Photo via Lee Harvey’s Dive In on Facebook

Story by Melissa Thrailkill

School is starting, but summer is far from over. There’s plenty of time for a fling with a new romance or quality time with your ride-or-die. Save the heat for alone time and have some some date-day fun without ripening under the Texas sun. Step outside of our neighborhood and be a tourist in your own town with these thoughtful dates that won’t cost a ton but will still impress.

The Arts District

Spark conversation and get a bead on your date’s  taste, philosophy and open-mindedness. Or reconnect with your partner,  learn something new about each other and explore ideas and world views, all amid the cold-cold air conditioning.

The Crow Collection of Asian Art: This museum is always free and currently has a fun and colorful exhibit by JooYoung Choi, which runs through Sept. 4. A Houston-based artist from South Korea, Yoo creates a colorful new world referred to as the Cosmic Womb. The exhibit is a colorful multiverse, with paintings, video installations and puppets. It’s hard not to get in touch with  your inner child while exploring Yoo’s universe, and your date will surely recognize your playful heart if you treat them to this exhibit.

The Dallas Museum of Art’s permanent collection is always free, and their Center for Creative Connections asks patrons to get in touch with their creative side and explore art from different perspectives. Also check out the DMA’s exhibit highlighting Mexican-American artist Octavio Medellín, the first-ever museum retrospective of an artist who impacted Texas art and left a mark in North Texas.  Add a bonus tour of all the spots Medellin left a mark in Dallas by exploring the map of his works in the area.

The Nasher Sculpture Center: First Saturdays of the month are free at this jewel of a museum. The building is a work of art itself, designed by Renzo Piano, and the exhibits and permanent collection are always a venture into new ideas. The shaded garden features Richard Serra, Auguste Rodin, Eduardo Chillida and Joan Miró. Artist Lynda Benglis’ water features are a new addition to the garden and worthy of a visit in their own right.

Photo courtesy of the Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers game

It’s no sweat to take your date out to the ballgame. Choctaw Stadium, the home of the Texas Rangers, is a cool 72-75 degrees. Find discounts for families or couples, particularly on weekdays. This could be a chance to witness your date’s fandom or just do some people-watching together. It’s also the perfect excuse to get down and dirty on an alligator corn dog, a cornbread chili pie dog, mac-and-cheese nachos or a vegan bratwurst.

Thursdays on tap at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Crack a cold one with the boys at  the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. And by “the boys,” we mean dinosaurs.  The monthly Thursdays on Tap event allows the grown-and-sexy crowd to party like it’s the Mesozoic era. Food trucks,  live entertainment and games round out the fun. This is a popular event, so plan ahead.

Photo courtesy of Lee Harvey’s Dive-In

Take a staycation to The Cedars

Did you know South Dallas dive bar Lee Harvey’s now has a swim club? Lose some inhibitions at Lee Harvey’s Dive-In. Day passes cost $5-$15 and can be purchased online. Or keep your clothes on and drop into Mike’s Gemini Twin, where it’s always cold and dark, to shoot some pool or just canoodle in one of the banquettes.