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.
I’m going to come straight out and say it. Halloween is my favorite holiday. Here’s why: No awkward family get-togethers, no rushing around buying presents, no teensy-tiny Valentine envelopes, and most of all, no melt-downs waiting in line for Santa, the Easter Bunny, George Washington, or Punxsutawney Phil. Nope, Halloween is none of that, it’s just scary fun, candy, and best of all– costumes! Sadly I’ve reached an age where getting dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood or Miss Kitty is frowned upon (no one wants to be THAT mom), so I do what every lover of Halloween dress up does in my situation. I live vicariously through my child.
Like Svengali, every year I talk my unsuspecting and agreeable child into donning a costume that’s more to my liking than hers. She prefers simplicity and freedom of movement, I like poufy and complicated. Case in point, a couple of years back she wanted to be a cat, but I persuaded her what she REALLY wanted to be was Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Sadly for Rose, it turned out to be an unseasonably warm Halloween. She wound up being sweaty and uncomfortable as a reluctant participant in a costume contest at the school carnival. And later when she was trick or treating, she nearly had a heat stroke as she ran from house decked out in 7 yards of tulle, a huge crown and plastic pumpkin with 5 pounds of candy. Yes, she was mad at me, but it was worth it, she looked so gosh darn cute.
I think the gig is finally up. This year she’s going to be a cat.
Put the costume negotiations aside and celebrate this last official weekend before Halloween with one of these super fun, family friendly events.
Speaking of super-duper fun, be sure to check out the annual Fall Feral Hog Festival in Ben Wheeler, Texas. The tiny East Texas hamlet (sorry, I couldn’t resist) is gearing up to welcome folks from miles around for their 7th annual event this weekend. Visitors can enjoy a parade, world championship wild hog cook-off, Fall Feral Follies, a carnival, or my favorite, the crowning of the Hog Queen. But hold on girls, before you start practicing your acceptance speech, ANYONE 18 and older can compete. Last year, MISTER Ruston Frazier was deemed “Feral-ist of them all” and stole the crown from the ladies after his rendition of Tom Jones’ hit, “She’s a Lady.” The lucky “Queen” will represent the town of Ben Wheeler throughout the coming year during all of its main events.
In the mood for something creepy? Head on out to the Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park for Creepy Crawl-O-Ween. You can come face to face with colossal stick insects, titanic tarantulas, and slithery snakes. C’mon, get closer, they’re not that scary. Okay, maybe they are. There will also be educational presentations, activities and arts & crafts for those wanting to keep a safe distance. Plus, don’t forget the butterfly house. They’re not scary at all!
Get the little ghouls ready for Dia de los Muertos by decorating sugar skulls or creating paper skeletons (also known as Calacas) at the Dia de los Muertos workshop this Saturday at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. It’s free and open to all ages so bring the whole family. After you’re done with your creation, you can take it home or contribute it to the community altar, which will be on display at the entrance of the center.
Speaking of Dia de los Muertos, the city of Denton is hosting its annual Day of the Dead Festival this Saturday. The quirky, community get-together is described by the organizers as “little harvest fest, a little Dia de los Muertos, a little Halloween, and a lot of Denton magic.” There will be games and food vendors plus a variety of entertainment on hand including music, dancing and coffin races that are sure to please monsters of all ages. After the coffin races, mosey on over to Dan’s Silver Leaf for Cirque du Horror. This Halloween show is a collection of bone-chilling poems, spine-tingling short stories and spooky songs. It’s a little song, a little dance, part musical theater, part cabaret and fun for all ages.
Wanting to have some semi-scary fun as a group? Then grab the neighbors, put on your comfy tennies and head to Keller for Haunted Trails, a night hike down the haunted trail on the Bear Creek Park Greenbelt. Visitors encounter a variety of Scare Stations as they make their way down the trail and afterwards are brought back to the parking area on a hayrides. Keep in mind, that this event may be a bit scary for the tinies and is probably better suited for older children.
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 [email protected].