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Art&Seek Jr: 5 Festivals To Kick Off The Merry, Merry Month Of May
by Therese Powell 30 Apr 2014

Get out and celebrate spring and the end of early Saturday morning soccer games with one of these fun festivals!

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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.

A quick look at the calendar this morning revealed a startling surprise. April is almost over!  I guess I was so wrapped up in the acquiring, hiding, and consuming of chocolate eggs that the month just flew by without me realizing it. For most of us the month of May will be equally fleeting as well.  It’s four weeks crammed packed with the finales of everything extra-curricular–soccer, dance, violin, competitive Siberian clogging, you name it. May should be renamed “Little Kid Tournament & Recital Month.”

Of course, May just also happens to be outdoor festival month as well. Everyone in these parts knows there are only a few more short weeks to enjoy the outdoors (comfortably) in North Texas.  If you’re new to the area you need to understand that around June 1 we all retreat inside to our air-conditioned igloos to escape the summertime furnace-like heat. We become sort of  like Nanook of the North, only in reverse.

May is definitely the time to get outside and enjoy the weather with your favorite kid. With that in mind, after you’ve taken in little Chalupa’s last unicycle polo game of the year, be sure to stop by one these outdoor fun fests to celebrate spring and the end of the extra-curricular season.

The fun is BIG at MayFest this year!  (Photo: MayFest 2013 by Brian Luenser)

The fun is BIG at MayFest this year! (Photo: MayFest 2013 by Brian Luenser)

What do you get when you combine May and festival?  MayFest, that’s what! The mother of all festivals opens in all its glory this Thursday at Trinity Park in Fort Worth. This 4-day, super festival has been happening along the banks of the beautiful Trinity River for over 40 years and it truly has something for everyone.  Some of the can’t miss attractions include, Muttallica: a dog and pony show with a twist, the biggest sand pile you’ve ever seen, bungee jumping,  a giant human maze, a petting zoo, 7 stages of entertainment and acres of festival food.

If you’ve got a pint-sized Picasso you won’t want to miss the Cotton Wood Art Festival in Richardson this weekend. Besides being rated as one of the top art festivals in the U.S. it also features, an awesome interactive children’s area. ArtStop, as it’s called, is staffed by more than 100 volunteers, so your mini Monets can dive right in to an array of activities like dipping their hands into colored wax to make an impression of their hand, painting a hand thrown vase (the perfect gift for Mother’s Day), chipping away a work of art from a large block of plaster, or my favorite, throwing mud on a real potter’s wheel to form a vase.

Don't miss the Cinco de Mayo Big Parade and Festival this weekend. (photo: Oak Cliff Coalition for the Arts)

Don’t miss the Cinco de Mayo Big Parade and Festival this weekend. (photo: Oak Cliff Coalition for the Arts)

Lest we forget, Cinco de Mayo is also right around the corner. Since it falls on a Monday this year a lot of the celebrations are happening on Sunday. One of the best is the Dallas Cinco de Mayo 2014 Big Parade and Festival in Oak Cliff. In its 24th year, this parade is the largest Cinco de Mayo parade in North Texas with over 20,000 in attendance (I guess that’s why they call it the “BIG” parade!).  The festival that follows will have deejay music, ballet folklorico dancers, live Tejano bands and lots of vendors. You can catch the parade and the party along Jefferson Avenue in beautiful downtown Oak Cliff Sunday starting at 11 a.m.

This next event isn’t a festival per se, but I wanted to include it for all the Star Wars fans out there. May the Fourth Be With You, is a fun free event this weekend at Klyde Warren Park. Your little Ewoks will love celebrating Star Wars Day (May the 4th) with crafts, prizes, and (this is so cool) pictures with costumed members of the 501st Legion: Vader’s Fist, stormtroopers and other Star Wars characters! The whole gang will be there collecting children’s books for the children at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas so be sure to bring a book for the cause.

Even though I’m more of a cat person, I love including events that are especially for my doggie friends. One you and your pooches don’t want to miss is the 8th Annual Dog Bowl this Sunday. Pups can romp unleashed on the field of Fair Park’s Cotton Bowl and splash through pools just for them. But that’s not all, there will also be a pet/owner look-alike contest, live music and tons of experts and vendors on hand ready to share tips and information for your four-legged baby.

C’mon get outside and celebrate!

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 quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at [email protected] 

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