March 8, 2013

Spring Break Week: Local events and classes for kids

Museums, nature centers and more have packed next week with events that will keep the kids busy and learning while school's out.

Rants, raves, reviews and resources for Dallas-Fort Worth parents

Spring break has sprung!

While the kids are out of school for the week, keep them busy with fun activities around town. Indoors or out, free or for a fee, these special events and classes will keep kids entertained and on the go.

Botanic Garden's Green Thumb Club

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden invites kids age 4 through fifth grade to learn outdoors during the break. On Monday, Animal Olympics will teach kids through interactive play and crafts about animals all over the world and how they adapt to their environment.

On Wednesday, Carnivorous Plants will let kids get up close to learn about the Venus flytrap, sundew and pitcher plant. They can also play a game to learn how the plants feed.

Details: 10 a.m.-noon Monday and Wednesday. Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd. $15 per day ($10 members). Register by email to or call 817-871-7682.

Children's Opera Theatre

Expose your child to opera in a fun, kid-friendly way. The Fort Worth Opera presents two short works over spring break. The Bremen Town Musicians is the story of a town of animals that try to start a band but must learn cooperation to prevent pirates from stealing their instruments. The Three Little Pigs gives the classic tale a Mozart-inspired twist and includes a lesson about reading. After each performance, the audience can talk to the performers. Each show is approximately 45 minutes.

Details: The Bremen Town Musicians, 11 a.m. Monday and 2 p.m. Tuesday; The Three Little Pigs, 2 p.m. Monday and 11 a.m. Tuesday. Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy St. $5. 817-731-0726;

Spring Break Tour: Murals and Mosaics

Historic Fort Worth Inc. has organized a self-guided tour of 13 of the city's murals and mosaics dating back as far as the year 450. A booklet includes a map and directions to each stop, and a scavenger hunt activity, along with hours for each location. Children who find at least eight of the scavenger hunt items will win a prize. Although the recommended ages are 6 to 13, the whole family can enjoy exploring the city. Purchase booklets at Miss Molly's Toy and Candy Shop (4804 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth), Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House (1110 Penn St., Fort Worth) or online. Each member of the group will need a booklet; it is the admission ticket to each venue.

Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, but hours may vary. Booklet $10, $5 for Historic Fort Worth members and Press Pass holders at McFarland House. 817-336-2344, ext. 100;

Wonderful Wednesdays at the Modern

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth will be expanding its Wonderful Wednesdays program to two days over spring break. On Tuesday, the featured artist will be Bruce Nauman. On Wednesday, it's Mark Bradford. Both days' activities begin with a guided tour for families. Children can then work on an art project inspired by the experience. Admission is free and registration is not required. Sign in at the front desk upon arrival.

Details: 4-4:45 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Free. 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth. 817-738-9215;

Spring Break Activities at the Nature Center

The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge is the perfect place to get outdoors during spring break. On Monday, take a guided hike to observe spring wildflowers and animals. On Tuesday and Thursday morning, take a hayride out to the bison pastures to feed and learn about these wooly beasts (preregistration required). Wednesday's Canoefest lets parents and children age 5 and older take a canoe out for a paddle. On Friday, get up close and meet some of the nature center's animal ambassadors.

Details: Monday through Friday. Hours and fees vary by activity. Park admission $5, $2 ages 3-12, $3 seniors. 9601 Fossil Ridge Road. 817-392-7410;

Spring Break Art Extravaganza

The Kimbell Art Museum has four days of art activities for kids of all ages. Families can tour the permanent collection and watch children's films, such as Pinocchio, presented by the Lone Star Film Society. Each day will feature different art projects that allow children and teens to work with a variety of mediums, including watercolors and clay. A full daily schedule is available on the Kimbell's website. No reservations are necessary; drop in when you'd like.

Details: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, noon-4 p.m. Friday. 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. Free. 817-332-8451;

Family Fun Week: Sensational Seasons

For four days over spring break, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art will feature art from a different season. Through artwork featuring winter, spring, summer and autumn, visitors will explore the gallery and create works of their own. Admission is free and reservations are not necessary. This program is best for families with children under age 12.

Details: 10:30 a.m.-noon Tuesday-Friday. 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. Free. 817-738-1933;

Bureau of Printing and Engraving craft demos

Did you know that U.S. currency is only printed in two places? One is Washington, D.C., and the other is right here in Fort Worth. Visitors can tour the Bureau of Printing and Engraving and watch real money being printed daily. During spring break, employees will also demonstrate historic tools like the printing press. Walk over the printing room and explore interactive exhibits. No reservations are necessary, but everyone will have to pass through security before entering the facility. No cellphone, cameras or large bags are allowed inside.

Details: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (last tour begins at 4:30 p.m.) Tuesday-Friday. 9000 Blue Mound Road, Fort Worth. Free. 817-231-4000;

Spring Break Camp at the Fort Worth Zoo

If you need a place to drop the kids off, the Fort Worth Zoo hosts a day camp for children in first through sixth grade. Session 1, We Are Family!, will introduce children to zoo families through crafts, games and a walk through the zoo. Session 2, No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!, will get the kids up close to primates of all kinds. Each session is two days, and children may register for either or both. Each session runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and before and after care is also available. Space is limited to the first 100 kids registered.

Details: Session 1, Monday and Tuesday; session 2, Thursday and Friday. 1989 Colonial Parkway. $125 per session. Register at 817-759-7200 or

Cowtown Goes Green

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Texas-style March 16 in the Fort Worth Stockyards. This family-friendly event will offer free kids' activities, including pony rides, a petting zoo, games, balloons and face-painting. Enjoy live Irish music and gunfight shows. The event wraps up with a Western Irish parade after the daily cattle drive at 4 p.m. Don't forget to wear green.

Details: 1-4:30 p.m. March 16. Stockyards National Historic District, East Exchange Avenue. Free. 817-625-9715;

It's All Fun and Games at Log Cabin Village

Log Cabin Village hosts its annual play day for spring break March 16. Families can visit the village and explore authentic log cabins while experiencing life in the 1800s. Special activities will include playing with old-fashioned toys and games, scattering wildflower seeds in seed balls, and watching the Lone Star Leather Crafters at work. The Buttermilk Junction Old-Time String Band will bring the tunes. Children can also make a toy to take home ($2 fee).

Details: 1-4 p.m. March 16. 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane, Fort Worth. $5, $4.50 ages 4-17 and 60+. 817-392-5881;

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