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Art&Seek Jr: Bring Out Your Autumnal Spirit With These October Events 11

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. 

You may not know this, but October 1 is the unofficial start of the holiday season. It’s true. From now until about 3 p.m. on December 25, it’s a constant array of festivals, parties, school pageants, parades, science fairs, sporting events, and multiple family get-togethers. October and all of her fall-themed events serve as sort of a warm-up to the upcoming frenetic yuletide season. These low-key fall happenings are the perfect pace-setters for all the HO-HO-HOing you’ll be doing come Nov. 1.

What? You don’t believe me? Well, check out these family-friendly events that will put you in a fall frame of mind and get you primed for the most wonderful time of the year.

Superheroes, as well as princesses, witches, and ghosts, won't want to miss Mesquite's Harvest Fest. Photo: City of Mesquite

Superheroes, as well as princesses, witches, and ghosts, won’t want to miss Mesquite’s PumpkinFest. Photo: City of Mesquite

You can’t celebrate fall without a fall festival. Lucky you! Here are a few happening this weekend.

  •  The 14th Autumn Days in Ennis happens this Saturday in Downtown Ennis. This free event will feature arts and crafts, food, live music and a farmers market. There will also be loads of activities for the little kiddles  like pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, rock climbing wall and free pumpkin decorating.
  • For even more autumnal fun check out Autumn Fest 2015 in beautiful Downtown Garland. This fall fair features local artisans, food, music, and live entertainment throughout the day. There will also be a Kid Zone with bounce houses, carnival games, pumpkin decorating and my favorite, a HOWL-O-Ween doggie costume parade.
  • Jump on your broom and head over to City Lake Park in Mesquite on Saturday for the 15th annual PumpkinFest. There will be a haunted house, decorated pumpkin contest, carnival games, bounce houses, petting zoo and community stage performances. Don’t miss the dog costume contest at 3 p.m. and the children’s costume contest at 4 p.m.

Enjoy a two-fer of communing with nature and Halloween fun at River Bend Nature Center’s 11th Annual Not-So-Scary Halloween this Friday night. There will be a costume contest, face painting, music, food, a cake walk, pumpkin decorating and CANDY! Wild Bird Rescue’s “Stevie” the Great Horned Owl and “Spartacus” the Red Tailed Hawk will make a special appearance! After it gets dark, go on a not-so-scary flashlight fun trail through the Garden.

Make sure you hold on to your head at DCT's production of 'The Ghosts of Sleepy Hollow.' Photo: Dallas Children's Theater

Make sure you hold on to your head at DCT’s production of ‘The Ghosts of Sleepy Hollow.’ Photo: Dallas Children’s Theater

If scary is exactly what you want, then hold on to your head for Dallas Children’s Theater’s production of “The Ghosts of Sleepy Hollow.” The multi-talented DCT Teen Scene Players bring Irving’s ghosts to life (err…death) as the Studio Theater is transformed into a frightfully, fun spookfest. Best for kiddos 11 and up, so leave the little monsters at home. The show opens this Friday and runs weekends through Oct. 30. The DCT always does it big for opening night and this show is no exception. The Teen Glee singers will be on hand filling the pre-show lobby with music and the dancers from Episcopal School of Dallas will cut the rug with their Thriller mashup.

Come tour the stage with Dracula's brides. Don't worry, they only bite once. Photo: LakeCities Ballet/Nancy Loch Photography

Come tour the stage with Dracula’s brides. Don’t worry, they only bite once. Photo: LakeCities Ballet/Nancy Loch Photography

How about a ballet with a bite? LakeCities Ballet Theatres’ production of “Le Ballet de Dracula” is the classic story of the famous vampire told with  dancing gypsies, bats, vampire brides and Dracula himself. In short, this ballet does for Halloween what “The Nutcracker” did for Christmas. If that’s not enough scary for you, check out the pre-performance workshop on October 17 at 12:30 p.m. for kids, ages 8 and older. The children will have a chance to tour the stage with Dracula’s Brides and take a tour of a haunted hourse. The workshop is free with the purchase of a performance ticket. There are only three performances this weekend at the MCL Grand in Lewisville, so don’t wait to get your tickets.

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