Downtown Dallas, Inc. Presents Wander Movies as Part of Downtown Wanderland

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is excited to announce Wander Movies, a series of three classic holiday films that will be shown at Pegasus Plaza (1500 Main Street) in the heart of Downtown.  This film series is part of Downtown Wanderland, DDI’s season-long holiday programming.

Wander Movies kick off on Friday, December 2, with a showing of Elf starring Will Ferrell.  Moviegoers are welcome to bring picnic blankets, lawn chairs, and of course, their favorite furry friends.  Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Iron Cactus.  All three films will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Friday, December 2 – Elf

Friday, December 9 – Christmas Vacation*

Friday, December 16 – Polar Express

*This film is rated PG-13 and contains some adult language.



About Downtown Wanderland

This holiday season, Downtown Dallas, Inc. once again presents Downtown Wanderland, season-long festive programming that encourages you to wander around Downtown and explore all there is to see and do.  This year, Downtown Wanderland will feature Unbranded (a curated pop-up shop located at 1517 Main Street), Park-It Pop-Ups, children’s activities, photos with Santa, movie screenings, and more!

For more information on Downtown Wanderland and a full list of events, please visit

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Announces Downtown Wanderland: Season-long Programming Featuring Unbranded, Park-It Pop-Ups, and New Holiday Décor

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Downtown.

November 29, 2016 – Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is pleased to announce holiday plans for Downtown Dallas – Downtown Wanderland.  The holidays begin Downtown with Downtown Wanderland, season-long programming featuring Unbranded, Park-It Pop-Ups, children’s activities, photos with Santa, movie screenings, and more!  DDI encourages you to wander around Downtown and explore all there is to see and do.

DDI is again partnering with Matt Alexander and Bryan DeLuca to bring back Unbranded, a curated pop-up shop, to 1517 Main Street.  The space will include rotating artists, fashion designers, and other unique merchandise.  Brands will be curated by Matt and Bryan and will rotate every week.  Unbranded will run December 1st through 17th and the hours will be Thursdays from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., Fridays from noon – 7:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.

In addition to the retail at Unbranded, Park-It Pop-Ups, the adorable mini retail vending trailers, will be at Pegasus Plaza throughout the season featuring art and merchandise for sale from Downtown businesses and merchants.  Little D Markets is also coming back by popular demand and will host a Little Downtown Holiday Night Market at Pegasus Plaza on December 15 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m., and a Little Downtown Holiday Market on December 17 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Main Street Garden.  Of course, Downtown Wanderland will also feature season-long festive décor, including Neiman Marcus Holiday Windows, holiday-themed B&Gs from the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, new and improved decorative elements at Main Street Garden, and the Neiman Marcus Legacy Holiday Collection: the Neiman Marcus Car Tree (Pegasus Plaza) and the Butterfly Garden (Belo Garden).

For more information on all the events part of Downtown Wanderland and a list of participating vendors, artists, restaurants, and bars, visit #downtownwanderland #mydtd


About Downtown Dallas, Inc.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. is the primary advocate, champion, and steward for Downtown, effecting change by developing  strategies, setting targets, and mobilizing resources that:

  • Stimulate a vibrant and sustainable Downtown environment
  • Improve infrastructure
  • Enhance economic competitiveness
  • Create a culturally inclusive urban center
  • Position the area as a global destination

Our program areas include: public safety; capital improvements; maintenance; economic development; public policy; planning/transportation; and marketing.  For more information, visit



Meet Live Like a Local Contest Entrant Courtney Garza and Her Boyfriend Zak – Thankful For the Vegan Lifestyle in DFW

Courtney Garza is a bona-fide DFW local, who was born in Irving, and grew up in Grapevine. The first time this UNT communications graduate officially moved to Dallas was this past summer, and there’s been no looking back.

While she and her boyfriend Zak both went to UNT, they didn’t actually meet at university. In fact, it was their common love for the vegan lifestyle that helped their paths first collide. They met over a social post, and have been together since.

Zak, a teacher at a last-chance school Dallas Can Academy, in Oak Cliff, spends his days helping at-risk kids learn how to read. His journey to Dallas was by way of Corsicana, Texas, where he was born and raised on a farm. He studied linguistics at UNT and post-graduation decided to move into the teaching space. But on the side, like Courtney – who was then interning at D Magazine, he was fascinated by the potential of the growing communities of vegans around the country.

IMG_7995 (1).JPGCourtney (@DallasCGar) and Zak (@plantbasedzak) are Dallas based vegan lifestyle ambassadors who own the Harvest Hands Texas brand.

Today, Zak and Courtney’s foray into being vegan lifestyle ambassadors has grown from an informal pursuit (such as taking friends to initiation meals at Spiral Diner), to a formal effort to promote their small business, Harvest Hands Texas, and their personal brands as travelers, teachers and friends to those who are considering the benefits of conscious eating.

“We always individually and together excited to show new people how to eat vegan, to take non-vegans down this new journey,” the couple says. Choosing to make the broader downtown Dallas area home was a natural choice for them. Says Zak, “I grew up visiting Dallas but living here is incredible. I work six blocks from where I live. Everything I need to live a fulfilled life is here in Dallas.”

Courtney’s Guidrr guide to the city focuses on healthy breakfast and brunch options, and she’s updated it for Thanksgiving (see Step 8). “I’m thankful for all lives, period,” she says. “I’m happy there’s options to enjoy Thanksgiving in Dallas vegan-style.”

Adds Zak, “Oftentimes, people few our lifestyle as very difficult and restrictive or think it will hold them back from what they love to do. We have tons of fun everywhere we go. We eat delicious food and we enjoy travel. We share because we care.”

When she’s not working as a media development manager at D Magazine, Courtney also promotes coffee in her city and around the country as she travels for vegan events. Her @CoffeewithCourtney brand is all about showcasing baristas and coffee options at mom and pop businesses around the country. . (Ps: Her go-to drink is an almond milk cappuccino). “Coffee shops are the original coworking spaces,” says Courtney. “I meet some of the coolest people at coffee shops.”

For a moment, the couple get serious about why they chose to promote Dallas wherever they go (here, they are pictured while traveling to Santa Barbara, California. Zak wears his Dallas sweatshirt when he travels). “We focus on Dallas for the same reason we created Harvest Hands. We want to help our city lose it’s negative perception. Like other cities, it can be a hub of innovation and newness. I think that Dallas should be in that conversation along with cities like New York, Chicago, Las Vegas. “ Zak – “We love the layout of the city. Love the people. And, it’s the best city in Texas.”

fullsizerenderDon’t miss Courtney’s free guide to vegan breakfast and brunching around DFW, available for free on the Guidrr app (iPhone only) with a Thanksgiving update. Download it here

While you’re in the Guidrr app, check out @PlantBasedZak’s guides to vegan neighborhoods and travel.


Thanks for being a Live Like a Local entrant, Courtney and we look forward to more #mydtd experiences hitting the app

Presentations from DDI’s Membership Forum


On Friday, November 18th, we held our annual Membership Forum and released results from a comprehensive Downtown perception survey that we conducted in partnership with TracyLocke.  We also heard from Brad Segal, President of Progressive Urban Management Associates (P.U.M.A.), on findings from P.U.M.A.’s Top Ten Global Trends Affecting Downtowns & How to Respond at Home.  In case you were unable to attend, we are sending you links to both the survey results and Mr. Segal’s presentation.  Additionally, please sign up for our newsletters by clicking here to stay in-the-know on all things Downtown Dallas.

And the Survey Says…

Top Ten Global Trends Affecting Downtowns & How to Respond at Home

Meet Christine & Alison – Millennial Girlfriends Behind A Luxe Downtown Getaway Experience

This blog is part of a special series featuring winners of Downtown Dallas Inc’s Live Like a Local contest, which asked for locals to submit mobile friendly, self-guiding local experiences on the Guidrr iPhone app that showcase their #mydtd journeys. Christine Saba and Alison Rae, the team behind @theluxebaes, are featured today, along with a link to download their free, winning staycation experience: The Ultimate Girlfriend’s Getaway Day.

Christine Saba and Alison Rae have been besties for nine years and it’s been quite a journey including multiple cities, college campuses, employers, and joint entrepreneurial pursuits.  Their story began when they become friends as undergrads in Virginia, (they both grew up in Northern Virginia suburbs, just 20 minutes apart, but only met as college students).  Later, they both found work in Baltimore and spent time there but would visit Dallas frequently to spend time with Christine’s parents.

Their path to become millennial entrepreneurs and Dallas locals began when Christine decided to relocate full time to the city to work with a startup, moving into her parents’ home in Oak Cliff. It didn’t take long for Alison to follow suit, leaving a full time corporate career in hospitality.

They were inspired by female entrepreneur role models to launch their own vacation-rental business focused on luxury trips to Costa Rica.  “While our business, LuxeBae, is focused on international luxury vacation planning and hosting, we always designed it to be home-based in Dallas. Over time, we decided to also focus on planning and hosting local Dallas events for people like us,” says Alison.

Together, the duo curated an event called the Girlfriends Getaway Day – pouring their energy and experience into planning a perfect way for young women, seeking authentic friendships and great local experiences, to spend time together.


Christine and Alison are the duo behind @theluxebaes, a brand focused on experiences for millennial women. Photo: Beckley & Co

It was natural for them to enter & share the experience in the DDI Live Like a Local contest, and broadcast their skill for planning and curating amazing experience to a broader audience.

“It takes a lot of work to plan and research an authentic experience. Our aspiration with our brand and with the Getaway Day, was to take the stress out of planning a group girlfriends’ experience and instead just go do it and enjoy it.”

Like many other millennials, the duo say they have turned away from sources like Yelp and instead use authentic sources to find local experiences worth having. “We love to use D Magazine to find authentic ideas, and we also enjoying finding curated local experiences on Guidrr,” they say. “Yelp or Googling just isn’t the right way to have a great Dallas experience. We want people to go out and do all the amazing things the city has to offer. Since we can’t have events year-round, we wanted to make our experiences already curated and shared on social media, more broadly accessible.”  

Now that Christine’s parents have moved to Houston, she and Alison rent their Oak Cliff home, and also sublet a guesthouse portion to short-term visitors. By day, Christine focuses on her role at startup NoiseAware, a local home-rental noise monitoring system. Meanwhile, Alison has found a new role helping to expand the U.S. startup business of Workplace Arcade, run by an international entrepreneur who had spend time in Dallas at their short-term Oak Cliff space. “We love living in Oak Cliff. When you walk out on the street, the city skyline is right in front of you. It’s a cute neighborhood that is safe and quaint and it takes us just 5 minutes to get to work downtown.”


Say Christine & Alison of @theluxebaes:

“Don’t get too caught up in planning and researching, just find authentic sources to help.

The fun is in actually taking on the experience – doing it and then thinking about it and re-living it later.

Stop swiping right, just go do it!”


When they aren’t busy being entrepreneurs or key employees to their teams, they both love to eat good food and travel. “I think my personal Dallas experience is so food-focused. There is so much great food here; the quality of the actual meals is amazing and so is the wonderful atmosphere created by local restaurateurs,” says Alison. Jokes Christine: “The only side issue with my move to Dallas is keeping the pounds off from all those great meals!”

Their advice to other young millennials like them? “Don’t get too caught up in planning and researching, just find authentic sources to help. The fun is in actually taking on the experience – doing it and then thinking about it and re-living it later. Stop swiping right, just go do it!”

Both also reflected that while they only moved to Dallas full-time in 2015, they already feel they are true Dallasites. “We love this city and the #mydtd community. There’s nothing to not like about it. It’s got all the ingredients we were looking for to launch our business, @LuxeBae, and to live a life filled with awesome food and great experiences through our personal brand as longtime friends and business partners, @theluxebaes.”

Download Alison and Christine’s guide here (inside the Guidrr iPhone app) to explore their #mydtd

Thanks for being #mydtd ambassadors Christine and Alison and we can’t wait to see more of your curated downtown Dallas experiences hit the Guidrr app!

Last Chance: We Want To Hear From You!

Downtown Dallas is experiencing significant revitalization, but we have more work to do. If you live or work in greater Downtown, we want to hear from you!

Photo courtesy of @missamandad.

This is your last chance to share your thoughts on living and working in greater Downtown Dallas!

All responses are anonymous and will be used in aggregate to provide insights on what people like about the greater Downtown area and what could be improved.

The following survey will ask for your feedback and opinions on living and/or working in greater downtown Dallas.

  1. Downtown Dallas Perception Survey (This survey will take about 15 minutes to complete)

The following survey is for residents living within the ‘freeway loop’ and will ask for your feedback specifically on retail and services you would like to see Downtown.

  1. Downtown Resident Survey (this survey will take no more than 10 minutes to complete)

We greatly appreciate your responses to both!