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Art&Seek Jr: A Fist-Full of Family Festivals
by Therese Powell 24 Sep 2013

It’s fall in North Texas, and that means it’s festival time. Grab the kiddies and try one of these on for size.

CTA TBD

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 got an urgent call from my sister over the weekend. No one had died and she wasn’t stranded in the rain with car trouble, but the call was still of the utmost importance and required my input. The tone of the call was serious, because it involved a consensus among several family members and different opinions needed to be considered. We debated, deliberated, dithered on the phone for close to 30 minutes before we reached a solution that worked for everyone. The issue? What day would be best for our annual family trip to the State Fair of Texas. This family tradition is one we all take very seriously. Some of us like to go the first day – when all the grease for the fried food is fresh. Others prefer to attend on the last day because of all the shopping deals to be had. And me? I’m cheap, so I always vote for Wednesdays because admission is free with five can goods.

Yes, the great State Fair of Texas opens this Friday for its annual run. But did you know there are several other festivals this weekend for you to get your corny dog fix? Give Big Tex a raincheck this weekend and try out one of these family friendly festivals with the munchkins:

Say "Opa!" at the Greek Food Festival of Dallas. (photo Greek Food Festival of Dallas

Say “Opa!” at the Greek Food Festival of Dallas. (Photo: Greek Food Festival of Dallas)

1. OK, you may or may not be able to get a corny dog at the Wild Beast Feast in Denton this Saturday, but you will be able to sample some “exotic game.” You and your not-so-picky eaters can sample cuisine cooked up by local businesses and restaurants and vote for “Best of the Beast.” Even if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll feel good about going because proceeds benefit the Greater Denton Arts Council’s programs such as children’s art enrichment activities, community art organizations, exhibits and performances throughout the year.

2. If you prefer baklava over wild boar, then swing by the Greek Food Festival of Dallas this weekend. Everything from gyros to spanakopita will be on the menu. I’m especially excited about the lamb sliders that have been added to lineup this year. Besides all the good grub, there’s also a children’s area for the kiddos with sand art & crafts, caricature artists and face painting. But the best part of the Greek Festival is the music and dancing. I highly encourage you to get in touch with your inner Zorba and let loose on the dance floor. Go on! It’s fun!

3. You can experience Greece and Germany in the same weekend, and you don’t even have to buy a plane ticket. Just head to downtown McKinney for Oktoberfest.This family-friendly event has something for everyone. Mom and dad can sample German beer from local brewery Franconia, and the wee ones can enjoy ‘kinder’ activities such as a hay bale maze, keg barrel races, face painting and a petting zoo. Also, don’t miss the weenie dog races. They’re held all day Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. There will also be races held for “wannabe” weenie dogs that includes all canines (sorry, no cat races).

4. The little buckaroos and buckettes in your house will love the Western Days Festival in Lewisville. Highlights for kids include Old West style gunfight reenactments, bounce houses, a barrel train that makes the rounds on Church Street, and a temporary pond where mini-anglers can catch (and release) catfish. Young rodeo fans can test their skills at the stick horse rodeo event just for kids ages 1 through second grade, with medals awarded to the top three contenders in each of three age divisions. The rodeos will be held at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, with registration starting half an hour in advance.

5. Last, but certainly not least, is Fort Worth’s annual Day in the District. True, it’s not technically a festival. But you and the family can check out 10 of Fort Worth’s cultural organizations for free. If that’s not cause for celebration, I don’t know what is. The Amon Carter Museum of American History, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the Kimbell are just some of the museums that you and the tinies can explore for free on Saturday. There will also be performances in and around each destination and free transportation on the T within the Cultural District.

It’s a jam-packed festival weekend. I’m telling Big Tex to hold my corny dog until Wednesday.

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your ideas for kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at [email protected].

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