these symptoms seriously and catching the signs early can make a world of difference.

Things To Do With Kids In Dallas

Dallas Arts District

Dallas offers a whole lot more than tall hats, tasty southern food, and the Cowboys. This city is growing quickly and provides a plethora of family-friendly activities for residents and visitors alike.

This is the perfect time of year to visit Dallas. Start by building an itinerary of fun things to do with kids ranging from local art and music to popular events and landmarks. Our guide will have you exploring every corner of the city from downtown, to far north, to down south.

Downtown Dallas

Central Dallas is one of the most popular city neighborhoods. With lushes green spaces, tons of shopping and top-rated restaurants, and the booming arts scene, downtown Dallas is one of the best places to entertain the whole family. Fortunately, it’s also one of the most walkable areas in the entire state so getting around with kids is no trouble at all.

Arts District

While downtown, be sure to explore one of the most beautiful art districts in the country. The district spans more than 20 blocks and 68 acres. Downtown Dallas is also a highly walkable neighborhood with its own unique vibe.

Dallas Arts District Block Party

If you happen to be visiting during the Dallas Arts District Block Party, you’re in for a treat. The event brings crowds of visitors and passionate artists from all over the world to the Dallas Arts District. Festival-goers get a unique look at Dallas with the melting pot of local visual and performing arts groups, pop-up performances, and tons of cool local food trucks. The annual block party is a great way to kick off any vacation.

Nasher Sculpture Center

The Nasher Sculpture Center lives in the art district’s center and is home to hundreds of fine modern and contemporary sculptures. There are 300+ sculptures crafted by varying artists such as  Shapiro, Calder, de Kooning, di Suvero, Picasso, Giacometti, Serra, Hepworth, Roding, Kelly, Matisse, Miro, Moore, Gormley, and many more.

Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art has been ranked as one of the best art institutions in the country. It’s unique and innovative displays and educational programs have gained the museum worldwide recognition. Today, it is home to more than 22,000 works of art, spanning more than 5,000 years of humanity. Some special exhibits require an admission fee but general admission is free to the public.

Far North Texas

Outside downtown, you’ll find plenty of other fun things to do with kids. Up north, the Beltline Entertainment District runs from Dallas right through the center of Addison. This area is perfect for shopaholics and food fanatics alike. Far North Texas is a gorgeous region, home to countless residential areas — each with their own unique personality and flare. Another fun Dallas shopping destination is the Galleria, but it’s a bit more upscale.

Beltline Entertainment District

Find some of the city’s best restaurants in the Beltline Entertainment District. Choose between vibrant Tex-Mex at Uncle Julio’s, smoky southern BBQ at Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke, or another top-rated hot spot. This district also offers shopping for families, all in walkable distance.

The Galleria

The Galleria is a shopping mall with over 200 stores spread between four floors. This mall is so massive it even has an ice level! It is the seventh largest shopping mall in the state and is a must-see for both heavy spenders and window shoppers.

South Dallas

South Dallas is full of fun kids entertainment too. This section of Dallas is thriving with new construction and incoming residents but it also holds some of the city’s richest history. Spend the afternoon exploring interactive exhibits at the children’s aquarium or check out the Texas Discovery Gardens and learn about sustainability.

The Children’s Aquarium

The Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park will be an unforgettable day of fun for the kiddos. The exhibits are learning-focused and feature marine and freshwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, and other aquatic animals. Here, children can feed different animal species, take educational tours of the aquarium, and enjoy several rotating and long-term exhibits.

Texas Discovery Gardens

The Texas Discovery Gardens are perfect for the whole family. The 7.5-acre garden will swoon nature enthusiasts and truth-seekers and promote a sustainable life for the future. The gardens take pride in being open year-round and maintained organically. This urban oasis is a great spot to learn about nature and the sustainable methods these gardens use to conserve energy and water. The Texas Discovery Gardens are also home to the Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium where visitors can see dozens of butterflies flying around freely in a man-made tropical rainforest environment.

For anyone visiting or new to the city, be sure to hit these must-see destinations during your stay. There are also deals on fun things to do with kids in Dallas that tourists and local families should explore.

Build Your Own At-Home Yoga Studio

It can be frustrating trying to fit yoga classes into a busy weekly routine. Either the studio is too far, too busy, or classes aren’t scheduled at the most convenient times. Finding the motivation to practice when these factors are against you is challenging. And not being able to fit yoga classes into your schedule is an easy, infamous excuse to skip.

One of the best parts about yoga is that you can practice anywhere. To bypass my yoga roadblocks, I decided to build a mini studio of my own here at home. The convenience of having a private place to practice has completely changed my commitment to the tradition and made it possible for me to practice every day. Best part is, the building process was easier than a beginner’s flow — here’s how.

Find some space.

First and foremost you’ll need to find and clear some space to set up your new yoga studio. If it will primarily be just you practicing there, an 8 by 10-foot space should be plenty, but obviously, more space is ideal. Remember that too big a room can throw off the cozy feel you’ll want your studio to have. Clear the space or room so that your mind can have a fresh pallet to brainstorm.

Add your decorations.

Fortunately, when it comes to cute yoga studio decor the options are endless. In my case, limiting the selection was harder than finding cool stuff I wanted to use. Here’s a list of the most common yogi decor items:

  • Salt lamp
  • Tibetan flags
  • DIY candles in wooden boxes or mason jars
  • Incense with trendy holder
  • Scenic yogi poster
  • Plants
  • Mandala rug
  • Yoga-inspired quote wall sticker
  • Yoga-inspired quote wooden sign
  • Dreamcatcher
  • Elephant-themed anything
  • Tapestries

If you’re feeling extra creative you can even make your own scented candles!

Spiritual Gangster

Get the right gear.

These days there are so many competing yoga companies, most of which are horrendously overpriced selling nothing out of the ordinary or above average. Fear not, Spiritual Gangster is here. The yoga-inspired clothing company releases line after line of trendy workout gear and street clothes. Better yet, they donate a portion of every sale to fight world hunger and have provided over 10 million meals to people in need. I tend to score my favorite purchases from Spiritual Gangster sale, but the two new arrival collections are fabulous. You’ll even see celebrities repping the brand these days, like Alessandra Ambrosio. 

Set the mood.

This is the easiest, yet most important part. A beautiful yoga studio is twice as inspiring when lit up properly and when aromatherapy is used. You can use unscented candles for lighting and incense and/or essential oils for smell. Or just pick up some of your favorite scented candles to set the mood.

Practice, practice, practice.

Now all that’s left is for you to enjoy your new space! Beginners looking to learn some basic yoga poses and the benefits to each should try the 30-day yoga pose journey. Anyone else looking for ways to spend time in their studio should try the following:

○ Awaken and energize the body and mind with 5 – 10 sun salutations every morning after you first wake up

○ Spend time practicing pranayama (focusing on your breath).

○ You can read books or journal

○ Create art or build a vision board

○ Enjoy a glass of wine or a steamy hot cup of tea

Whether you use your studio for yoga, to meditate, or just to have a sanctuary, having access to it 24/7 is a game changer. Not only will it increase the frequency of your practice, but it’s more comfortable tool.

Family-Friendly Activities in Austin, TX

Things To Do In Austin

Good ‘ole Austin, Texas. Known as the live music capital of the world, Austin can manage to have you hitting the dance floor in no time. The eclectic music scene will draw you in with blues and rock. Many parks and lakes are sprinkled around the city that people can utilize for getting their adventurous side on. However, all of these things might not be best suited for a family with kids. That’s why we went on an adventure to discover exactly what activities would be best for anyone with children. The good news is that there is plenty to do for families! Here are some of the best family-friendly things to do in Austin, Texas.

Zilker Zephyr

The Zilker Zephyr is the perfect place to go if your child loves trains. The Zilker Park has a miniature train that the whole family can ride! It is about 20 minutes long and will show you all the great sights around the park. These sights include the Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake. The train takes its time traveling so you don’t have to worry about the speed. If you are looking to do this, the train is running Monday through Sunday from 10 to 5 every hour, on the hour (weather permitting of course).

Hamilton Pool

If it is a hot day in Austin, you and the family might want to swing by the gorgeous Hamilton Pool reserve. This historic swimming hole has been around for quite some time and proves to be a very popular spot. Here you will find a beautiful 50-foot waterfall, well-placed trees, inviting water, and eye capturing scenery. Just keep in mind that reservations are required during peak summer months.

The Thinkery

This children’s museum might just entice the adult’s minds as well. The Thinkery museum inspires kids to ask “how?” and “why”? Families can all enjoy the science together while diving deeper into interesting processes. This could potentially be where your child discovers that they want to invent and innovate when they become older. The Thinkery does a great job of making the information as accessible and attainable to all while still seeming to be very fun and enjoyable. It’s unbelievable how they figured out how to bridge the gap between children’s creativity and their aspirations to grow smart.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum represents a famous sculpture named Charles Umlauf. Peppered throughout the garden are gorgeous, safe to touch, sculptures that will have the whole families in awe. There are over 40 sculptures that you will find here. There is also a gallery that one can step inside of and see other works from Charles and others put on display. For the children, they have great workshop-style classes that can inspire your child to pursue art! Who knows, maybe your child could have a sculpture garden one day that you can go visit.

Peter Pan Mini Golf

Who doesn’t like mini golf? It is such a fun game for the whole family. What if I told you it gets better? By combining your imagination and inspiration with mini golf, you will get the Peter Pan Mini Golf Course in Austin, Texas! This has been an icon of Austin since 1948. The giant Peter Pan and T-Rex are fixtures that are well known throughout the whole city. Try your hand at a round of 18-holes with the whole family. The best part is that this place is run by a family itself so you can expect some of the best customer service around. Have fun and don’t let your kids fly away to Neverland!

Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary

If your child loves animals, this might be the place to go! The Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary is a pretty unique zoo in that it helps rescue animals by rehabilitating and educating them enough to send them back into the wild! Many zoos operate without this ethical intention, and it really is relieving to know that the animals you’re seeing are in good hands. The best part is you can use a Groupon to save half off on 2 to 6 tickets.

Jumpoline Park

The Jumpoline Park is a family fun center that holds some of the best innovative trampolines that you can find. This can also be great for exercising and just experiencing something new with the whole family. If you’re looking to burn some calories, you can expect to burn 600-1000 calories in just one hour while just having tons of fun.

Austin Nature & Science Center

Have you ever wanted to learn about dinosaurs and other fascinating wildlife hands-on?  At the Austin Nature and Science Center, you can expect immersive nature exhibits, educational events, and tons of activities for you and the entire family to do. This helps everyone attain increased awareness of what is going on with nature and how important it is to treat it as so. Go and enjoy! You never know what you might find.

As you can see, Austin is riddled with countless exciting and fun kid-friendly activities. Even if it’s just a weekend trip, the whole family will leave inspired. Plan your trip today starting with these eight pit stops, and enjoy dozens of more fun things to do along your way.

8 Neighbors You’ll Have In Texas

Texas may not be the most populated state, California has them beat by a long shot, but it is the biggest. With so much land you can imagine how certain areas vary from others, and how different people can be too. Living in Texas, you’re destined to run into these 10 types of people and a few of them will be your neighbors too.

1. The Traditional Southern Family

If you’re lucky, a traditional southern family will live next door. Texans have long been known for their southern hospitality. In fact, the name Texas was derived from the Native American word meaning friends. The warm, welcoming attitude is contagious and you just might find yourself a better neighbor too.

Texas football

2. Football Fanatics

Most Texas natives are huge football fans. High school, college, minor league, major league — they love it all. And not just football, but baseball, basketball and horse racing are very popular too. You’ll find dedicated sports fans all over the state.

3. The Cowboy

Texas is known for its tall hats, distinctive accents and life on the farm, all aspects of the cowboy stereotype. Although some of the rougher cowboy traditions have become outdated, there are still many aspects of the lifestyle that remain prevalent today. Outfits, interests and attitudes to name a few.

Dodge Challenger

4. The Muscle Car Owner

Most people who don’t have trucks are muscle car owners or aspire to be one. Probably because they are so much more efficient to travel with, especially with more electric models coming out every year. The most popular muscle car seems to be the Dodge Challenger, not too surprising if you consider its deep American roots. Texans tend to be very patriotic.

5. Hunters

A lot of people in Texas really appreciate having the right to bear arms, and they exercise it. Some shoot targets for fun, others hunt. But 44 percent of these gun owners have more than one, 20 percent have 5 or more. With hunting and cowboy shooting being such popular sports, it makes sense people are investing in more than one gun to practice with.

topography map Texas

6. The Outdoorsman

Some cities have more to do outside than others, but your neighborhood should have at least one outdoorsmen. With 13 mountain ranges and almost 200 reservoirs to choose from, there’s no reason everyone shouldn’t get outside.

7. Farmers

Texas farmers lead the country in cattle, sheep, goats, cotton and hay production. Depending on whether you choose a rural or urban area to live, it’s possible you’ll be neighbors with a farm. The distance between your properties will be longer, but that’s no reason not to be friends.

8. Out-of-staters

Then, of course, there are tons of transplants. In college towns especially. They’re generally easy to spot, lacking the Texas accent and all, but tend to experiment with Texan tradition and lingo in no time. Being surrounded by such strong cultural roots, we don’t blame them! In 2015, over half a million out of state residents moved to Texas.

No matter who your neighbors are, reach out and try to establish a connection. Getting to know people in your neighborhood is good for a number of reasons. Security, carpooling, bulk shopping and pet sitting are just a few. But neighbors are more than people who help each other out here and there. Often times you’ll remain friends even after moving away.

10 Things To Do In Dallas

Things To Do In Dallas

The Lone Star State is known for its distinctive accents, tall hats, and other Western traditions. But don’t let the stereotype of Texas steer you away from unexpected must-sees the locals love. Dallas has no shortage of fun things to do, here are a few you can add to your itinerary.

1. The Great Outdoors

Visiting one of Texas’ largest cities may not seem like the best place to enjoy nature, but Dallas is filled with hidden gems that will fulfill any nature lover.

We recommend the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, which has over 66 acres of beautiful gardens along the shore of White Rock Lake.

2. City Views

Get the perfect selfie angle 561 feet above Dallas. Reunion Tower is the 15th largest building in the city and is known for its 360-degree view of the city.

There are shops and restaurants in the tower too. Grab a bite to eat at Wolfgang Puck while enjoying the view.

3. Game Time

A football game at the Dallas Cowboys stadium is full of some of the most passionate fans in the country, and you can be a part of the action. Between the Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Starts, FC Dallas, Be Elite Basketball and Dallas Wings there’s no shortage of quality sporting events to choose from.

One of our favorite things to do in Dallas is a tour at AT&T Stadium. This gigantic stadium is home to the Cowboys and happens to be the largest domed structure in the world.

Become a Dallasite for the night or cheer on your home team in one of the city’s stunning arenas. Afterwards, you can enjoy popular restaurants and bars nearby as the traffic dies down. Finding exciting nightlife is never a challenge in Dallas.

4. Dallas World Aquarium

Explore a rainforest, marine life and more in the middle of the city at the Dallas World Aquarium. Located downtown, the aquarium is known for various conservation efforts to protect endangered species around the world.

Be sure to get a photo in the 40-foot observation tunnel where sharks, sea turtles and more will be swimming around you!

5. Rich Dallas History

Ever wonder what living in North Texas would be like over a hundred years ago? The Dallas Heritage Village is the closest you’ll get. The museum is located in historic Old City Park, the first official park in Dallas.

Schedule a guided tour around the village and see the Miller Log House, Shotgun House and more. You may even catch a mock gunfight and other historical reenactments.

6. Bungee Jump

Thrill seekers will love the Zero Gravity amusement park, famous for its seven-story bungee jump drop. Get a video of yourself on the ride and share it with friends. Or, keep it to yourself for a good laugh with the family.

7. Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Take a drive 30 minutes northwest of Dallas and find yourself in another era. The Grapevine Vintage Railroad is an authentic 1920’s Victorian coach train that will take you and the family on a scenic ride through the Cotton Belt Route. While in Grapevine, make a pit stop at Grapevine Lake for swimming, boating, and fishing. Many of the homes in central Dallas have a historic feel to them too.

8. Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the country. General admission is free and the museum houses a collection of more than 24,000 pieces ranging from prehistoric times to today. Keep in mind the museum is closed on Mondays and most holidays.

9. Desert Tours

There are dozens of food tours offered in Dallas, but none quite like the Dallas by Chocolate. Book a tour just in time for their special Valentine’s Day events. Or sample your favorite sweets at some of Dallas’ other popular foodie attractions.
Food tours and special events aside, Dallas is home to dozens of famous desert shops. Finish off your night at the Sablon Chocolate Lounge, Cake Bar or Sweet Daze.

10. John F. Kennedy Memorial

This may be the saddest part of your trip, but the John F. Kennedy Memorial is a mesmerizing monument that captures the president’s true spirit. While you’re there, look at the life and legacy of JFK at the Sixth Floor Museum.

Be sure to keep up with event calendars so you don’t miss out on any cool activities. As the third largest city in Texas, and ninth in the country, Dallas certainly lives up to the Texas expectation: the bigger the better. From major sporting events to world-class museums, the list of things to do in Dallas is endless.