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Art&Seek Jr: 4 After Sundown Adventures 14

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.

A 103 stories up  at the Willis  (Sears) Tower.  I lasted just long to snap this picture. Photo: Therese Powell

A 103 stories up at the Willis (Sears) Tower. I lasted just long to snap this picture. Photo: Therese Powell

Rose and I just got back from a short trip to Chicago. Our jaunt was pretty much your standard vacation fare. We took a selfie 103 stories up on the plastic ledge of the Willis (Sears) Tower, ate fancy candy on the Magnificent Mile, and dipped our toes in the water at the Oak Street Beach. But what really stood out (to me, anyway) about our trip to the Windy City was the weather. Sure, I knew it would be cooler, but when we stepped off the plane to temperatures in the low 70s, I swear I heard angels singing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” To be able to walk around outside in the middle of the day — IN JULY — without risking heat stroke is something completely foreign to me. As we strolled around town I felt like one of those laboratory monkeys venturing outside for the first time. I was fascinated, incredulous, and delighted all at the same time. I wanted to sing out, “This is Fabulous! Why doesn’t everyone live here?” It was my friend, a former Texan and current resident of Chicago, who brought me down to earth with a reminder about their recent winter with its record-breaking cold and crippling snow storms. Okay, yeah, forget what I said.

Yes, I know, it’s hot outside. REALLY hot outside. But that doesn’t mean you and Junior can’t enjoy being outside this summer. You simply have to do what Texans have done for generations, and that is, wait until sundown. That’s right. Come 8 o’clock or so, it can be very pleasant in the Lone Star State. True, you probably won’t need a sweater, but it helps to remember our winters only last a week or so.

Check out these after-dark adventures with your kids.

Check out the opening acts for Safari Nights at the Dallas Zoo. Photo: Dallas Zoo

Check out the opening acts for Safari Nights at the Dallas Zoo. Photo: Dallas Zoo

Even the penguins at the Dallas Zoo have been little sweaty lately, which is why the best time to visit them is Saturday night during one of the zoo’s Safari Nights concerts. Besides great music, the evening also features activities like a lion keeper talk, SOAR, A Festival of Flight bird show, and giraffe feedings. You can also visit the Children’s Zoo and the Birds Landing exhibit until 8 p.m. And don’t worry about heat, because the concerts take place in Cat Green, the zoo’s shady haven. There are only two more concerts in the series, so get your tickets early. The concerts are free with zoo admission, which is $15 for ages 12-64; $12 for ages 3-11 and seniors; and free for children under age 2 and DZS members. On the bill this Saturday is the Eagles tribute band, FastLane. Next Saturday catch the O’s.

Head downtown this Saturday night to Reunion Tower for the ultimate lawn party. This after dark community party will have something for everyone — a beer garden for mom and dad, gourmet food trucks, including What’s Da Scoop ice cream truck for the kids, and live music from Aaron Stephens and Prophets and Outlaws for everyone to chill out to. In true backyard fashion there will also be lawn games you can rent or bring from home. Best of all, it’s free to get in.

Hooray for Bollywood! Photo: Junior Players

Hooray for Bollywood! Photo: Junior Players

Join the Noble Planetarium staff and members of the Fort Worth Astronomical Society this Saturday night for a free Star Party at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. There will be plenty of telescopes for viewing and astronomy buffs on hand to help answer those burning questions about the moon and stars. The party takes place in the Museum’s south parking lot. It gets rolling at dusk and lasts until approximately 10:30 p.m.

Speaking of summer, don’t miss the Junior Players production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These plays are the perfect introduction to Shakespeare–and theater in general. The Junior Players always like to mix it up and this production is no different with a Bollywood inspired theme that kids are sure to love. The Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre is the perfect setting. You can bring a picnic dinner to enjoy before the show and relax in the park-like setting. If the kids get restless, head up the hill to enjoy the cool breeze and an ice cream. The show runs July 28 through Aug. 2.

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 ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at