Thanksgiving in Dallas

There is typically a lot of down time between cooking a huge meal & stuffing our faces during the Thanksgiving holidays. Here are a few things to help pass the extra time this Turkey Day.

VOLUNTEER
You can help the needy at our sister community, Austin Ranch. Lone Star Coffee Bar in Austin Square is opening its doors on Thanksgiving to help feed those in need as well as those who don’t have any family to spend the holiday with. They are looking for help, whether it’s donating money, bringing food or serving meals – and all volunteers are of course welcome to join in the feast as well. So bring your famous holiday dish & join in the fun while you give thanks and give back!

SHOP
Thanksgiving has become synonymous with Black Friday – the biggest shopping day of the year. Many stores are opening at midnight on Thursday so that the bravest (or craziest) of shoppers can score the big discounts. Lucky for you, the biggest malls in Dallas are just a short drive from Gramercy on the Park – The Shops at Willow Bend, Stonebriar Centre and The Galleria will have special holiday shopping hours. Or for those who don’t have the stomach to brave the malls, wait for Cyber Monday to score the best deals online.

PLAY
Get some fresh air or work off those extra calories.  Sloan Square (the courtyard in Building 2) makes the perfect area to toss the football or frisbee around – or just lay in the hammocks soaking up the sunshine & letting the tryptophan kick in.  There are also many parks close to Gramercy, if you really want to get out & enjoy nature – click here for a list of parks in the area.

FOOTBALL
Come to Centro in Austin Ranch to watch the Cowboys game & get free food!  They are hosting a Thanksgiving Day buffet during the game from 3-6pm.

But most of all, enjoy this time with family, give thanks for the blessings in your life and have a very safe & happy holiday!

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Halloween in Dallas

Looking for something to do this Halloween weekend? We’ve got you ghosts, ghouls & goblins covered.

Zen Halloween Costume Contest – Sat, 10/29, 9pm
If you’re going to go through the hassle of getting dressed up, why not have the chance to win $500?!? Come to Zen Bar at Austin Ranch for the costume contest Saturday night! Drink specials & great music will make for a hauntingly good time! Party starts at 9pm on Saturday. Click for details.

Fall Block Party at One Arts Plaza – Sun, 10/30, 1pm
Fun outdoor festival at One Arts Plaza in the Dallas Arts District includes live music, food & craft vendors, cocktail contest and a dog costume contest benefitting Paws in the City with special guest judge, Drew Ginsburg from Bravo’s Most Eligible Dallas. Bring your pooches to the Plaza!

Zombies in the District – Sun, 10/30, 6pm
After the block party, walk over to the Myerson Symphony Center to watch dancers from Booker T Washington perform Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance followed by an outdoor screen of Night of the Living Dead.

Halloween Nights at the Zoo – Thurs – Mon, 5-8pm
Take your little ghouls & goblins to the Dallas Zoo for animal attractions, trick or treating and a backward ride on the haunted carousel. Spooooooky!!

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Texas State Fair Tips and Discounts

Fried Nutter Butter at the State Fair of Texas

Fried Nutter Butter at the State Fair of Texas

It’s that time of year again!  The temperatures are in the mid-80s and the smell of fried food is in the air at the State Fair of Texas.  Now that the TX/OU crowds have left Dallas, it’s the perfect time to hit the fair grounds (last day is October 23).  Below are some tips and tricks to help you fully enjoy your State Fair experience!

Food Glorious Food

2011 Best Taste Winner – Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack.  This delicious dish contains a boneless spicy buffalo chicken tender wrapped in a pancake, deep fried & served with a side of syrup.  It might sound weird, but it is the perfect blend of salty, spicy & sweet.

2011 Most Creative Winner – Fried Bubble Gum.  We didn’t get a chance to try this one, but what we can recommend to you is the Fried Nutter Butter (see photo above).  Rich, delicious & covered in powdered sugar, its everything a State Fair dessert should be.

Must Have – Everyone who attends the fair must have at least one (we had more)  Fletcher’s Corny Dog.  They are crispy, delicious & worth waiting in line for.

Non-Fried Option – If you’re looking for something a little less battered & deep fried, try the Cuban Sandwich at the Taste of Cuba booth.  You won’t be disappointed!

Map your food tour in advance with their online Guide http://www.virtualonlineeditions.com/publication/?i=82408

Tips & Tricks

All the food & drinks can be purchased with coupons, but you need to buy a separate game pass for all the games in the Midway.  So don’t buy a ton of coupons thinking you can use them on everything!

The best bathrooms are in the Coca-Cola Food Court (just past Big Tex under the Texas SkyWay).  Air conditioned & clean!

Best day to go is Tuesday – admission is $4 with a Dr Pepper can, most rides are reduced to 5 coupons & the lines aren’t too bad.

Parking is a whopping $15.  Be careful of the lots that don’t say “Official State Fair Parking” – there have been reports of people charging fair-goers to park in unofficial areas, and their cars have been towed.

Deals & Discounts

Kroger Advance Tickets: $14.95 – general admission. $29.95 – season pass.  Purchase at the check-out counter or at the service desk. The DART Combo ticket is $17 and includes fair admission and a one-time round trip on DART.

Dr Pepper $5 after 5: Any day after 5 p.m. Bring an empty Dr Pepper can and enter for $5 after 5 p.m.

Dr Pepper $4 Tuesdays: Bring an empty Dr Pepper can and enter for $4 every Tuesday. Most rides (excluding the Thrillway and the Texas Star Ferris Wheel) are 5 coupons.

Coke $5 Thursday: Bring an empty 20 oz. bottle of a Coca-Cola product and enter for $5.

Any Day: McDonald’s has $4 off general admission coupons (can be found on tray liner or bag stuffer) any day of the Fair. They also offer free child ticket (with purchase of general admission).

Kroger $2/Can Food Drive Wednesdays: Admission is $2 for each visitor bringing 3 cans of food for area food banks on Wednesdays.

Cinemark Free Thursday Admission: Bring a Cinemark ticket stub and get free admission on Thursdays.

Seniors Day: Senior citizens (age 60 and over) may enter for free every Thursday.

Get out there & enjoy the fresh air & fried food!

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FREE Fall Concert at Austin Ranch

Gramercy Residents are invited to attend the FREE fall concert at Austin Ranch featuring the 80’s cover band – THE SPAZMATICS!!

The concert is this Thursday, 9/29, from 7-9pm on the Village Green at Austin Ranch. The Village Green is the big green park located on Saintsbury in front of the Dry Creek Lodge leasing office.

There will be an 80s costume contest as well as food & drink booths provided by local vendors. All you need to bring is your lawnchair, blanket, beverage of choice & best 80s costume.  Dogs are welcome to join too, as long as they are on a leash!

Hope to see you there!!

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Free Sandwich for Gramercy Residents

Who wants a FREE SANDWICH?? The first 20 residents to come to the Smiling Moose Deli this Friday, 9/23, and show their Gramercy Resident Key Tag Pass will get a free regular size sandwich.

The Smiling Moose Deli was started in Vail, CO and has been rapidly expanding in the Central United States thanks to their delicious menu of sandwiches, soups, salads and wraps. This is their first location in the Lone Star State so let’s give them a big Texas welcome!

Bring your appetite and your access card this Friday to 3216 Hebron Parkway. See you there!

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Things To Do In Dallas This Labor Day Weekend

Gramercy on the Park Apartments in North Dallas

The weather forecast predicts the 100 degree heat to continue through Monday, so being close to water is a must this labor day weekend. You can always keep cool at our refreshing West End Pool, but if you want to venture outdoors, here are a few things to do around Dallas:

Hit the Lake – Did you know Dallas has 63 lakes within a 100-mile radius? That’s a lot of water! You can keep cool in any one of them, including Lake Lewisville, which is just 10 miles from Gramercy on the Park. Rent a boat or jet ski at the marina or if you’re more of a landman, sit on the shore & play a game of sand volleyball at Sneaky Pete’s Bar & Grill. There is also a Fireworks show over Lake Grapevine this Friday night, just a 20 minute drive from Austin Ranch.

Hit the Malls – Beat the heat & shop in the air conditioning. According to Wikipedia, Dallas has more shopping centers per capita than any other city in the U.S. Lucky for you, some of the best shopping is right down the street from Gramercy – Stonebriar Centre, Willow Bend Mall and The Galleria are all within a few short miles of our community.

Hit a Concert – Whether you want a big concert or small, intimate show, there is a music venue to fit every taste in Dallas. Labor Day concerts include – Kid Rock & Cheryl Crow at Gexa Pavilion, Better Than Ezra at the House of Blues, Drive By Truckers at the Granada Theatre, Marvin Hamlisch at the Dallas Symphony, Asleep at the Wheel at the Dallas Arboretum (includes an outdoor picnic)….and the list goes on and on. Catch more details at Guidelive.com.

Hit the Spot – KRLD Restaurant Week is still in full swing, with select restaurants extending reservations through September 4th. $35 gets you a gourmet prix-fixe dinner at some of Dallas’ top restaurants and $7 of each dinner sold will go to the North Texas Food Bank. Be sure to book in advance at Open Table to secure a spot!  If you can’t book a table, try one of the on-site restaurants at our sister property, Austin Ranch! They have plenty of great food & drink specials at Cafe Gecko, Zen Bar, McSwiggan’s Irish Pub, Centro Tex Mex and Lone Star Coffee Bar.

As always, play it safe, stay hydrated and enjoy your 3-day weekend!

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Dog Park Update

Dog lovers rejoice!   The City of Dallas Parks & Recreation Department has begun construction on a new dog park next door to Gramercy on the Park.

The Dog Park plans include spaces for large & small dogs as well as a wet dog area near the pond and an area for agility training.

They haven’t forgotten about pet owners either – there will be a shaded pavilion with seating areas and adventure trails with access to White Rock Creek.

If all goes as planned, the city hopes to complete the park by the Spring of 2012 (parts of it could be open as early as November 2011 – fingers crossed!!).

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