14 Reasons to Get Out of the House Friday–Sunday
Words Elizabeth Smith, Photography Plano Artfest // Jenice Williams
Published April 2019
Updated April 25, 2019
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Jump for joy, people. The weekend has arrived and we’re raring to go enjoy all the fun at Plano ArtFest, Day to Play in downtown Dallas, Reel Adventures with Harry Potter in Fort Worth, and more family events across North Texas.

Art in the Square, Southlake
Friday, April 26, 4–10:30pm
Saturday, April 27, 10am–10:30pm
Sunday, April 28, 11am–6pm
This arts festival celebrates 20 years returning to the Southlake Town Square, so tradition calls for an anniversary gift to be made of china, platinum or emeralds, right? Of course you’ll find real artworks made from all types of materials when the 160-plus juried artists from every medium put their creations on display. Join in the creativity with your kids at the Kids Korner, making stained glass and decorating wings to wear. Free admission and parking. Tickets required for kids’ activities in The Zone play area.

Big Fish, Fairview
Friday–Saturday, April 26–27, 7:15pm
Sunday, April 28, 2:15pm
At Fairview Youth Theatre, the kids of North Texas Performing Arts stage the larger-than-life stories of Big Fish. As in the Tim Burton film and novel by Daniel Wallace, Edward Bloom is a traveling salesman who spins epic yarns about his adventures and his son Will is determined to find the truth behind them. Recommended for kids age 10 and older. $12; $20 for front row seating.

Denton Arts & Jazz Festival
Friday, April 26, 3–11pm
Saturday, April 27, 10am–11pm
Sunday, April 28, 11am–9pm
There’s no mistaking the red top hat donned by Carl Finch, accordion player and frontman for polka band Brave Combo. Hear them headline at Quakertown Park on Sunday night, rounding out a full weekend of live bands and performing groups on seven stages and kid-friendly arts entertainment. Get to crafting inside the children’s art tent and pick up some noise-makers in the instrument petting zoo. Free.

EarthX2019, Dallas
Friday–Sunday, April 26–28, 10am–6pm
Do you recycle at home? Remind the kids what it’s all for by watching the new Wonders of the Sea 3D documentary, zone out in virtual reality headgear and strap on an oxygen tank for an above-ground scuba dive—all this and more fun at Fair Park for the ninth annual Earth Day festival. $5; free for kids 12 and younger. You’ll find the whole schedule of events and maps on the free EarthxApp.

Plano ArtFest
Saturday, April 27, 11am–9pm
Sunday, April 28, 11am–5pm
Let your creativity flow at this annual festival by and for art lovers. Bring your littles to join in the family chalk art and bounce in the kids zone. A mix of contemporary art installations, artisan market of wares made by local doers and stages for live music fill up Haggard Park and the downtown Plano Arts District all weekend. Free admission.

Reel Adventures with Harry Potter, Fort Worth
Friday, April 26, 5:45pm activities; 7:35pm film
You have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Come celebrate all things Harry Potter at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s family party with food, activities that challenge your spell-casting skills and wizardry knowledge, and a special screening of The Sorcerer’s Stone in the Omni Theater. Tickets from $12 for adults and from $9 for youth ages 2–18. Costumes welcome.

Fort Worth Opera’s Three Pigs Remix
Saturday, April 27, 11am
It’s a win-win-win scenario for these friends who work together through adversity in this retelling of the Three Little Pigs folktale from the Fort Worth Opera’s Children’s Opera Theatre. Register online for your free tickets to see the new show inside R4 Gymnasium.

Ladybug Release Party, Valley Ranch
Saturday, April 27, 10am–1pm
Come dressed in your best black and red to enter the ladybug costume contest and enjoy a morning of pony rides, bounce houses, crafting and face painting at Saddlehorn Park for the Valley Ranch Association’s annual party. Don’t miss the ladybug release at 12:45pm. Free admission.

Lake-a-Palooza! Dallas
Saturday, April 27, noon–9pm
Come admire the views of White Rock Lake and rock out to live music at the third annual festival, featuring special musical guest Urban Gypsy, a local band featuring two original Toadies members. Listen to Urban Gypsy and more live bands on multiple states on the shore beside the art deco-style Bath House Cultural Center, check out the music-focused art exhibition and children’s art activities. Free.

Safari Nights, Dallas
Saturday, April 27, 7pm
The fun at Dallas Zoo doesn’t end after closing time. Come during the day and stay after hours for the Safari Nights summer concert series, kicking off tonight with Beatles tribute band Hard Night’s Day and featuring a DinoSOAR animal show. Free with day admission: $17 adults; $14 children ages 3–11 and seniors 65 and older; free for children 2 and younger and for zoo members.

Pépito, Dallas
Saturday, April 27, 12:30pm lobby activities, 2pm show
Several suitors put the moves on local inn hostess, Manuelita, in Jacques Offenbach’s one-act comedy. See who gets the girl in this Dallas Opera family performance, sung in English at Winspear Opera House. Be sure to come early for crafts in the lobby and for even more fun, register online for walkSTEM, a free and guided math walk through the Dallas Arts District. Show tickets are $5. Receive one free ticket by donating two items for the North Texas Food Bank. (See wish list online.)

Day to Play, Dallas
Saturday, April 27, 11am–2pm
Outdoors at Strauss Square, compete in giant hamster ball races, play a life-size Hungry Hungry Hippos game, race through an obstacle course and more family fun all in the name of charity, specifically the local nonprofit Family Gateway, which provides supportive services to children and families affected by homelessness. $50 for a family pass (unlimited number in each family). $50 to sponsor a family affected by homelessness to attend the event. Donations of new tennis shoes welcome for a homeless child at Family Gateway.

Bliss Fest, Prosper
Saturday, April 27, noon–4pm
Windsong Ranch opens up this free party to its residents and the public, bringing together fitness and meditation instructors, inspirational speakers, live music, a 5K race and more kids’ activities. Come try out paddle board yoga in the pool. Register online for one of two goat yoga sessions with Lone Star Ranch and Rescue. $25 per person. Parking and shuttle service from Windsong Ranch Elementary.

McKinney Tour de Coop
Saturday, April 27, 9am–2pm
The early bird gets discounted admission to the annual Tour de Coop, an educational tour of urban chicken coops through Heritage Village at Chestnut Square. You’ll see all the creative ways local hobbyists fashioned unique houses for their backyard chicken flocks. Register online. Early bird registration is $8; $10 per person on the day of; $30 per family of four.