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Art&Seek Jr: Enjoy Living at These Day of the Dead Celebrations

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.

It’s been all about Halloween for the past few weeks and its ghostly, spooky fun. But hold on, there’s another holiday this week with roots in the afterlife. On Nov. 1-2 many families in our area will celebrate Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. The Mexican holiday, which dates back to the ancient Aztecs, is a celebration in which family and friends gather together to pray for and remember loved ones who have died. Private altars or ofrendas are constructed to honor the deceased, and sugar skulls and favorite foods are left as gifts for the departed. It may sound ghoulish, but it’s actually quite a happy occasion. Loved ones are remembered, and the continuity of life is celebrated.

I love it that we live in an area of the country where my daughter can experience so many different cultures and traditions like Dia de los Muertos. Here’s a few spirited events that you and the kids won’t want to miss:

Arts Fifth Avenue in Fort Worth will hold its 11th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration on Saturday. This event is bilingual and includes fun activities for kids of all ages. Paper-flower making, face painting and a special workshop on tamale making are all on the agenda. A community ofrenda (altar) will be set up, and everyone is invited to add something in memory of a lost loved one.

The Dension Arts Council holds it own blow out this weekend. The two-day Dia de los Muertos Festival and Art Walk  will feature gallery exhibits, live art demonstrations, parades, music and a mercado. You can take in everything from a low rider car show to a Frida Kahlo Look-a-Like contest. But I think my absolute favorite on the list is the sculpted Day of the Dead Cake demonstration at the Sweet Jubilee Cake and Sugar Arts Show. Something to keep in mind for the next bake sale.

And speaking of desserts and the dead, no Dia de los Muertos celebration is complete without sugar skulls.  No doubt you’ll be able to find plenty Friday at the annual block party put on by the Tyler & Davis Arts District . Just when you think it can’t get any better, word on the street is that the good folks at Coco Andre Chocolatier will feature CHOCOLATE skulls as well. Hey, count me in. If you’re on sugar overload, fear not. There will be plenty of other activities to take in at this good old fashion street party.

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 tpowell@kera.org.