Photo courtesy of Lightscape

Lightscape, the new walk-thru holiday lights experience at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, is closing Thursday, December 22 due to harsh winter weather conditions.

In a Facebook post, organizers said, "Due to inclement weather, Lightscape is closed for Thursday, Dec. 22. We will be monitoring temperatures and wind speeds for Dec. 23. Watch this space for current information. Stay safe—and warm!"

A spokeswoman for the event adds that ticketholders for December 22 have been offered the chance to reschedule.

"As of right now, tomorrow (Friday) is still open, however, the FWBG is closely monitoring temperatures and wind speeds," she says.

An arctic front is bringing dangerously cold temperatures and strong winds to Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday. A wind chill watch has been issued for all day Thursday through Friday morning. It started snowing in Fort Worth Thursday morning.

"Simply, it will be very cold and potentially dangerous if precautions are not taken," WFAA meteorologists say. "Exposed skin can get frostbite very quickly with the cold on Thursday into Friday."

Lightscape is the third major local holiday event to to announce a weather-related cancellation; Enchant at Fair Park will also stay dark Thursday, and Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie is canceling Thursday and Friday.

Making its North Texas debut this year, Lightscape illuminates the Fort Worth Botanic Garden with a one-mile-long outdoor path with suspended strands and tunnels of light, a fire garden, undulating wave of bluebonnets, singing trees, treetop sculptures, and and artistic installations. Read more about what to expect here.

Timed tickets, $18-$28 (along with $20 on-site parking passes), are available here. It runs through January 8.

For more spectacular Christmas lights dazzling Dallas-Fort Worth, go here.

Photo courtesy of Prairie Lights

Grand Prairie's Prairie Lights goes dark for 2 nights due to frigid weather

Arctic blast alert

Prairie Lights, the beloved drive-thru Christmas Lights park in Grand Prairie, is closing for two nights - Thursday, December 22-Friday, December 23 - due to weather.

In a Facebook post, organizers said, "Prairie Lights Holiday Lights Experience will be closed on Thursday & Friday, December 22 & 23 due to extreme weather conditions. Please remember, General Admission tickets are valid every night through New Year’s Eve. We appreciate your patience and look forward to welcoming guests following the closure."

When a commenter asked if it was a joke, they further explained, "With the forecasted sub-zero wind chills, this closure is for the protection of our staff who work outdoors for hours each night, as well as our guests that would be participating in outdoor activities at Holiday Village."

They plan to reopen on Christmas Eve, they say.

An arctic front is expected to bring dangerously cold temperatures and strong winds to Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday. A wind chill watch has been issued for all day Thursday through Friday morning.

"Simply, it will be very cold and potentially dangerous if precautions are not taken," WFAA meteorologists say. "Exposed skin can get frostbite very quickly with the cold on Thursday into Friday."

Prairie Lights is the second local holiday event to announce a weather-related cancellation; Enchant at Fair Park will also stay dark Thursday, December 22.

Prairie Lights takes place at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie, where visitors drive through 4 million lights set along two miles of path. Hundreds of displays in shapes of all kinds line and arch over the roads. At the halfway point, guests can exit their vehicle to enjoy photos with Santa, a magical walk-thru forest, and more. The second half of the drive ends with an always popular light tunnel.

It runs nightly, beginning at 6 pm, through New Year's Eve. Admission is $50-$200 per vehicle; an upcoming Days of Savings promotion, valid December 26-31, will allow visitors to save 20 percent using the code SAVE20. More information and tickets here.

For more spectacular Christmas lights dazzling Dallas-Fort Worth,go here.

Photo courtesy of Enchant

Enchant holiday event at Dallas' Fair Park temporarily canceling due to weather

Baby, it's cold outside

UPDATE 12-23-2022: Enchant also will be closed Friday, December 23 due to weather. They are offering date changes for affected ticket holders to attend another night through January 1, and refunds for those who will not be able to reschedule at www.enchantchristmas.com.


Enchant, the popular outdoor holiday lights experience at Dallas' Fair Park, will be canceled Thursday, December 22 due to impending severe winter weather.

In a statement, organizers say:

"Unfortunately, due to the forecast of severe weather on Thursday, December 22, in Dallas, Enchant has made the difficult decision to not open on Thursday evening this week. We are offering date changes for 12/22 ticket holders to attend another night through January 1 and refunds for those who will not be able to reschedule at www.enchantchristmas.com. We regret any inconvenience and disappointment to our guests, especially the little ones. Santa and his elves are waiting to meet them - and we hope you will be able to visit Enchant this holiday season."

A decision on the Friday, December 23 event would be announced soon, they say.

According to WFAA, an arctic front will bring dangerously cold temperatures to Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday. A wind chill watch has been issued for all day Thursday through Friday morning.

"Simply, it will be very cold and potentially dangerous if precautions are not taken," WFAA meteorologists say. "Exposed skin can get frostbite very quickly with the cold on Thursday into Friday."

Enchant, which covers 10 acres at Fair Park, is touted as the world's largest holiday-themed lights event. It features an immersive walk-thru light maze created from over 4 million sparkling lights, a 100-foot-tall Christmas tree, an ice-skating trail, live entertainment, Santa visits, and a village marketplace with crafts, gifts, festive culinary treats, and holiday cocktails.

Enchant runs nightly, starting at 5:30 pm, through January 1.

For more spectacular Christmas lights dazzling Dallas-Fort Worth, go here.

Photo courtesy of Oxygen Concentrator

Latest Dallas-Fort Worth freezing spell sticking around another day

Weather News

Dallas-Fort Worth is hunkered down under a thin but lethal layer of ice, with sleet and freezing rain expected to prevail through Thursday, February 24.

The area is under a winter storm warning until 6 pm. It was originally predicted to hit 38 degrees on Thursday, but unfortunately is now forecast to not get much above freezing. Dreamy meteorologist Kyle Roberts says there will be "minimal melting."

DFW Scanner reports that there's a major accident in Fort Worth, with all lanes of southbound I-35W closed near Texas Motor Speedway due to an overturned 18-wheeler, and possibly an officer involved in the crash, as well.

WFAA is ruling with updates that include not only radar but also a weather person pointing to a TV screen showing images of stuff happening on Facebook. They have it covered.

FOX 4 says a "light, but study round" of freezing drizzle is expected to fall throughout the morning. (Surely they mean "steady" and not study.)

And Southlake Department of Public Safety's social media team kills it again with its own weather update.

Everyone is being warned to stay off the roads to prevent inevitable accidents like this one on Harry Hines Boulevard, or this backup on Royal Lane at US-75. The Dallas Police Department said it had responded to nearly 500 crashes as of 5 pm Wednesday.

Team of truck drivers with the City of Dallas Department of Public Works have been out for 48 hours using sand trucks to de-ice bridges, crossovers, and streets.

For the best and most up-to-date compendium of collisions and other roadway snafus, watch community news site DallasTexasTV.

Fort Worth public transit
Trinity Railway Express (TRE) is operating on a Saturday schedule.

Trinity Metro bus routes will run on a Saturday schedule on Thursday February 24, with the following exceptions:

  • No service on Molly the Trolley
  • No service on The Dash
  • No Route 31/CentrePort Circulator
  • No Routes 23, 30, 111, Burnett Plaza Lunch Line, Express Routes 61, 63, 65, 66 & 67

TEXRail will operate on its regular schedule. TRE will operate on a Saturday schedule. ACCESS paratransit will be available for life-sustaining trips.

Customer care representatives will be available by phone at 817-215-8600.

DFW Airport
FlightAware reported 1,057 total cancellations at DFW on Thursday, following Wednesday when more than 1,000 flights were canceled.

Dallas public transit
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has extended "Operating Scenario 2" of their Severe Winter Weather Operating Plans through the end of the day on Thursday, February 24. DART rail operations remain suspended. To replace the rail service, they'll operate 14 shuttle bus routes between rail stations that will run every 45 minutes. DART bus routes will operate on a Sunday schedule from 5 am-9 pm. DART will determine a service restoration timeline based on weather conditions. The Dallas Streetcar will not operate at this time, but there will be a shuttle bus running to and from EBJ Union Station and the Bishop Arts District, making all stops.

DART transit centers will be open from 5 am-9 pm, manned by DART staff:

  • Addison Transit Center
  • Arapaho Center Station
  • Buckner Station
  • Central Business District (CBD) West Transfer Center
  • Central Business District (CBD) East Transfer Center
  • Downtown Garland Station
  • Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station
  • J.B. Jackson, Jr. Transit Center
  • Lake June Station
  • Ledbetter Station
  • Parker Road Station
  • South Garland Transit Center
  • Cockrell Hill Transfer Location will be available between 6 am-2 pm.

The Operating Scenario 2 shuttle bus routes are available on the DART website at www.dart.org/winterweather.

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

SPCA of North Texas clarifies myth about whether pets really 'love the cold'

Animal News

With Dallas-Fort Worth enduring sub-freezing temperatures and icy conditions for the next few days, the SPCA of Texas is offering advice for how to keep your pets safe during cold weather.

You would think that some of this advice would be common sense, but neighborhood pages on Facebook indicate otherwise. It seems to be a not-that-uncommon belief that dogs "love" the snow and cold, with old-school comments like, "Growing up, our dogs never ever came in the house."

As the SPCA notes, freezing temperatures can be dangerous and even deadly for companion animals, and they recommend you keep your pet indoors as much as possible.

Their rule of thumb: If you are cold outside, your pet will be, too.

Wet and cold weather can lead to hypothermia or pneumonia in animals. Especially with very young or very old animals, who are more susceptible to suffering medical issues due to the cold.

They say that walks are OK, but limit outside time to quick walks or bathroom breaks, and consider providing your pet with a pet sweater and booties to protect their paws from ice and snow. Also, avoid pavement — walk on grass when possible.

Advice for those who for whatever reason must
The SPCA of Texas never recommends leaving pets outside full time, but if it's unavoidable, they offer these instructions:

  • Always weatherproof their living quarters. The shelter must be covered, dry, insulated, filled with straw or other bedding and should retain heat. It should also be made up of three sides, a roof and a floor.
  • The house should be elevated and the entrance pointed away from wind.

It could be against the law under animal cruelty in the state of Texas to leave your pet outdoors in extreme temperatures without appropriate shelter.

Monitor the time your pets spend outdoors and make sure they have fresh water to drink, not frozen.

Again, it's a lousy idea to leave your dogs outdoors, but those who are nonetheless doing that should feed their dogs more often, since they need more calories in the winter to produce body heat.

Pet owners often innocently assume their pets can withstand the cold weather with the aid of their thick coats; however, this is not always the case. Indoor dogs shed their undercoats and should never be made to stay outside for extended periods of time.

Never shave your pets down to the skin in the winter; leave their coats long for more warmth. And when you bathe your pets, completely dry their coats before letting them go outdoors.

Watch their paws
If you take your dogs out for a walk, wipe their paws and legs clean after you come in. This is because they may walk on salt, antifreeze, or other chemicals, which can be poisonous to pets if they lick their paws. Chemicals used to melt snow and ice can not only irritate paws but also lead to frostbite, cuts, or cracks.

Check your car
Before starting your car, check to make sure there are no animals hiding in the exhaust pipe or under your tires. Cats and small animals often seek shelter near or under your car so be sure to look carefully and honk the horn before turning on the engine.

Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold, and the animal could freeze to death.

Courtesy of Colossal

Texas bioscience company makes colossal move to resurrect the extinct woolly mammoth


In a move that may conjure fanciful thoughts of a particular Steven Spielberg film, a newly launched bioscience and genetics company with ties to Dallas is pioneering a plan to ensure the long extinct woolly mammoth will once again trudge through the Arctic tundra. (No need to panic, movie fans, as the furry beast is an herbivore and has no taste for human flesh, lest we forget the lessons learned from Jurassic Park.)

The appropriately named Colossal, which is based across Dallas, Austin, and Boston, has secured $15 million in funding from a variety of sources (including Austin-based Capital Factory and famed self-help guru Tony Robbins) to bring the woolly mammoth back from its roughly 10,000-year extinction.

Colossal is the brainchild of Baylor University grad and tech and software entrepreneur Ben Lamm and George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School who has innovated new approaches to gene editing. Their goal is to pioneer animal de-extinction technology to restore lost ecosystems for a healthier planet. And they’re starting by resurrecting the woolly mammoth back to its cold-resistant, curled-tusk, fur-covered glory.

Specifically, Colossal will work to bring to life a cold-resistant elephant-mammoth hybrid with the core biological traits of the woolly mammoth, meaning it will walk, look, and sound like the giant creature, and will be able to inhabit the same ecosystem left abandoned by the woolly mammoth’s extinction.

The company uses breakthrough advances in CRISPR genetic engineering to make such scientific dreams a reality. It’s all in an effort to “rewild lost habitats and help combat the effects of climate change and the loss of biodiversity.” And Colossal notes that its gene-editing process also has the potential to help advance biotechnology products and genomics while also treating diseases. Such technological advancements will also be used to help recover species on the brink of extinction.

“Never before has humanity been able to harness the power of this technology to rebuild ecosystems, heal our Earth, and preserve its future through the repopulation of extinct animals,” Lamm says in a release. “In addition to bringing back ancient extinct species like the woolly mammoth, we will be able to leverage our technologies to help preserve critically endangered species that are on the verge of extinction and restore animals where humankind had a hand in their demise.”

Indeed, Colossal points to a 2019 United Nations report that warned that more than 1 million animal, plant, and fungi species are now threatened with extinction. That situation could domino, leading to the collapse of ecosystems and negatively impacting human health and livelihood.

By resurrecting certain extinct species, Colossal hopes to rewild habitats and revitalize lost ecosystems, thereby creating a healthier planet. To wit, restoring the woolly mammoth can potentially revitalize the Arctic grasslands, which could combat the dire effects of climate change through a variety of properties, including carbon sequestering, methane suppression, and light reflection.

“Technologies discovered in pursuit of this grand vision — a living, walking proxy of a woolly mammoth — could create very significant opportunities in conservation and beyond, not least of which include inspiring public interest in STEM, prompting timely discussions in bioethics, and raising awareness of the vital importance of biodiversity,” Church says.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Concerts in the Garden drones light up this week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Fort Worth Symphony launches summer concerts with sparkly extra: drones. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra returned with its annual summer concert series, Concerts in The Garden, featuring 11 concerts taking place at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, starting May 26 and running through June 11. And the coolest part of the 2023 series might be the light show: For the first time, they're replacing old-school fireworks with the use of cutting-edge drones.

2. Openings and closings head up this Fort Worth restaurant news roundup. This roundup of dining news around Fort Worth has an opening, a closing, a gofundme campaign, and loads of new menus for summer. Here's what's happening in Fort Worth restaurant news.

3. Decadent desserts in jars from celebrity Top Chef roll in to Fort Worth. Desserts in jars from a celebrity chef are coming to Fort Worth: Jars by Fabio Viviani, a fast-casual dessert brand serving popular desserts in jars, is opening a location in the Trinity Commons/Tom Thumb center, at 3000 S. Hulen St. #150. It'll open in late 2023.

4. 3 Dallas-Fort Worth entrepreneurs rank among Forbes' richest self-made women for 2023. Twelve of the country's 100 most successful female entrepreneurs live in Texas this year, and three of them call Dallas-Fort Worth home. So says Forbes in its 2023 list of America's Richest Self-Made Women, released June 1.

5. 5 tips for stunning beach sand sculptures from 2023 Texas SandFest winners. “Playing” in the sand on the beach isn’t just an activity for children, as proven by the 22 professional sand sculptors from around the world who recently competed in the 26th annual Texas SandFest. Here are five of the pros' top tips for producing a beachfront masterpiece.

Cafe with made-to-order mini-doughnuts to open near TCU in south Fort Worth

Doughnut News

Little doughnuts are rolling into south Fort Worth via a new doughnut cafe. Called Batter & Beans, it'll serve doughnuts, coffee, and more, and it's opening at 3548 South Hills Ave., south of TCU in Westcliff Center.

They'll be right around the corner from Cafe Bella [which it should be noted recently won Best Neighborhood Restauant in CultureMap's 2023 Tastemaker Awards].

Batter & Beans will be a family-owned collaboration between Matthew Whip, a partner at Ernst & Young, and his brother-in-law, who worked for a restaurant group in Michigan and brings the food knowhow.

They'll be doing miniature doughnuts, similar to the Pittsburgh-based Peace, Love, and Little Donuts chain (which has one location in Texas, in Southlake).

They're aiming to be open by early fall.

"We'll be doing fresh, made-to-order mini cake doughnuts plus premium coffee we're sourcing out of Chicago, from Metropolis, a small-batch artisan roaster," Whip says. "We're originally from the Chicago area, and that's always been my favorite roaster, and they also roast coffee for Yolk, which has a location in Sundance Square."

The cafe will also offer fresh lemonade, iced tea, and ice cream, for neighbors who want to stop in for a treat at night.

Whip and his family first relocated from the Chicago area to North Texas in 2018, then moved down the street from the shop last year. It's a small storefront, about 920 square feet, and they're currently in the final stages of design and permitting.

"There's lots of kids in this neighborhood, and I think a place with mini doughnuts would do well," Whip says.

It was only after they signed on to do the shop that they learned from a neighbor that the space they're taking had good doughnut karma, with a longtime history as a doughnut shop, most recently a place called Donut Palace. Sadly, it closed during the pandemic. Now the doughnuts will return.