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Art&Seek Jr: 8 Ways To Welcome The Merry Month Of May 16

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.

My co-worker Gila and I made an observation this morning as we looked over the Art&Seek calendar.  It seems in addition to flowers, the first weekend in May also boasts a boatload of  spring festivals. I guess when you think about it logically, that first weekend really is the perfect time to get outside and celebrate spring. March can be beautiful, but you never know when Mother Nature is going to yank the rug out from under you–remember all that snow we got on March 5? April should be renamed Watch-The-Radar Month because of the constant threat of tornadoes and thunderstorms that seem to pop up without warning.  And the temperature in these parts starts to soar around the middle of May, which makes most people retreat indoors until October. So yes, this first weekend in May is indeed the perfect time to enjoy a outdoor fiesta, fair, or festival.

I guess organizers really do know what they’re doing when it comes to  scheduling outdoor events.

Here are a whole heap of family-friendly festivals for you to check out the weekend with your favorite small fry.

Say hello to Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel at MayFest. Photo: MayFest

Say hello to Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel at MayFest. Photo: MayFest

Mayfest, the mother of all springtime festivals, opens this Thursday at Trinity Park in Fort Worth. This 4-day, super-fest has been happening along the banks of the beautiful Trinity River for over 40 years and it truly has something for everyone. Highlight include the Cowtown Hunting Retriever Dogs, a giant human maze, paddle boats, the biggest sand pile you’ve ever seen, acres and acres of festival food, and my favorite–Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel. Besides all that, there will also be three stages dedicated to just music, and another three for performing groups.

Get the creative juices flowing this weekend at the Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson. Mom and dad can check out the one-of-a-kind art, enjoy the live music, or sample goodies from one of the many unique food vendors. Kids can be artsy in their own space at the ArtStop interactive children’s area. Wee Rembrandts can create a hat from scrap, design a wax hand, or throw some mud on a real potter’s wheel. When they’re finished they can take their masterpiece home to enjoy.

Celebrate the culture of  Asia at the 25th Annual Asia Fesital in Klyde Warren Park. Photo: The Crow Museum of Asian Art

Celebrate the culture of Asia at the 25th Annual Asia Festival. Photo: The Crow Collection of Asian Art

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Here are two events to help you celebrate the occasion: The 25th Annual Asian Festival happens on Saturday at Klyde Warren Park. Presented by the Greater Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the Crow Collection of Asian Art this event will showcase over 30 countries and will feature performances ranging from traditional and contemporary dance and music to lion dances and more. In addition to the main stage, booths will be set up along Flora Street in the Dallas Arts District and throughout Klyde Warren Park highlighting traditional and contemporary art-making techniques, as well as vendor booths, food trucks and lots of activities for the kids.  Celebrating its 12th anniversary, AsiaFest 2015 will showcase the rich cultures of Asia with numerous demonstrations such as a martial arts show, traditional folk songs played on indigenous instruments, and lion and dragon dances. Come hungry because there will be delicious Thai, Chinese, Indian, and Japanese food for you to sample from one of the many vendors. The fun happens Saturday at Haggard Park in Downtown Plano.

Meet a mermaid at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Photo: Therese Powell

Meet a mermaid at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Photo: Therese Powell

Round up your little princesses and knights and head out to Waxahachie for the 35th annual Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Besides the music, artisans, humongous turkey legs and fun “Renaissance era” games, the festival is also famous for their strolling costumed entertainers. If you’ve got kids who still believe the people walking around in the costumes are really kings and queens, then this festival can be especially fun. In addition to royalty the tinies can also meet fairies, gypsies and mermaids. The “man-powered” wooden rides are great, as are the exchanges with the salty dog operators.

True, our home is dominated by felines at the moment, but I love including events that are especially for my canine friends. One festival you and your pooches don’t want to miss is the Dog Bowl this Sunday. Pups can romp unleashed on the field of Fair Park’s Cotton Bowl and splash through pools just for them. But that’s not all – there will also be live music by The Problematics and tons of experts and vendors on hand ready to share tips and information for your four-legged baby.

Catch the Dallas Cinco de Mayo Big Parade and Festival Saturday morning in Oak Cliff. Photo: Ben Torres/ARCIVO

Catch the Dallas Cinco de Mayo Big Parade and Festival Saturday morning in Oak Cliff. Photo: Ben Torres/ARCIVO

Technically Cinco de Mayo isn’t until next Tuesday. Those of you who don’t want to celebrate on a school night can motor on over to the Oak Cliff Cultural Center this Saturday morning for the Dallas Cinco de Mayo 2015 Big Parade and Festival. In its 27th year, this parade is the largest Cinco de Mayo parade in North Texas with over 20,000 in attendance (I guess that’s why they call it the “BIG” parade!). The festival that follows will have deejay music, ballet folklorico dancers, live Tejano bands and lots of vendors. You can catch the parade and the party along Jefferson Avenue in beautiful downtown Oak Cliff Sunday starting at 11 a.m.

Last, but not least, if you want to ring in May with an old-fashioned feel, check out the May Day Fair and Festival this Saturday at the Robert Muller Center for Living Ethics in Fairview. You and the family can bring a picnic and celebrate spring on the center’s beautiful wooded campus. Later, try your hand at a traditional Maypole dance, or just watch if you like. There will also be games, crafts, eat treats, and a handmade craft fair, featuring the work of local artists and craftspeople.

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 9-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at