Since the Town Center is operating as the neighborhood meeting place, lots of events are scheduled here. Free summer concerts are held at the gazebo, which is a central point in the square. People of all ages come to hear the music.
Some people tow coolers filled with snacks and beverages; others simply sit in their lawn chairs and nod to the tunes. Children run around chasing each other, while teens do their best to look cool in groups along the fringes. Free cans of soft drinks are distributed following the concert.
It was a nice gathering that we'll be looking forward to for a couple more weeks, then the concerts end until next summer.
Each Spring (April), the Southlake Women's Club organizes Art on the Square, a juried show that people eagerly look forward to each year, which features live entertainment, a children's amusement area and local and visiting artists.
Art on the Square extends through an entire weekend and comes on the heels of the fabulous Fort Worth Art Fest, so some of the artists are invited to exhibit in both shows.
Pottery, jewelry, oil paintings, watercolors and pastels, glass art and metal sculptures filled the grassy park of the square with a riot of color. I just love festivals!
Our favorite artists this year were: Preston Steed from Preston Steed Watercolors, Del Norte, Colorado (picture 2)
Li Wang of Li Wang Art, Palm Coast, Florida (pic 3)
Lu Fuller of Kentucky Farm Studio from Maysville, Kentucky (pic 4)
It's always informative to strike up conversation with one of these talented individuals! We particularly thought Lu Fuller's stories of living in Amish farm country precious--she counted herself particularly blessed in teaching some of those children the basics of art. Her joy was so infectious that we were ready to pack our bags to stop by her studio!
Once a year to mark the annual Monarch migration, the community of Southlake invites the public to the gathering of these lovely creatures.
A giant net tent is erected under the Town Center gazebo roof and an admission is charged. By the time this event has ended, almost 1,000 butterflies will have been released.
As I was visiting the butterfly tent, a box containing numerous Monarchs was being opened by one of the attendants (picture 3). It had been packed with dry ice, the butterflies carefully added into soft envelopes, then the box was sealed up. These particular butterflies were shipped from Houston. I was told that when they arrive, they are very hungry!
Most of the butterflies in the tent were Painted Ladies, some were Monarchs and a few were another small type.
Chunks of juicy watermelon were distributed to children in order to attract the butterflies to their hand. It worked! (picture 2) After snapping many pictures, I left just as a class of first graders stopped by to learn all about these pretty insects.
The Tarrant County Kiwanis Club sponsored this event and will be using the proceeds to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network and other charities for children.
Although not in Southlake, Mountasia is located just six miles from here. We wanted to try out their go karts, but they also have bumper boats, a kid maze, an arcade, mini golf, batting cages and bouncing houses.
It was a very hot afternoon when we visited with not much shade to offer, so my advice is to go either in the morning or evening. In spite of the heat, we rode the go karts, played a round of mini-golf (picture 2) and motored about in the bumper boats (picture 3). We had great fun!
A one price feature saves some money if you plan to make an afternoon of it. Check their website for weekly specials, there are just too many to list.
The bouncing houses can be rented by parties, so they were not available when we visited.
Hours are Mon.-Thurs. 10am-10pm (go karts and bumper boats open at 4pm); Friday-Saturday 10pm-11pm (go carts and bumper boats open at 4 pm on Friday, but all attractions are open all day on Saturday), Sun.12 Noon to 10pm (all attractions are open all day on Sunday).
One afternoon while on a self-guided wildflower expedition, I pulled in to see all that was included in Southlake's Bicentennial Park. I had noticed it as I drove by numerous times, but had never visited. A beautifully landscaped portion of Bicentennial Park is set aside and named Liberty Garden.
A pretty arbor gives entrance to the garden, where once inside the first thing one notices is a striking bronze scupture of three children titled Children At Play (picture #2). A pathway wanders past irises in bloom, then lovely pink roses (picture #5), a wetlands display, gazebo in the midst of flowers (picture #3) and beyond this a fountain surrounded by concrete benches.
Further inside the garden, a bronze sculpture depicting geese in flight entitled 'Freedom' (picture #4)is placed near a gently rippling waterfall fountain and another garden area. Liberty Garden was a peaceful place in which to appreciate the beauty of Spring!
This garden was dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. It was a very peaceful spot to spend time on a sunny Spring day.
I'm an avid reader, so having a library in my community is a wonderful amenity! The Southlake Public Library is located in our municipal building in the Town Center. One of the first things I did after we moved to Texas was to apply for a library card--which was given to me on the spot!
Although the library is not very large, it has a children's section and adult fiction/non-fiction plus reference section. A media department provides movies for all ages. Nice comfy chairs are placed throughout the library so that you can read over your book selection or just chill out for a while.
A coffee bar is generously provided--donations accepted. Hours are Mon.10-8pm; Tues.10-6pm; Weds. 12 Noon-6pm; Thurs. 10-8pm; Fri. 12 Noon to 4pm. It is located at the lower level of the municipal building and can be reached by inside or outside steps or elevator.
What do you do when it's 103F in the shade? Go to the movies! New to Southlake Town Center is the fourteen screen Harkins Theatre. It is state-of-the-art in design and technology, featuring stadium size seats with the largest screen in the state of Texas.
Once you purchase tickets from an outside window, you enter indoors to a wide lobby and refreshment area. The theatres are to the left and right. There are 13 theaters designed in a more intimate scale and the Cine Capri which seats 600 people and has a 70 foot screen.
As with most theatres, the snack stand is fairly expensive; decor is contemporary. We've enjoyed the summer films here and suggest it as the place to be this time of year. Adult admission is $7.50 after 6pm. Children's tickets are discounted.
The admission charge is $7.50 for adults; $5.50 for kids under 12.