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Art&Seek Jr: Let’s Take A Field Trip

by Therese Powell 9 Sep 2014 2:42 PM

We’re walking, we’re walking, we’re looking, we’re looking. Take one of these tours with your tinies.


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.

About 3 times a year here at KERA, an archival tape or show will turn up missing and a mad search of the building will ensue. The tape might be critical for a project on deadline, requested by an outside party (“My grandma was on a show of yours back in 1974. I don’t remember the name of the show, but can you find it and send me a copy?”), or just required for some folly like the Letterman people calling for a clip of Scott Pelly. Whatever the reason, in most cases, the tape in question hasn’t been seen in eons, and like a unicorn or pixies in the forest, its mere existence is questioned.

Some say it’s my 20 years on the job and my razor sharp memory that make me the perfect candidate to find these elusive archival wonders, but I think it’s my experience as a mom who is constantly on the hunt for lost stuff that make me a natural at finding these MIA tapes. Whether it be  escapee cats, Barbie shoes, or missing archival tapes I’m your go-to gal for all things lost.

If normal searching fails, we’re forced to take more desperate measures–cue scary music and lightning–a “field trip” the 2-inch tape library. A large windowless storage room located in a very dark wing of the TV studio. It’s so pitch black back there that while I’m groping around for the light switch,  I always think, “this is how horror movies usually start.” We call it a “field trip” because few want to go down there alone. Only in groups.

This has all got me thinking of more pleasant field trips.  Here are a few super cool, not-scary-at-all  ideas for a field trip with the kiddos.

What's up? Find out at one of Dallas Center for Architecture's walking tours. (Photo: DCFA)

What’s up? Find out at one of Dallas Center for Architecture’s walking tours. (Photo: DCFA)

Ever wonder how Dallas became Dallas? Check out one of the Dallas Center for Architecture’s walking tours. You can take a brisk walk around the city and have all your burning questions answered about Big D. One of best tours for those wanting to score big with their history teachers is the West End Walking Tour. Find out about important architectural landmarks and buildings and the significance of those warehouses behind the Old Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant. The tour lasts approximately two hours and is held rain or shine, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring your umbrella.

Everyone likes pizza, right? Little gourmets can go behind the scenes at California Pizza Kitchen  at a restaurant tour and see how that Hawaiian Pizza is really made. After a quick how-to session, kids can dig in with their own dough and make their own pizza creation. The tours happen Saturday mornings before the restaurant is open and a two week notice is required.  Contact your nearest CPK for more details.

Make some dough...and a pizza at California Pizza Kitchen (Photo: CPK)

Make some dough…and a pizza at California Pizza Kitchen (Photo: CPK)

Sure we all know that money doesn’t grow on trees, but I bet you didn’t know that it’s made in Fort Worth. Take a tour of the money factory, a.k.a. the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Western Currency Facility, where you can see real money being printed from an enclosed walkway above the production floor.  In addition to the tour, there are two floors of interactive exhibits and displays showcasing currency history and the art of currency manufacturing. Reservations are not required; the tours are self-guided and on a first come, first serve basis.  The tour is approximately 45 minutes along an elevated walkway. One last thing, before the tour you should allow 30 minutes to clear WCF security.

Lastly, you and the kids can take in some culture while shopping for shoes. That’s right, NorthPark Center is home to one of the most impressive art collections in the world. Works by Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Joel Shapiro, Jim Dine, Jonathan Borofsky, James Rosenquist, Antony Gormley, Barry Flanagan and Beverly Pepper are just a few of artists whose works are on display. Print out this handy-dandy little map of artwork before you go and conduct your own self-guided tour. If you happen to be there this Saturday check out a performance by the Breaking Winds, a Bassoon Quartet that combines their training as classical bassoonists with pop culture sensibilities and a dash of comedy. Who says culture can’t be fun?

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 9-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at [email protected].