See The Bite-Sized Builds of Dallas CASA’s Parade of Playhouses July 12

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My Little Sweetheart, 2018 Parade of Playhouses

NorthPark Centre is prestigious and just a little picky. To even be invited in is a tremendous honor, but to be invited in and welcomed back for the past 24 years? You’re basically a legend. And if you’ve seen Dallas CASA’s Parade of Playhouses, you know they are legendary.

Every year some of the biggest builders in Dallas toss their construction hats in the ring to build THE BEST playhouses for THE BEST cause – Dallas CASA, an advocacy group for Dallas foster children. We’re talking the top commercial and residential builders, architects and architect firms, and even some spectators that have a tool belt and a dream. Names such as …

  • Architecture Demarest (This year with design assist from MacArthur and Skyline High Schools.)
  • LRO Residential (FAN FAVE)
  • Coats Homes
  • Omniplan
  • Gensler
  • Corgan
  • Crest Cadillac / Crest INFINITI / Crest Volvo (Double threat — sponsor and builder.)
  • And way, way more.

All these volunteers design and build the most incredible playhouses — like Willy Wonka-level stuff — and they do it for the kids.

“We all know why we’re doing this, and every inch of these houses is built with love and hopes for better futures for abused and neglected children,” said Les Owens of LRO Residential.

Since there’s no yearly theme, playhouses take all shapes — this year there’s at least one Airstream trailer, an Apollo 11 replica, and one mini custom home with floor-to-ceiling windows and a sloped copper roof.

Photo Courtesy of Crest

The Parade is a fantastic attraction, so take yourself and your kids or any generic loved one, tour the parade, buy your raffle tickets, and pick the playhouse you want to win most. Yes, that’s right, it’s a RAFFLE system with a live drawing on July 28 at 4 p.m. You could take home one of these babies for as little as $5. And if you DO win (and you will because now we’re all pulling for you), Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits will DELIVER YOUR NEW PLAYHOUSE TO YOUR ACTUAL HOUSE!

It’s almost as if Dallas CASA thought of everything. Oh wait, they did.

Photo Courtesy of LRO Residential

Final note, and it’s a high one. The Parade of Playhouses is a HUGE fundraiser and friend-raiser for Dallas CASA. In fact, CASA CEO Kathleen LaValle said, “No single event does more to boost our volunteer recruiting, bringing us closer to our goal of providing a powerful voice for every child victim of abuse or neglect.”

And guess what? You can be a voice. Dallas CASA will train you and assign you to a foster child or family. You check in on the kids, make sure they have everything they need, and report back to the court. Seriously. Talk about THE most rewarding volunteer work. Want to join in? Do it here:

Parade of Playhouses runs from Friday, July 12, to Sunday, July 28, at NorthPark Centre. Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and available on site throughout the event.


Nikki Barringer

Nikki Lott Barringer is a licensed real estate agent at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate. She’s also a freelance writer that loves interior design and architecture. Though she will never remember if it’s Midcentury or mid-century and honestly, she’s okay with that. Other fun facts: Nikki loves cake for breakfast, shopping online, and powerwalking her pants off. She’s also much younger than her hobbies would lead you to believe.

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