Not Your Average Dates: Dyno-Rock Climbing Gym

Hello again! As promised, I am posting another venue visit under our “Not Your Average Dates” category. This one is from when we visited Dyno-Rock Climbing Gym in Arlington, TX this past week on our “Stay-cation”.

My husband and I have been trying to go out on more active or educational dates. The big one before this, was the Dallas World Aquarium followed by a Dallas Stars game that I posted about previously. This month, so far, we decided to go rock climbing together for the first time. It’s something I had always wanted to try, as a way to build strength, try something different for once and to help get over my fear of heights. We also wanted to do something that was truly something that we had to work together on, so we thought this was a great option for team building/bonding.

Some notes about this place: It is a little difficult to find on your first try. Generally, if you end up close to the enormous AT&T Stadium (where the Dallas Cowboys play football), you’re on the right track, but the little nook-and-cranny streets around there can be a bit confusing. Once you do find it, you may be questioning if you’re in the right place, because it looks like an old office space or warehouse. But, if you look for the sign, you will find that you are, indeed, in the right place. Once you find some parking, the door to get in does kind of look like some back door exit, but it’s definitely the right one. Once you get in, the pictures from the website start to look familiar, and you are greeted by one of the friendly guys that run the gym.

We were greeted by a really cool guy named Michael, who helped us not only with paying for our visit, but he also gave us a crash course in climbing 101. He was extremely knowledgeable about climbing and took plenty of time, and patience, to answer all of my very beginner questions. He also made himself available to us for any further questions or if we needed help with any of the courses in the gym. So, big points to this place for customer service. There is also something to be said about the particular community of climbers that were in there as well. At one point, I needed to take a rest while my husband wanted to try and climb a particular wall that was not the “self-assisted” ropes, and another young man who was just visiting on a day pass like us, just stepped in and belayed (fancy climbing word for the person who holds the ropes at the bottom) for him. I thought that was pretty cool.

Now, let’s talk prices, because you might have guessed that this isn’t a free activity. This place was also quite affordable. If you have your own gear, you spend $12 to be able to climb all day long. But, if you are complete newbies like us and you need to rent shoes, a chalk bag and your harness, it comes to about $21 per person so, about $42 if you’re on a date. Seriously not bad considering this is available to you all day long…and they mean all day. You can literally leave, go have lunch or dinner, and then come back and climb for the rest of the day, if you wanted. Now, if you come in and try it and decide that you really like indoor rock climbing, they also offer memberships and punch cards so you don’t have to pay for the day pass every time you come in. That information and pricing can actually be found on their website at: .

To recap: This is a fantastic date if you want to do something that is active and fun. Rock Climbing also requires a lot of team work, both physically and mentally. We spent a lot of time mapping out how we were going to make it up the walls, and while we were climbing, the belayer was always calling out different rocks to grab or step on and the climber trusted the advice and ultimately made progress up the wall. Rock Climbing is a very affective trust activity, and I would recommend this to couples of any kind, but especially engaged couples who are about to be married. We absolutely loved the physicality this took as well…we were both sweating and had some very sore arms afterward, but because we climbed and reached the top on several of our attempts, it made it worth the work. I would definitely recommend this gym in particular, for the price and for the community and employees who are there to help.

As usual, at the end of these posts, I have some pictures from our day. So, please forgive odd angles and exasperated, sweaty husband and wife.

As always, Thanks for stopping by!


With Love, From ETX,



Review:The Dallas World Aquarium

So, back in April, my husband and I visited the Dallas World Aquarium, followed by an amazing Dallas Stars game. Despite the rain that we’ve been having all over Texas, I can honestly say that this, more or less, indoor zoo and aquarium is certainly a treat!

Now, this is a very popular attraction in Dallas, so, getting in to actually get your tickets and start the tour is a bit of a wait. If you are not someone who does well in the elements, you may not like this part. I would say to definitely dress accordingly for outdoor weather AND a lot of walking. That being said, once you finally do get in the door, the place is spectacular! You start at the top of a 3-story building in what they have called “The Canopy”, where there are large amount of beautiful bird species and some monkeys here and there in these higher up areas. After that you go down to level 2 and see an array of land animals, including a gorgeous black panther, flamingos, and penguins! Finally, after you have finished with the 2nd floor, you get to the Water level, where you can see fish, rays, alligators and the aquarium’s famous shark tunnel!

I will take the time to say that this place is huge. It is filled with so many different animal and plant species that it can be a bit overwhelming. The animals in there do seem to be well kept, look healthy and like they are happy. Like I said earlier in the post, this place is very popular…so if you’re not big on crowds or having to share your space with A LOT of people, I would recommend going during the week when there is less foot traffic inside. They do also offer food and drink stations on every floor (they even have concessions for those who are waiting outside to come into the aquarium), as well as relatively clean restroom facilities. There is so much to look at in this place, and they have feeding exhibits periodically throughout the day, which makes it more fun. For example, we happened to be there as they were feeding the penguins. Now, my favorite part was the Shark tunnel…and it is equal parts fascinating and eerie. The sharks swim over and around the tunnel as they please, so you don’t always know when they are swimming up right behind you. This is also kind of a tight space because it is their main attraction, so anyone with claustrophobia may be uncomfortable, but I still recommend seeing it. All and all, I would certainly recommend this for a date or to take your kids. Even though there is not always a keeper around, they do have monitors and placards with some great information about the animals you are looking at. For more information, like events and ticket prices, I encourage you to check out their website at: .

Here are some photos of our visit! Credit goes to my husband for taking pictures.


As always, thanks for stopping by! I will have a couple more dates that we have gone on posted within the next couple of days, but this one has been pending forever!


With Love, From ETX,


Playing Catch Up!

Hello Readers!

So, I’m sure any of you who actually follow me have noticed that I have been on a bit of a hiatus. Well, I’m glad to say that, though the summer is an extremely busy time in my job, I will be trying to squeeze in more Event Experiences posts, Venue Visits and Feel-Good Fridays. I have a couple of pieces that have been sitting in my ‘drafts’ folder for quite a while, so I plan on finishing those up within the next day or so and getting them up here, with pictures, for everyone to see. I have managed to visit a couple of really cool places in Dallas, travelled to Denver, CO for work and also got to check out a few places in my hometown as well in Tyler, TX. So, I know I may have lost a few of you, but please stick around. These places I’m about to review/give my experience on are definitely on the way and I hope that it helps with any weekend trips, date ideas or vacation plans for anyone who wants to come to Texas. Stay tuned! I’ll be getting my first post about the Dallas Aquarium up before the end of the day. Thanks for stopping by!


With Love, From ETX,