Friday Freebies: Enjoy festivities

Fall festivals are in full swing now and with triple-digit temperatures gone (cross fingers), it's a great time to explore the great outdoors with the family. Here are 5 ideas:

1. GrapeFest: Yes, this is a family-friendly festival. I suggest you take the kids on Friday before 5 p.m. when it's free for everyone, then get a babysitter so that you and the Mr. can partake in the wine drinking. Some cool things you'll find at the KidZone include a 40-animal petting zoo, live entertainment and a Legoland Discovery Center Junior Builder Competition.

Good to know: Free parking and shuttle service will be offered at the east and southeast parking area at Grapevine Mills mall

Recommended ages: All

When: 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, September 18

Where: Downtown Grapevine and area wineries and vineyards

Info: 817-410-3185,

Star-Telegram story on GrapeFest

Cost: FREE before 5 p.m. Friday, September 16! Otherwise, adults, $8; children ages 6-12 & seniors (62+), $5; 5 and younger are free

2. FitFuture KidsFest: This festival focuses on fun ways to get kids to eat healthier and stay active. Activities include mixed martial arts demonstrations, gymnastics performances, jazzercise and cooking demonstrations.

Recommended ages: All

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, September 17

Where: Campus West Building, 209 N. Industrial Blvd. Euless

Info: 817-685-1666,

Cost: FREE!

3. Diez Y Seis de Septiembre Celebración: Artes de la Rosa celebrates Mexican Independence Day with a bilingual fest featuring Mariachis de Oro, Ballet Folkorico Mexico Lindo, the game lotería and plenty of food from north side restaurants.

Recommended ages: All

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, September 17

Where: Rose Marine Theater Plaza, 1440 N. Main St., Fort Worth

Info: 817-624-8333;

Cost: FREE!

4. Crow Collection After Dark - Mystical Arts of Tibet: There's no school on Saturday so why not let the kids stay up? Celebrate the release of the new DVD, Yogiños: Yoga for Youth® Vishnu’s OHMazing™ Journeys with a night of art activities, yoga classes, a concert with MC Yogi, karaoke, and more!

Recommended ages: All

When: 6 p.m. to Midnight, Friday, September 16

Where: Crow Collection of Art, 2010 Flora Street (Between Harwood & Olive), Dallas, TX 75201


Cost: FREE!

PLAN AHEAD: 5. Family KhanDays: Kids can create Mongolian-themed art projects inspired the center's "Genghis Khan: The Exhibition," which you can peruse after your art activitiy.

Good to know: Family KhanDays activities are free, admission to the exhibition requires a seperate ticket ($12, adults; $8, seniors 55 and older and children 18 and younger; Children younger than 2 are free).

Recommended ages: All

When: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, September 24

Where: Carpenter Lobby, Irving Arts Center, 3333 North MacArthur Blvd., Irving, TX 75062

Info: 972-252-7558,

Cost: FREE!


$20 Great Wolf Lodge Day Pass: For a limited time, you can get a special $20 one-day waterpark pass to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. This is a great deal because normally you would have to pay for a night's stay (about $200-$600 per night) to have waterpark privileges. The best part of the deal is that proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Good to know: Passes are good between September 6-November 18 (with some blackout dates) and can only be redeemed at the Grapevine location. Not valid on Saturdays or Sundays before 2 p.m.

When: September 6-November 18

Where: Great Wolf Lodge, 100 Great Wolf Drive, Grapevine, TX 76051


Cost: $20 per person

VSP Eye Pledge Campaign: Seeing is believing. To bring attention to the importance of eye health, VSP Vision Care has launched the VSP Eye Pledge campaign. For every pledge, VSP will donate an eye exam and brand new pair of glasses to a Boys & Girls Club member on your behalf.

Good to know: VSP has pledged to donate up to 50,000 eye exams worth more than $19 million dollars.

Where: Visit and click on the Eye Pledge. Take the pledge to take care of your own eyes, then select the Boys & Girls Club that you wish to receive a free eye exam


Cost: FREE!

Check Maricar's Friday Freebies blog every week for a list of free things to do in the Dallas/Fort Worth area! To submit your own Friday Freebie, add a comment to her blog or send your submissions at least one week before the date of the event to with the subject line: "Friday Freebies"