Courtesy Universal Studios Home Entertainment
We’ve seen the creation of clothing lines inspired by film, like Banana Republic’s Mad Men Collection. But Skechers has gone in the opposite direction, taking its best-selling kids footwear line called Twinkles Toes (colorful sneakers with sequins on the toecap) and using that as inspiration for an animated, feature-length film about Grace “Twinkle Toes” Hastings, a girl who works to overcome her stage fright after she get accepted to a dance academy.
Twinkle Toes – The Movie, by Universal Studios Home Entertainment, will make its DVD debut tomorrow, July 31, and The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano will be hosting a free launch party on Saturday, August 4 from 12–4pm with free activities and entertainment for the kids. Meet in the Grand Court to color with glitter crayons, get temporary tattoos, bedazzle a craft, and decorate pink tote bags with jewels. Students from Power House of Dance will perform dance routines at noon and 2pm, and afterward your own kids can get a free dance lesson.
Register at the event for the chance to win a Twinkle Toes prize package from Skechers, and from home you can play online games at twinkletoesusa.com and even watch a few clips from the DVD at universalstudiosentertainment.com.
Courtesy City of Allen
Since North Texas boasts no national parks, you may have not known that July is National Parks and Recreation Month. Well, it is, and for the City of Allen, that’s reason enough to party. Allen Parks and Recreation will be rounding out the month with its Second Annual Twilight Festival in the Park, a special evening of fun for the kids on Saturday, July 28 at the Joe Farmer Recreation Center.
Beginning at 7pm, the kids can run around and play carnival games, darts and mini-golf, jump in bounce houses, get a face painting, and watch balloon artists and kite demos. Then take a seat at the hillside amphitheater to watch a screening of the Disney movie Air Bud at dusk. Call 214/509-4750 or visit allenparks.org for more information.
Note: We won’t be getting any national parks anytime soon, of course, so for year-round fun, check out the many, many municipal lakes and parks and the nearby state parks, including Ray Roberts Lake State Park north of Denton and Cedar Hill State Park southwest of Dallas.
And if you are thinking of a trip more than a stone’s throw away from DFW, check out the state’s national parks at nps.gov/state/tx.
Codex Nuttall, Mexico, Western Oaxaca, Mixtec, 15th–16th century, deerskin, gesso, pigments, Trustees of the British Museum, London, photo © The Trustees of the British Museum / Art Resource, NY
This Sunday, the Dallas Museum of Art will debut its latest exhibit, The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico, and the museum is inviting families to a sneak peak the day before its official opening. So take the kids to the WFAA Family First Day at the Dallas Museum of Art on Saturday, July 28, and get in for free from 11am–5pm and enjoy a load of free activities for the kids.
You’ll see 150 rare works from ancient kingdoms of Mesoamerica and their patron deity, Quetzalcoatl, called the “plumed serpent.” The Codex Zouche-Nuttall, shown above, is a two-sided pictorial document made from deerskin. (Click on image to enlarge.)
In programs throughout the day, kids can create a rain stick and animal-inspired jewelry, learn all about songwriting and Latin rhythms, watch Ollimpaxqui dancers, and join the cast from the Dallas Theater Center’s Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat in an acting workshop. WFAA’s Shelly Slater and meteorologist Steve McCauley will be on hand to tell stories and talk about storms, cloud seeding and how to measure rainfall.
Visit the Dallas Museum of Art site for a complete schedule or call 214/922-1803 for more information. The exhibit will be on view through November 25.
Courtesy BEP Western Currency Facility
Each family has its own way to teach kids about money, whether it’s by rewarding them with an allowance for doing chores or making good grades, or teaching them how to budget and save for goals.
Well, here’s another, fun way to show kids the value of money – show them how it’s made and what antiquated processes were used the form the coins and dollar bills we carry around in our wallets (and cute kid purses).
The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing will be hosting free Summer Employee Craft Demonstrations at its Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth from 8:30am–5:30pm from July 23–27. Kids can sit at the engraver’s workbench and watch just how coins are engraving using a method that’s called Intaglio, and see how Intaglio printing plates are “grown” in a nickel solution. Take a look at how mutilated currency be reconstructed piece-by-piece, look at plate-making for offset printing presses, and see how currency was printed circa 1900 at the refurbished spider press. In the Kid$ Corral, children ages 8 and older can engrave and print their very own currency design.
Now, the center is also open year-round for tours, so after doing some kids craft activities, take a tour through the elevated walkway above the production floor for an experience a la the Science Channel’s How It’s Made television show. You’ll see where over half of the nation’s paper currency is printed and learn about the history of paper currency in the U.S. In July, tours leave every 30 minutes from 9am–4pm.
For more information, call 817/231-4000 or visit moneyfactory.gov.
Looking for fun out of the sun? Take your family to Ice Age: Continental Drift, the fourth installment in one of our favorite family-friendly franchises. Our prehistoric pals are drifting through life quite happily until a certain nutty squirrel makes mischief … again. What has Scrat gotten up to now? In his never-ending quest for the acorn, he seems to have accidentally split the earth’s landmass! Now Sid, Manny, Diego and company must navigate danger on the icy seas to return to their friends and families. Get a sneak peek of their adventure in the trailer.
Want to know more about Ice Age: Continental Drift? Click here to read Jane Louise Boursaw’s review, which includes information for parents about kid-friendly content. Before you take your kids, always check with Jane! More family-oriented reviews can be found in the movie review section of our website.
Courtesy LEGO DUPLO
Is your kid a builder? Then head to the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas on Thursday, July 19 from 2–3pm for Read! Build! Play!, a free program by LEGO DUPLO and the Association for Library Service to Children that combines reading and playtime to promote early literacy and learning development for kids younger than five.
Children can build with DUPLO blocks, sing along to songs and play while storytellers read from pictures books. The kids can also see a giant book model made from LEGO DUPLO blocks.
Can’t make it? Check out the program’s website at readbuildplay.com. Download the program activity guide for coloring and building activities and for tips and ideas on how to keep playtime new, interesting and educational for your child, and listen to “DUPLO Jams” for a fun building session at home.
Online you can vote for the library branch closest to your home to receive prizes from LEGO. The top three nominated libraries will receive $2,500, $3,500 and $5,000, and the top 200 will get toolkits with bricks, books and activity guides.