KERA Arts Story Search

Looking for events? Click here for the Go See DFW events calendar.

Art&Seek Jr: The Fairest Park of Them All

by Therese Powell 14 Aug 2012 12:59 PM

It might actually be cool enough to go outside this weekend. Try a paddle boat ride at Fair Park with the kids. If it’s still to hot for you, duck into the coolness at the Children’s Aquarium.


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 won’t lie to you, I’m not a big fan of Texas summers. I have no idea why my ancestors – who thrived on the freezing Scottish Highlands (in skirts, no less) – decided Texas was the perfect place for their milky-fair, tow-headed, skin-cancer-prone offspring. But they did, and here we are, still sweating six generations later. We deal with the heat in North Texas the same way the folks in Minnesota deal with the cold. We stay indoors. From the end of June until the end of September, you won’t see another soul outside except for those unlucky enough to work outdoors. But wait! Don’t hold your breath or anything, but I think we might be getting a reprieve in the weather this weekend! The forecast on Saturday calls for a high of only 91. Break out the parkas and the hot chocolate, Grandma! There’s a Blue Norther a comin’! Seriously, though, we haven’t seen temperatures that low in weeks, and if you plan carefully you might actually get to spend some time outside without the risk of heat stroke.

Enjoy a paddle boat ride around the lagoon at Fair Park

Fair Park is one of my favorite places to take in some sun and fun. To me, it’s sort of the Rodney Dangerfield among parks in that it doesn’t get any respect except during the State Fair. This is mainly because most people are so busy stuffing themselves with corny dogs and getting sick on the Tilt-A-Whirl during the fair that they fail to notice all this mega park has to offer. That’s right, folks, Fair Park is an actual “park” for you to enjoy year round and not just during the run of the Fair. There are museums, gardens, public art, performance halls AND a nifty lagoon. Kids LOVE the lagoon, not only for its huge turtle population, but also because they can literally walk on water thanks to the sculpture that snakes out over the water. If you’re feeling especially energetic, take the munchkins for a spin around the lagoon in one of the paddle-driven swan boats. They’re open from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday during the off-season. Once it starts getting on the warm side, mosey on over to the Children’s Aquarium for some fishy fun. This museum recently underwent an $8 million renovation with younger visitors in mind. Among the improvements are raised floors so kids can really see into the tanks now and a “touch tank” filled with horseshoe crabs, sea urchins and star fish. The museum is laid out in zones – freshwater, intertidal, shore, near shore, and Stingray Bay. Visitors can explore each habitat and the creatures that live there. There’s a feeding demonstration at 2:30 daily, but for the REALLY big fun check out the action at Stringray Bay. Kids can pet a variety of rays in tanks designed so little hands can reach them. Watch out! They splash!

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 7-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at [email protected].