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Cindy Dodds with family in Oak Cliff

Cindy Dodds’ Oak Cliff Picks

from a night on the town to the best way to cool off

Lawyer Cindy Dodds moved to the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Winnetka Heights 20 years ago as a single woman because of the strong sense of camaraderie. She and her husband Jeff, a psychologist, continue to foster that community spirit by participating in local events along with their 5-year-old son Micah. 

Favorite family restaurant There are so many to choose in Bishop Arts, and it depends on our mood. But I would say that Spiral Diner is our favorite. I’m a vegetarian, but Jeff is not. SP’s options are appealing to even nonvegetarians. We also like the eclectic vibe.  

Spiral Diner & Bakery // 1101 N. Beckley Ave., Dallas (more DFW locations) 

Best park Kidd Springs Park. It has the new swimming pool that Micah loved so much we bought a season pass. Also the park is large enough to accommodate large outdoor parties for a relatively small price. Last year, we had Micah’s fourth birthday party there and had well over 100 guests. 

Kidd Springs Park // 700 W. Canty St., Dallas

Favorite family outing One silver lining of the shutin is it has forced us to spend more time as a family. One of the ways we do that is by taking long walks in our neighborhood. We often end up by the golf course.  

For a night out Our date night place is Cretia’s. Their food is good, but their desserts are heavenly. I am a big dessert person who tries to watch my sugar intake. But on date night, I may choose a light salad for my entree. Then I feel free to order whatever dessert I want! 

Cretia’s // 228 W. Davis St., Dallas 

Self-care spot Self-care for us means to reward ourselves with ice cream! Our favorite ice cream parlor is Picolé in Bishop Arts. I usually stick with the something traditional like vanilla with nuts. Jeff and Micah like to experiment with all the flavors and toppings Picolé has. After ice cream there, it’s hard not to feel a little better about the world! 

Picolé Pops // 415 W. Davis St., Dallas (another DFW location) 

Go-to for getting active I work out with a trainer at the new 24 Hour Fitness on Fort Worth Avenue. During the shutdown, Jeff, Micah and I took long walks, often near Stevens Park golf course. 

24 Hour Fitness // 2300 Fort Worth Ave., Dallas (more DFW locations) 
Stevens Park Golf Course // 1005 N. Monclair Ave., Dallas

For cooling off  This summer, we cool off in our backyard. We have a nice patio, and our iron fence allows for a nice breeze to come in. When the pools at Kidd Springs were open, we enjoyed cooling off there. 

How they give back One of the primary reasons that I moved to Winnetka Heights as a single woman 20 years ago was the strong sense of community you feel as you ride through our neighborhood and see neighbors visiting and children playing. Jeff and I have participated in many events over the years to continue to foster that neighborly feel. Most recently, Jeff, a former musician, played rockabilly at the Turner House during the Winnetka Heights Home Tour. A few years ago, Micah and I helped to paint the float that represented our neighborhood in the annual Mardi Gras parade.  

How she found her mom squad I have a number of mom groups that I belong to informally. These are made up of women who I have met at various activities, Micah’s school, soccer, Bible study, neighbors on my street. 

Why Oak Cliff is great for families Here, you know your neighbors, so we know when something suspicious or dangerous is happening. In addition, there’s a live database to get answers to any question one might have: the name of a good plumber, good day care in the neighborhood, etc. 

Photo courtesy of Heather Zak Designs.