There’s more than bluebonnets cropping up this April in North Texas. The outdoor festival season is in full bloom as well. There is a bumper crop of events of every make, model and flavor for you and the tinies to enjoy in the coming weeks.
The reason so many organizations hold their outdoor events this time of year is clear. April is the sweet spot, weather-wise in these parts. The threat of ice storms has long past, but we’re still a few weeks away from surface-of-the-sun heat, thus making it the perfect month to partake in festival strolling.
Of course, any toddler can tell you not to bet on the weather if you live in our neck of the woods. Does “April showers bring May flowers,” ring a bell? Strolling through an outdoor festival might sound like a good idea, but as every good Texan knows–it’s good to have a plan B even when the weather is forecasted to be picture-perfect.
With that in mind, here are our festival/outdoor picks if it’s blue skies and alternatives if it turns out to be a soggy weekend.
In addition to showers, April also seems to bring birds. Whether they’re migrating, nesting, or just singing outside your bedroom window at 5:30 a.m., they’re anxious to be noticed. Celebrate our little feathered friends at the aptly named Celebrate Birds! event this Saturday at the Trinity River Audubon Center. You and your flock gather inside the center and meet live birds of prey, learn the ends and outs of raising backyard chickens, dissect owl pellets, and create a birdy craft to take home. Later on, if the weather allows, take a hike around the center’s beautiful trails where you’re likely to see Tweety and his pals in action.
Give Mom Earth a hug this Saturday at the Earth Day Extravaganza at the Rory Meyers Children’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum. Faculty and students from UTD’s School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics will be stationed throughout the garden to help with hands-on STEM activities for grades K-12. Kiddos can explore a variety of topics like biology, robotics, space science.
One festival that doesn’t seem to mind the rain is the annual Scarborough Renaissance Festival. The kingdom is open rain or shine. Just put on your rain boots and become one with the mud. The festival features music, artisans, humongous turkey legs and fun “Renaissance era” rides. There are also strolling costumed entertainers (Queen Margaret of Scotland and the Isles is our favorite), mermaids perched in shells, and handsome knights that the tiny tykes will thoroughly enjoy meeting. The Faire is open weekends through Memorial Day in Waxahachie.
Dallas Heritage Village is celebrating their their 50th anniversary this Saturday and to help commemorate the golden occasion they’re hosting History Quest: Everything’s Golden. The event is part scavenger hunt and part history lesson with a variety of gold-related activities for the little kiddles to mine for. They can try their hand at panning for gold, protecting the gold bullion in the bank from the bad guys, or hunt for Confederate coins on the grounds with Civil War reenactors, the Texas 9th Infantry.
If you find you’re rained out this Saturday head over to the Grapevine Convention Center for the 12th Annual Chocolate Fest – A Day of Chocolate and Art. You’ll forget all about the weather as you sample chocolate from area chocolatiers, caterers, bakeries and restaurants and more. There will also be a people’s choice contest, celebrity judging and a children’s activity for the little shavers. On Friday night get primed for the ChocolateFest at a screening of the 1971 film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” at the Palace Arts Center in Grapevine. You could win free tickets to ChocolateFest if you find a golden ticket in your popcorn.