Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.
This isn’t news to anyone, but the holidays can be exhausting. All that dashing through the snow (or in our case rain) can take the jingle right out of your bells. I found this particularly true last Christmas. The nonstop yuletide celebration (that started around the middle of October) left me so drained that by Christmas day all I wanted to do was put on my footie pajamas, crawl back into bed and sleep until Groundhog Day. It was about 3 p.m. Christmas day and I was trying to muster up the strength to reach for the TV remote when in walks Rose. She sashays up to the bed, props herself up on her elbows, looks up at me with her big, green eyes and says, “So what are we gonna to do today?” To which I replied, “I’ll tell you what we’re gonna do today. You’re going to go play with that army of Monster High dolls that Santa brought, and mama is gonna lay here and binge watch Orange is the New Black. That’s what we’re gonna do today.”
Not exactly magical, but hey, the Elf on the Shelf has got to go back in the box at some point.
Going from 60 to zero in one day can be a little off-putting for the tinies. They need to come down slowly from their cookie-eating, present-opening, candy-cane licking high. Here are some events to help make the holiday rehab go a little easier.
One solution for weaning the tykes off holiday-palooza is to head outdoors. Kiddos can run off steam and ramp down slowly from the holiday hoopla, while parents breath in the fresh air and relax in the knowledge that they don’t have to go Christmas shopping for another year. If you’re not ready to go completely cold turkey with the yule, head over to the Dallas Arboretum for their 12 Days of Christmas display. The exhibit features a collection of 25-foot Victorian gazebos–12 to be exact–filled with costumed characters and scenery made in the theme of the famous Christmas carol. The kids will have fun spying the small details in each gazebo–our favorites were the sleeping kitties in the Eight Maids-a-Milking scene–and the long walk around the garden will do everyone good. The displays are as pretty as an old fashioned Christmas card, but they’re even more beautiful when viewed at night so try to arrange an evening visit if you can.
Speaking of exercise, you can get plenty of fresh air and practice a perfect figure 8 to boot at Panther Island Ice , Fort Worth’s only outside ice skating rink. The popular rink is back for another year of holiday skating at Panther Island Pavilion. It was so successful last year that it has expanded by 50%. Now you and the family have plenty of room to skate side by side without the worry of bumping into anyone. Skate your little hearts out until Jan. 19. Admission is $11, which includes skate rental.
If you haven’t been, December is the perfect time to road test Klyde Warren Park. It can be a little toasty during the summer, but winter months make this the “go-to place” when energy levels are boundless. The list of things to do is endless. You can sample the food trucks, climb the imaginary tree in the Children’s Playground or just sit and relax at one of the café tables and play a game of checkers. If you’re at the park this Saturday, you won’t want to miss Trinity River Audubon Center’s presentation The Secret Life of Pigeons. There will be live pigeons, pigeon origami, and at the end of the event kids will be able to release homing pigeons to return home to the Trinity River Audubon Center. Sunday, be sure to catch drumming with George Cortez at 1 p.m. in the Grand Plaza. Kids can pick instruments from his bag and play along with the beat.
It’s all about toys, toys, toys at Dallas Center for Architecture’s exhibit Building Toys and Toy Buildings: Architecture Through A Child’s Eyes . The exhibition includes a variety of both vintage and modern toys and looks at the various toy buildings in existence, with a special emphasis on doll houses, including one of the first Barbie Dream Houses and a house built by an architect for his daughter in the 1970s. The exhibit itself is “hands-off,” but visitors can design and build their own houses with blocks, TinkerToys and LEGOs in a special “Construction Zone.”
You know you’re going to have to make at least one trip to the mall to return stuff, make it a little less painful for kiddos and stop by the very cool CityScape at Galleria Dallas. On view at this spectacular exhibition are tiny replicas of Dallas built from more than 2.5 million toy bricks. The American Airlines Center, Klyde Warren Park, Reunion Tower and the Galleria are just some of the many mini landmarks on display through Jan. 4. A Kids Construction Zone and other interactive elements are also featured so kids can build their own creations.
Hope your holiday is merry, bright and relaxing. Check in next week for post-holiday light displays.
Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 9-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at firstname.lastname@example.org.