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 have a simple formula for determining how long a car trip with children will take. First, calculate the number of miles to your destination, then divide the miles by the speed limit. That total will give you an approximate time. Got your time? Good. Now, take that time and add 1 hour for each child under 7 and 30 minutes for each dog over 10 in your vehicle. Tack on an extra 90 minutes for Dairy Queen stops and traffic and voila! You’ve got your trip time! But does it work for every travel scenario, you ask? Absolutely! For instance, say you’ve got a new baby, a 5-year-old and a diabetic cocker spaniel. Using my handy-dandy formula and you can adjust that 3 hour and 20-minute journey to Austin that you use to take when you were a footloose and fancy-free single, to just over 8 hours, now that your dance card includes children. And when little Chalupa whines from the back seat, “When are we gonna get there?” you can reply with certainty, “Just another 7 hours, darling.” It really is foolproof.
Sometimes staying home is just a better plan. Here are some great “staycation” ideas, no carsickness guaranteed.
I know I’ve said it before, but your local library is a great place to seek out small adventures close to home. As we speak librarians around North Texas are putting their degrees in library science to good use and cooking up all sorts of cool stuff for teeny tikes.
- Be sure to check out Play Fundama! at the Central Branch of the Irving Library on Wednesday. Kids make toys using basic elements such as string, tape, cups and sticks. The newly made toys are then used in a light competition. Be prepared to have fun and win prizes!
- Put on your dancing shoes and swing on by the Parr Branch of the Plano Public Library on Thursday to catch a lively performance by the one and only David Chicken. In case you’re not familiar with David Chicken, he’s a three-time Emmy award-winning family entertainer famous for his high-energy, interactive performances. Your kids are going to love singing and dancing along to ditties like “Funky Fish Party” and ” Chickin’ Pickin’.”
- St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner so now is the perfect time for a Leprechaun hunt. The Haltom City Library is hosting the perfect St. Paddy’s Day event on Saturday, complete with stories, crafts, and, of course, a hunt through the library for that elusive leprechaun.
Shhhhhhhh…Here’s a secret. Local museums have a ton of activities for kids this spring break. Here are two of my favorites.
- Seekers of super-cool action heroes need to look no further than the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth this spring break. There in the new Renzo Piano Pavilion they’ll find armor from real Samurai on display as part of the Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection exhibit. Highlights include lacquered metal helmets meant to frightened the enemy on the battlefield and combat-ready samurai in full gear atop their similarly armored horses. Kids will be blown away by the wicked awesomeness of it all. On display through August 17.
- Got a kid that can’t sit still? Take your little whirling dervishes to the American Airlines C.R. Smith Flight Museum in Fort Worth for the SPIN exhibit where they’ll discover the fun – and science – of objects that rotate. SPIN includes 15 exhibit areas, including a human centrifuge that lets kids sit in a tub and push against a fixed wheel to explore how inertia works, the “Let It Roll” track were kids can race various objects along a track, and the science behind a laser show–it’s not just about the music. If you can’t make it out to the museum during spring break, no worries, the exhibit will be on display through May 3.
There’s nothing better than a little fresh air. It is spring, after all, right? Make a day of it with these two outings.
- Ever wanted to learn to paddle a canoe? Sure, it seems easy, but there’s really a lot more to it. Head to the Heard–the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney that is, for the 411 on this fun water sport. This Saturday at the Family Canoe Try-It, you and the ice-cream eaters can, well, try it to see it you like it. You’ll receive safety and paddling instruction and then you and the kiddos can spend about 40 minutes on a guided canoe trail around the Heard wetlands. Afterward, there will be time to explore on your own.
- If you’re wanting to enjoy nature but prefer something a little less strenuous, stop by the Dallas Arboretum this Sunday for their annual Hanami event. Hanami is the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom viewing. Bring your own picnic lunch and relax to the sounds of traditional Japanese music or take part in the numerous kid activities planned for the day.
Enjoy the rest of spring break. Aren’t you glad you stayed home?
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].