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Art&Seek Jr: 4 Places To Experience The Great Outdoors This Weekend

by Therese Powell 14 Jan 2014 10:33 AM

The weather is nice…for a while, anyway. So grab your favorite kid and try one of these fun outdoor activities.


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.

After last week’s cold snap, most of the liddle kiddles in our area were more than ready to enjoy Sunday’s warm temperatures. True, we didn’t get piles of snow like our friends in the north did, but playing outside has been curtailed for longer than they would have liked and most have kiddie cabin fever about now. If you’re older than three, you know that Texas weather is fickle and it can change in the blink of an eye. When a beautiful day comes along, we get outside while the getting’s good.

If the weather sites are to be believed, more glorious weather is headed our way this coming weekend.  Here are a few tips to help you and the kiddos make the most of it.

Dodge the frog spit at the Dallas Arboretum. (Photo: Therese Powell)

Dodge the frog spit at the Dallas Arboretum. (Photo: Therese Powell)

Take your favorite small fry on an early morning nature walk at Bob Jones Nature Center this Saturday. Join naturalist Ray Chancellor for some bird watching and a look at the beautiful winter flora and fauna. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars! Afterwards, sip hot cocoa and create a bird masterpiece at the Beautiful Birds “Pin It” event. Young artists will use watercolor and print-making techniques to make their beautiful birds. Don’t worry about it being too complicated. The project is simple enough for even the littlest artists.

You only have a few more weekends to enjoy a nature walk among the dinosaurs.  That’s right, dinosaurs. You can see eight, life-size animatronic dinosaurs tucked in along the nature trail at The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, in McKinney. The walk is beautiful and it keeps you on your toes. You never know who’s going to be waiting for you around the next bend. Our favorite was the 46-foot tall T-Rex, complete with piercing roar.

Tip-toe through the tree tops this weekend. (Photo: Trinity Forest Adventure Park)

Tip-toe through the tree tops this weekend. (Photo: Trinity Forest Adventure Park)

Let the kids run off all that pent-up energy at the Dallas Arboretum and do it at a bargain price. From now until January 31, admission to the garden is just a measly $5.   The Children’s Garden is temporarily closed for winterization, but there’s still tons of fun to be had. Kids can peer into the reflecting pools (careful, don’t fall in), play pioneer in the miniature buildings at the Texas Adventure Garden, dodge the water jets at Toad Corner fountains, roll down the big hill near the concert stage, or just run around like banshees amongst the miles of green space.

Lastly, if you’re really hearing the call of the wild, check out Trinity River Adventure Park for some aerial thrills.  You can soar through the 200-year-old Post Oak trees at this aerial park that consists of six individual, elevated courses that include more than 70 elements, such as rope bridges, ladders, cargo nets, zip lines and more. All courses are self guided and every person moves at their own pace. But hold on, before you start handing out crash helmets to the tiny tikes, kids must be at least 6 years-old and 48 inches tall to participate.

If these events don’t motivate you to get outside and enjoy the mild weather this weekend, maybe the knowledge of another ten-day arctic blast will. It’s only January, you know.

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer.  She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose.  Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at [email protected].