Back when I was a kid if you had a question you either had to ask your parents or go to the trusty Childcraft Encyclopedias for the answer. These days, the answers to life’s most vexing questions are just a click away. Don’t you just love the Internet?
Yesterday, the Internet was able to answer an especially timely question for me. I was hauling in a week’s worth of groceries in the blazing heat and the phrase, “Dog Days of Summer” sprung to mind. Suddenly I had all these questions. Where did this saying come from? Do dogs prefer one season over another? Is there a Cat Days of Summer? Here’s what I learned from my favorite cyber-pal Wikipedia — ” The hot, sultry days of summer. They were historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star Sirius, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.”
Sounds about right.
Whether you’re a dog or a person it’s H-O-T which means a temporary halt to outside activities. It also means there’s no time better than the present to escape the ovenlike temps and settle into a frosty theater for a movie. Here are our picks for out-of-the-ordinary, family-friendly flicks.
One of the few ways you can stay cool outside is to be completely immersed in an ice-cold swimming pool. You can do just that and enjoy a classic movie this Friday night at NRH2O s Dive in Movie Night. Float in cool waves as you and your little guppies watch “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” from a suspended screen over the wave pool. If the waves make you seasick, you can also watch the show from the sandy (and motionless) beach. Movies will run every Friday at NRH2O through August 3 and are included with admission.
For a really exciting adventure via the silver screen don’t miss “Flying Monsters in 3D.” Through digital technology, naturalist and documentary filmmaker David Attenborough tells the story of how humans first discovered pterosaurs and how these flying lizards were able to get off the ground and fly until their sudden disappearance from Earth. You can see the film daily now through Sept. 3 at the Hoglund Foundation Theater inside the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
If you have something a little more cuddly in mind, check out “Pandas” at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s Omni Theater. The documentary follows Qian Qian, a female panda cub born in captivity, as ventures out of her protected habitat into the wild. The film screens daily through Aug. 19 at the Omni Theater. Come this Saturday and you can take panda head photo
If you haven’t been to the Central branch of the Dallas Public Library now’s your chance to scope out their beautiful Children’s Center on the second floor. Besides a bounty of books and movies, they also offer fun activities every day for the little kiddles. Stop by the Center on Sunday and enjoy “Coco” in their kid-sized auditorium.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you really need to take the kids to see Takashi Murakami’s exhibition “The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg” at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Called Japan’s Warhol, Murakami’s work blurs the line between high and low art and is filled with characters that are both cute and menacing. A cinematic paring to the exhibition is a screening of Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki short animation series. The shorts follow the light-hearted adventures of characters, Kaikai and Kiki as they negotiate the dark realities of the world. The exhibition is on view through Sept. 16 and the animation screening happens next Tuesday, July 31 at 7 p.m.