What crazy weather we’ve been having lately! Tornados and thunderstorms one day, freezing temperatures the very next. Usually, when you think January, ice storms are what spring to mind, not hail storms.
Welp. You know what they say about the weather in Texas–just wait 5 minutes and it will change. The question on every parent’s mind this time of year is, what will the weather be like this weekend? Will it be cold? Warm? Rainy? Sunny? The extended forecast says the weather will be semi-decent for the weekend. But who knows? The best you can do this time of the year (or really any time of the year in Texas) is to have a solid plan B. That’s especially true when it comes to outings with the kiddos. There’s nothing worse than planning an outdoor excursion only to have it canceled because of rain (or snow). With that in mind, take a gander at our weekend picks. There are outdoor adventures if the weather cooperates and Plan B indoor options just in case it doesn’t.
Come explore the Milky Way, listen to the owls, and enjoy the smell of a campfire at Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center’s Stars and S’Mores event. Highlights include a guided night hike into the canyon, animal encounters, lawn games, stargazing, and of course, s’mores around the campfire. Telescopes will be available for viewing the night sky. The event is so popular that the nice people at the Audubon Center have expanded it to two nights. You can stargaze Friday, January 17 or Saturday, January 18.
Are the kiddos feeling a little pent up? Bundle up the herd and head to the Dallas Zoo for Penguin Days. Now is a great time to visit your animal buddies at the zoo because, besides smaller crowds, you can also enjoy $8 admission now through Feb. 29. If you get chilly, take advantage of the indoor learning areas like the Herpetarium, Bug U!, the Jake L. Hamon Gorilla Conservation Research Station, the Highland Hippo Hut and the Simmons Safari Base Camp. You can also learn all about African penguins with daily keeper chats and feedings.
Another good place to let the kids run off that winter energy is the Dallas Arboretum. The Children’s Garden is temporarily closed for winterization, but there’s still tons of fun to be had. Kids can peer into the reflecting pools (careful, don’t fall in), play hide and seek among the ferns, dodge the water jets at Toad Corner fountains, roll down the big hill near the concert stage, or just run around like banshees amongst the miles of green space. Get your outdoor fix for the bargain-basement price of just $ 5 from now until Jan. 31.
Keep that New Year’s resolution and get some fresh air to boot with a spin around one of these North Texas outdoor ice skating rinks. There’s Panther Island Ice, Fort Worth’s only outside ice skating rink. Cowtown’s popular rink will operate seven days a week through January 20. And you can practice those figure eights and skate at the outdoor rink located at the Children’s Health StarCenter in Farmers Branch. Better hurry if you want to skate on this ice because they’re only open through this Friday, Jan. 17.
In case Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate next Sunday there’s no better activity to occupy the littles than a movie. The Majestic Theatre is giving you the chance to step into the way, way back machine with a screening of the 1985 classic “Back to the Future.” You’ll have fun sharing this film from your childhood with your kids and you’ll also enjoy it that much more in the opulent splendor of the Majestic.
If you didn’t get your fill of ballet during the holiday season you have another chance with Plano Metropolitan Ballet’s production of “The Adventures of Tinkerbelle.” The fairy tale ballet is filled with sparkly costumes, fun choreography and the opportunity to take pictures with the characters after the show. Catch the family-friendly show at the Courtyard Theater in Plano this Friday and Saturday.
For even more kid-friendly events, explore the Kids & Family section of the Art&Seek calendar.