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Art&Seek Jr: Celebrate The Imagination In 2015
by Therese Powell 6 Jan 2015

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 witnessed something pretty comical yesterday that got me thinking about how kids play and reminded me to never, never, never buy a toy that advertises “hours of fun.”

Picture this: It’s 11 days post Christmas and our house is bursting at the seams with Monster High dolls, Beanie Boos, puzzles, games, LEGOs and various other loot that my child acquired during the joyous holiday season. The packaging alone for all this….stuff has filled three trash cans. I’m in the middle of trying to figure out where we’re going to stash the latest army of zombie dolls when I look outside and see Rose and three of her friends playing with a broken hand cart. And when I say playing, I mean full-on frolicking accompanied by open-mouth laughing and little girl squealing. They were having a great time, and it went on for quite a while despite the cool temperatures outdoors. As I watched them play I was instantly reminded of the old box cliche. You know the one–it’s when the kids overlook the fantastic, fancy toys and play with the box or bubble wrap instead. Of course these kids took it a step farther. Not only did they ignore the toys, but they passed up three trash cans full of bubble wrap and boxes and opted for a broken hand cart with a wobbly wheel instead.

Next year I’m doing my shopping at the dump.

Here’s are some picks to help you get those imaginations pumping–no batteries required.

Take your mini-Monet to see the real deal. Photo: Therese Powell

Take your mini-Monet to the Kimbell to see the real deal. Photo: Therese Powell

The Just For Kids: Bret Roberts Magic School is the perfect event for tots who scored a magic kit for Christmas but are in need of a bit of tutoring to get the rabbit out of the hat. First, kids get to watch an exciting, age appropriate magic show, and then they learn how to perform many of the tricks they saw in the show. Check it out  this Saturday at the Black Box Theater at the Mesquite Arts Center.  

Speaking of magic, budding magicians and “Knock-Knock” joke enthusiasts are going to want to catch the Comedy and Magic Show at the Addison Improv. This family-friendly show features two magicians who mix laughs with hocus pocus. The doors open an hour before this Sunday afternoon show so you can enjoy lunch beforehand.

Are mindless video games and do-nothing toys leaving the kids feeling a bit empty? Then head over to the Kimbell Art Museum this Saturday for some hands on creativity at their Kimbell Kids Drop-In Studio event. You and the tinies can enjoy a brief gallery activity and then make a connect-the-dots portrait together. After you’ve created your masterpiece, walk over  to the Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from the Musee d’ Orsay exhibition. The show is an excellent opportunity to introduce your mini-Monet to the real deal and the up close and personal setting of the Renzo Piano Pavilion make the experience all the more special and exciting.

Dinosaurs sing, dance and ride the rails in 'Dinosaur Train Live!' Photo: dinosaurtrainlive.com

Dinosaurs sing, dance and ride the rails in ‘Dinosaur Train Live!’ Photo: dinosaurtrainlive.com

Stretch your imagination at Teatro Dallas’ production of The Circus That Came From MarsIn this story you’ll be thrilled by circus acts featuring Martians and you’ll also meet Argos the Giant of one hundred eyes who can read people’s minds! Don’t worry the play is simple and easy to follow. It’s presented in Spanish with English subtitles. Be amazed weekends through February 1.

If Martians in a circus aren’t thrilling enough for you how about Dinosaurs on a Train? Join Buddy, Tiny, King, Don for Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train: Live! Buddy’s Big Adventure. Kids can experience a fun-filled and interactive trip back in time to an age when dinosaurs roamed the earth…and rode the rails. You can see your favorite dinosaur pals come to life on Jan. 17 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. But hold on though, before you buy those tickets sign up for this week’s Big Deal for a chance to see it free.