Courtesy Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau
This weekend the city of Grapevine will live up to its namesake at the 26th Annual GrapeFest, the four-day wine festival starting tomorrow and running through September 16 in the historic downtown district. Adults can have some good (and responsible) fun with the three wine tasting pavilions, cooking demonstrations at the culinary pavilion each day, ice-carvings at 5:30pm on Friday and Saturday and live music on five stages. Compete in the champagne cork shoot-off on Saturday at 12:30pm at the Cotton Belt Railroad District, and loosen those toes for the GrapeStomp, which will be especially fun for those who’ve always secretly wanted to re-enact that I Love Lucy episode … And of course, indulge in all the festival foods and vast types and brands of wine you’ll be expecting.
But the wine fest isn’t just for adults. This is a family-friendly festival with carnival rides, midway games and all sorts of activities at the KidZone. The youngsters can play games, get a face painting, make crafts, visit the petting zoo and even learn where cheese comes from courtesy of the Southwest Dairy Farmers. KidZone closes at 9pm Thursday–Saturday and 6pm Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 6–12. Get free admission all day on Thursday and until 5pm on Friday.
Courtesy Town of Addison
And if wine isn’t your thing, plan ahead for the 25th Annual Addison Oktoberfest, coming next weekend from September 20–23 to Addison Circle Park. The four-day festival will be overflowing with authentic German sausages, sauerkraut, pastries and, of course, beer and with German-style entertainment, i.e. folk dancing and polka music by bands including Denton’s own Grammy award-winning Brave Combo. Join in the fun with dachshund racing, yodeling contests and barrel bowling, and show off your knowledge of the language at the German spelling bee. Admission for adults and kids ages 5 and older is $5–10, depending on the day and is free all evening on Thursday. You can also join the Oktoberfest Run for the Children benefiting Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer on September 22 and get early admission to the festival. (Check out more Oktoberfest celebrations to come in McKinney and Southlake.)
No matter their age, you’ll always remember your children as … children. One way you can hang on to their boyish (and girlish) good looks is with a hand cut silhouette by third generation artist Karl Johnson. He will be at Little Bean in Dallas on September 14 to create original hand cut silhouettes on black paper for $25. You don’t see it done much these days, but it’s a classy and unique keepsake, sort of like having your own child’s profile on a cameo brooch. Check out his work at cutarts.com. Call the store at 214/370-9111 to make an appointment for your little stunner. And it only takes about five minutes.
Then don’t miss The Dallas Flea at the South Side on Lamar in Dallas from 9am–4pm on September 15. Now, flea markets have come a long way since dusty barns and the street-side bazaar, and the only reason you’ll be itching is to get your hands on some of the handmade and vintage items including art, furniture, home décor, clothing, jewelry, paper goods and foods from about 75 vendors from all across Texas and curated just for the event. You don’t have to be an antique lover to shop the shelves. Find goods like wooden wristwatches by Mistura, printed T-shirts by Dowdy Studio Wagon and vintage cowboy boots by Cowgirl Cuties (if you haven’t yet discovered cowboy boot purses, you really should). Admission is $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and younger. Check out thedallasflea.com and facebook.com/dallasflea for more information and visit
pinterest.com/brittanyecobb/the-dallas-flea to see founder Brittany Cobb’s favorite finds.
Confession: I’m an incurable doodler. Give me a sketchbook and I don’t draw much; give me a page of lecture notes and my inner Da Vinci reigns supreme. I recently unearthed a high school notebook with doodles filling the margins … and sometimes intruding on my notes, too. Apples, flowers, birds, the One Ring, a TIE fighter – you name it, I drew it. Doodling helps me focus; it gives my restless hands something to do (although I have now learned how to do a cool spinning trick with a pen, so I alternate between doodling and spinning – catering to the inner child, I know).
So I’m always a fan of toys and games that encourage children to doodle. Doodling can spark artistic interest and creativity … and it’s just pure fun. With this in mind, Lazoo has made their app Squiggles! available for iPhone. Squiggles! is a free – yes, free – app that turns doodles into interactive pictures and stories. Kids can draw on 14 “living” pictures, interact with the stories they create, and save and share their latest masterpieces.
The good news is, this isn’t a mindless game – this is an outlet for their boundless imaginations and their tendency to color outside the lines. And, as aforementioned, it’s free. So why not give it a try? Let your kids get creative while familiarizing themselves with the newest technology. You can download the iPhone app here and the updated iPad app here.
(Oh, and if you don’t give it a whirl yourself, I’ll be a tad disappointed.)
Courtesy NorthPark Center
You focused on the kids for the tax-free holiday before the start of the new school year. So take a little time – or an evening – to focus on pampering yourself on September 6 at Fashion’s Night Out, a nation-wide event for fashionistas and created by American Vogue magazine, the Council of Fashion Designers America, NYC & Company and the City to New York.
Several malls and stores across DFW will host parties featuring all sorts of goodies for shoppers including free product samples, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages, live music, prizes, in-store special events and promotions, dining specials, mini-makeovers, and, of course, fashion shows modeling the latest trends in stores.
Here are a few shopping centers that will be hosting fashion soirées.
NorthPark Center in Dallas, 6–10pm
Galleria Dallas, 5–9pm (fashion show on a quarter-mile runway)
Southlake Town Square, 5–10pm
Uptown Village at Cedar Hill, 6–9pm
Watters Creek in Allen, 6–9pm
Firewheel Town Center in Garland, 5–9pm
North East Mall in Hurst, 6–9pm
Plus, Mockingbird Station’s Movida Boutique in Dallas will have an Early Bird Fashion Fete from 4–6pm with makeup touchups with MAC products, champagne and cupcakes and a fashion show.
To find more stores with extra special events and promotions, visit http://fashionsnightout.com/fno/outside-nyc.
No matter which city in DFW you hail from, as long as it’s within driving distance of the Bass Pro Shop in Grapevine, then consider a weekend drive to the shop’s Hometown Festival from noon–5pm this Saturday and Sunday.
The kids can live it up with a number of activities including the net-a-fish pond game, metal detector treasure hunt, beanbag toss and casting bucket shaped like, what else, a bass fish. Complete all four activities to spin the wheel for a prize. Then get your face painted, make a leaf craft, watch fashion shows and from 1–3pm eat a free hot dog lunch.
And parents, you can enjoy free product demonstrations and seminars on fishing tackle and tactics as well as smoking grilling and Dutch oven cooking techniques at 1pm and 3pm each day. For more information, visit basspro.com or call 972/724-2018.
Courtesy Oil and Cotton
Since Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade wares, opened its virtual doors in 2005, our wish lists have never been the same. So for it’s seventh anniversary, Etsy Dallas is teaming up with Oil and Cotton for a free, family-friendly craft party for the community. Meet at Oil and Cotton’s place in Dallas from 7–9pm on August 24 for raffle prizes, a photo booth and a couple of cool crafts. Sew (or glue) on abstract-shaped fabric swatches to linen banners for a unique collage to hang on the wall at home, and wrap yarn around sticks and tree branches for a miniature craft version of Operation Rainbow Brains, a street art project adding chalk rainbows to brighten up trees throughout Oak Cliff (hence the pretty photo). Snack on free (handmade, of course) desserts and drinks and head outside for Gandolfo’s New York Deli and Trailercakes food trucks.