By Julie Thibodeaux 

We found some cheap deals this week that’ll motivate you to leave the comfort of your AC to get outdoors and explore nature. You might even be lured to venture out on a Sunday after dark to view the night sky.



Experience the great outdoors this summer by taking a stroll through the Trinity River Audubon Center in Dallas when it lowers its admission to $1 during July and August.

The park features 5 miles of trails through wetlands, forest and prairie on the edge of the Great Trinity Forest.The site also offers great birding opportunities with the 60 resident bird species.

In addition, you can tour the 21,000-square-foot LEED-certified visitors center, which features educational exhibits and a nature store. Bring a lunch for the picnic area. Details 


On July 4, the city of Dallas will be hosting Fair Park Fourth, a free celebration with live music and fireworks at the Cotton Bowl. Neighboring Texas Discovery Gardens will join in the fun by staying open until 7 p.m.

Before the festivities, tour the butterfly house and the first public garden in Texas to be certified 100 percent organic for a special $1 admissionDetails.




Take a cure for your insomnia and learn something about the stars when Connemara Conservancy hosts its monthly Astronomy Night Walk on Sunday, July 7, from 9-11 p.m. in Allen. According to master naturalist Clyde Camp who leads the tours, he’ll be pointing out constellations and offering star lore on the hike. But most important he said, visitors will get to see the meadow from a whole new perspective.

“You’re not using your eyes so much as your ears,” he said, adding that hikers may hear owls, frogs and the occasional scavenging armadillo. “It’s very peaceful.”

Bring a flashlight and binoculars or spotting scope if you have one. But leave the flip-flops at home -- closed toed shoes or boots are a must. And beware, the 1.5-mile hike in the dark is not recommended for young children. Free. Details.

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Julie Thibodeaux covers environmental issues, green topics and sustainable living for Green Source DFW. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Send your green bulletin items to Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.