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Unique Ways to Spend Your Summer Nights

A helicopter ride to dinner, drinks at sunset on a private sailboat—we’ve gathered all the A-list activities needed for a smashing summer.

IN HARMONY: Tuna tartare with breakfast radishes, kumquats and pineapple is melodious with a mango, lime and Rhum Clement Martinique Punch at The Standard Pour.

1. Flying High
Baby, you can’t get much higher than this utterly romantic dinner date built for two. A helicopter ride by Epic Helicopters at sunset with breathtaking views of the Dallas skyline gets taken up a notch when you add in a flyover to dinner at Rough Creek Lodge in glen Rose. Your aerial adventure starts with your ‘copter pickup at Dallas Love field, Addison airport or, for those with acreage, your own backyard. Don’t forget the Dom and a personalized iPod playlist for the 30-minute scenic flight to pretty Somervell County. Once you land at the luxury hunting lodge, you’ll be escorted to the rustic-chic dining room for game- inspired cuisine by chef Gerard Thompson. Still not had enough? Have your pilot buzz you over to the glass Cactus at the Gaylord Texan for a nightcap. It’s time you had a dinner date to remember, don’t you think? From $1,500, Epic Helicopters, 214.799.1501; Rough Creek Lodge, 5165 County Road 2013, Glen Rose, 254.965.3700

2. Sail Away
Imagine setting sail on Lake Lewisville just as the sun sets, a bottle of wine in hand, a picnic basket between you and a warm breeze in your hair. It sounds like we’re setting a scene in a romantic comedy, but Sail Dallas offers just this sort of picturesque evening out. Step onto a classic 1969 Hinckley Competition 41 sailboat with sweeping overhangs, a flag-blue hull and a wood-burning fireplace for the evening. Just grab the protagonist of your little movie (add another couple or two for a group date), and ask Capt. Matt to start the fire. $250 an hour, Pier 121 Marina, Lake Lewisville, 214.215.7245 

3. High Speed
Schedule some time at Eagles Canyon private raceway in Decatur to sate your speed appetite. Car companies such as BMW and Porsche choose to race here, but amateur drivers can also get their Dale Earnhardt on during their monthly track days for nonmembers. Any street car and driver is welcome—just make sure you’re set with high-temperature brake fluid—and a private instructor is assigned to teach you how to drive like a pro. Don a helmet; rev your engine; it’s go time. 7629 North FM 51, Decatur, 940.466.9775 

4. Country Strong
It’s all about Texas at The Rustic. With chart-topping singer-songwriter pat green as the frontman and restaurateurs Kyle Noonan and Josh Sepkowitz running the show, the indoor-outdoor hot spot crafts state-sourced cuisine and libations paired with live music five nights a week. For a premier experience, e-mail manager Kara Cook ( to nab one of two VIP horseshoe 10-tops on a mezzanine above the dining room. The leather-banquette booths offer a bird’s-eye view of the stage and the open kitchen. 3656 Howell St., 214.730.0596 

5. Pairing Up
Coming off their successful stint with underground dinner guru Chef DAT, the boys at The Standard Pour are zeroing in on the private dinner and drink pairing format so popular in Dallas these days. In-house chef Peja Krstic, along with barmen Omar Yeefoon and Josh Hendrix, is curating intimate, thematic dinners (Feeling like a quick visit to Spain? Maybe the ’20s?) at your request, creating a dialogue between themselves and the diner. Meanwhile, mixologist Brian McCullough is heading personalized parties with an educational drink program to walk you through a personalized menu, paired with dinner, of course. Just call, describe your needs, and watch them come to life. Talk about a bespoke bar experience! Prices upon request. 2900 McKinney Ave., 214.935.1370