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Art&Seek Jr: 4 Fun Events That Will Make You Say, “Boo!”
by Therese Powell 7 Oct 2014

October is in full swing. Get your “Boo” on with 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.

We’re full swing into the scariest time of the year. And when I say scary, I mean fun scary, like telling ghost stories around a campfire, not scary-scary, like losing $250 worth of frozen food because of a power outage.

Rose’s favorite ghost story is one that has been passed down through our family. My mother told it me, and her mother told it to her. My grandmother, who delighted in all things mystical, swears this really happened.

The story goes like this: It was a beautiful summer evening and my grandmother, who was a teenager at the time, was out riding with friends in a buckboard wagon. Everyone was singing and having a good time and the girls dangled their bare legs over the side of wagon as it bounced along the dirt road. Suddenly out of the brush rushed a mad dog. Apparently East Texas was loaded with rabid dogs in those days because it seems as though every scary tale included at least one. Anyway, back to the story–the dog growled and foamed at the mouth as it lunged at the frightened horses. The girls pulled their legs up as the boys jumped off the wagon to confront the snarling animal. Quick as a wink, the dog dashed under the buckboard. As the girls squealed with fear, the boys surrounded the wagon. Cautiously, they bent down to confront the snarling animal, but to their surprise when they looked under the wagon, the dog was mysteriously……gone!

At this point in the story every child listening pipes in with, “maybe the dog ran off into the woods when no one was looking?” To which the storyteller will reply with big eyes, “No. It disappeared into thin air–Poof! Never to be seen again!”

I don’t know what it is, but to a child, there’s something very appealing about a ghost dog. The only thing that would make the story better is if the beast in question turned out to be a zombie dog.

Here are some picks this week for scary fun with your little goblin.

It's ghost story time at the haunted family campout. Photo: City of Mesquite

It’s ghost story time at the haunted family campout. Photo: City of Mesquite

How fitting for this time of year that tomorrow’s total lunar eclipse is known as a “blood moon.”  For those not wanting to get up at 5:55 a.m. Wednesday morning to catch the eclipse, c’mon on down to the Japanese-American Society’s Otsukimi, or moon viewing, on Wednesday evening. The event will be held at Klyde Warren Park which serves as the perfect backdrop for viewing the moon. Highlights of the event include, music, Japanese folk tales, haiku, and art activities. If you want a better view, the Perot Museum will be on hand with  large telescopes so little ones can see the man (or rabbit) in the moon.

You can try out your best spooky stories this weekend at the Haunted Campout at Camp Rorie Gallaway Camp in Mequite. There will be pumpkin carving, tent decorating, a costume contest, tent-or-treating, and of course, scary stories around the camp fire. Setup for tents and sleeping areas begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 11, and will end at 10 a.m. the next morning. The cost is $30 for a family of 4, with each additional family member costing $5. That price includes a hot dog dinner on Saturday and breakfast tacos on Sunday morning.

Some people might consider tarantulas scary, but as every good Texan knows, these creepy-crawly little critters are a vital part of our eco-system. This Saturday at Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) you can help out these misunderstood arachnids at their Tarantula Adoption and Release event.  Hundreds of baby tarantula’s will be released at LLELA and you and the tinies can adopt, name and release one of the “spiderlings” for just $5 per tarantula. If you’re the type who prefers to watch from a distance, Tarantula expert Leah Patton will be on hand to discuss spiders and answer questions.

If you thought ballet was all Sugar Plum Fairies and dancing snowflakes, think again. LakeCities Ballet Theatres’ production of Le Ballet de Dracula is the classic story of the famous vampire told with  dancing gypsies, bats, vampire brides and Dracula himself. In short, this ballet does for Halloween what The Nutcracker did for Christmas. Kids can dress in Halloween costumes and participate in a drawing to be held at intermission during each performance. If that’s not enough scary for you, check out the pre-performance workshop on October 11 at 12:30 p.m. for kids, ages 9 and older. The children will have a chance to wear stage make-up and dance with Dracula’s Brides. The workshop is free with the purchase of a performance ticket. RSVP for the workshop send an email to [email protected] by October 9 if you’re interested. There are only three performances this weekend at the MCL Grand in Lewisville, so don’t wait to get your tickets.

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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