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Art&Seek Jr: Fun For Fine Fall Days 12

My daughter and I heard our first Christmas Carol on the radio the other day–November 1 to be precise. She asked me how could this be since Halloween was just yesterday. Isn’t Christmas still weeks and weeks away? And what about Thanksgiving?

Yes, I know. We’re barely into the first week in November, but it’s looking like the holiday season is already in full swing. Department stores have started decking the halls, the slice-and-bake reindeer cookies have hit the shelves at the local Piggly Wiggly, and a few of the ‘Nutcracker’ ballets are gearing up for performances as early as Nov. 15. On a side note — check back here next week for Junior’s ‘Nutcracker’ Superlist.

Besides Turkey day getting left in the dust, family time can also take a hit this time of the year. The frenetic pace of the season can definitely affect the quantity and quality of that much-talked-about family time that we’re all suppose to be having (and enjoying).

Here a few events to help you savor every bit of the autumnal season with your nearest and dearest.

Get a jump on baking season with a candy making class at the Dobson House at Farmers Branch Historical Park. Chocolatier, Yeli Marshall of Yelibelly Chocolates will guide you through ins and out of creating tasty confections in this family-friendly class. It all starts with a demo and discussion on candy making, then you’ll dive into candy pulling, hard candy making, lollipops and more. Best of all, everyone leaves with a yummy box of candy they made themselves.

Photo: The Fort Worth Opera

Curious to see if the little kiddles have the stamina for the season’s upcoming concerts and shows? An excellent litmus test would be ‘Hansel and Gretel’ at the Marq in Southlake. This new, family-friendly production by Englebert Humperdinck and presented by The Fort Worth Opera is a clever, contemporary, and innovated spin on the classic Brothers Grim fairy tale. The short concert (about an hour) features performances from FWO-TCU Lesley Artists, and a chorus of gingerbread children. If you can’t make the performance on Saturday in Southlake, you catch the show at Arlington Music Hall next Friday night, Nov. 16 and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden next Saturday afternoon, Nov. 17,

Photo: Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary

The crazy popular Halloween at the Heard sold out in record time, but you can still enjoy the scary fun of a little post-Halloween dinosaur watching.  That’s right, along the half-mile nature trail at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney are ten life-size animatronic dinosaurs. The giant reptiles communing with nature are part of the Dinosaurs Live! exhibit and they move, growl, and of course, roar. This is one time the kids won’t need to be encouraged to take a hike and get some exercise.

Photo: ‘Clouds and Chaos’ by Jacob Hashimoto/Crow Museum of Asia art

What could be more fall-like than flying a kite? Kids 12 and up are invited to make and decorate their own Japanese-style kite Sunday afternoon kite at a special kite-flying workshop at the newly remodeled and renamed Crow Museum of Asian Art. The class is inspired by artist Jacob Hashimoto’s work “Clouds and Chaos” currently on display at the museum.

Photo: Preston Trail Farms

Halloween might be in the rear view mirror but believe it or not, now is perfect time to explore a pumpkin patch or two. The crowds have died down, you can enjoy yourself at a slower pace, and after all, you’re going to need a few pumpkins for your Thanksgiving display, right? Delight in fall and simple pleasures at the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm at Preston Trail Farms in Gunter. Experience the country life as you take a hayride, explore a 6-foot hay maze, ride the farm train, pet some farm animals and, of course, pick up a pumpkin. They’re open daily through Nov. 21.