Attractions: What to Do This Weekend / 16 Reasons to Get Out of the House Thursday–Sunday
On Earth Day weekend, you don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to find fun and educational entertainment for your family. Let the kids hang from the treetops with special climbing gear, or go scuba diving at the bigger-than-ever EarthX event in Dallas, and enjoy more nature and sustainability-oriented festivals around Dallas-Fort Worth this weekend.
MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival
Thursday–Sunday, Apr. 19–22, hours vary by day
This massive arts festival spans more than 27 city blocks downtown through Fort Worth’s “main street,” with juried artists, a full musical lineup, festival foods, and near the courthouse, MAIN ST. Creates! for kids. Head to this outdoor arts-and-crafts studio first for fun with sand art, henna tattoos and tons more. Free admission; some activities require coupons.
EarthX Fest, Dallas
Friday–Sunday, Apr. 20–22, 10am–6pm
Celebrate Earth Day at this massive, growing expo in Fair Park with hundreds of green exhibitors and kid-friendly attractions for aspiring conservationists. Learn to climb trees with a rope in the outdoor adventure zone, go scuba diving (for kids as young as 10), or escape with a virtual reality headset. Free admission with registration; $5 without registration. Some activities may require a fee.
Beauty and the Beast Musical and Tea Party, Fort Worth
Friday–Sunday, Apr. 20–22, multiple showtimes
The Casa Mañana theater invites your whole family to be their guest—twice. See Belle and the Beast in this family favorite musical, and before the 1pm show on Saturday, get extra time with characters off stage during Tea with Belle, a tea party where the musical characters serve as wait staff and you get to meet the princess in person. $55 for tea; performance tickets from $21.
Blue Play for Toddlers, Dallas
Saturday, Apr. 21, 10:30am and 1:30pm
Sunday, Apr. 22, 1:30 and 4:30pm
This new play opening Saturday at Dallas Children’s Theater is designed for toddlers with short attention spans. Blue introduces the ideas of acceptance and understanding. Pale and Inky Blue live peaceably in their all-blue world until a red sock mysteriously shows up in their kitchen. Find out how the pair reacts to this new color when this play returns to the DCT stage for its second consecutive year. $16.
Gold Late Night at the DMA, Dallas
Friday, Apr. 20, 6pm–12am
All that glitters is gold in the Dallas Museum of Art’s new exhibit The Power of Gold—Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana. See more than 200 items of gold regalia, ceremonial furniture and swords on Friday night when the exhibit is the subject of the DMA’s next Late Night event. $20 for event and exhibit admission. Free for DMA members and children 11 and younger.
Red Balloon Run & Ride, Plano
Saturday, Apr. 21, 7:15am
Want to help Children’s Health save lives? Become an active partner in their mission by enlisting your whole family to run or ride bikes at this annual event on the Children's Health Plano Campus. Races include a 1K fun run, 5K run and bike ride, and more rides (open to 12 and older) ranging from 23 to 72 miles, followed by a carnival and games for kids. $35 adults; $15 children ages 6–12; $5 for 5 and younger. $5 additional on event day.
Mother Earth Artisan Market and Festival, Arlington
Saturday, Apr. 21, 8am–1pm
Let the kids make their own pine cone bird feeder, learn how to compost and, best of all, take part in a fitness-class-meets-petting-zoo led by Happy Goat Yoga, all at Overlook Park at Viridian. Practice poses during this not-so-serious class while pygmy goats linger and jump around and on top of you. Free admission to market. $35 for class; includes post-workout playtime with the goats.
North Texas Teen Book Festival, Irving
Saturday, Apr. 21, 8am–5pm
Bring your teen and tween book lovers to the Irving Convention Center for the fourth annual festival with author panels, keynote speeches and book signings from more than 75 middle grade and YA authors. Don’t miss Dav Pilkey of the Captain Underpants series and Marley Dias, who as a sixth-grader started the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign. Free.
Cardboard Boat Regatta, Arlington
Saturday, Apr. 21, 9am–4pm
Witness an epic competition as young souls set sail across Six Flags Hurricane Harbor’s wave pool in boats made of nothing but cardboard. The 29th annual regatta hosted by River Legacy is also a great excuse to get access to the water park before it opens for the season. $100 for boat kit. $5 park entry fee; $10 passes for unlimited spins on select rides: the Tornado, Tsunami Surge, Typhoon Twister and Hook’s Lagoon.
Fort Worth Zoo's African Savanna Grand Opening
Saturday, Apr. 21, 10am–6pm
The giraffes, hippos, zebras and southern black rhinos of the Fort Worth Zoo are migrated over to the new 10-acre African Savanna exhibit, the first exhibit of the zoo’s $100-million capital campaign A Wilder Vision that includes new exhibit space, renovated habitats and new ways to observe and interact with the animals. Come feed the giraffes and watch the hippos from an underwater viewing area. $14 adults; $10 kids ages 3–12; kids 2 and younger free.
Meadows Museum Family Art Day, Dallas
Saturday, Apr. 21, 10am–1pm
As part of Southern Methodist University’s Founders’ Day celebration, the Meadows Museum offers free access to its newest exhibition and related art activities for all ages. Take an up-close look at the 60-plus works by Eduardo Chillida, one of Spain’s most celebrated modern sculptors, before joining your kids in 2-D and 3-D art projects. Free.
Spring Into Nash, Grapevine
Saturday, Apr. 21, 10am–2pm
Spring’s a busy time around Nash Farm. Join the commotion during one of Nash Farm’s biggest family days of the year by taking part in both the chores (tilling the soil, planting cotton) and the fun (riding on the wagon, jump rope making, visiting the furry farm animals). Free admission. Coupons required for some activities.
Redbud Fest and TRASHion Fashion Show, Denton
Saturday, Apr. 21, 10am–4pm
Head to the Redbud Capital of Texas for live music, face painting and bounce houses as part of Keep Denton Beautiful’s 25th annual Redbud Festival and the city’s official Arbor Day celebration. At noon, witness an unusual fashion show, hosted by SCRAP Denton, of elaborate outfits crafted by recyclable items. Free admission. Denton residents get free trees to plant in their own yards.
Family Party at Hollyhock Community, Frisco
Saturday, Apr. 21, 12–4pm
Frisco’s master-planned community Hollyhock invites the public to “Get Your Frisco On” at this party with foods from local restaurants, local artisans selling their wares, music from a live band and lawn games for the whole family. Donations of hygiene products and shelf-stable, boxed meals accepted for Frisco Family Services. Free; check in at the amenity center to receive food and drink tickets.
Sesame Street Pop Up Tour, Arlington
Saturday, Apr. 21, 11am–4pm
Bring your preschoolers to The Parks at Arlington mall for a live show starring Elmo and Abby Cadabby. The 15-minute show Sesame Street: F is for Friends will be repeated throughout the day, and families can enjoy meet and greets with the characters, digital activity stations and photo ops at Cookie Monster’s new food truck. Free.
Go, Dog. Go! Musical, Richardson
Sunday, Apr. 22, 2:30pm
It’s off to the races for Red Dog, Blue Dog, Yellow Dog, Green Dog, MC and Hattie at the Eisemann Center. Watch as the lovable characters from P.D. Eastman’s enduring picture book get behind the wheel, take a moonlit boat ride, and play catch in this musical romp with plenty of physical comedy. Tickets from $12.