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Art&Seek Jr: Dia de los Muertos Events To Enjoy With Your Little Ghouls

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.

If you’ve got kids, it’s probably been all witches, ghosts and Draculaura in your house since about Oct. 1. and right about now you’re close to Maximum Halloween Saturation Mode, or MHSM for short. By Thursday night, after the little kiddles are stuffed to the gills with mini snickers bars and tucked in bed, many parents will toss out the moldy pumpkin and happily put the orange and black holiday behind them for another year.

For those of you who aren’t ready to put the skeletons back in the closet just yet, there’s one last chance to get your ghoul on before it’s time to don the jingle bells. That’s right, Dia de los Muertos, the other dark holiday is coming up this weekend. In case you didn’t know or you’re new to the area, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday, which dates back to the ancient Aztecs, and 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.

If you’ve had your fill of the Great Pumpkin but still want to get some spooky fun in, try on one of these Dia de los Muertos events for size.

Celebrate the living and the dead at a Dia de los Muertos events this weekend. (Photo: Artes de la Rosa)

There’s no better way to familiarize your kids (and yourself) with the holiday than with an art exhibition and it just so happens that the Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake has one of the best. In its 27 year, the annual Dia de los Muertos exhibition features works by nearly sixty different artists working in traditional and contemporary styles. The artwork  celebrates, explores and honors people, things, and ideas that have “passed on.” The exhibit is on display now until Nov. 16. And speaking of things that have passed on. Here’s a bonus, after the exhibition take the kids for a stroll outside around the banks of White Rock Lake. While you’re enjoying the scenery tell them the creepy ghost story of the Lady of Lake. Brrrrrr! As Granny used to say, “a cat just walked over my grave!”

The Oak Cliff Cultural Center is honoring those who have departed with a special Dia de los Muertos celebration this Friday night from 7 to 9 p.m. There will be performances by Alegre Ballet Folklorico and Cuicani In Xochitl and sweets to enjoy like Day of the Dead bread by Panaderia Balderas as well as hot chocolate from Coco Andre. While you’re at the center, be sure to stop by the gallery and see all the colorful Dia de Los Muertos altars created by local artists.

Another great family event you won’t want to miss is Artes de la Rosa’s 10th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration. It’s happening in Fort Worth on Saturday night from 7 to 10 p.m. There will also be music, dancing, face painting and, of course, pan de muerto! The highlight of the evening is the drum and puppet procession from Marine Park to the Rose Marine Theater Plaza.

If you’re wanting to crafty, hop on over to Oil and Cotton on Saturday afternoon for one of their special Day of the Dead workshops. There’s one just for kids where youngsters create Penny Dreadfuls, short horror stories that celebrate Gothic horror and a good scare. Perfect for sharing at the next camp out or slumber party!  And the whole family can catch up with the dead by creating a Dia de los Muertos inspired photographs. Attendees to this workshop use pinhole cameras, props, costumes and creative backgrounds to make spooky photos. They will also discuss past examples of the art form and explore the popularity of spirit photography. These are drop-in workshops so there’s no need to pre-register.

Hope you see lots of dead people this weekend!

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 quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at tpowell@kera.org