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Art&Seek Jr: 5 Things To Do Besides Shop This Thanksgiving Weekend

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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.

There are many people out there who positively love hitting the malls at zero dark-thirty on Black Friday. Beating their way through unruly crowds, standing in seemingly endless check-out lines, and participating in parking lot warfare is their idea of a good time. As fun as it all sounds, there are alternatives to massive mall mayhem this holiday weekend. Check out these ideas from the Junior.

Bring the whole family out to the Dallas YMCA's Turkey Trot. Photo: Dallas YMCA

Bring the whole family out to the Dallas YMCA’s Turkey Trot. Photo: Dallas YMCA

Get up early Thanksgiving morning and help out some worthwhile programs at the Dallas YMCA at the 48th Annual YMCA Turkey Trot.  You have your choice between an 8-mile race, or a family-friendly 5K run/walk. The kids can participate at a reduced “tot-trot” rate and receive their own t-shirt and number. And as always, costumes, dogs and strollers are welcome. If you aren’t a runner (I, myself, fall into the NON-runner category) fear not, because there will be lots of fun activities for those of us cheering on the sidelines. For those of you who live west of the Trinity, the Fort Worth Y is also having a Turkey Trot with all the same trimmings.

Characters from favorite children's stories will be on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Center this holiday season. Photo: George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Characters from favorite children’s stories will be on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Center this holiday season. Photo: George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Resist the urge to shop until you drop this Friday and instead come to the George W. Bush Presidential Center for their “Deck the Halls” Black Friday Event. Patrons visiting the center will see the White House as it was decorated in Christmas of 2003 when Mrs. Bush selected “A Season of Stories” as the theme. The Center will be “decked out” in decorations depicting characters from classic  children’s stories including “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “Harry Potter,” and “The Cat in the Hat.” In addition to the holiday ornaments there will also be musical performances, arts and crafts, and photos with Santa Claus in the Oval Office.

Skip the mall and fly off to Neverland instead this holiday weekend. Photo: peterpan360.com

Fly off to Neverland with Peter Pan this holiday weekend. Photo: peterpan360.com

Skip the mall and escape to Neverland this Saturday with Peter Pan 360. Believe me when I say, you’ve never seen Peter Pan like this before. What makes this show different from every other production you’ve seen is a traditional stage is replaced by a theater-in-the-round with overhead surround projection that makes you feel as if you’re flying with Peter and the gang through the skies of London. Besides the flying sequences, we also loved the giant, man-powered, crocodile who weaves his way around the stage in search of Captain Hook, and a tantrum-throwing Tinker Bell who emits clouds of glitter when she rages. You can see the boy who wouldn’t grown up now through Dec. 6. The venue is easy to find, just look for the large circle-style tent on San Jacinto in the Dallas Arts District.

Sunday night load up grandma and the kiddos and head over to Farmers Branch Historical Park for their annual Christmas Tour of Lights. The drive-thru animated displays here feature over 500,000 twinkling lights with a variety of different scenes and themes–everything from fantasy to patriotic. Best of all, it’s free. If you miss it this weekend, no worries. The dancing lights are up through December 30.

If you’re a thrill seeker and just can’t stay away from the mall this weekend, be sure to take time out from your shop-o-palooza to catch Missile Toes, the famous ice skating, back flipping, pyrotechnic Santa Claus at Galleria Dallas. For two special performances on  Friday at noon and Saturday at 6 p.m. the big guy will be performing with local children around the country’s tallest indoor Christmas tree as part of the Macys Grand Tree Lighting Celebration. He’ll also play host to an array of national and international skating celebrities this holiday season, including: 2014 Olympic Gold Medalist ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis.