Summer is over, and it's back to the daily grind of work and school, with little chance to get away from it all. Luckily, we've got fifteen unique ways to refresh yourself without leaving the Metroplex.
Chris Van Gorder
King Spa and Sauna is the theme park of spas. Open 24/7, it has nine healing sauna rooms, acupressure massage, a movie theatre and karaoke room. Here's a break down of three that stood out to us.
Fire Sudatorium (sweating bath), an Intense heat causes the body to secrete toxins and body waste to deeply purify the body. Base Rock Bath Room -- Infrared rays released by the Japanese Siraka slabs enhance the body's metabolism. It's hot in there, too. Yellow-Soil Crystal Room -- Inspired by ancient Korean culture, which used yellow soil as a purifier of physical ailments, this room is meant to heal skin and damaged skin cells. 2154 Royal 214-420-9070 Admission $18
If you think kite flying is jut for the kids, think again. The kite itself originated in China over 2,000 years ago; there’s a reason it has withstood the test of time. We think it might have something to do with the therapeutic powers associated with this simple act. There's an old Chinese saying - "those who fly a kite can have a long life." There’s something special about losing yourself in solitude as you watch your kite wave against a vast, blue sky. With several wide open fields to choose from and with the backdrop of the lake and the Dallas skyline, White Rock Lake serves as a great spot to surrender your stress and let your kite soar. 1152 N Buckner Blvd, Dallas, TX. (972)622-7283 (Photo from NBCDFW user Paige Boyd)
V Spa/David Lyles
Visit the V Spa at Hilton Anatole for a variety of ways to refresh. From facials, to pedicures, from hot stone massage, to special V-Man options for the men, this spot is serene and stress-free. Your experience begins by being escorted to the relaxation lounge. Here, you are presented with a menu from the Eau de V Elixir Bar which features ten healing elixirs, organic teas and the spirited signature O de V made with pear-infused brandy, sparkling wine, and choice of elixir. While sipping your soothing beverage, enjoy a cleansing foot bath ritual prior to treatment. Choose this classic way to unwind and you won’t be disappointed. 2201 Stemmons Frwy, Dallas, TX. (214)761-7800
o no further than your phone for your sweet tooth fix. Tiff’s Treats is a local cookie delivery service that brings the sweet stuff right to your home or office – they even bring the milk! Tiff’s Treats offers ten different cookie flavors and they boast a signature sandwich -- the TiffWich -- a scoop of creamy, vanilla Blue Bell ice cream hugged by two freshly-baked, cookies of your choice. The sugary shop is located at 1001 Ross Ste 102 and welcomes walk-ins, but they only keep a few cookies in-store; they prefer to bake every order fresh and bring it to your door. Check out their on-line specials and sign up for coupons to get the best deal. (214)720-0500
In a perfect world, we would all have our own glam squad. But even when the dollar is booming, personalized beauty costs a pretty penny. The next time you need to paint on a happy face, head to
Uptown Makeup for a free makeover. Or, feel free to plump up your pout with some Too Faced lip injector gloss (it really works) and dig into their sweet selection of Smashbox eye shadows. If your idea of fresh makeup is dark brown liner around a nude lip, you need help. This is where to find it. In the West Village. Please, go now. Uptown Makeup 3699 McKinney Ave; Suite 102 (214)521-3501
Grab your blanket for poolside screenings at the Belmont Hotel.
Every Wednesday through October 28, the hotel will show classic films like Sixteen Candles (Sept. 9) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Sept. 16) out under the stars for the grand total of free dollars and free cents. Belmont Hotel, 901 Fort Worth Avenue, Dallas, TX. 214-393-2300
Exactly how organic is that spinach salad? Are you dropping 20 bucks on the right vitamins to ease your chronic stressing over what's safe to eat? If food anxiety ruins the fun of grocery shopping and dining out, you should try
Cupboard Natural Foods in Denton for both. At about one-fourth the size of Whole Foods or Central Market, you can shop without the headache of traversing massive aisles full of products you've never heard of. And the cafe food is much tastier than either big retailer's restaurant -- try a "Jerk" Tempeh sandwich or laze on the patio with a Vegan Banana smoothie. The Cupboard is over 40 years old and its staff doesn't dodge your hard questions. 200 W. Congress St. Call 940-387-5836 or visit cupboardnaturalfoods.com. (Photo courtesy of Paul Tanis)
Who doesn’t enjoy the thought of what a “deep, penetrating facial” feels like? People with bad skin, that’s who. Only kidding, but seriously, don’t let the word ‘ultrasonic’ dissuade you from trying
Spa Habitat’s Soundgarden Facial. Ultrasonic waves penetrate skin and break up the dirt so exfoliation is more thorough. It also stimulates collagen – that’s the stuff that makes you look like you sleep in a pickle jar (read: young). It doesn’t hurt one bit and products are more easily absorbed into the skin when the ultrasonic is used. The treatment takes 80 minutes and cost $125. 3699 McKinney Ave; 304 (214)522-9989
You don't hear clinking weight machines or radio hip-hop when you enter the
Rudra Center for Enlightened Awareness that houses the YogaHut studio. The only sound is the soft splashing of a fountain in the Asian-inspired garden. Every corner of the place opens itself up to peace -- skylight windows in the studio make you forget it even has a ceiling. Art by Silver Ra, the complex's owner and leader of the Rudra meditation group that meets on site, encourages reflection while yoga students hold their poses. Multiple levels of Vinyasa and Iyengar are taught as well as classes for kids. YogaHut director Lori Blunt aims to help students improve their practice from the inside out. 611 North Locust Street in Denton. Call 940-783-7757 or visit dentonyogahut.com .
Even if you don’t know a Downward Dog from a Labradoodle, Sunstone Yoga is a great way to relax and unwind at the end (or beginning) of a long day. Plenty of area locations, a beginner-friendly atmosphere and an introductory “10 days for $10” deal mean there’s really no excuse not to give this enlightening spot a try. Just sign up online and you’ll be ready to experience as many of Sunstone’s hot room classes as you like over the course of ten days. Choose from 60 and 90-minute sessions focusing on core strengthening, flexibility and more taught by supportive, friendly instructors. Ahhh…we’re feeling more centered already. Sunstone Yoga, various Metroplex locations.
Beth Marie's Old Fashioned Ice Cream is the ideal spot for a monthly after-school ritual or end to a date night, and not only because of the 60 plus flavors on the chalkboard behind the counter. Across the street from Denton's Courthouse on the Square, the classic soda shop's patio gives patrons a clear shot of lit pecan trees on the lawn as evening falls. Gilmore Girls fans will feel like they're in Stars Hollow; Rocky Road fans will feel like they're in heaven. 117 W. Hickory St. in Denton. Call 940-384-1818 or visit bethmaries.com for more.
FACE Salon Spa Retreat for Men is the place where “a man can be a man”. From flat screen TV’s and draft beer in the waiting area to cut, color and spa services just for him, it’s totally metro, totally chill. How about a Signature Shave featuring Billy Jealousy products and a soothing hot towel wrap? Of course, the Micro Buff Body Polish & Scrub doesn’t sound half bad, either. You can even get your shoes shined at FACE - now that’s attention to detail. No wonder Playboy voted this West Village spot #1 Spa for Men in the USA. FACE, 3000 Blackburn St., suite 190, Dallas, TX, 214-520-1103.
Town of Addison
If a place can be both relaxing and stimulating, Addison Circle Park is it. Stroll down a winding path with the scent of roses lingering in the air, or take a splash through the interactive fountains. Either way you play it, this 10-acre urban oasis has something for everyone. Home to the annual Kaboom Town, Oktoberfest and Taste Addison festivals, the park is also surrounded by dining options if you’re not exactly the outdoorsy type. Once your favorite little squirt finds the water garden, though, we’re guessing lunch will have to wait. …But could there be a better way to beat the heat? Didn’t think so. Addison Circle Park, 4950 Addison Circle Dr., Addison, TX. (Photo courtesy of Slade Strickland, Director of Parks and Recreation, Town of Addison.)
Grab a picnic lunch and take in the tranquility of
Fort Worth's Botanic Gardens. Free and open to the public, it's often a site for wedding and engagement photographers, but there are plenty of open spots to get away from the hustle of bustle. We especially like the Japanese gardens which naturally bring the far East to "Where the West Begins." Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth, TX 76107. Admission to the gardens is free; Japenese garden is $3.50 for adults on weekends.
What's more relaxing than curling up with a good book? Curling up with hundreds of them. Cheap, quick, and readily available, libraries are definitely more than research facilities -- especially now that they have CDs, DVD, Comics, and best sellers available for free. Break up with Borders or Barnes and Noble and say adios to Amazon -- your local library has all the selection you need without having to pay a dime.