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Life in DFW

My life as a wife and mom in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and all things fun about it!

Filtering by Tag: what to do in dallas

Bringing Good Cheer, #BigDHoliday is Here!

Debora Manusama

Some of the most fun things to do this holiday season in Dallas, with your family. GIVEAWAY for a stay at the Hilton Anatole and more. Click, read, comment, and share!

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Awesome Waterfront Fun at Grand Prairie's Joe Pool Lake

Debora Manusama

From eating seafood to kayaking, there are so many fun things to do in Grand Prairie's Joe Pool Lake! 

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A Visit to Dallas Arboretum Pumpkin Patch on Our Anniversary

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Monday October 20, 2014 marked the second year of our marriage. What a young couple we are! We started this journey with nothing but faith in our hearts. Not knowing what was coming our way, we were so young when we said "I Do". While other young couples have fun and travel around the world, we were busy with pregnancy just 2 months after the wedding. We actually celebrated our 1st anniversary with a 2-month-old baby crying every 2 hours. And I remember wishing that our second anniversary would be celebrated somewhere overseas. Somewhere new. And here we are today in America, in this perfect weather, this festive season filled with pumpkins and costumes. Just like in my childhood dreams.


This year, we decided to explore the breathtaking Dallas Arboretum, instead of spending money on expensive food elsewhere to celebrate our young marriage. With $30 entrance fee for 2 adults + $10 parking fee, we had access to some of the most amazing views we have ever seen. We didn't feel the need to 'get rid' of J and to have the whole day to ourselves. We actually felt more intimate if we'd brought him along with us to take a walk around this majestic garden. And we started by playing around the 'Pumpkin Village'.

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They have "Mommy & Me Mondays", so there were a lot of moms and babies running around this pumpkin patch. We parked our strollers at one spot and let J run around the pumpkins. He was so excited.


There are about 75,000 pumpkins all over the arboretum. And they are all real!


Aaw...Look at my dudes. Next, we went to the Lula Mae Slaughter Dining Terrace to savor some latte, chicken wraps, panini, and hot dog. You might not be able to see the view here, but we were looking at the Dallas skyline and the White Rock Lake from here. The weather was beautiful, it was just simply perfect.

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We then went to the Rose Mary Haggar Rose Garden, which contains over 200 Hybrid Tea Roses of 16 different varieties.

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Can't you see some pink roses right there? The garden is located by the DeGolyer restaurant (the picture below), but we didn't eat there, because it was not open yet (it usually opens at 11 a.m.).


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Right by the rose garden is the Nancy Clements Seay Magnolia Glade, which features lily ponds, Japanese maple and other gorgeous plants to honor Pauline Neuhoff's mother.


We learned how to build our own garden along the way. We soon discovered that just like building a family, gardening requires a thorough planning! Check out these asters! They were put here on purpose, because they can withstand the sun light. Everything here was planted according to its needs, capabilities, and weaknesses. It's an art in itself!


Next stop,  A Woman's Garden, a gift from the Women's Council of Dallas  to the arboretum that overlooks the White Rock Lake. I love it, so serene, so beautiful.

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Ended the visit at 1 p.m., we went straight to Grapevine Mills to do some shopping (yes, we figured that going winter-clothes-shopping would be a fun activity celebrate our marriage! I mean, who doesn't feel happy when they're shopping?).

Had a baby on the first year, moved to  America on the second - hmm...I wonder what we will go through together in our third, fourth, and if God allows, in our 50th year together! It's not going to be perfect, and we're not always in love with each other, but I am grateful that we are best friends. Let's do this Mr. Man!


Exploring the West End & Downtown Dallas

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

  This happened 2 weekends ago, when we decided to get to know Dallas a little bit more, particularly from its historical aspect. Now, we all know that one of the most famous events that took place in Dallas is the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a.k.a JFK, a.k.a the 35th president of the U.S., in 1963. 7 years later, this memorial plaza was built by the famous architect named Philip Johnson.



This memorial serves as an open tomb that symbolizes Kennedy's free spirit. It's roofless and it looks as if it's floating (esp. at night, the memorial plaza looks like its pillars are made of lights).

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This is a little passage that's located beside the memorial plaza, that's actually behind the Old Red Museum. Below is the complete map of the historic west end.




I love the whole vibe of the area. It's touristy, but hey I'm new in town so who cares haha! I mean how else would you truly get to know a city if not from its historical aspects right?! Like this little cabin right here, that follows the actual model of the home of Dallas' founder, John Neely Bryan! Who knew that the founder of this city was a lawyer from Tennessee, who bought pieces of land from the native american in the 1800s?



I can't imagine sleeping in a cabin this small! But from this small cabin, came the BIG D! Oh, speaking of..


Yeap this one is located in front of Wild Bill's, a store that sells boots and other western accessories. If you want to take photos at other B&G installations, you can find the location here.


Will definitely check out this soul food resto next time. It was too crowded so we didn't even try to get it, look at the queue!


My favorite monument in the city, the Rosa Parks monument with an MLK quote written on the fountain. Simply powerful.


This one's an artsy installation in front of a hip hotel in downtown Dallas, The Joule. If you ever take a picture of it, don't forget the hashtag : #theeyeatjoule. And when you're ready for some pizza or some gelato, you should definitely try the restaurants along the alley besides the Eye.


An up and coming city that is not too crowded and too expensive.

Ah...gotta love the Big D.

For New Parents who Love Movies in DFW

Debora Manusama-Sinaga


Going to the cinema for a datenight might not be easy for new parents who got babies needing their full attention at the moment. Watching Netflix at home might be fun, but you still need to go out some times to watch the summer sequels no matter how overrated they are, right? Well, a really good option is to go to a drive-in! You can watch a new movie, while nursing your baby at the back seat and putting him to sleep afterwards. Your baby can cry or have his diaper changed anytime he likes because it's your own car, nobody's gonna get annoyed by your baby's crying! How convenient, right?

After looking for options, we decided to go to Coyote Drive-in last weekend, and we had a blast!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Located at our neighboring city, Fort-Worth, this drive-in has got 3 screens that projects 6 movies each night (2 movies per screen). The first movie screening usually starts at 9 p.m. and the second one at around midnight.

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So you come, pay for the tickets, and park your car in front of the screen, just pick a spot!

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Then you head here to purchase popcorn, refill-able sodas, cotton candies, pizza and even wine. They also got food trucks that sell gigantic turkey legs and snow cones. All topped off with a live music performance and most importantly, clean toilets!

With $8 / adults ticket fee, I think this place is definitely worth going to. We put baby J to sleep in the car seat, and we enjoyed the movie (well not really enjoyed it, Transformers sucks...sorry Michael Bay) screening experience. It's been a year since we went to the movies on a saturday night, so it was good to be able to bring a baby without worrying about him being loud and annoying in a public place.

First 4th of July Weekend in Dallas

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Most people who have lived in the U.S.A their whole life would probably find 4th of July celebrations as overrated. But for me, an immigrant mom who had to wait for almost a year just to get here, the whole 4th of July experience is unique! The state fairs, the deep-fried food, the fireworks! I am excited to see one tonight! Anyways, here's the few sources of inspiration and amusement of our first 4th of July weekend here in Dallas, Texas :)  

1. George W. Bush Presidential Center

GWbush1 The admission's $16/adult + the parking's $7/car but it was so worth it! We got to learn some of the most interesting facts about America during the Bush' administration, esp. the 9-11. You can borrow an iPod touch for an audio tour, and if you forgot your camera, you can take your photo with that iPod touch for free! Later, they'll email the link for you to download the photos within 30 days! How convenient.


The names of those who donated to the GW Bush foundation.


A little film about America on the ceiling at the entrance to the museum. Pretty cool.


2. Sprinkle's Cupcake ATM at Preston Plaza

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I've been wanting to withdraw some cupcakes from Sprinkles' ATM since we first got to Dallas. I've seen it all over instagram and today, I finally did it!  The cupcake is SO FLUFFY , the icing is not too sweet which is perfect, and the payment method is actually pretty convenient.

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$4.25/cupcake. They got the gluten free red velvet too. Definitely worth it!


3. Do You Know Any Naughty Words? at Jimmy Kimmel Live


It's been up on youtube since April, but I still find it funny. Actually, funny but not funny. Hahah. I wouldn't want baby J to know these words too soon! The girl with the denim jacket is soo cute tho. And the boy at the beginning of the video who says "butt-nose"! Omagah...


How bout you? What are your sources of amusement and inspiration this week? List them down and don't forget to be grateful :)

Happy 4th, y'all!