This is always a very difficult time of the year for the tinies. Since about Oct. 1 it’s been nothing but fun. First it’s fall festival and Halloween featuring pumpkins, ghouls, goblins, and of course, candy, candy, candy. Then just when you’ve think you’ve had all the fun you can take, at the stroke of midnight on Nov. 1 you get hit with a massive explosion of Yuletide that goes on for 24-hours a day until 3 o’clock on Dec. 25.
Then it all stops.
To adults everywhere, this is a good thing. It’s nice to finally be able to step out to a public place without being Fa-La-La-ed to death. But to the kids, the post-holiday season is downright depressing. For months now they’ve been fed a constant stream of festivities and things to anticipate, and now–zip, nada, zero. There’s nothing to look forward to. They see the coming months as long, boring and gray. The only glimmer of excitement on the horizon is a possible snow day here and there.
Truth be told, there’s plenty to do during the winter months, just take a look at some of the fun events happening this weekend.
Who says nothing exciting ever happens in January? Take a trip back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth at Jurassic Quest. This interactive experience features over 80 life-size animatronic dinosaurs that will make you feel like you’re standing right next to a Velociraptor. Besides the exhibit kids can give a hug and a hello to a baby dinosaur, take a ride on the back of a 24-foot TRex, or play paleontologist at the dino-dig. Visit the land before time at Fair Park Jan. 12-15, or Jan. 19-21.
Celebrate the New Year and the Year of the Dog with Japanese music, food, and fun at the 18th Annual Mochitsuki Celebration. Mochitsuki is the Japanese tradition of pounding rice to make mochi, or rice cakes in preparation for the New Year. At this fun festival, kids can see a mochitsuki demonstration, sample mochi, learn calligraphy, origami, and play traditional Japanese New Year’s games. Other highlights include Japanese drumming, folk dancing, and Samurai Sam from The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum will be on hand for photo ops. The fun happens this Saturday at the Fujitsu Network Communications headquarters in Richardson.
Chase away the winter doldrums with some creativity this Saturday at NorthPark Center’s free art program for children, ArtROCKS! In this session, introduce the kids to the work of artistic duo Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, American sculptors known for large-scale replicas of everyday objects. Children can make art projects with Artist DIY, Creative Arts Center, KidArt and Sour Grapes, as well as a Bookmarks scavenger hunt, cookie decorating and walkSTEM tours. The fun happens this Saturday between 1 – 4 p.m. on level one between Nordstrom and Macy’s.
If you weren’t able to get your ice-skating in this holiday season there’s still time to practice your figure 8. Head over to Panther Island Ice in Fort Worth to take a spin around the ice in their outdoor rink. The popular rink is only open until Jan. 15 so don’t delay. Admission is $12, which includes skate rental.
Another outdoor experience you won’t want to miss is Penguin Days at the Dallas Zoo. Besides smaller crowds, you can also enjoy $7 admission now through Feb. 28 during Penguin Days. If you get chilly take advantage of the indoor learning areas like Herpetarium, Bug U!, the Jake L. Hamon Gorilla Conservation Research Station, the Highland Hippo Hut and the Simmons Safari Base Camp.