30 October 2009

Pizza and Play!

Snap out of your trick-or-treating-induced sugar coma and check out Dallas' first GattiTown restaurant and kid-friendly hot spot, which just opened earlier this month at 11722 Marsh Lane in the Park Forest Shopping Center. Kids will flip for the 6,000-square-foot game room, which features video games, bumper cars, bowling and more. And they can get their fill of pizza, pasta, salads and dessert in the buffet-style restaurant area. Be sure to check out the four private party rooms too (in case the kids start asking about their next birthday ...)!

— Claudia

What to Do Today: Oct. 30

Have some (not too) spooky fun at Scare on the Square from 4-6pm today at the downtown McKinney Square. Costumed kiddos will love trick or treating, hayrides and more. Free.

Does the Monroe family have a vampire bunny on their hands? Find out when Bunnicula takes the stage at 7:30pm today at Arlington's Creative Arts Theatre and School. The family's smart and funny dog and cat are convinced their new pet bunny is trouble, but they can't seem to get a warning across to the family! $8 adults; $7 CATS students; $6 each for groups of 10 or more.

See a spooky Halloween tale come to life when The Adventures of Morty the Vampire debuts at 7pm today at Lewisville's Actors Conservatory Theatre. The show features a teenage vampire who only wants to drink vegetable juice—until Count Dracula shows up to sort him out! $12 adults; $10 students and seniors; $9 children younger than 10.

29 October 2009

Stroller Strength!

Pregnancy can make you feel (and eat) crazy things. It's OK. You can admit it ... you indulged in that triple fudge brownie sundae ... ummm, every weekend. Trust me, I'm guilty too. We all plan for our bump to disappear after the baby comes. Or at least we hope. Just in case crossing our fingers isn't quite good enough, exercise trainer and Dallas native Colleen Pfutzenreuter and her Baby Boot Camp classes are here to save the day (and our physiques!). With a passion for health and fitness, Colleen combines her knowledge of exercise and her joy of being a mom into cardio and strength-building exercises - with babies in tow! Colleen knows firsthand the struggles of trying to stay fit while still spending time with family, so she designs classes specifically to increase health and strength while enabling moms to enjoy and meet the demands of motherhood - all while feeling good about themselves! Finally - exercise that sounds as good as a triple fudge brownie sundae!

Classes are at 9:15am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the courtyard at Dallas’ NorthPark Center. For more information, call 469/569-7643 or visit Baby Boot Camp's Web site.


What to Do Today: Oct. 29

Get your country music fix with the Big D Opry at 7:30pm today at Gilley's in Dallas. The family-friendly show will include country, bluegrass and gospel music from musicians including Ty Herndon, Luke Barr and Brittnee Lee. $18 adults; $10 children.

Celebrate Halloween early with Spooky Stories Under the Stars at 6pm today at the Euless Public Library. This storytime for children of all ages will include creepy tales, a fun craft and yummy Halloween treats. Free.

Get all decked out in your Halloween costume and head to Boo at the U from 6-8pm today at Texas Woman's University's Student Union in Denton. Kids will "trunk or treat" at decorated cars parked around TWU's horseshoe-shaped driveway before enjoying train rides, carnival games, a haunted house and more. Free.

27 October 2009

What to Do Today: Oct. 28

Start your Halloween celebration a bit early with Magical Monster Mash at 10:30am today at Bookmarks at Dallas' NorthPark Center. The fun show will include music, magic and lots of audience participation for children up to 6 years old. Free.

Load up your little ones and head to Children's Storytime at 10:30 and 11:15am today at the North Richland Hills Public Library. Children ages 3-6 will be treated to a fun story and cool activities—and mom can catch a bit of quiet time! Free.

Big kids aren't the only ones who love stories—babies do to! Bundle up your baby (ages birth to 15 months) for Mother Goose Time at 1:30pm today at the Lewisville Public Library. You'll both have lots of fun with rhymes, parachute play and plenty of books. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Free.

26 October 2009

What to Do Today: Oct. 27

Bring your little adventurer to this season's final Tiny Tot Tuesdays from 10am-2pm today at the Dallas Arboretum. Kids will enjoy Kindermusik (from 12-12:30pm), a petting zoo, arts and crafts and more in the arboretum's beautiful Pecan Grove. $9.50 adults; $8 seniors; $6 children ages 3-12.

Listen up! Your kids will love settling in for stories, songs and more at Listener Time at 10:30am today at Arlington's Woodland West Branch Library. The weekly storytime is aimed at children ages 3-7. Free.

Have some multicultural fun at the Day of the Dead Book Adventure at 4pm today at Denton's North Branch Library. Children ages 6-8 will learn about the traditional Mexican celebration of life and death with silly stories and fun crafts. Free.

23 October 2009

Lunch Lady Land

You pack your child a healthy lunchbox, yet it gets undermined by the temptation of school cafeteria junk food. Many parents shrug off trying to do anything about it, but two moms got mad ... really mad. They channeled that (healthy) anger into a documentary that dishes out solutions on how everyday parents across the U.S. can get healthier food into schools.

Catch the documentary, Two Angry Moms and meet the filmmaker, Amy Kalafa this Saturday, October 24th at 7pm at Lakewood Theater (1825 Abrams Pkwy., Dallas) with Kalafa on hand afterwards for a question-and-answer session. Tickets are available at the door or online here for $10, including the panel discussion.

Do you think kids should have the option to eat wholesome, tasty and nutritious food at school? Then don’t miss this one-day screening. It’s more than just good food for thought. It’s a movie and a movement.

Additionally, if you missed our all-about-food feature, “Just One Bite,” in the October edition of DallasChild (written by foodie mommy Joslyn Taylor), check it out here. Joslyn shares her family’s journey to eating healthier at home—something, she says, any busy family can do.

Above photo: Dr. Susan Rubin joins Angry Mom (and filmmaker) Amy Kalafa. Photo by Susan Woog.

—Lori Mayfield (a guest blogger and a freelance writer from Allen) and Gretchen Sparling

What to Do Today: Oct. 23

See how reading can bring your imagination to life at the Library Live! event at 10:30am today at Dallas' Central Library. The program will include fun and interactive art elements like dance and music, and it's appropriate for children of all ages. Free.

Go way out West at the 19th-annual Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Swing Festival from 12pm-1am today (and 10am-1am Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday) at the Fort Worth National Stockyards Historic District. The event will include family-friendly music, poetry and rodeo performances. Tickets start at $10.

Get ready to ewww and ahh at Halloween Grossology at 4pm today at Denton's Emily Fowler Branch Library. Children ages 8-12 will make fake blood and other yucky things—and maybe pick up a few science tips along the way! Free.

22 October 2009


I'm a big fan of La Duni's Vaca Blanca. Quite frankly it's what wakes me up most mornings. Can you think of a better combination than white chocolate and loads of caffeine in a coffee cup? I couldn't either - until now! La Duni brings you another winning combination - witches, breakfast, goodies and Halloween fun for your kids! Join the La Duni Witches this Sunday, Oct. 25 or next Saturday, Oct. 31st at 9:30 where the kids can dress up, eat good food and even drink special "witches brew" made especially for them!

Call to reserve your spot and don't wait too long...seating is limited!

La Duni NorthPark 214.987.2260


21 October 2009

What to Do Today: Oct. 22

Grab a blanket and get ready to rock out at the Cool Thursdays Concert Series from 7:30-9:30pm today at the Dallas Arboretum. Petty Theft, a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover band, will have the crowd dancing (and the parents singing along!). $14 adults; $7 children ages 3-12; children younger than 3 free.

Get in a little Halloween dress rehearsal at Boo at the Zoo, which kicks off at 5:30pm today at the Fort Worth Zoo. Costumed cuties will trick or treat at 14 different stations while enjoying live animal presentations, crafts, music and more. $12 adults; $4 children ages birth-2 years.

Little readers in kindergarten through third grade won't want to miss Book Adventures at 4pm today at Denton's Emily Fowler Branch Library. Kids will enjoy 45 minutes of stories and activities every Thursday. A perfect way for kids to show what they're learning so far this school year! Free.

20 October 2009

What to Do Today: Oct. 21

Get dressed up in your Halloween best and drop in for Hand in Hand: Simply Spook-tacular from 10-11:30am today at Dallas' Museum of Nature and Science. Kids will hear the story Go Away Big Green Monster before making a yummy Halloween treat and a craft to take home. $8.75 adults; $7.75 seniors and children ages 12-17; $5.50 children ages 3-11.

Is your little one just so over the whole mommy-and-me thing? Take your independent tyke to On My Own Storytime at 10:30am today at the Mansfield Public Library. Children ages 3-5 will come together for stories based on a different theme each week—and they'll show what big kids they can be! Free.

Children ages 10 and younger will celebrate Halloween a bit early with the Coppell/Valley Ranch ECPTA Fall Festival and Halloween Party from 6-7:30pm today at the Coppell YMCA. The party will feature a bounce house slide, face painting, carnival games and more. Don't forget to wear your costume! Free for CVRECPTA members; $4 per child for guests.

Kids Eat Free!

Plan to pinch a few pennies this week with this list of Kids Eat Free deals. For a full list of restaurants offering free kids meal specials, go here!

Chick-Fil-A - All Dallas-Fort Worth locations. Free kid's meal with purchase of an adult combo meal (for kids 12 and younger). 5-10pm on Tuesdays only.

CiCi's Pizza - All Dallas-Fort Worth locations. Free kid's meal with purchase of an adult meal (for kids 3 and younger). All day, daily.

Paradise Bakery - Dallas, Frisco and Plano locations. Free kid's meal with purchase of an adult meal (for kids 12 and younger). All day on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Steak 'n Shake - All Dallas-Fort Worth locations. Free kid's meal with $9 purchase (for kids 12 and younger). All day on Saturdays and Sundays.


19 October 2009

What to Do Today: Oct. 20

Got a future veterinarian on your hands? Take your little animal lover on a field trip to the Green Meadows Petting Farm from 9:30am-12:30pm today in Grand Prairie. They'll see lots of cute critters—including pigs, llamas, goats and more up—close and may even get to pick a pumpkin or two! $12; children younger than 2 free.

Be among the first to see the new exhibit Susan Rothenberg: Moving in Place from 10am-5pm today at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. You'll see 25 works by the prolific artist, whose work has been shown all over the world. She is particularly known for her paintin
gs of horses. $10 adults; $4 seniors; children younger than 13 free.

The weather's perfect for a pumpkin patch! Why not head over to Hall's Pumpkin Farm Hayrides and Corn Maze from 3-8pm today in Grapevine. Kids will love trying to hide from you in the cool
cornstalk maze (just follow the giggling!), and you can pick out a perfect pumpkin to take home and decorate. Free admission; maze admission $5.

In the Pink

The DallasChild team was all pinkified Saturday at the Susan G. Komen Dallas County Race for the Cure 5K and fun run at NorthPark Center. We were ready to go bright and early with handouts, magazines and plenty of spirit to give to the crowd.

The crowd was massive and ... ummm ... colorful. Plenty of pink tutus, knee socks and even huge foam wigs (see above photo!) could be seen browsing the booths before the race kicked off. And after the runners and walkers made their way around the "track," they streamed back into the booth area, feeling tired, proud and hungry! That's when things got crazy for us—our booth was right next to the Skinny Cow ice cream booth, which was handing out free frozen treats. We took pity on the Skinny Cow girls, who were swarmed with ice cream lovers after the race, and helped them hand out their treats. The Skinny Cow rep who was in charge of the booth said they brought 32,000 bars with them—and as far as I could tell, they were all gone by the end of the event!

Managing Editor Gretchen brought along her furry baby, Ruger, who ended up being the star of our booth! Kids (and plenty of grownup dog lovers too!) couldn't get enough of Ruger's puppy love and stopped by our booth to pet him and get a kiss or two.

According to Susan G. Komen Dallas County, the race was a huge success. But the pledge drive is still on! Log on to the donation Web site through Nov. 13 and you can donate to the very good cause.


In the photos: Top, the crowd checks out the booths before race time. Above, Ruger takes a break from his adoring crowd. Left, a little cutie shares a smile after getting a Ruger kiss.

What to Do Today: Oct. 19

Got a little (or, let's face it, a BIG) Cowboys fan? Head out to the World Hunger Relief 2009 event from 4-6pm today at Frisco's Pizza Hut (9550 Dallas Pkwy.). Kids can throw a pass to Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams for a $5 donation to the World Food Programme (they'll get a mini football to throw). Grownups can get their chance, too, by buying an autographed regulation-size football to pass to Williams ($40).

Take a trip to Narnia with a performance of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at 7:30pm today at Hurst's Artisan Center Theater. Kids will love seeing Aslan the lion king take on the wicked White Witch, with some help from four children who have inadvertently wandered into their world. Tickets are $16-$7.

Bring your little cutie to the Baby and Me Storytime at 11am today at the Coppell Public Library. The storytime is aimed at helping babies develop a love of language through stories, songs and rhymes. Grab an admission ticket at the Information Desk before the storytime (required). Free.

16 October 2009

Wild Times

Many Generation X-ish parents (myself included) have plenty of fond memories of Where the Wild Things Are. When I read it as a kid, I was immediately horrified by the thought of having to go to bed with no dinner. What if I literally starved to death?!

With the new movie opening today (check back Monday for our review), you can relive all those rumpus-filled childhood memories, only this time with your kids along for the wild ride! Take it one step further with a pair of these too-cute-for-words Max pajamas by Warner Bros. Studios. The super-soft fleece footed jammies come complete with a hood and ears, an embroidered name (Max, of course) and crown on the chest and blue monster toenails embroidered on the feet. They're available in sizes 2T-4T at a cost of $17.95.

Maybe your little monsters can wear them while they enjoy the film!

Creative Mecca

Have you noticed the shiny new (and bright red) addition to the Dallas skyline? It's the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, and it's just one piece of the Dallas Arts District's new AT&T Performing Arts Center, opening Sunday, Oct. 18.

Celebrate the district's Spotlight Sunday all day, when activities will be free and open to the public (see the Arts District's complete schedule). Tours and performances will be held throughout the day at the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, Booker T. Washington High School and the Meyerson Symphony Center. Admission to all the district's museums (including the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center) will also be free. Be sure to stick around for a fireworks finale at 7:30pm!

Got culture-hungry kids but can't make it out this weekend? See the Dallas Arts District's Art for Kids Web page for family-friendly performing and fine arts events continuing through January 2010.

— Mary

Photos courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art (top) and the Crow Collection of Asian Art.

15 October 2009

What to Do Today: Oct. 16

Get your groove on at Live! On the Green at 6:30pm today at Allen's Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm. The band Counterfeit Radio will perform new and classic tunes, and Watters Creek's green area offers plenty of space to bust a move or two. Bring along a blanket (no lawn chairs or coolers permitted). Free.

Nothing is quite as tasty (and tummy-filling) on a cool fall day as a good bowl of stew. Find out for yourself at the Harvest Stew Festival from 6-8pm today at Keller Town Hall. In addition to a tasty bowl of goodness, you'll also enjoy hayrides, karaoke, games and more. Bring a canned good to be used in the stew or to donate to a local food bank. Free.

Get spooked out (but not too much!) as The Legend of Sleep Hollow takes the stage at 7pm today at Lewisville's Actors Conservatory Theatre. The production is based on Washington Irving's classic tale about Ichabod Crane and the scary Headless Horseman who terrorizes his village. The show is appropriate for all ages and will continue with shows on Saturday and Sunday. $12 adults; $10 students and seniors; $9 children younger than 10.

Belly Dance

My love for music began at an early age. My first CD purchase, I'm proud to say, was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. My first cassette purchase, on the other hand, was Tiffany, which I'd rather not discuss. For all you music-loving, soon-to-be-moms out there, you now have a stylish and comfortable way to instill a love for music in your baby long before birth. Lullabelly's Prenatal Music Belt is a modern way to safely and comfortably play music, lullabies, audio books or any recorded sounds to your baby in the womb. The belt is extremely soft, adjustable, lightweight, machine washable and easy to use - simply plug the Lullabelly speaker into your iPod, iPhone, CD or MP3 player and you and baby can enjoy whatever sounds you're in the mood for!

Research has shown that there are many benefits to playing music to your baby in the womb (besides, of course, hoping your baby is born with a full knowledge of Coldplay lyrics). Music encourages the growth of fine and gross motor skills as well as learning, language and memory skills.

Visit Lullabelly's Web site for more information and to order a music belt for yourself or a friend!

- Jenny

14 October 2009


Want to shop for a cause during October (better known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month)? Head to Market Street grocery store — in Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Colleyville or Coppell — and buy a reusable bag ($1). With each purchase, Market Street will donate 50 cents to Susan G. Komen.

So you can help save the planet and give money to research efforts saving thousands of lives every year!

Want to take it one step further? Go to Market Street's Web site and submit a story for the "Who Do You Pink For" contest. With each submission, Market Street will donate $20 to Susan G. Komen — not with a winner, but with each story you share about "who you pink for"! Start your storytelling!


What to Do Today: Oct. 15

Celebrate all things creative by visiting the Performance/Art exhibit from 11am-9pm today at the Dallas Museum of Art. The exhibit, which celebrates the opening of the new Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, features works by five artists who have drawn inspiration from performance art like opera and theater. $10 adults; children younger than 12 free.

Let your little ones play to their hearts' content at Preschool Playtime from 9:30am-12pm today at the Grapevine Community Activities Center. The center's gym will be filled with fun things to try, like a parachute, toys, mats and more. Parents must stay in the gym with their children. $1 per child; free for parents and children younger than 1.

Take a fun timeout and attend the Raising Readers Storytime at 10:30am today at the Denton Barnes and Noble Booksellers. Children of all ages are welcome to listen in at this storytime in the bookstore's children's area. After you're heard the stories, be sure to check out the selection of cool books and the toy train table! Free.

Another Season of Kids' Fitness!

Two programs in Dallas and Fort Worth are making strides in kids' fitness with efforts to get children off the couch (or out of the classroom) for running or walking activities.

In Dallas, Marathon Kids will kick off its 2009-2010 season on Saturday Oct. 17 at Loos Stadium. The organization, a Dallas ISD school fitness program (sponsored by Whole Foods) for kindergarten through fifth-grade children, requires kids to walk or run 26.2 miles over the next six months (in quarter or half-mile increments). The kids will also be challenged to eat healthy by keeping track of their fruits and veggies in a "Fuel Log" coloring book. Saturday's party will represent the kids' first mile in their marathon-length journey.

Last year, I volunteered at the Marathon Kid's final awards ceremony and was happy to see so many kids getting involved in exercise (like the kids in the photo above). The ceremony is open to spectators or volunteers; go here for more information, or see how your child's school can get involved!

On the other side of the Metroplex, the program, Run Like A Cheetah, aims to tackle obesity in Fort Worth ISD Schools. I ran into the program's organizer, Steve Looney, at a running event last weekend — he is very enthused about the progress made so far. As the race director for The Fort Worth Marathon, Looney says Run Like A Cheetah is funded solely by the marathon's proceeds.

Run Like A Cheetah hosts after-school running programs for kids within FWISD (shown in the photo on the right). According to Looney, the group calls upon elite runners to serve as mentors at the weekly training session ("We bring in the Kenyans for inspiration," he jokes!). The groups bigger goal (as kids reach their senior year in high school)? To help young runners successfully complete a full marathon.

In Looney's eyes, instilling a habit of running or walking at a young age will mean that kids will live a life full of exercise. I couldn't agree more.

Want to get involved or donate time or money to the Run With a Cheetah cause? Go here for more information, or register for the November 8th, 2009, full or half marathon in Fort Worth.