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.
I saw a post on Facebook today for a pretty clever Halloween costume that puts a whole new twist on the princess theme. It was an Ironman costume coupled with a red and yellow tutu. The caption underneath the photo read “Iron Maiden.” Get it? Okay, if you came of age in the early ’80s you probably have a better appreciation of the humor.
This double entendre got me thinking about Halloween costumes and the debate that has waged for many years amongst my circle of friends. The yearly argument centers around whether or not a Halloween costume should be scary, or, what I like to call, Team Scary verses Team Not-at-All-Scary. Team Scary is your basic witch, vampire, zombie, bloody prom queen, etc. and Team Not-At-All-Scary is everything else in the Halloween costume grab bag. Team Scary contends that your costume should be horrifically frightening, unworldly, or at the very least…icky (like a friend who came to a party one year as a giant water bug). Team Not-At-All-Scary” sees Halloween as the perfect chance to channel someone or something they’ve always wanted to be. Team Scary (who as group seems to take Halloween very seriously) claims Team Not-At-All-Scary is diluting Halloween by not dressing in spirit of the season. And they’re just using Halloween as an excuse to dress up as a trampy french maid. To which Team Not-At-All-Scary retorts that perhaps Team Scary should lighten up and get a life. I try not to take sides, but it can get pretty ugly this time of year.
Besides costumes, scary and not-at-all-scary can translate into most things Halloween. Some delight in having the bejeebers scared out them and will come running back for more. Others prefer to eat their Halloween cupcake sans the fake-blood icing. Whatever your preference the important thing is to get out there and enjoy the season. Here are a few suggestions that run the gamut from “boo!” to scared silly.
This Saturday the Turtle Creek Association is hosting a Pumpkins in the Park festival. Besides pumpkins, pumpkins and more pumpkins, the kids can enjoy face painting, balloon artists, and air brush tattoos (shock the in-laws with a skull and cross bones on the baby). Be sure to bring a blanket and a picnic to spread out and enjoy what’s sure to be a beautiful fall afternoon in one of Dallas’ most picturesque public parks.
Up a notch or two on the scary scale, but still plenty of fun for little ones is Halloween at the Heard at the Heard Natural Science Museum in McKinney. Kids can trick-or-treat along the Dinosaurs Live! trail where they’ll encounter 9 animatronic dinosaurs and some extra “trail haunts.” There’s a costume contest for kids ages 12 and under–the clap-o-meter will decide the winner. Finally, a semi-scary day wouldn’t be complete without a movie under the stars so head to the Heard’s outdoor Amphitheater stage to catch The Lorax. Don’t worry if your littlest goblins can’t stay awake for the movie, there will be a special reading of the book The Lorax earlier in the evening.
You can celebrate all things owly this Thursday at the Trinity River Audubon Center at their Third Thursday Owl-O-Ween event. Kids can hear a talk about owls by Erich Neupert of the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center (who will bring live owls from 6 to 8 p.m.) and then head out on to the spooky trails for an owl prowl. I posted about our experience at the owl prowl last spring. Rose had a great time at TRAC and especially gives the owl prowl a big thumbs up. One thing though before you go, since it’s dark and you need to be quiet to hear the owls, this event is generally better suited for kids 6 and up.
Finally, pegging the scary meter is the Haunted Shadows Lake Trail in The Colony. This is definitely for older kids. It’s sort of a Blair Witch Project style trail walk through the woods and weeds along the shore of Lake Lewisville in The Colony. Your group is given a flashlight to pick your way through the dark,winding, marked trail …and (CUE SCARY MUSIC) to illuminate the various creatures that you’ll meet along the way…the Lady of the Lake, a werewolf or two, and the undead in the Lakeside Cemetery. BAH HAHAHA!!! Isn’t Halloween fun?
Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 7-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at firstname.lastname@example.org.