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Art&Seek Jr: Chill Out With These Weekend Winter Events

by Therese Powell 23 Jan 2018 9:00 AM

January is winding down. Embrace the winter season with one of these frosty picks.

Can you believe it? January is almost over! For North Texans, that means we only have about 4 weeks left of winter. Of course, our idea of winter means 50-degree days with the occasional ice storm here and there. In these parts, the end of February means the end of winter.

I spent my childhood in Nebraska so I know a thing or two about winter–real winter. I laugh when I hear people complain about the cold temperatures because I’m one of those people who can boast that I walked a mile to school in the snow–both ways. It was so cold that when the wind blew it caused my eyes to water and freeze shut. Now THAT’S winter.

Even if you’re not a cold weather person, get out this weekend and embrace the winter season. Check out these frosty events picked just for you by the Junior. Just be sure you don’t forget your mittens!

City of Irving

Photo: City of Irving

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to frolic in the snow, Frost Fest is your big chance. The free winter festival at Irving’s Cimarron Park this Saturday offers the opportunity for you and the kiddos to indulge in fun activities such as tubing on a real snow hill, ice skating, train rides, and a petting zoo with a real reindeer.  Head inside Cimarron Park Recreation Center and the Irving Public Library and you can sign up for a library card, do a winter craft, listen to a story or see a puppet show. KERA and Nature Cat will also be at Frost Fest. Be sure and stop by our table, say hello and get a picture with everyone’s favorite backyard explorer extraordinaire.

Photo: Therese Powell

Photo: Therese Powell

Do the upcoming Winter Olympics have you inspired to practice that triple axle? Well, maybe not a triple axle, but I bet it does make you want to go skating. Grab your friends and family and head out to Squarebody Saloon near Downtown Dallas (formally the Goat Ranch)  for a spin around their outdoor, Super-glide, ice skating rink. It’s not ice, but a  high-tech plastic you can skate on, and there’s plenty of room too because the 32-foot x 100-foot rink can accommodate up to 90 skaters at one time. My daughter and her friend tried it out this weekend and they said it was pretty close to the real thing. There are some ridges you encounter from time to time, but you don’t get cold like you do on ice so it was a fun experience. If you don’t want to skate, this funky, little family-friendly bar also has tetherball, lawn games and a great collection of rusty vintage cars (and even a boat) to check out.

It might be a little early for water wings and floaties, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at the pool. Stop by the Dallas Fraternal Order of Eagles Pool this Sunday for the 6th Annual Hypnotic Donuts Polar Plunge. The name says it all in this fundraiser for the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. You can take a solo plunge or compete in the 4-person relay race. Spectators are welcome for those who’d rather watch than get wet. To top off this frosty event, there will be real snow at for the event in the kid’s play area, so don’t forget your mittens!

Photo: City of Mansfield

Photo: City of Mansfield

Head over to Oliver Nature Park in Mansfield Saturday morning for Painting at the Park and create a painting of a barred owl to keep or give away. Don’t worry if you’ve never held a paintbrush, an instructor will guide you step-by-step as you create your masterpiece. The class is $32 for adults and $27 for kids 5 and up. Everyone can paint their own canvas, or parents can help the kiddos at no charge. All materials will be supplied. Pre-registration required.

Since Mother Nature has been teasing us with springlike weather it seems only fitting that you and the kiddos should break out your Hawaiian shirts and hightail it down to Texas Discovery Gardens for Travel to the Tropics. Not only will there be butterflies galore in the butterfly house, but kids can “visit” the countries where the butterflies come from with a special passport. The passport is stamped at various displays as kids explore tropical cultures and enjoy themed activities.