The formula for hosting your bros when they visit is pretty simple. It involves booze, and meat, and more booze, and more meat, and also more booze. The formula for when your grandparents visit, though? Or your sister with a kid? Not so much. As such, we've put together this handy step-by-step to tour-guiding Dallas for your less-than-ultimate guests: THE GUEST: YOUR SISTER AND HER THREE-YEAR-OLD KID You can only have Thomas the Tank Engine playing on your 60in 3DTV for so long before you realize, "Wait, why the f*** was George Carlin voicing a kids' show?", and also, "It might be time to leave the house." Here, the five places you can take sis and her little man: Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy; Uptown; 214.716.4500 Every Friday, KWP's got Crafts in the Park, where the nephew can spend time playing with pipe cleaners, collaging with old magazines, and learning to paper mache a Death Star (you're never too young). When he gets tired, lunch at Lark on the Park beckons.
Here's what to do when people who aren't as cool as you visit
Dallas World Aquarium, 1801 N Griffin St; Downtown; 214.720.1801
Your nephew will be mesmerized looking at Great Tits, giant sloths, a ton of fish, and all those penguins. You? Still snickering at the fact that there are actually birds called tits.
CooCoos, 6505 W Park Blvd, Ste 250; Plano; 972.781.2662
It's Plano's answer to Chuck E. Cheese's, only without all the pizza. Your sister will be grateful for that, and your nephew probably wont even notice because he'll be too busy spending all day playing in train-shaped moonbounces.
The Perot Museum, 2201 N Field St; Victory Park; 214.428.5555
They've got plenty of educational stuff that's also not-boring to you, but even better: they're about to add a singing Tesla coil. That's worth going to, even without the kid.
Northpark Mall, 8687 North Central Expy; North Dallas; 214.363.7441
Here's how this is gonna work: you play with the little one in the LEGO store until you get tired. You go and sit down by the fountains where no child has ever resisted staring/wanting to play with the ducks for hours. Your sister spends all that time at Neiman's. You are a national hero.
THE GUEST: YOUR GRANDPARENTS
It used to be that your grandparents coming to town meant you got all the ice cream you wanted, and you could never get grounded. Now? You're equal parts chauffeur and tour guide, but that's OK because you know you can always take them to these sure-fire winners:
The Grassy Knoll, Elm St at Houston St
To us, it's just a boring piece of grass off of Houston St. To them, it's one of the most important pieces of grass in the country. Old people like seeing stuff like that.
The Frisco RoughRiders, 7300 RoughRiders Trl; Frisco; 972.731.9200
Sure, you could take them to see a Rangers game, but AAA ball is much more old-school -- the players don't pull eight-figure salaries and far fewer of them have necks larger than your thighs.
The Nasher, 2001 Flora St; Arts District; 214.242.5100
Taking your grandparents to a museum full of modern sculptures has two benefits: 1) they'll finally quit criticizing that awful clay ashtray you made for them in 6th grade, and 2) they'll tell your parents you took them to a museum, which will in turn get your parents off your back for giving everyone really unimpressive clay ashtrays for Christmas.
The Arboretum, 8525 Garland Rd; White Rock Lake; 214.515.6500
We all know we've actually got a pretty sweet arboretum... even though we don't go there much. Your grandparents'll enjoy all the gardens and the glass sculptures and probably tell your mom and dad what a "mench" you are and what a great job they did raising you.
Smoke, 901 Fort Worth Ave; Oak Cliff; 214.393.4141
The older someone is, the more likely they are to appreciate vintage Americana. Your grandparents will love the classic Route 66 vibe of the Belmont Hotel almost as much as they love the food. That's a good thing.
THE GUEST: YOUR FRAT BUDDY WHO CAN'T DRINK ANYMORE FOR VARIOUS REASONS
Back in the day, your bro was the one dude you could always count on after several shots of Everclear. If he's put his drinking days behind him and won't even touch the stuff, don't despair, because there're plenty of things to do that mix well with sobriety:
Cavanaugh Flight Museum, 4572 Claire Chennault St; Addison; 972.380.8800
Completely depress your old pal by telling him you're taking him to a museum. Then make him feel really bad when he realizes you're going up in a P-51 Mustang. Or a B-29 whose only claim to fame was dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Pole Position Raceway, 10550 John W. Elliott Dr, Ste 100; Frisco; 972.727.7223
P2R's got some of the very finest indoor electric karts in the country, so take him there -- after you've finished your cheating bastard practice before he gets in town -- and challenge him to an iron man race. You'll beat him. Just be patient.
TopGolf, 8787 Park Ln; Northeast Dallas; 214.341.9600
Work on your slice/hook/general ineptitude as cute waitresses bring you any manner of quality eats worthy of a great day at the driving range.
Bowl and Barrel, 8084 Park Ln; North Dallas; 214.363.2695
The Park Lane fixture's the perfect place to unwind after a day of not-drinking while munching on gourmet dogs and charcuterie plates (and the occasional drink while your non-drinking friend's bowling a frame).
Hydrous Wake Park, 500 N Cedar Dr; Allen; 214.390.3088
No boat? No problem. Hit up Hydrous Wake Park in Allen, or their new spot on Lake Lewisville, and get pulled around by a bunch of cables that'll make you look more like an awesome stunt-pulling stud than someone who spends all day coming up with formulas.
1. Dr Pepper Ballpark7300 RoughRiders Trl, Frisco
2. Klyde Warren Park2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy, Dallas
3. Dallas World Aquarium1801 N Griffin St, Dallas
4. CooCoos6505 W Park Blvd, Ste 250, Plano
5. Perot Museum of Nature and Science2201 N Field St, Dallas
6. Northpark Mall8687 North Central Expy, Dallas
7. Nasher Sculpture Center2001 Flora St, Dallas
8. Savor Dallas8525 Garland Rd, Dallas
9. Smoke901 Fort Worth Ave, Dallas
10. Cavanaugh Flight Museum4572 Claire Chennault St, Addison
11. Pole Position Raceway10550 John W. Elliott Dr, Ste 100, Frisco
12. TopGolf8787 Park Ln, Dallas
13. Bowl and Barrel8084 Park Ln, Dallas
14. Hydrous Wake Park500 N Cedar Dr, Allen
Consistently ranked as one of the top minor league ballparks in the country, Dr Pepper Stadium was not built by an actual doctor built in 2003 for the RoughRiders' inaugural season.
A 5.2 acre deck park built over the recessed Woodall Rodgers Freeway that hosts everything from concerts to yoga to farmers' markets.
Where else can you go to enjoy hours of family fun at one of the best aquariums in the country and also see plenty of Great Tits? The birds, you perv.
A "unique bounce house facility" which serves as a crazy den of adventure for kids, hosting birthday parties and other events.
Stroll the brand-new, four-level structure's many halls (really, Aaron Sorkin hall amounts) to see what it's like to be in an earthquake, check out a new dinosaur actually named after H. Ross (Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum), and toss a ping pong ball with your brain waves. So now only smart people will be good at beer pong?
A massive luxury mall with over 235 retailers, NorthPark was named one of the "7 Retail Wonders of the Modern World" by Shopping Centers Today.
Opened in 2003, The Nasher is one of the few institutions in the world dedicated solely to sculpture, and the works are presented in a 55,000sqft museum, plus a sculpture garden.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is 66 acres of flowers and other plants from all over the world, right next to White Rock Lake... and it's hosting Savor Dallas. Head there this March 20th-23rd for food from 60 chefs and over 400 different wines for you to try. Be sure to check out Sunday's all new event, Chillin' N' Grillin' in Main Street Garden, celebrating the 10th anniversary of Savor Dallas.
Smoke, as you might have guessed, is a restaurant that takes its barbecue very seriously. Locally sourced ingredients and traditional recipes are part of what has won Smoke the various awards it's garnered in the past, so why not stop by and see for yourself?
One of the nation's largest collections of vintage military aircraft.
Originally outta SoCal, "P2R" was co-founded by a 3x land-speed record holder, is backed by pros like Kurt Busch and Jeremy McGrath, and is enthused about by no less than Bart Scott, who gives them the thumbs up instead of the finger.
TopGolf in Dallas is a golf entertainment complex that takes its beer, cocktails, and burgers just about as seriously as its golf, but that doesn't mean you won't feel better about your swing after a few rounds. Even though the bar mostly gives off an adult vibe, the KidZone program makes this a family-friendly destination. TopGolf welcomes both first-time golfers and self-proclaimed pros, and you can either take as many swings as you want for a set amount of time or cash in for some professional lessons.
Trying to move the Dallas alley scene away from Kirstie just eating day-old bagels in them, B&B's a 15-lane, brick-laden, upscale ode of booze, food and bowling from a couple of SMU grads who saw an opening in the market and didn't spare any time before deciding to strike while the iron was hot.
Because you don't want the strippers at Lake Lewisville to see you at anything but your athletic best, train your own tight little body at Hydrous Park: a state-of-the-art wakeboarding facility that's open year-round to hook you up with everything you need to get started, potentially making you the Rebecca Black of fiberglassed fun.