For the past six years, we've been sharing our precious precious secrets with WDDI readers. Over time, many of our secrets have stopped being secrets. Sometimes this was due to businesses closing and other times the secrets just vanished from thin air. After five years of serving salacious secrets, we decided that for year six we would revisit some of our favorite (still going) secrets from the past five years. Of course, with our big mouths, we couldn't help but pepper in a number of new secrets, too.
First, let’s start with our lists from previous years...
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, last year they were back with a vengeance for Secrets of Denton County 5: Secrets Strike Back.
Now, let's get on to our list of the top secrets of previous years (plus a bunch of new ones, too). It's a reboot of sorts - think Superman Returns. Have a precious secret of your own that you'd like to release into the wild? Let us know in the comments.
Spoiler: Secrets Lie Below...
The UNT police will engrave an ID onto your bike, register it, and then give you a free bike lock as part of their community outreach efforts. How cool is that? In a town full of bike thieves, this is a great safety precaution to take. More info here.
If you're feeling spooky, but it is still August, Dan's Haunted House is going on nearly year-round lately. So, if you know someone who enjoys running through the woods screaming bloody murder or just wanna go check out a place owned by a dude named Dan, you know where to go.
That door that says The Bear's Den on Walnut St. near Thai Square is not a secret gay club...yet.
Aside from various free events, the city also provides citizens with tons of free stuff if you’re on the ball enough to get ‘em. From time to time you can pick up coupons at events or in the mail to score free Dyno Dirt from the landfill. Also, Keep Denton Beautiful has an annual fall tree giveaway. Sign up in advance, show up at your designated time and -- BOOM -- free tree. In addition, the City of Denton's ReUse store is a spot where Denton residents can drop by and score up to six free cleaning items. The ReUse store is located at 1527 S. Mayhill Rd.
You can get access to free Lynda.com tutorials are free with a library card. Lynda.com is the internet's leading site for technology training and normally costs upwards of $20/month. You can get access to all of their training videos for free through your library membership. More info here. Go check it out and learn Adobe After Effects or something cool.
Both UNT and TWU sell off some surplus goods during secret auctions that are so on the down-low that you gotta scour their websites to find out dates. Shaun Treat keeps bragging that he got a barely used oven for $150 and a projector for $80. He seems like he's not lying this time, too.
While Denton is full of artists, musicians and tons of other creative folk, sadly, we don’t have too many high paying jobs that can support these people at a livable wage. This forces many of said creatives to work low-paying day jobs to try and make ends meet. The Denton Community Health Clinic offers services that may help quite a few of them. Payment is decided by a sliding scale based on income level. In addition, they also offer discounts on products such as blood tests and x-rays.
You can rent both video games and board games through UNT's Media Library. Check it out here. Tired of renting and wanna buy one? Head over to Freaks and Geeks on Elm. St. for some sweet vintage gaming.
The Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center at 3310 Collins St. is a beautiful (and little known) nature area filled with tons of trails just begging for the crunch of your Merrell boots.
The courthouse has little nooks and crannies that lead to roof access. Some areas even have weird little windows to peer through and admire downtown Denton through. You need special permission on a guided tour to access them, though.
UNT has star parties on the first Saturday of every month at the Rafes Urban Astronomy Center in which you can scope out some stars and pretend to be an astronomer. Plan ahead here.
Wine² has a beautiful covered back patio, perfect for lazy loitering with a cheap bottle of wine from their happy hour specials. The patio is seldom crowded and a great quiet place to sit and talk on the square.
Queenie's sells some of the most delicious donuts in North Texas after 11pm on Friday and Saturday evenings. Oh, also you can park in those spots they like to reserve for valet. The most they can do is make you feel bad about it.
Drunken Donkey on Unicorn Lake teases that they have a FREE Tuesday lunch special if you like and share their Facebook ad... No such thing as a free lunch? Au contraire!
Sure, Dallas has Katy Trail, but did you know that Denton does, too? Hike, bike or walk Denton's 8.6 Katy Trail that goes all the way from the Downtown Transit Center to Swisher Rd. You can catch a ride back to town on the A-Train at the Medpark stop if your legs are just too sore at that point.
While the Golden Triangle Mall is an area we mostly try to avoid, the Silver Cinema Theatre is good for a couple things. For one, if you need to see a movie, but only have two bucks, this is the place to go. Better than that are the movie descriptions written by the employees of the theatre. They’re worth an entire trip to the mall entirely on their own.
Denton Wildflower Prairie exists and is sometimes cool. Just watch out for snakes, runaway remote control airplanes and such. While we're at it, next door to the Wildflower Prairie, is the remote control airplane flying zone. Take your brand new drone over there to test it out instead of wrecking it near some cars.
The Little Chapel in the Woods is a beautiful, architectural achievement dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt and it lives right, smack-dab in the middle of the TWU campus. You can get married there or even hold your band practice inside the building in order to get them sweet, sweet stained glass acoustics, if you time it right. Speaking of TWU and beautiful architecture, go check out their library when you're over there.
You can drink on the Denton County Courthouse lawn so long as what you’re drinking from is not made of glass. Just make sure you stay on the actual lawn and don't stroll over to the sidewalk.
Consider yourself a vegan, vegetarian, or just interested in eating some healthier foods? The Denton Vegan Cooperative is a great group that will keep you up informed on all things vegan.
If you’re into cheap, weird stuff that may or may not be stolen, there’s a great flea market on 380 right past 288 that’s open every weekend.
Querencia Community Bike Shop offers cheap fixes, repair seminars, and tons of friendly help for your fixie. They are off of Bell in the back of the building that houses SCRAP. Or, if you're the manly type and don't like help, there are fix-it-yourself stations at William Square or at the Medpark Station bike racks.
There's an actual museum in the courthouse. Yes, the Courthouse on the Square Museum is awesome for free wandering about fun. They have rotating exhibits, too, so if you haven’t been in a while, it’s time to check it out again. Also, check out the free Bayless-Selby House Museum or Firefighters Museum on Hickory/Bell during Saturday Community Market shopping.
Sprocket's Bicycle Shop on Hickory has bi-monthly swing dance classes inside their store. Seriously.
If you're a horse person (and by this we mean a human individual with an interest in all things equine, but you might be down to clown if you're a centaur, too - we don't judge), there are multiple tours you can take of some of the finest horse farms in the nation. Guess what! They're in Denton. More info here.