Thursday is the first day of fall and weather has got me in a quandary about how to mark the occasion. Somehow, it just doesn’t seem appropriate to break out the orange and yellow leaf wreath when the temperatures are close to the triple digits.
Back when I was a child, kids everywhere knew fall was here based on one thing. No, it wasn’t the changing leaves, the brisk weather, or even pumpkin-spice everything. For kids from the ’60s to the ’80s the autumnal season officially began with the premiere of the new Saturday morning cartoon lineup. We’d wait in eager anticipation for weeks leading up to that magic September morning. Our cereal bowls at the ready, TV guide memorized, and little brother standing by as the official TV channel changer. The excitement of it all was kid paradise.
Sometime around the mid-90s the ritual disappeared. With the invention of cable television, home video, and the Internet kids were getting a round-the-clock supply of cartoons, which made a Saturday morning dedicated to them seem pointless.
I know it’s not the end of the world. Cartoons haven’t disappeared the way playing outside and penny candy have. But I still can’t help feel a wee bit nostalgic for this rite of fall from my childhood.
They’re not Scoopy Doo, Snagglepus, or He-Man but these weekend events are a great way to welcome the fall season.
There’s nothing like Autumn at the Arboretum to put you in an autumnal state of mind. The event at the Dallas Arboretum has been called one of “America’s Best Pumpkin Festivals” by Fodor’s Travel and this year is no exception. There will be over 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash on display that are used together to create a village made out of pumpkin houses. Be sure to stop by Cinderella’s carriage where thousands of pumpkins, hay bales and cornstalks are artfully arranged to give you the perfect photo op. There are multiple events for kids during the two-month run of the festival. Stop by the Arboretum’s Children’s Adventure Garden this weekend for a 100th birthday celebration of children’s author Roald Dahl.
It’s fall, so that means it’s time again for the Greek Food Festival of Dallas at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. The annual Greek mega-party is celebrating it’s 60th year of sharing hospitality, culture, and, most importantly, glorious Greek cuisine with North Texas. Everything from gyros to spanakopita will be on the menu so be sure to come hungry. Besides all the good grub, there’s also a children’s area for the kiddos with sand art & crafts, caricature artists and face painting. But the best part of the Greek Festival is the music and dancing. I highly encourage you to get in touch with your inner Zorba and let loose on the dance floor. The Big Fat Greek Party opens for its three-day run this Friday at lunch, so grab a co-worker or two for a mid-day break.
Dust off your lederhosen and head to McKinney Oktoberfest. This family-friendly event has something for everyone. Highlights include, a 14-block “bier garden,”a brat eating competition, weening dog races, ‘kinder’ activities for the wee ones, and of course, lots of German music, traditional costumes, and dancing! Speaking of dancing, no German celebration would be complete without the Chicken Dance. Each night during the three-day run of the festival everything will stop so EVERYONE can shake their tail feathers to Texas’ Largest Chicken Dance. You can be part of poultry history this Friday through Sunday in beautiful, downtown McKinney.
You know how you’re always saying you and the kids need to check out the museums in Fort Worth? Well, Saturday is Fort Worth’s annual Day in the District and it’s the absolute perfect time for you and the family to peruse 10 of Fort Worth’s cultural organizations for free. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Kimbell are just some of the museums whose doors will be open for exploring. There will also be performances in and around each destination.
Another spectacular fall event worth noting is the annual migration of Monarch butterflies. Give our flutterly friends a special send off at the Butterfly Release and Celebration at Bob Jones Nature Center. The free event, put on by Southlake’s Perennial Garden Society, kicks off at 9 a.m.on Saturday under The Big Tent with a brief talk about life cycle and migration. After that, put on your butterfly wings and join in a butterfly parade as you hike the grounds tossing wildflower seed bombs along the way. The parade will end among the Perennial Gardens with the butterfly release.