Groundbreaking party at Alamo Drafthouse Las Colinas

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Alamo - Las Colinas rendering. Image by Gensler Architecture - 3
We’ve already shared our affection for Alamo Drafthouse’s outside-the-box movie theater offerings — quote-alongs, dance-alongs, Saturday morning cartoons — and now, fresh off its announcement of its second DFW location coming to Dallas, they’ve just announced a third location planned for Las Colinas.

The theater will open in spring 2016 at the future site of the Music Factory, a new entertainment complex (check out the video here), and they’re throwing a free, family-friendly groundbreaking party this Saturday night, August 30, to celebrate.

Grab your camping chairs and watch an outdoor showing of the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark in 35mm on a 40-foot blow-up screen.

Granted, Raiders has a bit more mature content than its original PG rating (it was the ’80s) suggests so you’ll have to decide if your kids are old enough to see it, but the screening is open to all ages and they’ll have “temple-themed” bounce houses for the kids, as well as whip demonstrations, food trucks and for the adults, local craft beers.

Gates open at 7pm and the cinema will be located at 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd.

Love all the Indiana Jones movies? Labor Day weekend is your last chance to see the special exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History featuring costumes, memorabilia and a digital scavenger hunt for the kids.

Healthy Huddle

posted by on 2014.08.19, under Charity, Healthy Families
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Hurles Scales signs footballs during the NFLPA Dallas Healthy Huddle launch party with Monarch Dental on August 18 in Dallas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Smile Brands Group, Inc.)

Hurles Scales signs footballs during the NFLPA Dallas Healthy Huddle launch party with Monarch Dental on August 18 in Dallas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Smile Brands Group, Inc.)

This week, the Dallas chapter of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) launched a new program called Healthy Huddles. The program aims to equip retired NFL players and their families with affordable dental insurance while giving them the opportunity to participate in a Community Smile Project that will impact the lives of underprivileged youth in the area.

Each quarter, NFLPA members can nominate one outstanding underprivileged child to receive free dental care from Monarch Dental. The dental offices have 56 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, meaning more than 200 children will have access to free services.

At least 15 NFLPA chapters will participate in the Healthy Huddle Project, with the Dallas chapter being the first. “It’s not about the team you play for,” says Byron Williams, NFLPA Dallas chapter president and former NFL player. “It’s about playing like a team.”

For more information visit monarchdental/healthyhuddle 

Local kids publish Texas-themed picture book

posted by on 2014.08.14, under What to do today!
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Photo courtesy Graphic Arts Books and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth

Photo courtesy Graphic Arts Books and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth

Here’s the best new book to add to your child’s collection: T is for Texas, created here by 23 kids from the North Fort Worth branch of the Boys & Girls Club. The group collaborated with an editor from WestWinds Press to create the 32-page alphabet book, the seventh in the See-My-State series.

Every page features a word that represents the local history and culture (H is for Horned Lizard, S for State Fair and V for Vaqueros) followed by two lines of rhyming text. Check out the back of the book for more fun facts and a list of the kids who contributed to the book.

In a press release, Daphne Barlow Stigliano, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth, wrote, “Developing T is for Texas was such an enriching experience for our youth. They were able to not only learn more about their home state, but also learn about poetry and the creative process.”

Order the book online for $13.99 or pick up a copy at the official book launch this Saturday, August 16, at noon when the club kids will be signing books at Monkey and Dog Books, located inside Feastivities catering. 3637 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth; 817/377-3011.

Good to note: Proceeds from the book sales won’t be going back to the Boys & Girls Clubs, so if you’re looking for other ways to give, reps from the club have a few suggestions:
-make monetary donations via the website
-adults can sign up as volunteers to read to club kids
-bring in-kind donations (school supplies, children’s books, toys) to the book launch on Saturday, or to the organization’s main office at 3218 E. Belknap St. in Fort Worth, open Monday–Friday from 8am–5pm.

In the hot seat: tethered hot air balloon rides

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Highland Village Lions Club Hot Air Balloon Festival, photo courtesy Francois Bota Photography

Highland Village Lions Club Hot Air Balloon Festival, photo courtesy Francois Bota Photography

Hot air balloons are a rare sight in DFW (OK, they’re a rare sight anywhere). So we’d be lying if we said that spotting a balloon’s rainbow-colored panels floating in the distance didn’t elicit squeals of elation.

Late this summer, far more hot air balloons will be floating around the skies thanks to three weekend-long festivals:
Highland Village Lions Club Hot Air Balloon Festival, August 15–17
Celina Balloon Festival, September 12–14
Plano Balloon Festival, September 19–21

Each festival will have balloon glows at dusk and its own lineup of special entertainment during the day:
Highland Village: dachshund races
Celina: carnival rides, human hamster balls, a zip line, helicopter rides
Plano: parachute teams, fireworks, concerts and a kids’ fun zone

But rather than only watching the hot air balloon pilots from the sidelines, take the family to experience a more kid-friendly alternative to a high altitude balloon ride.

Pilots at all three festivals will be offering tethered balloon rides. This means that the balloon, while still roped down to the ground, will ascend into the air a few dozen (or more) feet and then come back to the ground. Of course, parents must accompany their kids, but the rides are open to children who are at least tall enough to see over the basket. Depending on the size of the basket, there may be room for three or four family members to climb inside with the pilot.

At each festival, the tethered balloon rides are first-come, first-served, take place in the mornings and evenings, and cost a bit extra in addition to festival admission so bring your cash if you or the kids want to try this out. We’ll be in line waiting for our turn.

Don’t sweat it: where to get discounted admission this August

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CG Gallery_Earth Cycles

July has been an unusually wet month, but if history is any indicator, August will still be a scorcher. As such, two of our favorite outdoor destinations in Dallas are offering admission deals to get visitors through the gates — and you just might want to take advantage.

Have a big family? Seize this affordable opportunity to take out all of your kids for a fraction of the cost. You may be sweating, but your wallet won’t be.

Dallas Arboretum and Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden

On-site parking is always $10, but for the entire month of August, the arboretum is offering $1 general admission and only $1 more for admission to the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden for a total savings of $17 for adults and $12 for kids.

Take a picnic for brunch on the lawn or pick up a snack from the café; smoothies and hot dogs are $1 each. When the weather does heat up, cool off in the kid-favorite Toad Corners fountain and under the 8,000 square feet of misters at the children’s garden. The gardens are open 9am–5pm daily.

(Saving your trip for Labor Day Monday? Garden admission is $5 and the children’s adventure garden is the usual $3.)

Trinity River Audubon Center

Also starting today: $1 admission through August 31 at Texas’ flagship Audubon center. Borrow a free pair of birding binoculars and start your hike to see the butterflies in the Children’s Discovery Garden. When you’re ready to cool off, hoof it to the indoor exhibit hall and see slimy forest creatures like bullfrogs, fish, lizards and snakes.

To avoid the brunt of the heat, go in the mornings when it’s likely to be cooler and the forest is more alive with activity. The center is open as early as 9am most days (Tuesday–Saturday) and open at 10am on Sunday.

Dallas Zoo
To make up for the largely rained out Dollar Day in July, the Dallas Zoo is again offering all-day admission for only $1 on Tuesday, August 19.

Break out your one-dollar bills at the snack bar for $1 canned drinks, hot dogs and ice cream, and save a dollar to feed the lorikeets inside the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo.

Avoid the stampede to the zoo’s limited parking lot by taking the DART Rail.

The zoo is open from 9am–5pm daily. If August 19 doesn’t work for you, save the date for the next Dollar Day on Wednesday, November 26.

Baby Belle Turns 1 Year Old

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belle1

Who doesn’t love big birthday parties? Okay, maybe throwing them can be a lot of work but your family has been invited to a no-hassle birthday bash this weekend.

Belle, one of the Fort Worth Zoo’s two beloved Asian elephant calves, has just turned one and she’s the center of a weekend-long celebration. Join the zoo this Friday, Saturday or Sunday for crafts, cute photo ops and front seats to watch Belle dig her trunk into her cake. Arrive early — the first 1,000 guests each day will get their own birthday treats.

All the entertaining and educational birthday events are free with zoo admission and you don’t have to shell out for a gift, but if you must dote upon Belle, consider a symbolic adoption and contribute to her care. With the “adoption” fee, you get a number of little gifts including a baby elephant plush animal.

Belle’s nephew Bowie will surely be around for the festivities but he’ll celebrate his first birthday soon too. Belle’s much older sister gave birth to Bowie about a month after Belle was born. The big boy is having his own party the weekend of August 1, so mark your calendars and don’t forget.

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