March 4, 2014

Where the spring-break fun can be found

Museums, performance groups and even the government ‘money factory’ get into the picture with activities for all ages

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

Spring break is upon us again. And although we can’t promise what the weather will do, we can promise there’s plenty for the whole family to do, indoors and out, around Tarrant County.

We rounded up more than a dozen special events and activities for families to check out before school starts again.

‘Disney’s Peter Pan Jr.’ at Artisan Center Theater

Artisan Center Theater presents the Artie’s Playhouse retelling of the classic story of Peter Pan in its new children’s theater location. This modernized version is based on both the Disney film and J.M. Barrie play. Join Wendy, Michael and John on an adventure with Peter Pan into Neverland that includes mermaids, pirates and magic. Fans of the film will recognize many of the classic Disney songs.

Details: Saturday through April 12. Check website for special spring break performances. Adults $7, children $5. 418 E. Pipeline Road, Hurst. 817-284-1200;

Fort Worth Children’s Opera Theatre

The Fort Worth Opera stages two 40-minute performances of kid-friendly operas.

The Ugly Duckling, based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, takes place 2 p.m. Monday and 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The Three Little Pigs features music from famous works by Mozart; performances will take place 11 a.m. Monday and 2 p.m. Tuesday. Both operas will be performed at the Scott Theatre in the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy St., Fort Worth.

Children can donate one nonperishable food item for the Tarrant Area Food Bank, and in return they will receive one free ticket to a performance.

Each opera will be followed by a Q&A with the cast.

Details: $5. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 817-731-0726.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing demonstrations

The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where half of the nation’s currency is printed, invites families to visit the Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth. Take a tour and watch money being made. Kids age 8 and older may participate in hands-on activities, such as engraving their own currency design.

No reservations are necessary, but everyone will have to pass through security before entering the facility. No cellphones, cameras or large bags are allowed inside.

Details: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through March 14. (Last tour begins at 4:30 p.m.) Free. 9000 Blue Mound Road, Fort Worth. 817-231-4000.

Go wild at the Fort Worth Zoo

There are still spots left for first- through sixth-graders in the Fort Worth Zoo’s spring break camp. The weeklong camp will include crafts, games, snacks, animal presentations and tours through the zoo.

Details: Camp takes place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with after-care available. Cost is $200 per week for zoo members and $225 for nonmembers. Registration must take place through the zoo’s website. 1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth. For more information, visit or call 817-759-7200.

Spring break at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has a flurry of nonstop activities planned from morning to evening Monday through Friday. Among the programs and demonstrations in the museum’s various studios and galleries are “Lions, Tigers and Bears … Oh My!,” “Paint a Rainbow,” “Happy Birthday, Barbie!,” “Shocking Science” and “Vortex Science: Swirl and Whirl.”

In addition, the museum’s exhibits “Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology” and “The Wizard of Oz” will be on display.

And, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, the museum with celebrate Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday.

Details: The schedule of activities changes daily; call the museum or visit the website for more information. Hours are extended from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily Saturday through March 15. Admission prices vary by exhibit and activity. 1600 Gendy St., Fort Worth. 817-255-9540;

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art

The theme for this year’s Family Fun Week at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art is “The Natural World in Art.” Explore the elements of earth, wind, water and fire through hands-on art activities for all ages. Refreshments will also be provided. No registration is necessary.

Details: 10:30 a.m.-noon Tuesday through March 14. Free. 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth. 817-738-1933;

The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge

The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge is one of the largest city-owned nature centers in the United States and home to a significant bison herd. During spring break, a full schedule of activities is planned. Monday, learn how to create an inviting natural space for butterflies and birds. Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 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. Friday, take a morning hike (preregistration required) and then spend the day on a scavenger hunt. Pick up a card at the Hardwicke Interpretive Center. All participants win a prize and are eligible for the grand prize.

Details: Monday through March 14. Hours and fees vary by activity. Park admission $5, $3 seniors and $2 ages 3-12. 9601 Fossil Ridge Road. 817-392-7410;

Cowtown goes green

Don your favorite green apparel and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a couple days early in Fort Worth’s Stockyards National Historic District. This family-friendly event will include several free kids’ activities. There will be 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 following the daily cattle drive at 4 p.m.

Details: 1-4:30 p.m. March 15. Free. 130 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth. 817-625-9715; www.s

Spring break wonders at the Modern Art Museum

The Modern Art Museum will host special programming that features a different artist each day. The lineup includes David Bates (Monday), Carl Andre and Jackie Winsor (Tuesday), Anselm Kiefer and Robert Rauschenberg (Wednesday) and Jenny Holzer and Sol LeWitt (Thursday). Each session includes a docent-led tour and art project. Registration is not required, but space is limited. Sign up at the front desk on the day of your visit.

Monday only, admission to the museum will be free. Café Modern also will open the Modern Grille on the cafe’s terrace with hot dogs and burgers for sale, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Children age 12 and younger eat free.

Details: 2-2:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Monday free; Tuesday-Thursday $10, free age 12 and younger. 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth. 817-738-9215;

It’s all fun and games at

Log Cabin Village

At Log Cabin Village, take a step back in time to explore authentic log cabins while experiencing life in the 1800s. Special activities will include playing with old-fashioned toys and games, plowing and planting crops. Children may make a buzz saw toy to take home for a $2 fee. Local musical group Buttermilk Junction will perform. No reservations needed; come and go.

Details: 1-4 p.m. March 15. $5; ages 4-17 $4.50. 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane, Fort Worth. 817-392-5881;

Spring break workshops at Van Grow studio

Prepare to get a bit messy and have a lot of fun. Van Grow Art Studio is offering a week of themed art classes.

Monday, create 2-D and 3-D circus collages inspired by the works of artist Alexander Calder. Tuesday, re-create the works of Vincent van Gogh with paint on canvas. Wednesday, make shadow boxes inspired by Joseph Cornell. Thursday’s theme is Asian art and students will make suminagashi prints, paint with ink and model clay. Friday’s theme is Egyptian art, and students will draw King Tut, make a clay sphinx and learn to write hieroglyphs.

Take one class or spend the whole week. Full-day students bring a nut-free sack lunch. Register on the Van Grow website.

Details: 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. $40 per session or $75 per day. 3434 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth. 817-348-0505;

The Kimbell’s Spring Break Art Extravaganza

Adults and children alike can enjoy daily activities at the Kimbell Art Museum during spring break. Activities include children’s films, family tours and several hands-on art projects inspired by the museum’s exhibits. Stop by for an hour, a day or all week. No reservations necessary. A daily activity schedule is online.

The special exhibition “Samurai: Armor From the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection” has a separate admission fee. It’s $5-$14; half-price all day Tuesdays and 5-8 p.m. Fridays.

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

Bob Jones Nature Center programs

The Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake has activities for all ages. Children accompanied by a parent can enjoy Saturday craft workshops that focus on natural and recycled materials. Saturday, build a bug hotel to attract beneficial insects. March 15, craft newspaper pots to start your garden. Space is limited and registration can be completed online.

Details: 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and March 15. $5; members free. 355 E. Bob Jones Road, Southlake. 817-491-6333;

Spring Break Carnival at Fort Worth libraries

Visit one of the Fort Worth Library branches for carnival-themed spring-break activities that emphasize literacy for all ages. Activities vary by branch but include math games, fitness activities and crafts. There also will be live entertainment from monkey, juggling and magic acts. Each session lasts approximately an hour.

Saturday: 2 p.m., Wedgwood Branch

Monday: 2 p.m., Central Library and 4:30 p.m., Diamond Hill/Jarvis Branch

Tuesday: 2 p.m., East Regional Library

Wednesday: 1 p.m., Ella Mae Shamblee Branch and 4:30 p.m., Northside Branch

Thursday: 2 p.m., Southwest Regional Library

March 15: 1 p.m., Summerglen Branch

March 24: 4:30 p.m., Riverside Branch

March 27: 4:30 p.m., Seminary South Branch

Details: Free. 817-392-7323. Library branch addresses available at

Spring break at the science center

Visit the River Legacy Living Science Center in Arlington for a hands-on learning experience with nature. Monday, take a hike with a naturalist and do leaf and bark rubbings. Tuesday, learn about Texas turtles with a close encounter and a craft project. Wednesday, rent a dip net during center hours for $2 and study the live creatures found in the river. Thursday, take a naturalist-led hike and scavenger hunt. Friday, learn about opossums with a close encounter and a craft.

Hikes begin every half-hour. Animal presentations are every hour.

Details: 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Free admission; $2 per person activity fee. 703 N.W. Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington. 817-860-6752;

Spring fling on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad

The Grapevine Vintage Railroad operates two Victorian-style locomotives that pull authentic vintage passenger cars. During spring break, the trains will run daily on a round trip from Grapevine to the Stockyards and on the Trinity River Run, which departs from Stockyards Station and circles downtown. In addition to enjoying the view, passengers can play old-fashioned board games on the ride.

Details: Monday-Friday. Grapevine route: 1 p.m., Grapevine Vintage Railroad, 705 S. Main St., Grapevine. $7-$28. Trinity River Run: 2:45 p.m., Stockyards Station, 130 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth. $10-$15. 817-410-3185; vintage-railroad

Tales at Twilight

Nash Farm in Grapevine is a 5.2-acre historical landmark where families can learn about life on the Texas prairie in the 1800s. The farm hosts a fun family storytelling event where members of the Tarrant Area Guild of Storytellers will entertain visitors with stories from around the world. Bring your own chairs and blankets to get comfortable on the lawn. Picnic baskets are welcome. Popcorn and cider will be provided.

Details: 7-9 p.m. March 15. Free. 626 Ball St., Grapevine. 817-410-3185;

Butterflies in the Garden

Butterflies in the Garden is a biannual exhibit at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Conservatory, open daily through April. Approximately 12,000 exotic butterflies from around the world will fly around a walk-through natural environment. The theme for 2014 is “Butterflies of Asia,” and visitors may catch a glimpse of several eye-catching species from Malaysia, including the paper kite and great Mormon. Entrances are timed and limited; tickets must be purchased in advance.

Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through April 6. $10, seniors $8, ages 3-12 $6. 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. 817-392-5510;

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