There might still be a week or so of school left for the kids, but for all intents and purposes, summer will officially arrive for most of us this Friday afternoon.
Besides breaking out the sunscreen, firing up the grill, and blowing up the pool floaties, you should definitely welcome the season with one of these cool (long) weekend events.
Welcome the lazy, hazy days of summer with a trip down the not-so-lazy Trinity River on a kayak/canoe trip offered by the Trinity Audubon Center. Your trip starts with instruction and all the equipment you’ll need at the center. You’ll then be transported upstream to a launch point where you’ll start your 2-hour guided tour back down the river and through the Great Trinity Forest. You and the gang can get an up close view of herons, beavers, river otters and other wildlife seldom seen by city slickers such as yourself. It goes without saying the kiddos should wear clothes they don’t mind getting wet. Also, be sure to wear a hat and bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
It just wouldn’t be Memorial Day without a patriotic concert. One of the best is the annual Liberty Fest Stars and Strings Concert happening Saturday at Farmers Branch Historical Park. You can listen to the sounds of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and enjoy a free fireworks show to boot. Other activities include, a tour of the historical buildings at the park, bounce houses, face paintings and a KidsZone to keep little concert goers occupied.
Another place to catch tunes al fresco is Safari Nights at the Dallas Zoo. On the bill this Saturday night is The Beatles tribute band Hard Nights Day. They’ll be playing in the zoo’s shady haven, Cat Green. Besides great music, the evening also features activities like an elephant keeper talk and an Animal Adventures presentation. You can also visit the Children’s Zoo, the Birds Landing exhibit and Gorilla Trail, or take a spin on the Endangered Species Carousel until 8 p.m. The concerts are free with zoo admission, which is $15 for ages 12-64; $12 for ages 3-11 and seniors; and free for children under age 2 and DZS members.
This weekend is your last chance to catch the 37th Annual Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie. The festival features music, artisans, humongous turkey legs and fun man-powered “Renaissance era” rides. There are also strolling costumed entertainers (Queen Margaret of Scotland and the Isles is our favorite), mermaids perched in shells, and handsome knights that your tiny Lords and Ladies will thoroughly enjoy meeting. Also happening this weekend, Adam Winrich (aka Adam Crack) will attempt to break two world records with his bullwhip. The first will be for the most bullwhip cracks in one minute with a single whip (the current record is 278 for those of you keeping score). And the second will be an attempt to break the record for the loudest whip crack. That record currently stands at 121.6 decibels which is about the level of a chainsaw. Both records will be attempted on Saturday during Adam’s 2:30 p.m. show on Scarborough’s Crown Stage.
Everyone knows when you’re planning for Memorial Day weekend it’s always good to have a rainy day ‘Plan B’ just in case. Rain or shine you won’t want to miss Dallas Children’s Theaters’ latest production of James and the Giant Peach. Roald Dahl’s characters; Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, Earthworm, Spider and of course, James, come to life on stage in this fantastical show. Our own Shelley Kenneavy took her son 5-year-old Jack and they both gave it two very enthusiastic thumbs up. She said Jack loved the costumes, the bug characters and especially the spinning peach. She also thought using screen projections to make the peach appear to float and fall was very clever. There are only two more shows so get your tickets now.
If you’re looking for something completely out of the ordinary, head over to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for Tad-Poles: Stilts Around the World. In this family-friendly show guest artists Wild Rumpus Circus from Wisconsin and the youth performers from Amphibian’s Tad-Poles outreach program demonstrate how stilts are used around the world. The professional and student stilt walkers and performers will take you on a journey that features traditional costumes, storytelling, dance, and music. Catch this show in the lobby of the Modern this Saturday at 2 p.m.