Look for the teal text for special needs news.
April is Autism Awareness Month, and Chuck E. Cheese is celebrating with the return of Sensory Sensitive Sundays—a dedicated play time specifically for children with autism and other special sensory needs. The program re-launched April 11; locations will host the program on the first Sunday of each month going forward. For more information, visit the website.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival kicked off its 40th anniversary season April 10. The festival will run every Saturday and Sunday (plus Memorial Day) through May 31. Admission is $37 for adults and $17 for kids ages 5–12; free for children under 4. To buy tickets and learn more, click here.
Dallas Summer Musicals is hosting a virtual fun run and step challenge, called “Bolt to Broadway and Back,” as part of the DSM Give a Kid a Seat fundraiser—a campaign that helps provide free and subsidized tickets to youth in underserved communities of North Texas. From May 8–31, DSM’s goal is to raise $15,000 and complete 3,000 miles, which equals one round trip from the Music Hall at Fair Park to Times Square in New York City. Participants can start their race by tracking miles completed by running, biking, golfing and more. A grand prize will be awarded to the person who raises the most money. For all details, visit the website here.
Tiny Tot Time is back at Epic Waters in Grand Prairie. Starting April 12, and every Monday through May, Epic Waters will open its doors two hours early, from 8:30–10:30am for kids under age 5. Admission for your first child is $10, and additional children are $5; entrance is free for parents and guardians.
Kroger and CAMP Dallas are teaming up for a Fresh Farms Scavenger Hunt April 17 and 18. Families will participate by going station to station throughout the Hill Dallas where kids and families will complete challenges and learn about fresh fruit and vegetables. There will also be a craft station and gift bag for kids and parents. Click here to buy your tickets for the event; it’s $20 per child ages 2–12, and adults attend for free.
Wellness Wednesdays at Watters Creek are back with F45 Training classes. Join the 45-minute interval classes each Wednesday in April from 6:30–7:15pm. The classes are free.
Another fun reason to head over to Watters Creek: the Peace, Love and Paws animal rescue adoption event is scheduled for April 17. From 11am–2pm, play and visit with some of the available furry friends from adoption groups including Animal Rescue Crusaders of Texas, Oak Hill Animal Rescue, Inc., and Cody’s Friends Rescue. There will also be animal-related vendors for pet items, a DJ and Girl Scouts (we hear they are bringing cookies). For more information, visit the website.
North Texas charitable pharmacy, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, has served nearly 1,000 patients and filled more than $3.4 million worth of prescriptions since March 2020. While this is definitely a milestone achievement, the organization still needs your help to continue its work. To make a donation or to learn more about the Society, click here.
The nonprofit Boss Club Foundation is hosting a virtual summer program for kids July 10–31. The program aims to inspire kids’ confidence and ignite creativity through the pursuit of entrepreneurship. Each participant will be mailed a business kit that will contain all they need for creating, distributing and marketing their product. Some of the kits available include homemade dog treats, bath bombs, fudge and handmade soap. Registration is open now; to learn more, click here.
Teens from the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History took high honors in a global environmental competition recently. Ninth grader Priya Stamper and 11th grader Pilar Olivas were awarded special recognition from competing in the challenge. You can see all the submissions here.
Bruce Wood Dance Company is celebrating Dallas Arts Month with the performance of Polyester Dreams at the April 16 Dallas Arts District event Changing Perspectives: A Celebration of the Arts. There will also be the second installment of the virtual series, WOOD/SHOP: New Works by Company Dancers. The upcoming episode will feature works by Weaver Rhodes and Seth York. The company is set to work with choreographer Omar Román de Jesús for the upcoming June show. Visit the website for more information.
Rise Against Hunger, a nonprofit based in Grand Prairie, is helping families do activities together at home—while working to end hunger—through its Garden Club. Rise Against Hunger provides supplies and tutorials for participants to start an at-home vegetable garden; the club is fit for all ages and skill levels. Register for the club here.
The Ranch at Las Colinas is celebrating the return of warmer weather with live music in The Pavilion every Friday and Saturday from 7–10pm. Some of the live music scheduled for April includes Jessica McVay, Tristain Inman, Cody Wayne and Josh Ingram. Visit the website or call 972/606-7262 for more information.
A new autism support facility recently opened in Allen. Action Behavior Centers (ABC) is an Austin-based organization that provides services to kids on the spectrum. The new facility features a play area with a ball pit, drivable toy cars, wagons, a basketball hoop and more. It’s located close to pediatrics and neurology centers, making a visit more convenient for parents.
Downtown Dallas’ newest park opened March 26. West End Square (located at 607 Corbin St., Dallas) is a new public park in the West End Historic District. What was once a surface parking lot is now the neighborhood’s first green space.
Movie nights on the patio are back at Ida Claire in Addison. Every Thursday night, guests can enjoy a free movie on the patio while sipping on movie-themed cocktails. Reservations are preferred; email email@example.com or call 214/377-8227. Visit the website for information on what movies are showing through mid-April.
Fort Worth Country Day recently named former NFL coach Keith Burns as head football coach and program director. Burns, a graduate of L.D. Bell High School played at the University of Arkansas under iconic coach Lou Holtz and worked as a special teams coach for the Oakland Raiders.
Dallas Art Therapy is working to provide free or low-cost art therapy in Dallas and surrounding areas. Through art therapy, participants will integrate mental health services with active art-making. For details, visit the organization’s website here.
Addison After Dark events are back this year. First up is Fiesta Noche on April 17. The event will celebrate Tejano music legend Selena with fun activities, live music and food and dessert trucks. Addison After Dark events are free and will take place every third Saturday of the month through November. Fiesta Noche starts at 7pm; face coverings are recommended and social circles will be marked on the lawn for distanced seating. Click here for more information on this and future events.
Dallas Children’s Theater will open its doors for in-person summer classes this year. Classes will be limited and will include options for first graders through high school seniors. There will be virtual classes available as well. For a full list of the available classes, visit the website.
Summer camps are returning to the Dallas Arboretum, with registration now available. This year, the camps will feature a blended format of on-site science curriculum plus at-home engagement. On top of the camps, the arboretum will offer a DIY Explorers program. Participants will receive a spring learning kit for at-home garden activities. Click here or information on camps; and click here for information on the Explorers program.
Missed the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market this past year? Head south to H-town for the spring Nutcracker Market April 16–18. The market will be an in-person shopping experience with heightened safety measures in place. Shoppers will be able to browse through apparel, accessories, home décor, gourmet food and much more. Tickets will go on sale March 22. To learn more, click here or call 713/535-3231.
The nonprofit organization Girls on the Run of DFW will host a virtual “Run for Her” 5k April 24–25. Participants can choose their own route, race date and time to support the local GOTR chapter. Anyone who participates is encouraged to show photos and how they took part in the event on the GOTR DFW social media channels. Awards will be given to the individual or team raising the highest amount of donations. For more information, click here.
One Fort Worth Country Day senior was recently named as a candidate for the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. This program is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a graduating senior. Henry Lynn is the only student from Fort Worth and one of only 140 students from Texas selected for candidacy.
Magnolia at the Modern recently announced its upcoming film schedule for April. Showtimes will be Fridays at 4:30pm and 7:40pm; Saturdays at 5pm; and Sundays at noon and 3pm. Tickets are $10 for nonmembers; $8 for members; and $7 for Reel People members. Remember, masks are required inside and must be worn at all times in the auditorium. Social distancing guidelines are in place as well.
This spring, Texas Ballet Theater will digitally present four world-premiere ballets all choreographed by company dancers. Two pieces, Carl Coomer’s The Story of You and Riley Moyano’s VREC will premiere in March; Andre Silva’s Bloom and Jiyan Dai’s ballet will premiere in April. The pieces will be available through the viewing portal on the company’s website. Tickets are $30 per household and can be purchased online or by calling the box office (877/828-9200).
A new restaurant is coming to Watters Creek this spring. Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen, a steak and Southern comfort food spot, will feature some mouthwatering dishes including classic steaks along with a crawfish pot pie and specialty cocktails. The restaurant is a reimagining of the flagship location in Downtown McKinney. For more information on when it will open and what dishes will be served, visit the website.
Looking for some good grub and a way to support a local small business? Check out Patriot Sandwich Company in Denton. David Jordan, a decorated Army vet, started the sandwich shop—which pays respect to all five branches of the military with wall decorations and shadowboxes on the tables. The food is even named with a nod to military jargon. Stop by for some tasty food and an opportunity to thank those who have served.
Making a trip to Kentucky this year? The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, along with Answers in Genesis, are offering free admission to kids 10 and under through the end of 2021. Enjoy new additions including a high-tech VR experience as well as an expanded zoo. More information can be found at the respective websites.
If you’re like many adults who lost their support system during the pandemic and need access to peer support, Texas-based Listeners on Call is now accessible. The on-demand resource is available 24/7 and offers mental health support by connecting you with listeners and is totally confidential. Find more information about the service on the website.
Dallas- and Denver-based baby gear resale shop Good Buy Gear just announced a trade-in program partnership with Buy Buy Baby. The program, which will be available online and in participating stores, will allow customers to upcycle their gently used items in exchange for a gift card they can spend at Buy Buy Baby. For more information, click here.
Dallas Summer Musicals announced its revised 2020–21 Broadway season. Some of shows include favorites such as Wicked, Hamilton, Jersey Boys and Disney’s Frozen. Season tickets are available now. Visit the website or call 1-866/276-4884.
Dallas’ UT Southwestern Medical Center has made an important discovery in the fight against breast cancer. The researchers identified a gene involved in the cancer‘s growth—a finding that could lead to potential new targets for treatment. You can find the study, published in Cancer Research, here.
Nikia Lawson, a DONA International Certified doula and doula trainer who has been working in the Metroplex for over 25 years, is offering free virtual childbirth education classes. Lawson hopes these classes will reduce the number of birth complications. Learn more about Lawson and the online classes here.
Join the Dallas Museum of Art as it shares a rare opportunity to view not only one but five works by acclaimed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The exhibit will be available to the public through June 20. Find more information on the museum’s website.
Autism Response Team Texas recently finalized its contracts to implement training on autism specific resources for Texas State Health employees. This will allow dedicated support for those with autism in more places. The team will also be opening its third clinic location this spring, in addition to two clinics that are already open in Frisco and McKinney.
Researchers at the Kennedy Kreiger Institute recently developed a tool that uses video game technology to determine if a child has autism. The institute’s team created and tested its Computerized Assessment of Motor Imitation (CAMI) using Xbox motion-tracking technology—which automatically measures a child’s imitation ability as they play a one-minute game. During the game, the kids try to copy the actions of a model on a computer screen. The results showed that the CAMI method could identify autism diagnosis with more than 87% accuracy. The full results of the study were published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.
Walmart stores in the DFW area will soon have Mamava pods—clean, private breastfeeding suites accessed through the Mamava app—to provide more breastfeeding support to Walmart associates and customers. Some of the stores included are Bedford, Rowlett and North Richland Hills.