It’s that time of year again, y’all. The school doors are fresh with WD-40 and the cars are accidentally turning north onto Elm St. again. School is back in session and with it, a new crop of Dentonites have flooded our city limits. Will these fresh, young faces become lifelong Dentonites or never step foot outside of their college campus? Only time will tell, but we’ve decided to do our part to get them to become a part of the former group, by providing them with some insider knowledge. Below are a collection of precious WDDI secrets that those new to Denton (and some folks that have been living here for a while) might not yet know. It’s time for Secrets of Denton County VII. Got a Denton secret of your own? Add it to the comments!
First, there was Secrets of Denton County. Then, the following year came Even More Secrets of Denton County. In year three we summoned Secrets of Denton County 3: Return of the Secrets. Year four was probably the worst of the batch (what with all of the bad CGI), but we still loved Secrets of Denton County 4: The Secreting (directed by Dario Argento). Then, they were back with a vengeance for Secrets of Denton County 5: Secrets Strike Back. Last year, we compiled a few of our favorite secrets of previous years in Secrets of Denton County VI: Secrets Return.
Now, let's get on to our list of a few fresh, new secrets that we can spoil for everyone. Oh, and one of these "secrets" is not real.
Spoiler: Secrets Lie Below...
Didja know that Denton has a public rose garden? Gemini Peach and Rose Farm is located at 1301 Haggard Lane off of Hinkle (over by the Chase on University). Not into flowers? Stop by during peach season to pick your own juicy fruit.
If you're a UNT student, but also fancy the great outdoors, save yourself a trip to R.E.I. and just rent your equipment from the University. Students and staff can rent equipment from the Rec/Sports department and the prices really can't be beat. Make sure to reserve them in advance, though, to make sure they are available when you need them. Check them out here.
Whether you're a TWU student or not, all community members can improve their rhythm by taking some dance lessons at TWU. Classes are available for multiple age groups and multiple types of dance (from hip hop all the way to tap) are available. More info here.
Like playing bball, but don't want to suffer from playing in the Texas summer heat outside? The City of Denton rec centers offer annual rec passes to the basketball courts for $10/year. You read that right. Only $10 for a year's worth of access. Only issue is the courts are often used for classes or other organized sports. Call ahead to check for court open times or stop by in person to get your rec pass. Check out the various facilities here.
One of the best ways to catch up and coming musicians in town is to check out Sofar Sounds. They often host intimate shows in interesting locations in Denton. Sofar is members-only, though, so make sure you join up and grab yourself a seat (on the floor).
Wanna squish some sand between your toes in front of a large body of water, but don't want to drive five hours? Lucky for you, Denton County has a beach. Head over to Isle du Bois just north of town. There you'll find not only a nice little beach spot, but several other recreational areas you can take part in, as well. More info here.
Denton has lots of great trails you can hike. Some of our favorites are the trails at the back of Wiggly Field Dog Park, Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, the Greenbelt, Pilot Knoll Park, and many more. Don't put them to waste! Put on your Danner's and get to hiking!
UNT has a Quiddich club and it is real, as is the 2018 Quiddich Cup coming to Texas. Practice is rumored to be Muggle-friendly. Check out their Facebook page here.
For the ladies, Velo Republic hosts a women-only bicycle ride social on Tuesday evenings and it's a great way to see the town. Better yet, Queenie's also offers a steep discount on many items off for all-women tables on Tuesday evenings. Eastside has an open all-ride on Thursdays, also, just so easily-offended dude-bros wont get their bike-shorts in a twist.
You can special order beer at Midway Mart or Midway Craft House and you can also special order booze at the new Applejack's on Oak St. We recently ordered some Jepsen's Malort (the ironically bad liquor you have to try) from Applejack's and the ordering process was extremely easy.
Denton County now has a NERF battlefield, y'all. Yes, there is even an "adult night" so you won't have to just shoot a bunch of kiddos. You can even BYOG (bring your own NERF gun). Plan a party or reserve your spot for open play. More info here.
Didja know that Denton has a community full of earthship-like underground homes north of Loop 288? While they are all on private property it is cool to know about their existence. Read more about their history here.
Jonuzi's Pizza is the best pizza you might not know about in Denton. We love ourselves some Denton pizza (i.e. Pizza Snob, Earl's, or the recently-opened Almost Famous Pizza at Denton County Brewing Co.,), but Jonuzi's is tucked away over on Teasley and therefore not visited as often as some of those other locations. An added plus is the fact that you can even order delivery from Jonuzi's to the square!
The best way to show your love to your S.O. is through a Tuba Valentine. UNT tuba players raise funds by going out in to the community and playing songs for your loved one and delivering a card. For the price, it can't really be beat. The selection of songs is limited, but always amazing. Check 'em out for yourself here.
Hannah's has one of the best patios in town. Its small, almost-always shady, and never crowded. Just don't let your waiter forget about you if you're the only group back there.
Metzler's (locations on University and Londonderry in town) stocks delicious German sausages, smoked cheeses, and potato salads shipped directly from Muenster, TX. While their 'que might not be the best (head over to Bet the House or Bumbershoot), they do have interesting beer and wine to purchase there, as well.
Movie Tavern now has trivia on Wednesday nights with some great prizes. We also love the themed-trivia nights at Mulberry St. Cantina.
While Juice Lab might look and sound like they only have delicious, freshly squeezed juices (which they have in spades), they are also packing much more. Juice Lab also sells soups, raw foods, salads, desserts, and various baked goods that are worth any self-respecting foodie's time in Denton. It's a surefire bet to be your most colorful (and Instagram-ready) meal in town.
Are you a photographer that still likes shooting film, but can't convince your roommate to let you turn the second bathroom into a darkroom? Guess what. You can get black and white film developed over at Denton Camera Exchange on Piner St. Don't know where to get your hands on some black and white film in town? Same spot!
Earlier this year, the city launched the Denton Citizen Academy. The program allows community members to get a peek behind the curtain and learn how local government works. The DCA examines many different aspects of the city from utilities to the parks and recreation department. The free program takes place during summers and is open to all applicants over age 18. Want some more info? Click here or check out People of Denton to read some interviews with this year's participants.
The best place to escape where no one will find you for at least an hour is Aura Coffee. if you sit in the back and hide behind a 16 oz. coffee, there's a good chance you might win some peace of mind and maybe even get something done.
If you head over to the downtown station on Tuesday evenings, there's a secret Party-themed DCTA A-Train complete with everything you need to get your evening bumping. Beware, though, that this train is completely off the rails.
Got a project you want to get off the ground, but low on funds? Denton's got ya covered. The Greater Denton Arts Council awards "Community Arts Grants" of up to $5,000 for projects that are "art or art oriented, occur in Denton or Denton County and must benefit residents and/or visitors to the greater Denton area." GDAC also offers "Microgrants" of up to $500 for artists to help with artistic production costs such as studio rental, production costs, exhibition related expenses or supplies, or other materials needed to complete an arts project. More info here.
We all know Hypnotic Donuts has great doughnuts, but their chicken biscuits are also worthy of your drool. The only issue is that ordering one might see you waiting upwards of fifteen minutes for that freshly-fried piece of chicken to make its way inside of a biscuit. If you're short on time at lunch, you can actually call ahead with your order on weekdays to make sure it is ready for you when you arrive. Our suggestion is The Duke biscuit with jalapeños and fried onions on top. We're getting hungry just thinking about it. Maybe we should call right now.
Speaking of donuts, Hypnotic is great, but closes pretty early and sometimes we need doughnuts at night. If you're hankering for some fried dough on a Friday or Saturday evening, head over to the neon sign on the the Austin St. side of Queenie's Steakhouse for some of the best doughnuts in the metroplex. Back Dough isn't that well-hidden of a secret to most Dentonites (or even people from Dallas for that matter), but if you're new to town and aren't aware, it's definitely something you'll want to check out.
Do you love Spanish guitar? Mariachi Quetzal performs every Friday night at La Milpa Mexican Restaurant at 8:00 p.m. There's no cover, but you really should savor the delicious margaritas while you're there. And if you follow Milpa on Twitter, you can score tasty food truck fare with an occasional FREE sopapilla!
Denton is developing quite the underground comedy scene around Killer Tacos free open mic on Thursday nights. The gold standard is still Paul Slaven's Monday night musical improv comedy show at Dans Silverleaf but we don't mind more yucks throughout the week!
Denton now has a video gaming clubhouse, Source Gaming Lounge, where for a little scratch you can compete in contests or play hard-to-find virtual reality games like Virtual Rick-Ality! You can check them out on Congress next to Loco Cafe. Want to learn about all of the other places you can get your game on in Denton? Click here.
Ever wondered what the inside of the FEMA building on Loop 288 looks like? We got ya covered. While the building has seen remodels since these photos were taken, this might give ya a better idea of what lies beyond all of those boundaries.
That's it for this year, folks! Did ya catch the fake one? Let us know your own Denton secrets in the comments!