The phrase “back-to-school shopping” can either evoke feelings of dread or excitement, depending on your point of view. But no matter where you fall on the shopping enthusiasm spectrum, the upcoming sales tax holiday is an excellent time to find bargains at these Arlington-area shopping destinations:
The Parks Mall at Arlington
3811 S Cooper St.
The Parks is definitely a destination for serious shoppers, featuring more than 100 specialty retailers and department stores, including big dogs like Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Nordstrom Rack, as well as dozens of other stores located in shopping centers adjacent to the mall. There’s also a Barnes & Noble and a Cheesecake Factory, in addition to a movie theatre and an ice skating rink. TIP: Parking at The Parks can be a bit overwhelming, so it’s helpful if you familiarize yourself with the layout before you go.
I-20 at Matlock Rd and Center St
There are three things I like about Arlington Highlands: First, it’s home to one of my favorite stores on the planet, the Container Store. When I was a kid I used to love hitting this place up for school supplies, and I can still do some serious damage there today. Secondly, Arlington Highlands also boasts a Joann’s fabric and craft store, which is always a good place to pick up decorations for lockers, classrooms, and dorm rooms, as well as stock up on craft supplies for a school year of fun. Thirdly, there are tons of great places to eat and drink at the Highlands, including Chuy’s, Cold Stone Creamery, and The Melting Pot, and that’s just to name a few. Just make sure you sample these spots AFTER you finish shopping, because you won’t have energy for anything but a food coma afterwards.
1500 N. Collins St
Lincoln Square holds sentimental value for me because it was the first “fancy” shopping center to arrive in Arlington when I was growing up. Today, I appreciate Lincoln Square because it has several stores I categorize as “ain’t here to play” stores (as in I’m there to do some serious shopping), like Ross, Michael’s, Stein Mart, and Ulta. When you’re finished, you can reward yourself with a bevvie and a meal at one of Lincoln Square’s dining destinations, or a movie-and-a-meal at Studio Movie Grill. By the way: While you’re there, you absolutely must make a stop at The Popcorn Store—it’s so yummy and it’s Lincoln Square’s longest-running tenant. You should also take a selfie at the famous Lincoln Square horse sculpture fountain or “reading man” sculpture.
Grand Prairie Premium Outlets
2950 W I-20
Just a few minutes from The Parks Mall are the Grand Prairie Premium Outlets, and the folks there are so excited about the tax holiday they’re opening up early on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to give you extra time to hunt for bargains. Options abound at this mega shopping destination, including two of my favorites—Kate Spade and Francesca’s (a gift and accessory boutique)—but the outlet stores that are the most likely to interest back-to-school shoppers include places like American Eagle, Bloomingdale’s, Gap Factory, and Nike. When you’re ready to rest your shopping feet, you can enjoy a cold drink and a snack at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Great American Cookies, or Starbucks. (Oh, who are we kidding…you know you’re totally going to go for the cookies.)