Attractions: What to Do This Weekend / 15 Reasons to Get Out of the House Thursday–Sunday
Children’s books serve as inspiration for much of North Texas’ best family entertainment this weekend. Take your little bookworms with you to fall in love all over again with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Pete the Cat in two plays, listen to the award-winning creators of a new picture book called Love, and meet more authors at the KidFilm Festival, with free admission and free autographed books.
Something Rotten! Fort Worth
Thursday–Sunday, Jan. 18–21, multiple showtimes
Set in 1595, Something Rotten! stars brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom who are desperate to write a hit play that rivals Shakespeare. Take the kids to “the world’s first musical” when this laugh-out-loud Broadway comedy, from the creators of Aladdin and The Book of Mormon, stops at Bass Performance Hall.
Anne of Green Gables, Hurst
Thursday–Friday, Jan. 18–19, 7pm
Saturday, Jan. 20, 3:30pm
See the spirited, red-headed orphan from L.M. Montgomery’s original story in a special adaptation written and directed by Artisan Center Theater’s own Taffy Geisel. The Second Stage production, opening Thursday, runs about two hours with a 20-minute intermission.
The Knight at Dawn, Plano
Friday–Sunday, Jan. 19–21, multiple showtimes
Fresh off its grand opening last month, the North Texas Performing Arts’ new headquarters inside The Shops at Willow Bend presents a new offering for kids: an adaptation of the second book from Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House book series.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, Dallas
Friday–Sunday, Jan. 19–21, multiple showtimes
Your kids know Eric Carle’s colorful stories. Now treat them to a live performance of 75 larger-than-life puppets inspired by the children’s author and on stage at Dallas Children’s Theater. The opening night party with crafts and face painting begins an hour before curtain.
Ballet Frontier of Texas Dances, Fort Worth
Saturday, Jan. 20, 7:30pm
Sunday, Jan. 21, 6pm
On stage at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Ballet Frontier of Texas presents two nights of collaborative works from a number of local dance companies: first with Director’s Choice on Saturday, featuring Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, and then the Youth Dance Festival on Sunday, showcasing classical ballet and modern repertoires.
KidFilm Festival, Dallas
Saturday–Sunday, Jan. 20–21, 12:30, 2:30 and 4:30pm
Children’s book authors and illustrators Barney Saltzberg, Ame Dyckman and Jacqueline K. Ogburn headline this year’s KidFilm Festival at Angelika Film Center Dallas. See the authors at short film screenings adapted from their books and stay for free copies and book signings following each program.
Dallas Area Train Show, Plano
Saturday, Jan. 20, 10am–5pm
Sunday, Jan. 21, 10am–4pm
Thanks to the North Texas Council of Railroad Clubs, you can support your child’s love of toy trains even after the Christmas season has ended by checking out the elaborate model train displays, home layouts and how-to clinics at the Plano Event Center.
Late Night at the Dallas Museum of Art
Friday, Jan. 19, 6pm–12am
The DMA’s first Late Night of the year celebrates the museum’s birthday and explores the psychedelic world of Yayoi Kusama’s All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins. You can channel Kusama’s love for polka dots too by designing your own birthday party hat, from 7–8pm. Book your Late Night tickets in advance.
Winter Night Hike, McKinney
Saturday, Jan. 20, 6–7:30pm
Explore the sights, sounds and smells of the forest at night when guides lead an after-dark hike through the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. Registration is required. If you’d like to come early to picnic or watch the sunset, be sure to arrive before 4pm and pay general admission. (The sanctuary closes at 5pm and reopens at 5:45pm for the night hike.)
The Pipdillys, Mesquite
Saturday, Jan. 20, 10–11am
Sing and dance along with Bo and Gretchen Gerard, the magic-wielding, juggling comedy duo known as The Pipdillys. No tickets are required for this free, all-ages show on Saturday morning at the Mesquite Arts Center.
Polar Plunge, North Richland Hills
Saturday, Jan. 20, 10am
Supporters and participants with nonprofit Special Olympics Texas are freezin’ for a reason at this annual cold-weather plunge. Wear a costume over your swimsuit (plug your ears with wax) and take a ride down the NRH2O Family Water Park’s Viper water slide—and then quickly warm up.
Kids Gone Wild Day at Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
Sunday, Jan. 21, 11am–6pm
While the stock show continues at the Will Rogers center, catch some extra kid-friendly fun this Sunday during Kids Gone Wild Day. Steer the kids over to the Cattle Arena for cat fishing in the KidFish tank, a laser gun shooting range, and more activities from the Texas Wildlife Association.
Children’s Book Creators at the Dallas Museum of Art
Sunday, Jan. 21, 1:30pm
Matt de la Peña and Loren Long, the award-winning writer and illustrator of their simply titled picture book, Love, lead a kid-friendly talk as part of the DMA's Arts & Letters Live series. Reserve your tickets online for the talk inside Horchow Auditorium and for de la Peña’s writing workshop for kids 10 and older.
Freedom Riders Play, Irving
Sunday, Jan. 21, 2:30 and 6:30pm
Take your kids (9 and older) to Irving Arts Center for this inspiring, new play about the Freedom Riders, a group of black and white Americans who traveled together on buses across state lines as a form of nonviolent protest against segregation. Tickets are free.
Pete the Cat Musical, Richardson
Sunday, Jan. 21, 2:30pm
The cool blue cat from the children's book series by James and Kimberly Dean takes his singing, dancing and guitar strumming skills on tour. Watch as Pete becomes a true blue friend to second grader Jimmy Biddle and his family in this new musical on stage for one day only at the Eisemann Center.