Date Night: Mercy Wine Bar


courtesy of mercywinebar.comSomething about Mercy Wine Bar just screams romance. Maybe it’s the dim lighting, maybe it’s the cozy couches and live music … probably, it’s the overabundance of great wine. Either way, this Addison haunt is one of my favorite date night destinations.

Feel free to start your evening at one of Addison’s numerous nearby restaurants, but I suggest giving Mercy’s food menu a try.  The husband and I usually opt for a shared cheese plate followed by a panini or the fish of the day. The staff at Mercy knows their wine, so don’t sweat finding the perfect pairing; they’ve got you covered.

In my book, any night is a good night for wine and cheese. But if you’re into live music, stop by on a Thursday, Saturday or Sunday. Local acts such as The Beatles tribute band, A Hard Night’s Day, set up camp for acoustic shows … adding to the ambiance. Courtesy of

Mercy Wine Bar

Addison, 972/702-9463


Date Night: Oktoberfest


Looking for date-night inspiration? Look no further than Oktoberfest here in Addison. Drawing upwards of 70,000 people each year and considered by many the most authentic Oktoberfest celebration outside of Munich, Addison’s Oktoberfest can’t be beat.

My better half and I attend each year for our beer and brat fix, along with some good ol’ fashioned people watching. If German beer isn’t your thing, partake in some polka or visit the vendors in the arts and crafts area. German-made goods, original artwork and countless other treasures are for sale, and even if you aren’t looking to buy, it’s always fun to browse. Feeling brave? Head over to the carnival area. If the Starship 2000 isn’t quite your speed, try your hand at ring toss. The kids will be thrilled to know you were thinking of them when you come home laden with over-sized stuffed animals and other spoils.

The festivities kick off on Thursday at 6 p.m. Get in for free on Thursday or for $10 a person Friday and Saturday evening. For full hours and ticket prices head to, where you can also view a complete list of vendors, menu items and activities. We’ll see you and yours this weekend. I’ll be the one with a cold brew in one hand and a strudel in the other.

3 Family-Fun Events on Friday


Kick off the weekend with a celebration of Native American culture, a visit to see hundreds of butterflies in a temporary exhibit, or a kids’ animated film about invaders from outer space.

American Indian Pow Wow at Trader’s Village
Hundreds of Native Americans from dozens of tribes will take to the dance floor at Trader’s Village in Grand Prairie for the annual National Championship Indian Pow Wow this weekend, September 6–8. Admission is free.
Watch the dancers compete in full regalia from 8–11pm on Friday, 11am–5pm and 7–11pm on Saturday and 1–5pm on Sunday, and and take a walk around to see the teepee exhibit, try the authentic fry bread, Indian tacos, corn soup and more foods, and shop around for jewelry, pottery, baskets, paintings, rugs and clothes in the Indian Arts and Crafts Show.

Kiwanis Butterfly Festival in Southlake
We’re hoping you and the kids got your fill of watermelon this summer, so share the love at this butterfly exhibit at Southlake Town Square this Friday–Sunday. You’ll all get pieces of watermelon to feed the butterflies wafting around a 600-square-foot tent filled with flowering plants. Don’t miss the butterfly release at 5pm on Sunday.
Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for kids 3–12. Proceeds from a silent auction and raffle will benefit Children’s Miracle Network and Kiwanis Children’s Charities.

Escape from Planet Earth
It’s Friday. You deserve a movie night, and you’ll have two chances to see the alien invaders for free. Check out outdoor screenings at the Castle Hills Village Shops in Lewisville starting at 8pm (plus, free popcorn!) and at The Colony Five Star Complex, with concessions, games and giveaways starting at 7:45pm.

For more family-friendly events every day, visit the calendar at and sign up to receive our Weekend Guide newsletters each Thursday to your inbox.

10 Family Festivals this September


Yes, the three-day weekend is over, but fall is headed our way! Here are more festivals this month to look forward to this month.

Addison Oktoberfest
Overload on food and on cuteness: weenie dog races, yodeling contests and dancing to polka music from September 19–22.

McKinney Oktoberfest
Get free admission at downtown McKinney’s own German heritage festival September 27–28.

This four-day festival in Grapevine will draw wine lovers and families alike. Enjoy carnival rides, festival foods and a kids’ activity area from September 12–15.

Greek Food Festival
Discover the delicious Greek culture and don’t miss the Friday night Opa Hour at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas September 27–29.

Ecofest Arlington
On September 21, the kids will see tons of furry, feathered and scaly animals from Critterman and from the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center, and you can learn how to make your home more eco-friendly through do-it-yourself workshops.

Plano Balloon Festival
Watch the balloon glows, fireworks shows and activities at the kids’ zone from September 20–22.

Celina Balloon Festival
Get in line early for a tethered rides or a serious ride into the skies September 13–15.

State Fair of Texas
Try the deep fried Cuban roll and Thanksgiving dinner (if you dare), meet the new Big Tex unveiled on September 27 at 2pm and enjoy Fair Park’s newest rides including the Log Flume and the 500-foot Top o’ Texas Tower through October 20.

Chinese Lantern Festival
While at Fair Park, check out acrobatic shows, the 52-foot pagoda made of porcelain dishware and more displays around the lagoon. This tour requires separate admission but will be around through early January, after the State Fair ends.

Western Days Festival
Enjoy Old West gunfights, stick horse races for the kids and live country music from September 27–28 in Lewisville. Print out tickets from the website for free admission.

For more family-friendly events every day, visit the calendar at and sign up to receive our Weekend Guide newsletters each Thursday to your inbox.

3 Free Events for Families on Saturday


Put down your pocketbook and check out these free programs for kids for Labor Day weekend: a kiddie movie at Klyde Warren Park, an outdoor adventure at Bob Jones Nature Center, and more activities at two Bass Pro Shops locations in DFW.

Super Buddies at Klyde Warren Park
The talented retrievers in Disney’s Buddies series have competed with their human counterparts in basketball, football, baseball and volleyball. Now the puppies have moved onto bigger things like saving the planet. Take the kids to see a free screening of Super Buddies at 8pm on the park’s Great Lawn.

The public Dallas park is pet-friendly, so if you have a super buddy from home, bring your dog along to run and splash in the enclosed My Best Friend’s Park.

Intro to Geocaching Class
Are your kids intrigued by the camera and fun games on your smartphone or tablet? Just wait until they find out that they can be used to find buried treasure. Head to Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake where educators from the Texas Geocaching Association will be leading a free class for all ages from 9–11am. Families will learn how to use your smartphone or GPS receivers to locate hidden containers called geocaches. Then check out our tips for iPad safety.

Bass Pro Shops’ Hometown Festival
The treasure hunt continues Saturday–Sunday at Bass Pro Shops in Grapevine and Garland, where kids can enjoy a metal detector treasure hunt, duck pond game, face painting, crafts, a kiddie shooting range and more free activities from noon–5pm each day. Get free hot dogs starting at 1pm and ice cream at 4pm.

For more family-friendly events every day, visit the calendar at and sign up to receive our Weekend Guide newsletters each Thursday to your inbox.

3 Best Family-Fun Programs on Wednesday


If you’re looking to get out of the house tomorrow morning, check out these upcoming programs with music, theater and nature-inspired crafts for the kids.

Bowl Bouquets
Head to any Calloway’s Nursery location in DFW (there are 16 in all) for this last summertime Callie’s Kids program for ages 5–10. Stay from 9:30–10:15am for stories and chalk art. Kids will be making paper flower bouquets and decorating bowls. Register online for your spot in this free class or get there early to claim an empty spot.

Mr. Mark, Get Set, Go!
The Bookmarks library branch at NorthPark Center is hosting award-winning songwriter Mark Burrows for a musical children’s program at NorthCourt. Starting at 10:30am, the kids can wiggle around and sing along with Mark to songs about feelings and imagination.

The Ugly Duckling
Theatre Coppell is wrapping up its Storytime Theatre plays for the summer with a one-time-only production based on this well-known fable. See The Ugly Duckling at 10:30am at Coppell Center for the Arts and meet the cast after the performance. Admission is $7 and free for ages 2 and younger with an adult. Get your tickets at the door for this 40-minute show.

For more family-friendly events every day, visit the calendar at and sign up to receive our Weekend Guide newsletters each Thursday to your inbox.


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