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Art&Seek Jr: 4 Cures For The Back-To-School Blues
by Therese Powell 25 Aug 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.

Monday morning as I was dropping Rose off for the first day of school I heard a small boy say to his younger brother, “I can’t WAIT to start kindergarten! Kindergarten is way better than Pre-K because you don’t have to take naps!” That’s the kind of first day enthusiasm I love–full of optimism about what lies ahead and ready to embrace kindergarten with his whole heart. Okay, from an adult perspective, he is a little shortsighted about the awesomeness of naps, but still, you’ve got to admire his spirit.

I saw plenty of kids with his eagerness, but I also noticed more than few sad faces mourning the lazy days of summer. I swear I could see them mentally counting the days until winter break.

Here’s a few activities that will help the little kiddles let go of summer and ease back into the school groove.

Say hi to some special guests at Reunion Tower's Lawn Party. (Photo: Reunion Tower)

Say hi to a special guest at Reunion Tower’s Lawn Party. (Photo: Reunion Tower)

Head downtown this Saturday night to Reunion Tower for the ultimate end-of-the-summer lawn party. There will be gourmet food trucks galore, live music from Chap Bernet and The Bird Dogs, and for mom and dad there will be a beer garden featuring craft beer from Peticolas Brewery. In true backyard fashion there will also be lawn games you can rent or bring from home. Lastly, this finale on the lawn party series is going to be extra special because it features guest performances from the Dallas Mavericks.

Let the kids stay late one last time and enjoy an outdoor movie at Addison Summer Series in Beckerd Park in Addison on Saturday night. You and the family can bring a picnic, spread out a blanket, and listen to live music. Later, after it gets dark, watch an outdoor screening of Back to the Future under the stars. It’s a free event so the price is definitely right on this one!

Let the kids run off all that back-to-school anxiety at the Dallas Arboretum and do it for pocket change. That’s right, from now until August 31, admission to the Arboretum is just a buck. And the popular Rory Meyer’s Children’s Adventure Garden is a measly $2.  Kids can peer into the reflecting pools (careful, don’t fall in), dodge the water jets at Toad Corner fountains, chase dragonflies at Fern Dell, roll down the big hill near the concert stage, or just run around like banshees amongst the miles of green space.

Speaking of dragons that fly, don’t miss the 2nd Annual Grand Prairie Dragon Boat Festival this Saturday at Lloyd Park on Joe Pool Lake. For those of you who don’t know, dragon boating is this: 20 paddlers are seated on a long, narrow boat  in 10 rows of 2 with a drummer sitting in the bow, facing the paddlers. The paddlers paddle in unison to the beat of the drum while a steerperson stands in the stern of the boat, guiding the boat straight down the race course with a 10-foot oar. The goal is to finish faster than the competition. Sounds like fun, huh? You can watch the races from the beach or right in the water. There will also be sand volleyball, food trucks and a craft marketplace.

See the dragons fly at the 2nd Annual Grand Prairie Dragon Boat Festival (Grand Prairie Parks and Recreation)

Catch the 2nd Annual Grand Prairie Dragon Boat Festival (Grand Prairie Parks and Recreation)