New Year, New Activities
Cool creative, athletic & entertaining experiences to try in North Texas this month
By Sydni Ellis
Blood rushed to my ears as I hang upside down from a silk ribbon. My hands hurt, my heart was racing, but I felt totally exhilarated and graceful! It was my first aerial fitness class, which — I have to admit — was totally outside my comfort zone. But as I learned how to wrap my hands and feet, moving my body and (literally) putting myself out there, I realized, this is what 2021 is all about. Trying new activities, exploring different things, challenging yourself to things you’ve always wanted to do and, most importantly, having fun in the new year. Forget resolutions — New Year, New Activities is so much better!
Start by asking yourself a few questions. Are you looking for something athletic or creative? A weekly commitment or an every now-and-then stress reliever? An activity that’s better alone or with friends? Then, keep reading to find a few of the coolest things to try in North Texas this month.
You can’t go wrong with an aerial silk class! Vertical Fitness Dallas (VFD) has a great studio for beginners through competitive-level athletes that focuses on “fitness, self-empowerment and confidence both inside and out,” according to its website. This beautiful workout is like an expressive form of art, made famous by the athletes at Cirque du Soleil. While it will tone your arm, core and legs, you aren’t
likely to notice in the moment — you’ll be too busy soaring through the air and learning how to gracefully move your body. As you advance, you’ll learn drops, tricks and new techniques. Just make sure to wear form-fitting capri leggings so you don’t get trapped in the silk and stay hydrated! One-hour classes start at $25. Discover more at verticalfitnessdallas.com.
Stimulate your creativity with a glassblowing class at Dallas Glass Art. Trained glassblowers will guide you through the intricate process, which includes inflating glass using a hollow blow pipe in a furnace that gets up to 2,300° Fahrenheit. This creates molten glass, which has the same consistency as honey. The glass is then shaped, given color and fitted with decorative pieces, all while periodically re-entering the furnace to remain hot and malleable. From there, the glass is allowed to slowly cool, so it doesn’t crack. The finished product is a one-of-a-kind piece that you will treasure for ages!
Ages 6 and up can attend a Saturday class to create one glass item. Make colorful paperweights and bubble bowls at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 9, 16, 23 and 30. Or, learn how to make iridescent soap dispensers and large vases at 2 p.m. on Jan. 9 and 23. Finally, you can make a unique stemless wine glass or a timeless beer glass at 2 p.m. on Jan. 16 or 30. Make sure to wear only cotton clothes, closed-toed shoes, a hat or headband to tie back long hair, and bring cold water to stay hydrated. A few days afterward (once your glass dries), you can pick up your masterpiece to display at home. Each two-hour class ranges from $60-85 per person. For more information, visit dallasglassart.com.
Another way to get in touch with your artistic side this year is to take a class at the Creative Arts Center of Dallas. Here, novice and experienced artists can find classes in a wide range of subjects, including clay sculpture, drawing, jewelry and small metals, mosaics, painting, printmaking, stone carving and more. This is great for people who want to learn how to draw or paint, want to improve their jewelry or printmaking skills for their own Etsy business, or simply want to learn something new. Classes take place at set times over several weeks, with a wide range of prices. Members get a $30 discount per class. creativeartscenter.org.
Swing through the skies this year by visiting the Trinity Forest Adventure Park in Dallas. This aerial park has various high ropes courses for all skill levels, designed to help you get in tune with nature, feel the thrill of gliding through the air, and bond with your family members (who are at least 6 years old for the main courses). Strap on your helmet, then choose your course — don’t be surprised to see wobble bridges, tight ropes, ladders, cargo nets and other fun challenges in addition to the zip lines. At 50 feet tall and with over 20 zip lines to choose from, this is going to be your new favorite way to spend an afternoon! Tickets for a three-hour adventure are $49.95 for youth, $54.95 for adults over 16 and $44.95 for military and seniors over 55. Learn more at trinitytreetops.com.
Horse lovers should head to Ascend Camp and Retreat Center in Dallas, which offers trail riding, corral riding and riding lessons. Wear comfortable boots and a helmet, then mount a friendly horse for a trail ride through the woods with two friends ($60/person). If you want to ride faster and take pictures with the beautiful animals, sign up for corral riding instead, with a max of 9 riders per session ($30/person). And, if you want to grow your knowledge of riding, sign up for private training, which has a max of 3 people per session ($80/person). ascendtexas.com.
Finally, challenge your mind and detective skills by signing up for one of Keith and Margo’s Murder Mystery Texas events. Right now, there are many virtual private parties and public shows happening via Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex. When someone is murdered (gasp!), you and your friends will have to put your brains together to talk to suspects, analyze clues, look at crime scenes and try to solve a murder, in between laughing hysterically the entire time. You will get to talk to the Murder Mystery Texas Detective (an improvisational comedian) and suspects (professional stage, tv and film actors), witness actual onscreen murders/events, and sort through clues to uncover the murderer. If you don’t want to book your own party, then sign up for the virtual public show, where you can compete with players from all over Texas to solve a modern-day classic homicide case on Saturdays at 8 p.m. Join the party (tickets start at $19.95 per person; private parties vary in price) by visiting murdermysterytexas.com.
Whether you prefer solving murders, creating beautiful glass creations or hanging upside down, there are plenty of one-of-a-kind activities available in the Dallas area to try this year. Losing weight is great and making a goal to sleep more is important, but 2020 has shown us that the best thing we can do is simply enjoy our lives — you never know what tomorrow could bring. What better way than one of these exhilarating (and totally Insta-worthy) experiences? Who knows — you may just discover your new passion!