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Art&Seek Jr: 5 Unexpected Summer Diversions
by Therese Powell 22 Jul 2014

Experience the unexpected at one of these family-friendly events.

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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 few weeks ago while thumbing through a magazine I got hit by a bit of Martha Stewart-like inspiration. I’m not a very exact person, nor am I especially competent in the kitchen, so this type of thing doesn’t happen to me very often. I’m one of those–canned frosting is just fine, and, so what if it’s not perfect–type of gals, if you get my drift.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries. Don't try this at home--without a recipe. (photo: Therese Powell)

Chocolate-dipped strawberries. Don’t try this at home–without a recipe. (photo: Therese Powell)

Anyway, I came across an ad for chocolate-dipped strawberries. Let me just point out here, these weren’t your everyday strawberries.  These were big,  luscious, and dipped in three different kinds of chocolate, strawberries. They were so mouth-wateringly beautiful they seemed to scream out from the page with their squeaky little strawberry voices, “Eat me! Eat me!” Rose’s grandmother’s birthday was coming up and the delectable fruit seemed like the perfect gift. Then I saw the price for the little beauties and suddenly they didn’t seem so perfect. That’s when I heard the lilting voice of Martha Stewart say, “Therese, these would be so simple to make. You and Rose could do it together, which would make the gift even that much more special.”

I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say I should have consulted a doctor about Martha’s voice in my head, because it wasn’t simple. I started over twice, but both times I ended up with a big pot of chocolate wallpaper paste. To add to my stress, I had no plan B. Rose and I started the great strawberry escapade exactly one hour before we were due at Granny’s house–and I had no back up gift.

As we sadly stared into the pot of chocolate goo, Rose looked at me and said, “Maybe we could frost the strawberries like a cake?’ I had my doubts, but since I didn’t have any better ideas, we got out the knives and started frosting.  No, they weren’t velvety smooth like the ones I saw in the ad, but a quick roll in chocolate chips, nuts and colored sprinkles helped hide their lumpy appearance. In the end, much to my amazement (and relief), they turned out better than I expected, in fact, they were pretty darn good.

I learned two things from the experience: One, always have a recipe handy when pursuing Martha Stewart-like flights of fancy. And two, my daughter is genius when dealing with the unexpected.

Discover some not-what-I-expected delight at one of these family-friendly events:

Ride 'em cowgirl at the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame

Ride ’em cowgirl at the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame

Yes, you’d expect to find all sorts of intriguing information about famous cowgirls at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, but did you know they’re holding a special camp to learn how to be a cowpoke? That’s right, little buckaroos and buckarettes should head to the museum this Friday for their Cowpoke Camp. For this camp, kids ages 6 to 10 will get to jump in the saddle and learn all about horses. Best of all, they’ll get a chance to ride the museum’s bucking bronc ride. Spaces are filling up fast, so be sure to contact the museum to nab a spot.

Speaking of Fort Worth, the nice folks at the City of Fort Worth are celebrating National Parks & Recreation Month with a “dive-in” movie at Forest Park pool. You heard right, the DIVE-In is a great way to beat the heat and enjoy the  family friendly movie The Sandlot poolside.  You don’t even have to worry about dinner — ticket prices include a hotdog and drink.

Confusion and slapstick--Is there a better combination? (Photo: Junior Players)

Confusion and slapstick–Is there a better combination? (Photo: Junior Players)

You’ll find more than lions and tigers and koala bears at the Dallas Zoo Saturday night. This is the last Saturday to experience the Safari Nights at the Dallas Zoo concert series. You and the kiddos can take in the zoo and then stay late for a concert featuring the O’s. Food will be available for purchase along with beer and wine. And don’t worry about the sun, the concert takes place in the cool area of the zoo’s shady Cat Green. It’s free with paid admission to the zoo.

If Salsa your thing, be sure to head to Vitruvian Park in Addison for Colombian & Brazilian Night at the Vitruvian Salsa Festival  this Saturday. You and the tiny tykes can get a free dance lesson from a salsa instructor–don’t worry, all levels are welcome. Later, shake your bootie with music from Latin Katz. Be sure to come early for a bite at one of the gourmet food trucks that will be on site.

Last, but not least in the not-what-I-expected department, be sure to check out the Junior Players production of William Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Rose was only 4 the first time I took her to one of the Junior Player’s performances. I was prepared to stay for the pre-show picnic dinner and then make a hasty retreat somewhere in the first act, but to my surprise she loved it and we stayed until the end. Whether it was the relaxed park-like setting of the Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre or the great performances by the Junior Players she’s been hooked on their plays ever since.  This year’s production of A Comedy of Errors takes place on a 1920s Hollywood set and features teens from area high schools. There will be lot’s of kid-pleasing slap-stick and physical comedy so don’t miss it.

Don’t you just love the unexpected?

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

 

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