As a child, dinosaurs, balloons, and cardboard numbered among my favorite things in the world. Judging by some of the family-friendly things to do in Dallas this month, not much has changed since I was a kid. Here are five events to bring the tykes to this month in Dallas.
1. This exhibit at the Dallas Zoo is running through the summer, but it may behoove you and the family to stop by before school lets out, the crowds swell, and the temperature hits 1,000 degrees with a heat index of “Dear God, are we trapped inside an oven?” Giants of the Jurassic will feature more than 20 animatronic dinosaurs designed to roar, slightly move, and educate. A new DinoSOAR show runs every Thursday through Sunday, and will feature activities comparing our favorite extinct creatures with the animals of today. There’s also an “interactive theater puppet experience” and a whole slew of dino-based programming. A visit to the exhibit is included in the purchase of a ticket to the Dallas Zoo.
2. It’s not just The Blues Brothers, foreign flicks, and adult indie programming at the Dallas International Film Festival. The fest’s family day at Klyde Warren Park is set for April 11. You’ll find the usual “family-friendly event” mainstays, including face-painting, balloon animals and a bounce house. It all leads up to a screening of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, which should be a formative film for everybody’s childhood. The film explains the twist on all the other activities: the arts and crafts will be Pee-wee themed, there will be a Pee-wee Herman costume contest, and athletic families can participate in a 10-mile bike ride emulating you-know-who’s big adventure.
3. The latest in The Dallas Opera’s family season is The Billy Goats Gruff on April 11. The production will be sung in English, serving as a great Introduction to Opera class for young newcomers. For good measure, the story comes complete with a strong anti-bullying message to help kids become not only more cultured, but more kind. Head to the Winspear early for arts and crafts and other activities before the show.
4. Once your kids understand that bullying is bad, it’s time to introduce them to the idea that friends are good. Balloonacy tells the story of a lonely (and probably grumpy) old man who finds some welcome companionship and a new pal when a wayward balloon wafts into his life. It sounds like a more uplifting take on the Wilson character in Cast Away, and should be a fun production appropriate for ages 3 and up at the Dallas Children’s Theater.
5. For the amateur engineers and STEM nerds in the family, there’s a cardboard boat regatta April 25 in Arlington. Teams build their own seafaring craft out of corrugated cardboard and cruise the chlorinated seven seas of Hurricane Harbor for competitive glory and fun. If you missed registration or just prefer to sail by the seat of your pants, don’t worry–you can build a two-person boat on-site, where you’ll be supplied with cardboard, duct tape, two sheets of plastic, and the other materials you’ll need.
(Courtesy of DMagazine.com)