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Art&Seek Jr: 5 Festive Things To Do With Visiting Family

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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.

As great as it is to have extended family visit for the holidays, figuring out what to do once everyone’s done eating can be quite the conundrum. Here are some fun events that even great Aunt Milly will enjoy.

Walk off that extra piece of pecan pie with a stroll through the Dallas Arboretum. Right now the place is dressed up in fall’s finest for Autumn at the Arboretum. The gardens are filled with 150,000 blooming fall flowers, autumnal plants, and pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. If you’ve got a family that’s ready for the yuletide season to begin, you’re in luck because the elaborate The 12 Days of Christmas exhibition is also on display. The exhibit features a collection of life-size Victorian gazebos–12 to be exact–that are filled with costumed characters and scenery made in the theme of the famous Christmas carol. The kids will have fun spying the small details–our favorites were the sleeping kitties in the Eight Maids-a-Milking gazebo–and it will remind grandma and grandpa of fancy decorated store windows from Christmases past.

tart a new family tradition with The 12 Days of Christmas display at the Dallas Arboretum. Photo: Therese Powell

FIVE golden rings! Start a new family tradition with The 12 Days of Christmas display at the Dallas Arboretum. Photo: Therese Powell

Speaking of Christmas, if you want to skip the dog-o-rama of a visit to the mall to see Santa, head to the A.W. Perry Homestead Museum in Carrollton this Saturday for Photos with Santa.  The tiny tykes can take their time to visit (and get their picture snapped) with the jolly old elf, while the adults tour the historic home and the beautiful 10 acre park. There will also be hands-on activities and crafts for the whole family. Don’t dilly-dally though, pre-registration is required by Friday, Nov. 19.

Get some one-on-one time with the big guy this weekend. Photo: A.W. Perry Homestead Museum

Get some one-on-one time with the big guy this weekend. Photo: A.W. Perry Homestead Museum

Last year I counted 15 different productions of ‘The Nutcracker’ and I’m sure there were many more performances of the holiday staple done by tiny ballerinas across North Texas. There’s no doubt about it, people love Sugar Plum Fairies the way they love pumpkin spice. It’s just so Christmasy! Kick off the season with Ballet Frontier’s version of ‘The Nutcracker.’  Besides the beautiful costumes and world class choreography, this years show will also feature a special guest artist from American Ballet Theatre.

Grab Granny and the kids and head to Sundance Square in Fort Worth Sunday night for the XTO Parade of Lights. Now in it’s 32nd year, the parade features and more than 100 floats– each with more than 12,000 lights–marching bands, decorated horse-drawn carriages, and casts of carolers. Appropriately enough, the theme for this years’ parade is, “Let the Season Begin.”

Everyone hold on tight! Photo: Panther Island Ice

Everyone hold on tight! Photo: Panther Island Ice

Feeling logy after that big meal? Work it off with a little exercise at Panther Island Ice , Fort Worth’s only outside ice skating rink. The popular rink opens this Friday and is back for another year of holiday skating at Panther Island Pavilion. Even better, it’s open 7 days a week ,including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, so you and the family can skate to your hearts content. Admission is $11, which includes skate rental.

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer.  She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 10-year-old daughter, Rose.  Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at tpowell@kera.org.