A Guide to the Best Socially Distant Summer

No need to venture far from the sofa to enjoy some summer fun. We’ve compiled the best ways to stay safe, without feeling like you’re missing out on a summer vacation.

Rock Out Without Hitting the Road

Concerts, performances and local music are now digital and available for everyone to enjoy this summer. Check out these performances from your phone or computer.

Local artists: Every week Lava Cantina continues to bring music to your home and get local artists working again. View their events page for a complete schedule of Facebook Live concerts.

National acts: Billboard has rounded up all the virtual concerts from your favorite artists. Discover upcoming performances through their weekly update.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Listen and watch DSO concerts on their Multimedia page. Be sure to catch the Summer Chamber Classic recorded at the Meyerson.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra: Listen to favorite recordings from FWSO musicians with the Social Listening playlist on Spotify. Check out the Learning Lab to connect further with music and artists of Bass Performance Hall.

Get Outdoors for Some Fresh Air

Staying safe doesn’t always mean staying within the same four walls. Summer is the perfect time to venture outdoors, with some precautions. Here are just some ideas of how to enjoy the great outdoors this season in The Colony.

Be active outside. Summertime is not complete without some outdoor fun. Explore over 2,500 acres of parkland complete with hiking trails and lake views in The Colony. Rent a kayak or paddleboard for some socially distant lake fun out at Hidden Cove Park and Marina or cast a line off the fishing pier at Stewart Creek Park.

Host a backyard cookout. Feed the family and dine al fresco with the help of NFM. The Nation’s Largest Home Furnishing Store offers a wide selection of lounge furniture, patio décor and grilling products. The 1.8 million square feet of showroom includes all kinds of charcoal and gas grills, smokers and grilling accessories. Spruce up your patio with weatherproof sectionals, conversation sets and fire pits.

Go on a treasure huntGeocaching allows you to get outside and discover the city through strategically placed caches, or hidden boxes. Download the app and reveal the GPS coordinates of several caches across the city. Once you find a geocache, log it on the app for a record of your summertime fun.

Patio games and outdoor funSCHEELS is a one-stop-shop for all your summer recreation needs, with outdoor products and athletic gear for almost any sport. Shop online for yard games for the family, fitness equipment for the home and tons of products for outdoor excursions from cycling and hiking to kayaks and pool floats. Check out SCHEELS’ selection of Yeti coolers and drink ware to keep you hydrated in the summer sun. The World’s Largest All Sports Store offers convenient curbside pickup seven days a week.

Enjoy Time Away from Screens

A majority of our lives are spent looking at screens, even when staying at home. Take some time to put your phone down (after reading this) and try out these digitally distant activities.

Create an at-home spa. Make your house feel like a spa, even if it’s just for an hour. Unwind with a bath bomb from the Basin specialty store inside SCHEELS or a sugar scrub from White Rock Soap Gallery. If you know someone who could use some pampering, send them a Calming Care Package.

Pick up a curbside craft kitThe Colony Public Library now offers curated craft kits for preschoolers, children, teens and adults. Bring a kit home and enjoy creating jewelry, origami, crystals and more. New crafts are released every Monday in July.

Pack a picnic. Embrace a change of scenery in your backyard or a nearby park during your next meal. Pack a bag or basket with your favorite picnic essentials, like sandwiches and iced tea.

Stay In or Take Out

Variety is the spice of life, so don’t keep eating the same meal prep and frozen foods at home. Restaurants in The Colony are open and ready to serve you safely. We have compiled a comprehensive list of eateries offering takeout, delivery and in-person dining to help you spice up your next meal. The list is updated weekly on Wednesdays at 10:00 AM to reflect the most recent operating hours, dine-in statuses and menu offerings. These updates include notes on ongoing specials and delivery services through apps like Door Dash, Grubhub and Uber Eats.

If you’re looking for something new, check out some deliciously different restaurants or some of the must-try cuisines in The Colony. Don’t forget to check for coupons and discounts before ordering from a local restaurant.

Indulge in Some Retail Therapy

Treat yourself to some locally made goods and unique finds from small businesses in The Colony. From Pinterest-worthy décor and trendy apparel to handmade goods made for daily life, an order from these stores will surely bring some summer joy. Check out our website for updated discounts, order freebies and free shipping offers.

Bullzerk: The top gift shop in Dallas-Fort Worth immortalizes Texas pride by printing it on t-shirts, posters, coasters, koozies and more. There’s always something fun to discover at Bullzerk with new designs biweekly.

Creteation: Whether it’s cement jewelry or concrete home goods, each piece at Creteation is thoughtfully designed with functionality and style in mind. From necklaces to earrings, cuff links to chess sets, coasters to paperweights, you’ll find inspiring beauty in every handcrafted item.

Landry Kate: One-stop shopping for chic and affordable women’s fashion. Browse the lifestyle boutique filled with trendy apparel, adorable accessories and fresh modern decor.

Odin Leather Goods: Shop one-of-a-kind leather goods, handcrafted to last a lifetime. Shop owner and craftsman, Odin, combines high-quality materials with old-world techniques and tools to produce classically styled belts, bags, key chains and much more.

Tyler Kingston: This modern “mom and pop” shop offers vintage, modern and handmade goods for you and your loved ones. The store’s founders beautifully curate goods for men, women, home and life.

White Rock Soap Gallery: Voted Best Soap Shop in Dallas by D Magazine, White Rock Soap Gallery proudly produces all-natural and vegan soaps, soy wax candles and body care products. Treat yourself to some self-care products made by Texas-based artisans and enjoy some “me time”.

Stream Famous Lone Stars

Grab some popcorn, settle in on the couch and enjoy a movie night complete with some familiar backdrops and famous Texas-natives. Check out a few quintessential Texas films, available on streaming platforms or for digital download.

Friday Night Lights (2004): If you’re missing sports and cheering on your favorite team, this quintessential football flick will do the trick. Follow The Permian High Panthers from Odessa, Texas as they vie for perfection and the 1988 state championship title. Stream on: HBO Max, HBO Go, Hulu

  • Fun Fact: If you can’t get enough sports drama, binge all five seasons of the TV show by the same name. The show was filmed almost exclusively in Austin and Pflugerville and features Pflugerville game footage in the series. Stream on: NBC, Hulu, Starz, Amazon Prime

Selena (1997): It’s hard to not hum along to the Queen of Tejano hits in the biographical drama, Selena. The film portrays the exciting and devastating life of Texas-native Selena Quintanilla, played by Jennifer Lopez, from humble beginnings in a musical family to her successful career resulting in a chart-topping album. Available for rent or purchase: iTunes, Google Play, YouTube

  • Fun Fact: Many fans and critics approve of the film’s authenticity, with most of the film shot in San Antonio, Corpus Christi (Selena’s hometown), and the Houston area.

Bonnie & Clyde (1967): A romanticized look at the rise and fall of legendary criminals, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, who ransacked Texas and neighboring states during the height of The Great Depression. The movie focuses on the relationship of the most famous bank-robbing duo, played by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, as their fame and list of criminal acts grows. Stream on: HBO Max

  • Fun Fact: Take a closer look at the Bonnie & Clyde story through the lens of the Texas Rangers who pursued the criminal couple in Netflix’s The Highwaymen (2019), starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson. While neither movie depicts the story with 100% accuracy, The Highwaymen does follow the story of the real Texas Rangers who put a stop to the infamous gang.

If you simply cannot get enough of Texan movies here are some honorable mentions to consider streaming:

  • Dazed and Confused (1993) – Texas-native Matthew McConaughey’s breakout role and source of the famous phrase “alright, alright alright”
  • No Country For Old Men (2007) – West Texas and Big Bend National Park serve as backdrops to several memorable, albeit deadly, scenes
  • Paris, Texas (1984) – The road film provides a nostalgic glimpse of Texas in the mid-80’s as the main character traverses Far West Texas
  • Boyhood (2014) – A chronicle of male adolescence capturing 12 years across Houston, San Marcos and Big Bend
  • Urban Cowboy (1980) – There’s no shortage of Lone Star beer, country music and mechanical bull riding at Gilley’s, the real-life bar in Pasadena, Texas
  • Red River (1948) – A fictional account of the first cattle drive from Texas to Kansas, starring John Wayne

Experience the World Through Virtual Reality

Do some summer sightseeing without leaving the house. Virtual reality, or VR, technology allows you to visit real locations across the globe with just your phone and a pair of VR goggles. If you don’t already have a pair, you can make your own with household objects. Here are just some of the apps offering VR videos and 360° tours.

YouTube: After a quick search you can find thousands of VR videos at your fingertips. Check out a compilation of travel and safari tours or National Geographic videos.

Google Arts & Culture:  Download the Google Arts & Culture app to experience world-class museums and art collections from around the world. The app even offers augmented reality collections to view without a VR headset and fun activities for the whole family.

Expeditions: Perfect for kids, Google Expeditions bring the classroom home with engaging field trips, lessons and tours. Expeditions also offers augmented reality lesson ranging from Ancient Egypt to musical instruments.

Learn Something New

Speaking of learning, there’s no better time than now to teach yourself or your family something new. Check out a few ways to entertain yourself through education or keep young ones learning during the summer months.

Learn a new language. Download the Mango app to begin learning one of 70 world languages through conversational methodology. Access to the app is free with a TCPL library card. Check out more online resources for adults and children available through The Colony Public Library.

Take Dance & Music LessonsSherry Stephanie Dance & Music Co. now offers virtual children’s piano, voice, theatre and dance lessons. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your child’s interest and skill level. Adult piano and voice lessons are also available.

Meet the Animals at the Dallas Zoo. Bring the zoo to you with educational videos and activity sheets for kids. Print off a coloring pack and get started learning about the animals that call the Dallas Zoo home.

Learn with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and HistoryDiscovery Lab Online allows students of all ages to keep learning beyond the classroom. Videos are released weekly for Pre-K-2nd, 2nd-5th and 5th-8th graders.

Explore the Dallas Museum of Art. Digitally explore the entire DMA collection ranging from ancient artifacts to modern art. Be sure to explore the current exhibit, My|gration, with an online 3D experience.

Solve Digital Puzzles. Keep your brain sharp by completing online jigsaw puzzles featuring some of the most recognizable attractions in The Colony.

Plan Your Next Trip

We are all looking forward to getting out of our houses and seeing the world past our phone screens. Although now may not be the best time to travel, it certainly is the ideal time to start planning. So stop aimlessly scrolling through Instagram and start planning a much-deserved vacation. Here are some tips to help you get started on your next adventure.

Select the ideal destination. International travel is a bit up in the air right now, so the safest bet is staying domestic. Consider nearby destinations within driving distance. Especially in Texas, many cities are currently welcoming visitors.

Ask the local experts for advice. Don’t be afraid to ask for help while planning your post-pandemic vacay. Contact a destination’s visitor center or Convention & Visitors Bureau for lodging, restaurant and attraction recommendations as well as current safety measures.

Download a travel app or two. Once you’ve decided on a destination, it’s time for some real travel planning. Head over to the App Store or Google Play to download 10 essential travel apps for free. If you’re planning a trip to The Colony, be sure to download our app.

Consider travel insurance. Sometimes overlooked in the past, travel insurance can provide a guaranteed refund in case of illness or emergency. Just be sure to read the fine print before purchasing.

Follow some general travel safety guidelines. It’s been a minute since most of us have gone sightseeing, so it’s important to keep these 10 travel safety tips in mind.

Our team can’t wait until the world is traveling again. We look forward to seeing you soon!

For more information on things to do in The Colony, visit our website. We are currently open by appointment only to provide visitor information and brochures. Please contact our administrative office to make an appointment.