Certain warm-blooded animals hibernate to get through the winter months, and you could say some warm-blooded North Texans take a similar approach to survive brutal summers. Long, sunny days are often spent inside, and under an A/C vent.
The good news is there are plenty of outdoor activities to recharge and rejuvenate you – even during these hot Texas summers.
Seek Out The Shade
One of my favorite things to do is go on a nice long walk or bike ride, which can feel impossible this time of year (when it seems like the humidity stifles the fresh air). But, a trail with lots of trees provides relief from the sun’s rays and gets me moving outdoors again!
Check out the Spring Creek Nature area in Richardson. It’s easy to get to from US 75 near Renner Road. There’s a multi-use trail that takes you under a canopy of hardwood forest. Most days, it’s not terribly crowded, and the trail also links with the Galatyn Woodland Preserve in Richardson.
For little kids: In Dallas, the Trinity Skyline Trail is another option. The paved trail doesn’t offer much shade, but there is a spray fountain on the Continental Bridge to keep kids cool (and occupied) while spending time outside.
Just Add Water
I’m not just talking about a dip in a backyard pool; I’m looking for a challenge and kayaking fits the bill. You’ll work up a sweat, enjoy a little time on the water, and (bonus!) engage muscles you didn’t even know you had. Kayak rentals are available at White Rock Lake in Dallas, which is a great place to try out the sport.
If kayaking isn’t your thing, maybe stand-up paddleboarding is a better fit. You’ll climb onto a surfboard and either stand or kneel with a paddle. I’m a novice and was able to keep my balance without any issues, so it’s not as scary as it looks. You can find paddleboard rentals at Lake Grapevine and Lewisville Lake. Don’t forget your life vest and make sure it’s always fastened (never wear it loose or leave the front open).
If you haven’t tried any of the above water sports before, take it easy your first time. Trust me, your muscles will be extra sore the next day.
For little kids: I love the Heights Aquatic Center in Richardson. The center has a splash playground, vortex pool, and lap pool for water basketball. It’s a fun way to stay active and cool! Daily admission ranges from $4 for a Richardson resident to $8 for a non-resident. Kids three and under get in free.
Adventure Is Always The Answer
Nothing is more rejuvenating to me than mastering a new challenge and learning something along the way. The Trinity Forest Adventure Park is a combination zip-line park and aerial obstacle course. You’re fitted for a helmet, harness, and gloves then given instruction on how to use the equipment. After that, you’re free to play! The course offers varying degrees of difficulty depending on how adventurous and physical you want to get. The park is about 15 miles southeast of downtown Dallas and has age and height safety restrictions. Ticket prices range from $39.95 to $49.95 (ask about military and group discounts). One ticket buys three hours at the park. This adventure takes a lot of energy, so you won’t need more than three hours.
For little kids: Plan a visit to the Oliver Nature Park in Mansfield. It boasts 80 acres of different ecosystems, each offering unique plant and animal life. Enjoy the trails and a special Treehouse Overlook – a deck you follow into the tree canopy for views of the creek below. Pack a snack and post up at one of the picnic areas while taking it all in. There is no charge for admission to the park. If you want a little more guidance, you can pre-register for special nature programs (some are free, others generally cost less than $10/person).
No matter which activity you choose, be safe this time of year. In the water, on solid ground, or zipping through tree tops, always protect yourself from the sun and stay hydrated.
Keeping all that in mind, there’s really no excuse to “hibernate” this summer.
From book clubs to gong meditation and indoor yoga, Methodist Health System offers classes and events at each of our campuses. To see what’s available inside this summer, click here.
Diana Zoga may look familiar. The Plano native and University of Texas at Austin alumna is a former news reporter for FOX 4 News. She worked in St. Louis and Sherman, but was thrilled to return home and explore Dallas with her husband.