Ah, this is the season when the family comes down to a lucky relative’s house for what is usually the biggest meal of the year. But then what? If you have parents, siblings, third cousins, and in-laws in every nook and cranny, sometimes it’s necessary for everyone involved to get out for a while and enjoy the company of others in a new environment. Or maybe you want to get away from it all on your own. In either scenario, the newly announced Best in DFW Readers’ Choice Awards winners have you covered in a variety of ways, starting with a trio of outdoor adventures you can’t miss, followed by eight great places for some of North Texas’ best alcoholic libations (and assorted atmospheres). Read on for 11 ways to get away from it all before or after Thanksgiving dinner.
Gold: Best Outdoor Adventures
Schedule a group tour of the exotic species In-Sync, a sanctuary for aged, maimed and otherwise unwanted big cats, from lions and tigers to leopards and cheetahs. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, they host the Fowl Fling, an event where the public can watch the masters feed the beasts of their Cornish hen feast.
Silver: Best Outdoor Adventures
Now in full festive fashion during the Arboretum holidays, the spectacular gardens overlooking White Rock Lake feature 25-foot gazebos depicting 12 Days of Christmas, a Christmas Village, a new 50-foot-tall musical Christmas tree decorated with 42,000 lights. Of course, that’s a little less huge than the number of overhaul flickers thanks to over a million lights decorating the entire property.
Bronze: Best Outdoor Adventures
Although you might have to wait until December 4th for tree lighting, Klyde Warren Park still has plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy in the fresh air. Take the kids to the children’s park while others picnic on the lawn with food from one of the many on-site food trucks as a nice alternative to Thanksgiving leftovers.
Gold: best ingot
Top Voter in the Best Bar category, The Irishman Pub has the traditional offerings you crave, from Reuben sandwiches to giant chewy pretzels, all paired with a pint of beer or Irish whiskey. Pool tables, foosball and lively conversation await you to pleasantly pass the time.
Silver: best bar
Sing, clap, and cheer on the energetic musicians who bring some of the most popular hits to life in a wild and interactive setting. Order a cocktail in a 52-ounce schooner and five adults in the family can share a sip or celebrate the season with a bottle of champagne.
Gold: Best Margaritas
North Texans love their margaritas and have chosen Gloria’s Latin cuisine restaurants as having the best. Their classic homemade tequila reposado margarita is a great place to start, whether you like yours frozen or on ice. Or explore the premium options and variations, including a spicy pineapple version.
Silver: Best Margaritas
If you don’t live in Fort Worth, consider a mini road trip through the gardens and hacienda-style dining rooms of iconic Joe T. Garcia’s. Enjoy margaritas by the glass (or a pitcher, a good option if you have to queue) before sharing a family meal of Tex-Mex favorites. Pro tip: Everything is cash only, so stop at an ATM on the way (or bring your debit card for the one on site).
Gold: Best Martini
Every family has someone who loves a good stiff martini that makes what readers consider the best in town. Gray goose at 28 degrees on tap could play a big part in the perfect cocktail. While you’re at it, order one of the many wood-fired dishes, from steaks to seafood (not to mention a delicious lobster macaroni to share).
Silver: Best Martini
Also famous for its frozen martinis, this charming bistro serves them in 17 creative varieties (in addition to the classic shakes or stirreds you might desire). A pianist often provides the soundtrack for a meal of Italian dishes in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Gold: Best wine bar
With two locations in North Texas, Sixty Vines specializes in draft wines – and they have dozens of them – which are available in four sizes from a 2.5-ounce pour and up to a decanter. shareable 750 ml which is equivalent to a full bottle of wine. The ability to taste a variety of wines in smaller portions, as well as create your own deli, allows you to host a cocktail party on someone else’s lawn.
Silver: Best wine bar
No matter where you are in the area, you are probably near one of the four local CRÚ wine bars. Over a dozen wine flights are available and tailored to specific preference categories, such as fruity whites, killer Cabernets and Burgundian beauties. Add one of the many entrees and you’ve got a wine-focused gathering worth adding to the holiday memory book.