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Let Loose

Appearances can be deceiving: despite the yoga pants and three-day hair (hey, showers are a precious commodity), being a mom has made us a lot more uptight and, well, adult than we used to be. Do you ever wish you could reclaim a little bit of that care-free person you were before the kiddos made your life that much more wonderful and hectic? Try these ideas for letting loose, getting messy and breaking the rules the way only a mom can.

Get the giggles out
Release your inhibitions weekly during Dallas Comedy House’s Level 1 Improv Course, a seven-week venture that will teach you the basics of improv and build your confidence on stage. The course is $240 and is offered every eight weeks or thereabouts at the DCH Training Center in Dallas. See if you’re interested by attending a free intro workshop on the last Wednesday of the month at 7pm.

Can’t commit to a seven-week course? Sign up for one of Locked OUT Comedy’s 2-hour Intensives to learn improv games and warm-up exercises (think Whose Line). Classes are offered twice a month in Addison and Plano for $50 a pop – totally worth the chance to unleash your crazy for a little while.

Dallas Comedy House
Dallas, 214/741-4448

Locked OUT Comedy Academy
Improv Comedy Club, Addison
Life Central Church, Plano

Spoil your dinner
How long has it been since you ate dessert first? Go ahead and spoil your dinner at Glazed Donut Works in Deep Ellum, a newish but already much-loved donut shop that makes unusual flavors in small batches. We’re talking Grilled Cheese with Bacon, Pineapple Old Fashioned and the all new Donut Ice Cream Sandwich, in addition to traditional Glazed. The shop is open during breakfast hours, but stop by from 8pm–12am on Thursdays or 10:30pm–2am on Friday and Saturday for a before-dinner (or instead-of-dinner) treat; stalk their Facebook page for each day’s unique menu and special events.

Glazed Donut Works
Dallas, 214/741-2275
Spin it old school
Break out your best prom-night dance moves and cut footloose the old-fashioned way. First, hit up Cloud 8 Music inside Dolly Python Vintage in Dallas to find that album you used to listen to over and over. Then introduce your kids to the wonders of vinyl and the music you grew up with (side ponytail optional) or something like Big Band that’s perfect for dancing. If you don’t have a turntable, check out the Crosley Radio Cruiser Turntable, a portable record player that looks like a vintage suitcase.

Cloud 8 Music
Dallas, 469/867-4074

Crosley Radio Cruiser Turntable, $80
Play outside
Slather on the sunscreen, let go of your perfect coiffe and rediscover the joys of getting a little messy in the great outdoors at the Trinity River Audubon Center. From 10am–noon on May 31, join the Audubon River Adventures program to see North Texas wildlife from a kayak as you paddle up the Trinity River. Guides will point out the birds you encounter, talk water conservation and help keep beginning boaters from capsizing. The two-hour tour is $65 for non-members and $50 for members; register online, and soon, as the trip may fill up fast.

Trinity River Audubon Center
Dallas, 214/398-8722
Sing along at the movies
Dine-in cinemas are popping up all over, but Alamo Drafthouse, which opened just last August, spices up movie night for the 18 and up crowd like no other. The Austin-based company offers craft beer and dinner options inspired by the movies, celebrity guest appearances, game nights, and Master Pancake Theater, two critics who loudly mock the shows in progress a la Mystery Science Theater.

Check out their calendar for screenings of cult classics repurposed as sing-alongs, quote-alongs, even dance-alongs (it’s exactly like how it sounds) on top of newly released films. Thought Saturday morning cartoons were a thing of the past? Watch two hours of your favorite shows (this one open to kids) over all-you-can-eat bowls of cereal.

Alamo Drafthouse
Richardson, 972/534-2120
Revisit recess
Remember the joy of open-ended playtime at the jungle gym? Oh, how we ache for those days. Relive your schoolyard shenanigans at The Backyard, a new made-for-adults playground at The Social House, an outdoor bar in Uptown. Ask a friend to hold your beverage while taking turns with giant Jenga, bubble soccer (you get inside a boulder-sized inflatable ball), Ping-Pong and beer pong with giant trashcans. The Backyard opens Fridays at 5pm and Saturday–Sunday at 11am. Schedule a play date with your friends over brunch on the patio. The bell rings when you want it to.

The Backyard
Uptown Dallas, 214/999-0046

Wield a pen like Shakespeare
Challenge the penmanship you first learned in third grade and cultivate a new hobby in calligraphy, cursive’s more elegant cousin. (We never did like the capital cursive Q anyway). Practice the different lettering styles with the pros at Calligraphic Arts Design Studio, which offers two-day workshops for $185, as well as quarterly Illumination seminars that focus on gold leaf. Plus, the master calligraphers also offer a six-week evening course through SMU’s continuing education program, a steal comparatively at $125 plus $65 for supplies.

To make learning calligraphy a social affair, book Heather Bloem with Frisco-based Design Roots for a private class and invite up to five friends for a girls’ night with appetizers and wine, or a daytime party with baked goods and coffee. Her regularly scheduled Mother’s Day Out classes, held twice per week from 10am–noon, sell out quickly, but send her an email through the website to reserve your spot for $100 per person.

Calligraphic Arts Design Studio
Dallas, 214/522-4731

SMU Continuing and Professional Education
Dallas, 214/768-2273

Design Roots
Frisco, design-roots.net
Play with fire
You know that colorful glass vase in your friend’s dining room you’ve been eyeing? Discover how those charming housewares are created at Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery in downtown Grapevine. Take a seat at the bleachers a safe distance from the glowing-hot furnaces to watch Vetro’s skilled artisans demonstrate sculpting globs of liquid glass into bowls, Christmas ornaments, jewelry and custom pieces, and then get closer to the action by signing up for special workshops. At the Hot Glass and Mimosa Moms workshop for $65 on Saturday, May 3, the artisans will show you how to slowly spin the hollow rod to make your own hand-blown glass flower or flared bowl.

Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery
Grapevine, 817/251-1668

Make something
Take a cue from your kids and try your hand at jewelry making, sans stale macaroni and rubber band looms. The Creative Arts Center of Dallas offers a slew of classes and workshops year-round, but we suggest checking out Jewelry Basics, their introductory class to all things jewelry. Patient instructors will teach you basic techniques to have you soldering, bezel setting and riveting in no time. Class times vary and range from 6–8 weeks. The next session starts June 3. $225 for non-members.

If you’re looking for less of a time commitment, try the Stone Setting workshop May 19–21. $165 for non-members. Register now at creativeartscenter.org.

Creative Arts Center of Dallas
Dallas, 214/320-1275
Hang 10 
Hang up your running shoes and prepare to hang 10 … well, sort of. City Surf Fitness offers group fitness classes sure to breathe new life into the most tired of fitness routines. You can choose from six different classes, but we suggest giving the City Surf a try. Your muscles will work like never before as you move atop the Ripsurfer X, a paddling element with board base that tests your balance and core strength by recreating the instability of a surfboard on water. 
Stop in at 9:30am Monday–Friday for a class dedicated to moms. And if you’re expecting, be sure to check out the Baby on Board (ha, get it?) program, scheduled on an as needed basis for moms-to-be. Try an introductory two weeks for just $15.   
City Surf Fitness 
Dallas, 214/664-0979 
Run Away to the Circus 
Life often feels like a circus, no? You’re already halfway there, so go ahead and indulge that childhood fantasy by perfecting your circus act. Lone Star Circus School offers a range of classes, including some geared specifically toward adults. Try your hand at contortion and hand balancing or give the beginner silks class a try. Under the watchful eye of a silks pro, you’ll use your own body weight and silks hanging from the ceiling to work the upper body and build core strength. Drop-ins are welcome and, fear not, leotards are encouraged but not required. Classes start at $15.  
Lone Star Circus School 
Rogue Athletics 
Farmers Branch, 214/206-1449 

Published May 2014