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Art&Seek Jr: 4 Outdoorsy Things To Do With The Kids This Weekend

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.

Rose and I had a “Wild Kingdom” moment this weekend. It all started on Friday morning when we noticed the biggest walking stick I have ever seen in my life hanging from the side of the garage. And when I say “big” I mean you could put a saddle on this sucker and ride it. It was at least 8 inches long, as big around as my little finger, with spindly legs and a face only a mother could love. For the first couple of days Walter–as we started calling him–didn’t move at all, which lead us to believe that in addition to being ugly he was also lazy. On  Sunday, curiosity finally got the best of Rose and she cautiously poked Walter with a broom (while I looked on from a safe distance) to see if she could get him to move.  It was at this point we discovered our walking stick wasn’t lazy, but was in fact, dead. Truth be told, he’d probably had been dead since we first spotted him on Friday and had chosen the side of our garage for his final resting place. I felt a little guilty for calling him ugly and lazy.

Butterflies fall into the "non-scary" category for bugs. (photo Northeast Tarrant County Kiwanis)

Butterflies fall into the “non-scary” category for bugs. (photo Northeast Tarrant County Kiwanis)

So today as we were leaving the house in our usual mad scramble to beat the school bell, we see poor, dead Walter hanging there on the side of garage and he just seems so sad. In our moment of pity for the insect we decide Rose should take him to school and show him to her science class. This would be sort of like donating his body to science and make it seem like he didn’t die in vain.  The only problem with this idea was that I had to get him down. I’m not one of those girly girls who’s afraid to get her hair wet or screams bloody murder when she sees a mouse, but the sight of Walter’s long, lifeless, buggy body gave me a fearsome case of the creepy crawlies. Dead or not, I did not want to touch him. After shuddering a few times and looking at Rose’s disappointed face (she did everything but call me a ninny) I decided to woman-up for the sake of science and my girl-child. So, up I climbed on the stool in my dress and heels and with the help of spaghetti tongs I managed to unstick Walter in one piece and deposit him into a plastic salad container without squealing once.

Later, as  I watched Rose take Walter into Ms. V’s 3rd grade science class, I felt positively outdoorsy.  Just call me Sheena Queen of the Jungle.

You and the kids can be outdoorsy (or just conquer your fear of bugs) at one of these fun events going on this weekend .

1. Ease into bugs slowly at the Kiwanis Butterfly Festival at Southlake Town Square. I mean, who doesn’t love a flittery, floaty butterfly? Hundreds of the little rascals will be contained in a 600 square foot tent that you and the tinies can enjoy all weekend long. Kids can feed the butterflies with watermelon and have their burning butterfly questions answered by butterfly handlers. The event ends with the release of the butterflies at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Learn to fish at LLELA this weekend. (photo LLELA)

Learn to fish at LLELA this weekend. (photo LLELA)

2. If you’ve got a kid knee high to a grasshopper then head to Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge for Knee High Naturalists. Tot-lettes 5 to 8 can spend the afternoon learning about the outdoors and dragonflies.  Best of all, the program is free with paid admission.

3. Speaking of dragons that fly, you can try your hand at dragon boating at White Rock Lake this Saturday. For those of you who don’t know, dragon boating is a boat of 20 paddlers in a 46 foot long boat with a steers person, moving to the beat of a drummer and paddling to cross the finish faster than their competition. Sounds like fun, huh? Kids 11 and up can find their inner dragon with a free intro dragon boating class with Dallas United Crew. It will be a great opportunity to meet the coaches, learn the basics of the sport and see if dragon boating is for them. Life jackets and paddles are provided but be sure to email DUC so they know you’re coming.

4. I mentioned this last week, but the kid’s fishing workshop at Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area this weekend bears repeating. In this fun workshop children 7 years and up can learn all the basics of fishing for just 7 bucks! Topics like casting, fish identification and bait and tackle will be taught by fishing experts. Plus, there will be least one hour of fishing on Elk Fork. LLELA will have all the gear you need, but if you’d like keep fishing after the workshop you’ll need to bring your own gear.

I don’t know about you, but I can hear the outdoors calling!

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at tpowell@kera.org.