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DALLAS’ SPOT FOR INSTANT HOLIDAY CHEER THE MAGAZINE PARENTS LIVE BY IN DALL AS COUNT Y

D E C E M B E R 2017

WHAT TO DO THIS

WINTER BREAK MEET OUR MOM NEXT DOOR

PUPPY LOVE: GETTING YOUR FIRST FAMILY DOG

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family vacation planning

PRIYA BHOLA RATHOD

26

MUST-DO DECEMBER FAMILY OUTINGS

WITHOUT A HOME

HOW TO HELP THE HOMELESS FAMILIES LIVING AMONG US


For a Jolly Time This Holiday Season, Visit NorthPark Center We’ve made our list and checked it twice: THE SALVATION ARMY ANGEL TREE Through December 6, 2017 Level One near Macy’s

Make the holiday season a memorable one for those in need by giving presents, clothing and necessities through The Salvation Army Angel Tree. Choose an Angel, drop off your gift by December 6, and The Salvation Army will make your delivery in time for Christmas. Monday – Saturday Sunday

10AM – 9PM 12 – 6PM

VISITS AND PORTRAITS WITH SANTA CLAUS Through December 24, 2017 Level One in Macy’s Court

Capture memories of a lifetime with one-on-one visits and portraits with Santa Claus. Children feel right at home in Santa Claus’ cozy living room with a fireplace, a holiday tree and a comfy leather armchair. Take photos with your own camera or purchase professional portraits by Marc Robins Photography. Tickets are available starting at 9AM, Monday - Saturday, and 10AM on Sunday. Monday – Saturday

Sunday Christmas Eve

11AM – 2PM 2:30 – 5PM 5:30 – 7PM 12:30 – 3PM 3:30 – 5PM 10AM – 2PM

SPCA OF TEXAS “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS” PET ADOPTION CENTER

THE TRAINS AT NORTHPARK™ BENEFITING THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE® OF DALLAS Through January 7, 2018 Level Two between Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom

The Trains at NorthPark™, presented by Bank of Texas, has been a NorthPark Center tradition for 19 years. The most elaborate miniature toy trains exhibit in Texas, The Trains at NorthPark™ includes trains rolling across 1,600 feet of track on a journey across America. Monday – Saturday Sunday Thanksgiving Day Christmas Eve Christmas Day New Year’s Eve New Year’s Day

10AM – 9PM 11AM – 7PM Closed 9AM – 4PM Closed 10AM – 4PM 11AM – 6PM

SCROOGE PUPPET THEATRE Through December 24, 2017 Level One in EastCourt near Dillard’s

NorthPark Center’s whimsical Scrooge Puppet Theatre has been a holiday tradition for more than four decades. Charles Dickens’ famous character creates a funny scene through the magic of puppetry. Children of all ages giggle with delight as everyone’s favorite despicable holiday character emerges from his cottage at the bottom of every hour. Monday – Saturday 11:30AM – 8:30PM Sunday 12:30 – 6:30PM Christmas Eve 10:30AM – 3:30PM

SANTA’S TOY SHOPPE PUPPET THEATRE

Through December 23, 2017

Through December 24, 2017

Level One between Macy’s and Dillard’s

Level Two between Nordstrom and Macy’s near Green House Market

The sky is the limit for the dogs (and cats!) that make any house a home. The SPCA of Texas’ “Home for the Holidays” Pet Adoption Center at NorthPark Center has provided special adoption experiences for thousands of four-legged animals and their loving new families for 27 years. Daily

12 – 6PM

How does Santa get all of those presents to little boys and girls around the world? Santa’s Toy Shoppe Puppet Theatre animates the story of a toymaker and a cast of entertaining characters working to get Santa’s toys completed in time for Christmas Eve delivery. Santa’s Toy Shoppe Puppet Theatre shows start at the top of every hour. Monday – Saturday 11AM – 7PM Sunday 12 – 6PM Christmas Eve 11AM – 3PM

For a detailed listing of events, activities, holiday hours, stores and more, visit northparkcenter.com.


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pages / D E C E M B E R

2017

FEATURE 20 The Invisible Ones

Despite a thriving local economy, the number of homeless families and children in North Texas continues to rise. words Leslie J. Thompson

DEPARTMENTS NOTED 9 Homeward Hound

What to think about before getting a family dog

REAL MOMS 13 Mom Next Door / Priya Bhola Rathod

This mom of two blogs, gives to the community and has a day job too.

16 4 Things ‌ / How To Spend a Day Off

Our Mom Next Door’s favorite spots around Dallas

How to protect the growing number of homeless kids in North Texas, p. 20

18 Routines / Kate Wilke

Three boys means a busy carpool schedule for this Rockwall stay-at-home mom

KID CULTURE 31 Beat Winter Break Blues

25 ways to spend winter break with the kids

44 Celebrate / Pastry Party

9 13

31

A bakery party for birthday No. 7

49 The Agenda

Our favorite family events this month

ON THE COVER

THE HOLIDAY ISSUE

COLUMNS DallasChild Cover Model: Emma of Dallas CollinChild Cover Model: Emmy of Carrollton Photography: Cindy James Hair/Makeup: Shane Monden, Wallflower Management Styling: Lauren Niebes

6 Hello / Holiday Help

An introduction to our December issue words Wendy Manwarren Generes

54 Confessions / Mommy Fails

When bad things happen to good parents dfwchild.com / december 2017

5


hello / E D I T O R ’ S

NOTE

holiday help

Handpicked events for your family to enjoy every weekend. Subscribe at dfwchild.com/newsletter.

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December 2 FREE Admission 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Family Activities 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

nashersculpturecenter.org Dallas Arts District Target First Saturdays is generously sponsored by Target. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is the public transportation partner for Target First Saturdays.

6

december 2017 / dfwchild.com

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few weeks ago, Genevieve went grocery shopping with me, and there was a homeless family with little ones in a stroller asking for money out front. Since I never have any cash on me, I took Genevieve inside, and we bought the family toddler fruit and veggie pouches, waters and lots of nonperishable items that didn’t require a refrigerator or can opener. They were so grateful, and Genevieve was so proud of herself though she had lots of questions about why they didn’t have food, clean clothes or a home—and frankly, so did I. How did this poor family end up begging for money outside my local Tom Thumb? Did you know that the number of homeless families, and especially homeless kids, is sadly on the rise in some parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth area? Me neither. Writer Leslie Thompson explores the reasons why these families find themselves without permanent housing, what it’s doing to the kids and what’s being done to help them in “The Invisible Ones” on page 20. This year, in addition to adopting a family through our church and St. Vincent de Paul and purchasing Christmas gifts for them, I’m going to give my time to one of the many organizations in Dallas striving to help homeless families and kids specifically. Beyond giving gifts and donating money, you can plan parties, do a playdate, rock a baby and so much more. That’s what the holidays are really all about anyway. It’s a time to help others. This year, we’ve decided to help you, parents. We know those two weeks when school’s closed can be stressful. You’re hosting or traveling, plus trying to keep kids occupied. Relax. We got this. We put together a list of activities in “Beat Winter Break Blues” on page 31 to help you entertain the kids—and keep you sane—when school’s out for winter break. See a holiday movie, find the best hot chocolate in town or go ice skating, among other wintry fun. Or check out the Agenda on page 49, which is packed with the much-loved annual productions, events and activities that make Dallas magical this time of year. Oh, and if you’re one of the many families who’ve decided to get the kids a dog for Christmas, let Sundey McClendon’s piece “Homeward Hound” on page 9 assist you. She talked to local experts in the pooch-rearing field to get the do’s and don’ts of pup ownership. She also put together a fun quiz to help you find the right breed for your brood.

PHOTO COURTESY OF NICK PRENDERGAAST

The Weekend Guide


PUBLISHER/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Joylyn Niebes

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lauren Niebes

lauren@dfwchild.com

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EDITORIAL

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Solar Preparatory School for Girls at James B. Bonham

• Single-gender STEAM school accepting Kindergartners; will grow to a full K–8th grade • All students participate in Girl Scouts, robotics and coding; recipient of New Schools Venture Fund

Eduardo Mata Elementary

• Montessori school accepting new PK3, PK4, and Kindergartners • 2016 TEA “Met Standards” campus; recognized as “Best Dallas ISD Innovation” by Dallas Observer in 2015

D.A. Hulcy STEAM Middle School

• Project-Based Learning STEAM school accepting 6th graders • Girl Scouts Partner; earned 4 state distinctions: Top 25% Student Progress and Closing Performance Gaps; Postsecondary Readiness; Achievement in Math and Science; Project Lead The Way grant recipient

Ignite Middle School

• Personalized Learning school opening August 2018 with a focus on Career Exploration, Technology, and Project-Based Learning • Accepting 6th graders; will grow to a full 6th–8th grade middle school; recipient of New Schools Venture Fund

Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA) at James W. Fannin • Personalized Learning and Entrepreneurship high school accepting 9th graders • Earned 2 state distinctions: Top 25% Student Progress and Achievement in Math; recipient of Gates Foundation grant

CityLab High School

• Hands-On Project-Based Learning high school with a focus on Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning, and Environmental Science; accepting 9th graders • Located in downtown Dallas; students utilize city as a unique learning laboratory Visit www.dallasisd.org/choice | email choice@dallasisd.org | call (972) 925-3306

dfwchild.com / december 2017

7


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Each show features Missile Toes — our back-flipping, ice-skating Santa with sparklers — plus, a special fireworks finale!

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VISIT SANTA CLAUS IN HIS VILLAGE

THROUGH DECEMBER 24

SLAPPY’S HOLIDAY CIRCUS

DECEMBER 2, 9, 16 & 23: 1PM & 3PM

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noted. HOMEWARD

HOUND the do’s and don’ts of getting a family dog WORDS SUNDEY MCCLENDON

©ISTOCK.COM/CSA IMAGES

A

jar on the counter at Kerri Well’s home in Mansfield has been accumulating change for the last year. Her kids— Natalie, 14; Kaitlyn, 12; and Jackson, 9—are saving up, not for a new gaming console or a trip to Universal Studios. For a dog. As it turns out, finding the funds might be the easiest part of the whole pet process. Well wants a small dog. Her husband, John, wants a big dog. The kids will take anything. “We really aren’t sure how to even start to choose a dog or what we would do once we got one,” the mom confesses. Her family isn’t alone in their uncertainty. Before adding a furry member to the family, there are lots of variables to consider: Should you get a rescue with an unknown past? Buy a purebred from a pricey breeder? And how do you get the kids to help care for it?

dfwchild.com / december 2017

9


HOUND

Relax. Adding a dog to the family should be fun, so we begged—er, asked—Dr. John Harvey, a veterinarian at Cross Timber Animal Medical Clinic in Flower Mound, and renowned dog trainer Pam Martin (recently featured on America’s Got Talent), of Top Dog Obedience Training in Garland, to give us the do’s and don’ts of getting a family dog. DO RESEARCH

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Choosing the cutest pup at the pet store is a bad idea. Martin suggests that families look at their lifestyle first, then compare to different breeds’ temperaments, activity levels, trainability, shedding habits and other characteristics to find a good fit. “If you’re an active family, then a larger, sporty breed might be best,” she says. “But if you’re looking for a dog to cuddle with while you watch TV, you would want a smaller companion dog who doesn’t need a lot of room to run.” The American Kennel Club (akc.org) is a good place to start if you have a few breeds in mind. If you don’t have a breed preference yet, look at the Dog Breed Info Center (dogbreedinfo.com) to sort by breeds that tend to drool, make good guard dogs or will jog with you on a morning run. DON’T ASSUME YOU WANT A PUPPY

“The younger [the dog], the more dependent it will be on you,” Martin explains. A puppy needs to be house trained and requires constant supervision, so an older dog may be better for families without loads of free time. DO LET SOMEONE ELSE PLAY MATCHMAKER

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you will get,” he explains. “But a foster owner can tell you exactly what you are getting.” DON’T CHOOSE A BREEDER LIGHTLY

FINDING FIDO

Dogged by indecision? Let this just-for-fun quiz help you narrow the decision. Our favorite family activity is: A. Going on a family hike B. Spending time outside C. Binging on Netflix When things break in our home we say: A. “Add it to the pile.” B. “Bummer, but oh well” C. “Noooo!” Our family schedule is: A. Laid back B. Some days are crazy; some days are calm. C. “Eat this sandwich in the car; we’re late for practice.” Our yard is: A. A big job to mow. B. Large enough for a game of catch C. No yard = no problems. MOSTLY As: Consider a dog from the working or herding category—a boxer, collie, German Shepherd, even a Great Dane. These dogs are smart, active and energetic. They need room to run and do well with families who can invest a lot of time in their training and activity. MOSTLY Bs: Think about a dog from the sporting or hound family—a retriever, Rhodesian ridgeback, spaniel or poodle mix. These dogs are easily trained, intelligent and, with the proper investment of time, can fit well into a somewhat busy lifestyle. MOSTLY Cs: Look to the smaller toy breeds for a companion dog for your family—a papillon, Chihuahua, toy poodle or Shih Tzu mix. They don’t need a lot of space and generally like to be held.

Some rescue groups, such as Paws in the City in Dallas (pawsinthecity.org) and Animal Hope in Fort Worth (animalhope. org), will swipe left or right for you, Harvey says. He advises families to work with rescue groups who foster dogs because foster owners get the inside scoop on potential pets. “Even within a breed, there is so much variation on personality that you really never know what

If you’ve settled on a purebred instead, Harvey and Martin agree that breeders should be researched thoroughly. Arrange a tour so your family can see the facilities and meet the breeder, the dog’s parents and the puppies. DO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A VET—SOON

Collect all of the new dog’s medical data, Harvey says, including shot history, deworming history and heartworm prevention care. Then try to get her to a vet within the first week or so. DON’T NEGLECT THE BONDING PROCESS

“Creating a bond is crucial,” Martin stresses. “You must build a trusting relationship with your dog.” Plan to be home for the first few days after Lassie joins the family, and sign up for a local training program. “Basic training opens up the [obedience] world to the family and the dog,” Martin says. “And better behavior gives deepened trust and freedom for dog and owner.” DO MAKE CARING FOR THE PUP FUN

Little ones might not be able to walk or clean up after their new friend, but they can help you feed her. Make a game of it. Count the strokes while brushing her fur or see how many cups it takes to fill the water dish. DON’T LET THE DOG BABYSIT

For at least the first few months, you shouldn’t leave the kids alone with the dog—for the safety of both. “Neither of them really knows the rules yet,” Martin explains. “They are both still learning. Adults need to be present in that learning process until they both know what is acceptable and what is not.” Be prepared for school-age kids to grasp boundaries quickly; younger tykes will likely take longer.

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real moms.

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PRIYA BHOLA RATHOD

the fashionable, multihyphenate mom INTERVIEW NICOLE JORDAN PHOTOGRAPHY CARTER ROSE

P

riya Bhola Rathod takes multitasking to new levels. The Greenway Park mom of two—Aria, 4, and Anya, 2—is a blogger with bylines appearing regularly on HuffPost and Model Behaviors. She’s highly involved in her husband Veeral’s Dallas-based men’s clothing company, J. Hilburn. And

dfwchild.com / december 2017

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real moms / P R I Y A

BHOLA RATHOD

then there’s her day job: agency account manager at Indeed. Before landing in Dallas nearly seven years ago, the New York native lived in Chicago and Los Angeles, managing sales and marketing teams for media groups including MTV Networks, Comcast Networks and Sony. On the side, she built a successful career as an on-camera host and reporter for various digital networks, covering film festivals and conducting red-carpet interviews. After meeting Veeral and marrying him six years ago, Rathod moved to Dallas and immediately immersed herself in the local community. She was instrumental in developing video content for style blog DFW Style Daily and became a regular in the charity circuit. Today, she’s on the board of the Dallas Women’s Foundation and a founding member of Mahila, an organization benefiting low-income women entrepreneurs internationally. “And this is me paring it down so as not to overcommit,” Rathod says. “And I still feel overcommitted …” To be sure, it’s a full plate. But with the right support system in place, she doesn’t miss a beat.

mode. It’s like having two babies at once. As they get older, every day gets a little bit better. WHAT’S YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH J. HILBURN? When they need help with

videos, I’ll help with that. And I’m really involved in rep events throughout the year because it’s one of the only times I get to spend time with the stylists. But we don’t work together on a regular basis. We’re not that couple that can work together every day.

…KEEPING IT REAL, THERE ARE DAYS AND WEEKS WHEN YOU JUST FEEL LIKE YOU’RE FAILING AT IT ALL.

DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH SPREADING YOURSELF TOO THIN? As women, that’s

something we struggle with a lot. Your aspirations don’t end when you become a mom, and I don’t think they should. But I have to remember there’s a season for everything. I can be professionally fulfilled right now, but I can’t do everything. The girls and my husband are a huge priority for me, and I’m not happy when I’m not able to devote the time I want to them. It’s been a journey for me to understand how to do that and still pursue my passions. SO HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL? I don’t think women can do it all unless they have the right support system in place. A lot is expected of women, and having my support system in place is essential. We have two great nannies. Veeral’s parents live an hour away in Sherman. My parents live in upstate New York, but they’ll fly in and help us. And I work from home, which has been a real blessing for me. Having that flexibility means the world. But keeping it real, there are days and weeks when you just feel like you’re failing at it all. WHAT’S IT LIKE HAVING TWO SO CLOSE IN AGE? The girls being only 17 months

apart—which was a happy surprise for us— has been really nice. The first year is survival 14

december 2017 / dfwchild.com

TELL ME ABOUT MAHILA.

Last year, five of us IndianAmerican women got together and wanted to do something around helping women, domestically and abroad. So we decided to partner with Milaap USA for a Dallas event. I don’t think we realized how big of an undertaking it was, but we were able to raise almost $90,000. We’re proud of what we accomplished. Now, we’re in strategy mode, thinking about where we want to go next.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO FEED YOURSELF? Keeping myself healthy is

really important to me. When I’m going too fast sometimes that suffers. Also, just having downtime every day—whether it’s 15 or 30 minutes—and being able to go out to dinner or something with friends are really important. As generic as all this sounds, those are the things that make me happy. HOW DO YOU AND VEERAL STAY CONNECTED? We’re definitely foodies. We

love watching Netflix series. And we recently started exercising together. WHAT’S YOUR NO. 1 PIECE OF ADVICE FOR NEW MOTHERS? It’s OK if everything

isn’t perfect. There’s this pressure to have the perfect item for feeding and make sure you get the children on a nap schedule at this age and that age. It’s helpful to have all that advice out there, but do what works best for you. WHAT’S THE WORST ADVICE YOU SEE OUT THERE? That you have to have your

kids in every single activity by the age of 2 in order for them to get into an acceptable college. There’s a time and place to push our children, but this idea of just letting them be kids is getting lost. There’s a lot to be said for just letting them enjoy this time to be kids. YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A MOM? Watching them experience new

things and reliving those things through their eyes.

>> T U R N T H E P A G E T O S E E P R I YA B H O L A R AT H O D’S DA L L A S FAVO R I T ES.


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real moms / 4

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+ WE YOGIS // “At the recommendation of a friend, I started taking classes at We Yogis. It’s a reminder of just how good yoga is for both body and soul.” // Multiple locations // weyogis.com

december 2017 / dfwchild.com

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Like Priya Bhola Rathod, agency account manager for Indeed, blogger, philanthropist and mom of two


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a thursday in the life of

KATE WILKE Kate Wilke lives in Rockwall with her husband of 23 years, David. They have three boys: Ben, 15; Will, 13; and Andy, 10. David works for Bank of America from his home office, and Kate is a stay-at-home mom. In her free time, she does volunteer work and travels. Last summer, she and her sons went on a three-week, 4,500mile road trip up the East Coast and through Canada. They’re looking forward to a West Coast adventure this summer.

6

:30AM My alarm goes off. I lie in bed to check emails, texts and Facebook. 6:45AM I let the dogs outside and go upstairs to wake up Andy, my 10-year-old. I rub his back and try and convince him to get out of bed. Then I go into Ben’s room, my 15-year-old, to make sure that he is up and in the shower. (He is, thankfully.) I go back into Andy’s room and rub his back a little more, and he finally gets out of bed. I get dressed and make Andy’s breakfast and pack his snack, lunch and backpack. 7:15AM Ben comes downstairs and makes his own breakfast. 7:30AM I go back upstairs to wake up Will, my 13-year-old, but he’s already awake. Time to leave to take Andy to school. He’s in fourth grade, and this is his first year to be in school without his brother. He’s had a tough adjustment so it’s always a battle. 8AM Back home to pick up Ben. I listen to Rachel Hollis with the Chic Site on her livestream while I am driving. I drop Ben off and head back home to get Will.

8:15AM Will is eating breakfast and watching YouTube videos about Logan Paul (some internet guy). I let the dogs in and out again. 8:30AM Will and I leave. He has to be at school at 8:45 and is totally fine sliding in as the bell rings. I hug and kiss him goodbye. 8:45AM Back home I make breakfast (English muffin with peanut butter) and stand and eat while I clean up the kitchen. 9AM I take the cover off Ben’s bearded dragon’s cage and give her a little love. My husband, David, starts work for the day. My housekeeper is coming so I pick up all the stuff the kids throw on the floor and straighten up. 9:30AM The housekeeper, Angelica, is here. I get her started and go about my day. 10AM I take my dog, Teddy, to the vet. He’s been limping. The vet says he has a torn ligament. Surgery is the best option, but the vet doesn’t recommend it because Teddy is a bit overweight. Hopefully Teddy doesn’t give us too much trouble about cutting back on his food. 11AM Back home, I take the clothes that I washed last night out of the dryer, sort them and then start some more laundry. I chop up veggies for the dragon and Will’s hamster and feed the dragon her crickets. Back downstairs I switch out the laundry again. NOON My husband comes out of his office, and we chat while he makes some lunch. 1PM After finishing up the laundry, I sit down to eat lunch and watch General Hospital. Ahh—it feels nice to sit. 2PM I let the dogs in and out for the 900th time today and put away the laundry. 2:30PM I pick Andy up early from school for his weekly allergy shot. Afterward we have to wait for 30 minutes to make sure he doesn’t have a reaction. 3:15PM We leave the doctor’s office, and I go to the high school to pick up Ben. 4PM Ben comes out and we head home. Will also gets out at 3:45. Even though it’s very close and he should walk home, I pick him up when I get back into the neighborhood. 4:15PM Finally home for the day! Is it bedtime yet? I let the dogs out again. This time I sit outside with them for a bit—it’s a nice day. 4:45PM The neighbor’s dog starts barking and my dogs bark, so we are back inside. I go upstairs and give my kids options for dinner. They pick spaghetti. 5PM I watch the news while I clean up the kitchen from after-school snacks and start making dinner. 6:45PM After eating, the boys go back upstairs and my husband goes back to his office while I clean up the kitchen. 7:15PM Time for a family walk. Andy and Will go willingly. Ben fusses a bit, but

Diaries are penned by moms (and dads) in the Dallas area. The authors volunteer to share a day of their choosing and are not paid or endorsed by DFWChild. Send your diary to editorial@dfwchild.com. All submissions are subject to editing and may be cut for space. 18

december 2017 / dfwchild.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF KATE WILKE

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WHAT SHE’S READING High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard FAVORITE INDULGENCE Watching Gilmore Girls and getting my hair and nails done WHERE SHE GOES FOR RETAIL THERAPY “Louis Vuitton Addicted – Buy, Sell & Chat” Facebook page FAVORITE DATE NIGHT SPOT Desperados (Garland and Dallas) GUARANTEED TO MAKE HER LAUGH Girlfriend time GUARANTEED TO MAKE HER CRY Thinking about my kids going off to college BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Unsweetened tea BEST PURCHASE EVER When I met my husband, I paid the housekeeper in the building $5 to give him my phone number. TOP PLAYLIST Disco/funk music FAVORITE PODCAST Dais by Rachel Hollis INSTAGRAM SHE FOLLOWS @msrachelhollis, @jenhatmaker and many friends ON GIRLS NIGHT OUT, WE’LL FIND HER At Mi Cocina in Rockwall with my girlfriend Marnie DREAM VACATION Italy, Australia, Germany MOTHERHOOD IN FIVE WORDS Always make the moments count HOBBIES Traveling, blogging, volunteering SHE WISHES SHE HAD MORE TIME TO Put together family photo albums NO. 1 ITEM ON HER BUCKET LIST Moving to New York City! LOOKING FORWARD TO Rise Conference (Chic Site by Rachel Hollis) in LA in April 2018 and my monthlong road trip this summer with my three boys GREATEST FEAR My boys not having a close relationship

he comes. After, David and the boys go upstairs. 8PM Time for Andy to shut off his electronics. I supervise his bath and brushing his teeth, and then he gets in bed. 8:30PM Time for Will to shut off his electronics. I stay upstairs while he showers and brushes his teeth, feeds his hamster and gets into bed. 9PM Time for Ben to shut off his electronics. He’s pretty self-sufficient so I get to go back downstairs. 9:15PM After letting the dogs out one last time, I tell my husband goodnight (who is back in his office working), brush my teeth and get into bed. I turn on Gilmore Girls. It’s my favorite show, and it’s mindless TV for me. 9:45PM Lights out for me. Good night!

From ­Jonathan E. Walker, M.D. Board-certified in neurology

TO ALL PARENTS

Dr. Walker

Dear Parents, Much attention recently has been given to reports of concussions and other types of head injuries—particularly those while playing sports. Yes, football can be a cause for concern; however, so can other sports, particularly soccer. Or, a sport may not be involved. A tumble on a playground or in the back yard may result in a head injury. Some children may not remember such incidents, or may not know it is important to tell an adult. Parents probably do not know how to evaluate such incidents. These head injuries can cause problems immediately or in later years. Attention deficits, poor memory, chronic anxiety or other problems can occur. Proper diagnosis by a qualified medical professional is very important. I am a Medical Doctor, a Board Certified Neurologist. I have researched, treated and taught about such brain injuries throughout my career. I use the very best method for diagnosis, which is a Quantitative EEG (QEEG). The QEEG is an objective way to diagnose. It is not painful nor invasive and is covered by almost all insurance plans. I use the results of the QEEG to guide neurotherapy treatments that have shown remarkable results. Note: this process is valuable not only for children, but for many adults I have seen in my clinic who had past injuries. If you have questions: call us, come to a free information session at our clinic, or visit our website. Do not hesitate. Your brain is too important! Sincerely,

Jonathan E. Walker, MD, MS, EEG, BCN, QEEG/D Board Certified in Neurology and EEG

A Medical Clinic with Painless Drug-free Solutions 12870 Hillcrest Rd., Suite 201 | Dallas, TX 75230

Neurotherapy Center of Dallas

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dfwchild.com / december 2017

19


THE

INVISIBLE

ONES

Despite a thriving local economy, the number of homeless families and children in North Texas continues to rise. And they’re not all panhandling—they’re at work, at school and on the playground, going unnoticed and, sometimes, unhelped. WORDS LESLIE J. THOMPSON

T

racy Cross, whose name has been changed at her request, and her husband worked hard to make ends meet and cover their monthly expenses. Although both were employed, the cost of food, clothing and school supplies for their three children, ages 15, 13 and 7, maxed out their income. “There were days where I had to choose, were we going to pay rent and not eat? Or, were we going to pay for gas so my husband could go to work?” Cross recalls. When the couple came up short on rent, they were evicted from their Dallas apartment. They ended up living with a nearby relative. “My kids were sleeping on the floor, and we were sleeping on a mattress,” Cross recalls. Unfortunately, the Cross family story is increasingly common in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A SILENT EPIDEMIC

The Dallas Commission on Homelessness reports that more than 300,000 Dallas residents live in poverty (any family of four living on less than

$24,000 per year). That number includes nearly 38 percent of the city’s children, according to a report from the Dallas Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty. And data from Interfaith Family Services in Dallas notes that families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Although the tally of those without permanent housing in Dallas and Collin counties has dipped slightly—from 3,810 in 2016 to 3,789 this year, according to data released from the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless census—thousands more are likely unaccounted for, experts say. They’re not sleeping under bridges or panhandling. Instead, they’re in school and at work during the day and couch surfing or staying in budget hotels at night. “What is interesting about [homeless] families with children is that you almost never see them out in the public eye,” notes Ellen Magnis, CEO of Family Gateway, one of only four shelters in Dallas that serves families with children. “And for good reason—they’re afraid. So, they’re super hard to count,” she says. The U.S. Department of Education’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act defines homeless children and youth as individuals who lack a “fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.” This includes being doubled-up (i.e., staying in the home of a friend or relative), living in a transitional or emergency shelter, living in an unsheltered situation (e.g., sleeping in a car, abandoned building or outdoor encampment) or staying at a hotel, motel or trailer park. Earlier this year, Dallas ISD reported that the number of homeless children had reached “catastrophic levels.” More than 3,700 homeless children attend school in Dallas ISD alone, and another 1,283 are enrolled in the Fort Worth school district. Plano ISD reported 457 homeless students for the 2014–15 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, with Lewisville ISD and Frisco ISD counting 684 and 207 homeless students, respectively. “We track the number of homeless students that we serve, and we’ve seen that number double since 2014,” says Tasha Moore, a licensed mas-

dfwchild.com / december 2017

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feature / T H E

INVISIBLE ONES

ter social worker and chief strategy officer for secondary campuses with Communities in Schools of North Texas (CISNT) in Lewisville. Not only are these kids at high risk for health issues, developmental delays and problem behaviors, but Texas Education Agency (TEA) data indicates that homeless children are five times more likely to drop out of school. And over their lifetime, they will cost taxpayers $530 million due to costs associated with medical care, shelter and associated services, as well as law enforcement expenses and lost tax revenue, according to a report out of the University of Texas at Austin. CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS

With the economy in North Texas booming, how is it that so many parents and children find themselves without a stable roof over their heads? Unemployment is less than 4 percent in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Dallas Regional Chamber predicts wage and salary employment to grow by 2.3 percent for the Dallas-Plano-Irving area and nearly 2.1 percent for the Fort Worth-Arlington area over the next five years. But wages are not rising at the same rate as housing costs, experts say, and the lack of affordable housing throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area leaves those who previously were just getting by without options. In fact, by far the most common driver of families ending up on the street is the disparity between wages and housing prices. The rental vacancy rate in Dallas was only 8 percent in 2014, according to a report from the New York University Furman Center, meaning landlords have little incentive to keep rents low or to rent to individuals without a strong credit history. Families who experience homelessness typically have been on the edge of poverty, and a single turn of events can leave them unable to make rent or pay the mortgage, Magnis explains. “Somebody got the flu, and the parent who’s an hourly worker doesn’t have sick leave, or they had to stay home and take care of their kids,” she says. A week without pay for a family with no savings or safety net can mean having to choose between buying groceries and staying in their home. Other likely circumstances include an unexpected layoff or job loss, divorce, even an expensive car repair. “It’s estimated that if you’re working in a minimum wage job here in Collin County, you need to be working 20 hours a day to sustain a basic living,” says Rick Crocker, CEO of Samaritan Inn in McKinney, the county’s only residential homeless program. The shelter served 623 residents last year, 150 of whom were children. However, due to a lack of space, Samaritan Inn also turned away 2,400 individuals who qualified for the program. The need, notes Crocker, is overwhelming, and the number of families without a permanent place to stay is on the rise. PROTECTING OUR YOUTH

The effects of homelessness can be devastating for children, especially younger ones who trust and rely on their parents to provide a sense of safety and security. “We see the same issues with children who are homeless as we see in children who are abused,” Magnis says. “They’re traumatized by the experience and they need time to recover.” Similar to victims of natural disaster, they often find themselves left with only the few belongings that they can carry with them as they move from one living situation to the next. The toxic stress of homelessness, combined with poor hygiene and malnutrition, puts children at increased risk of illness. The impact is especially dire for children younger than 6, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The group says homelessness during early childhood increases the odds that a child will develop 22

december 2017 / dfwchild.com


stress-related chronic diseases later in life. Similarly, the experience of being without a stable home can also cause delays in a child’s social and emotional development. Not surprisingly, these factors often affect a child’s performance at school. “It’s harder for those students to find a rhythm and to find consistency and reliability,” Moore says. Frequent moves to unfamiliar places can cause them to be extremely anxious or mistrustful, and those behaviors play out in the classroom. “They get in trouble a lot, or they might jump or shake at a noise,” she says. Due to limited access to computers, a lack of parental guidance and unstable living conditions, children experiencing homelessness routinely fail to turn in their homework or they frequently fall asleep in class. “Then there are just general things around social interactions, as far as being able to shower [and] having clean clothes, that affect students’ relationships with their peers,” Moore notes. When a child wears the same outfit every day, for example, he or she may be teased by other students and self-confidence starts to break down. “They won’t want to come to school, and their attendance will decrease, along with their academics,” she says.

We see the same issues with children who are homeless as we see in children who are abused. They’re traumatized by the experience and they need time to recover.

IN ORBIT

OCT 21 - May 6

STOPPING THE CYCLE

As the numbers of homeless children and families have continued to rise in recent years, local elected officials have stepped up their efforts to address the problem. In Dallas, Mayor Mike Rawlings and other community leaders formed the Dallas Commission on Homelessness in May 2016, following the closure of “Tent City,” a sprawling encampment under Interstate 45 near downtown where disease and crime ran rampant. The commission engaged the local community to help develop viable solutions that would both address and prevent homelessness. Mirroring effective practices of other communities to reduce the homeless population, the efforts include financing strategies, strong leadership and accountability, and most important, a push to increase affordable and supportive housing. Central to the initiative is the use of technology to convert to a community-wide Homeless Management Information System and coordinated entry system to match clients with housing and related services. Likewise, federal funds and federal housing subsidies will be combined with local investments to add a minimum of 1,000 new permanent supportive housing units within the next four years. Similarly, the city of Denton created a task force to explore improving and expanding housing solutions for the homeless there. Working in conjunction with the Denton County Homeless Coalition, the task force outlined a three-step strategy to address the issue, including establishment of a new homeless shelter, allocation of federal funds to develop transitional housing and creation of a new coordinator position to implement the plan in conjunction with participating nonprofit organizations. “What we’ve been trying to figure out is, how do we make sure that people are getting the resources they need when they need them and that what we do helps them get out of the cycle?” says TJ Gilmore, a councilman in Lewisville who is one of two dozen appointees to the Denton County Homelessness Leadership Team. Other participants include elected officials and board members and staff

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feature / T H E

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from local nonprofit groups and health care facilities. “The challenge with homelessness, especially when you deal with it at the scale of a city, is you kind of play whack-a-mole,” he adds, noting that closing encampments like Tent City often results in homeless individuals simply moving to nearby towns. The county recently implemented a new coordinated entry system, HELP HOMELESS which enables local social services STUDENTS agencies that deal with homelessness McKinney-Vento to share information through a single Homeless Education database. The approach lets the agenAssistance Act requires cies refer those in need to the right that every school resources without duplicating efforts district statewide idenand track people through the system tify homeless students more efficiently to ensure their longwithin the district and term success. give them the opporAnd Tarrant County has adopted tunity and resources to strategies to ensure that no resident succeed academically. goes without shelter. Most recently, the Every district must also Tarrant County Homeless Coalition have a Homeless Liaison whose job responsi(TCHC) made the decision to merge bilities include ensuring its board of directors with that of that homeless families Continuum of Care, reorganizing the and children receive two entities into one high-functioning referrals to health care board that can more effectively drive and other services and change. TCHC has begun implemencoordinating related tation of a coordinated entry system support services for that can rapidly identify and assess homeless youth. individuals and families in need and “The liaisons all deliver appropriate housing solutions know what kinds of in Tarrant and Parker counties. resources are available PROVIDING A HAND UP

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december 2017 / dfwchild.com

INVISIBLE ONES

in their local communities,” says Jeanne Stamp, project director for the Texas Homeless Education Office, which provides support services and training to school districts. In addition, the legislation mandates that districts provide transportation for homeless students, even if a student moves outside of the school’s attendance zone or school district boundaries. If you or a parent you know is without a permanent residence or at risk of becoming homeless, contact the liaison for your school district for assistance. A list of homeless liaisons organized by school district is available at theotx.org/liaison.

Meanwhile, local nonprofits and social service organizations continue to do what they can to provide help for families on the brink of homelessness and those without a stable roof over their heads. Interfaith Family Services, for example, not only offers free child care and career services but also financial coaching for participants in its Hope & Home program, which provides 25 fully furnished apartments as temporary housing for homeless families. Residents meet with on-site volunteers to learn about money management and career development and receive the accountability and support they need to begin a new chapter in life. “For every paycheck they receive, [program participants] put 30 percent toward their savings,” says Destiny DeJesus of Interfaith Family Services. The funds can help residents get into an apartment after leaving the program. “Once they graduate, our screening coordinator reaches out to see whether they are still saving, what type of job they have and how much they’re making so we can make sure they’re still on the right track,” she says. At City House in Plano, homeless children are provided new clothing, personal toiletries, transportation to and from school, and most important, the stability of a nurturing environment. In addition to


teaching children basic etiquette and personal grooming, the staff strives to instill in them a sense of value and self-respect. “We focus on dignity and teaching that they’re worth having a brand-new set of socks and underwear and T-shirts,” Executive Director Sheri Messer says. Through the combined efforts of state and local elected officials, social service organizations, nonprofit charities and hundreds of selfless donors and volunteers who are willing to give their time and means, homeless families—and especially homeless children—in the Dallas-Fort Worth area now have more opportunities to access the resources they need and break the cycle of poverty. Achieving a lasting solution will still take time as cities address additional obstacles that keep families stuck in the cycle of poverty, such as the lack of public transportation and limited options for affordable housing. Even so, community involvement and public-private initiatives are gaining momentum and making a difference. Cross says that families who find themselves in a situation similar to hers, without permanent housing, need to keep the faith and be willing to ask for help. The Cross family is currently in one of the 30 rooms at the Annette Strauss Family Gateway Center and will receive vouchers for permanent supportive housing once they leave the program. “They really did get us from being homeless to having a place to live,” Cross says.

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Want to help homeless children and families in your community? Volunteer with one of these local organizations. C A T H O L I C C H A R I T I E S D A L L A S Tutor children in grades K-8 after school, lend a hand in the food pantry or become a career or financial workshop facilitator. Dallas, 866/223-7500; ccdallas.org C I T Y H O U S E Rock a baby to sleep, have a play date with a preschooler, sponsor a movie night or help out with the housekeeping and laundry. Plano, 972/424-4626; cityhouse.org F A M I L Y G A T E W A Y Organize a donation drive, prepare a meal at the shelter, help students with their homework, or teach an adult class in job readiness or financial literacy. Dallas, 214/8234500; familygateway.org H O P E S U P P L Y C O . Volunteer to help sort donations on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month, or make hygiene and birthday boxes on your own. Dallas, 214/630-5765; hopesupplyco.org I N T E R F A I T H F A M I L Y S E R V I C E S Help tutor kids from the elementary grades through high school or work with parents as a career or financial coach. Dallas, 214/827-7220; interfaithdallas.org K I D S H E L P I N G K I D S Volunteer to help on the second Saturday of each month at various events. Dallas; kidshelpingkidstx.com O P E R A T I O N C A R E I N T E R N A T I O N A L Join hundreds of volunteers to serve more than 20,000 guests at the Christmas Gift for the Homeless event on Dec. 16 at the Dallas Convention Center. Dallas, 972/681-3567; operationcareinternational.org P R O M I S E H O U S E Host a holiday party, watch a holiday movie, ice skate, decorate stockings or drop off meals. Dallas, 214/941-8578; promisehouse.org S A M A R I T A N I N N Answer the hotline from home, help sort donations or plan a fundraiser. McKinney, 972/542-5302; thesamaritaninn.org T H E B I R T H D A Y P A R T Y P R O J E C T Decorate, sing and hand out cupcakes at one of the monthly birthday parties for homeless kids. Dallas, 972/290-0908; thebirthdaypartyproject.org V O G E L A L C O V E Read to the children, play with them, make snack bags for them, organize a donation drive or help sort. Dallas, 214/368-8686; vogelalcove.org

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kid culture.

BEAT WINTER BREAK BLUES

make new holiday traditions with these wintertime activities WORDS JESSICA MYERS

Y

ou’ve already Googled a million crafty ideas to help you survive the holiday break with the kiddos at home. For

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLEN EVENT CENTER

those days when you just need to get out of the house, we’ve pulled together 25 ideas that’ll help you celebrate the season North Texas–style. Not only will the days fly by, but you just might create a few new family traditions along the way.

dfwchild.com / december 2017

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kid culture / B E A T

WINTER BREAK BLUES

PREVIOUS PAGE // On Dec. 16, bring two nonperishable items to get free skate rentals during Allen Event Center’s Drop and Shop open skate. ABOVE // Make arctic slime and snowball launchers this month at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in honor of both its fifth birthday and the Season of Science.

Hang with Santa at TH E CO O P in Frisco on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 10am–noon, 1–3pm. He’ll read a story to his mini audience and pass out milk and cookies afterward. The rest of the month, let the kids dress up in superhero capes and fluffy tutus, swim in the ball pit and fly through the bounce house while you cozy up to the cappuccino bar (free drinks on Fridays). thecoopfrisco.com Visit Frisco’s E Q K I D S C LU B each week in December for winter-themed activities like building a snowman out of recycled bottles. Be sure to pay a visit to the snow-covered Safari Sam’s Market and the new rainmakers and banjos in the sound corner. eqkidsclub.com Sip (free) coffee and let the kids explore North Dallas’ newest indoor play space, TH E P L AY DATE CO. in Richardson. Little green thumbs can work their magic at the farm-style playhouse with a vegetable garden or tidy up shop at the Sinclair garage with play gasoline and lawn tools. There is also a schoolhouse, Santa’s workshop, ice cream parlor and even a baby section. Attend free play Monday–Friday 9am–5pm for $10.50 per child ages 1 and older, $5.50 for younger than 1, $8.50 for siblings 1 and older and free for siblings younger than 1. playdateco.com Let the kids play dress up at one or all five P L AY S TR E E T M U S E U M S (the Downtownthemed location just opened in Lake Highlands). Milk a cow at the farm in McKinney, fight fires at the fire station in Frisco, go fishing in Plano, board a mini airplane in Allen or visit a kid-size Reunion Tower in Lake Highlands. All locations provide one free snack or drink with admission. playstreetmuseum.com

let there be light

Bask in the glow of 4 million twinkle lights at P R A I R I E L I G HT S all month long. You can drive (starting at $35 per vehicle) through the Grand Prairie light show to the Holiday Village, and stretch your legs with a walk through the 32

december 2017 / dfwchild.com

new Snow Maze. Finally, grab a hot cocoa, take a picture with Santa and be on your way to the grand finale tunnel of lights. prairielights.org

cozy cocoa

At B E TH M A R I E ’ S new outpost in Carrollton, ask for the hot chocolate float topped with their famous homemade ice cream and whipped cream—for $2.50, it doesn’t get more decadent than that. bethmaries.com Order H I G H L A N D PA R K S O DA FO U N TA I N ’s classic hot chocolate (this standard has been on the menu for as long as it’s been open— 105 years) for less than $2, or stray from the “hot” idea altogether and try their seasonal peppermint milkshake. highlandparksodafountain.com Sure, you can make hot chocolate and play games at home, but if you need a change of scenery, head for N E R DVA N A in Frisco. Order sipping chocolate for the kids and a ristretto chocolate (with a short shot of espresso) for Mom and Dad, then sit down with a game from the lending library—it’s full of kid favorites like Candy Land and Monopoly. nerdvanafrisco.com

fun on the ice

Chill out weekday afternoons at the A L L E N COM M U N IT Y I C E R I N K inside the Allen Event Center. On the weekend, come for the holiday-themed skates. $5 admission; $3 rentals. cityofallen.org/acir Get in the holiday spirit at G A L L E R I A DA L L A S I C E S K ATI N G C E NTE R . For $11 per skater and $3 for rentals, families can glide around the larger-than-life Christmas tree in the center of the rink for as long as they please. galleriaiceskatingcenter.com Bring your socks for an ice skating session at one of the D R P E P P E R S TA R C E NTE R S . (There are five locations in Dallas and Collin counties.) Public skate costs $8 per child, free for kids 3 and younger and $9 for parents. Bring your beginner skater on Friday evenings or weekends to learn how to skate in the bucket zones with balance props. drpepperstarcenters.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON JANIK

get your (indoor) play on


to

LOVED ONES

With convenient service to Love Field and DFW International Airport, DART is your quick and easy getaway to the ones you love this holiday season. DART.org/airports 161-018-1018_DARTtoLovedOnes_DallasChild_7.25x4.688

dfwchild.com / december 2017

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WINTER BREAK BLUES

see a show

Cultivating Young Minds & Characters

See How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Dec. 2 (Dallas only) and Home Alone on Dec. 9 at the Dallas and Plano locations of the A N G E L I K A F I L M C E NTE R . angelikafilmcenter.com Get in the holiday spirit at TH E ATR E TH R E E in Dallas. To celebrate the season, performers will regale audiences of all ages with Finnish tales, European poems and other stories and songs from periods of history and countries around the world. Tickets from $10. theatre3dallas.com

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take a ride

Take a ride through Dallas aboard McKinney Avenue Trolley’s M - L I N E H O L I DAY E X P R E S S . A conductor dressed as an elf drives the garland-laden historic railway car from Uptown to Downtown with a stop at Starbucks to fill passengers’ tummies with cookies and hot chocolate. Rides from $25. mata.org

play some games

Treat your video game–loving kids to allyou-can-play arcade games at F R E E P L AY A R C A D E in Richardson. For $10 per person, access over 80 classic games including Frogger, Mortal Kombat and Mario Bros. that you can play for free after 3pm on weekdays, 11am on weekends. freeplayrichardson.com Bring the kids’ piggy banks to N I C K E LR A M A at Firewheel Commons or Northstar Crossing in Garland, and let them spend the nickels they’ve been saving on classic arcade games such as air hockey, Skee-Ball, pinball, Pac Man and Space Invaders. $3.50 admission. nickelrama.com

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december 2017 / dfwchild.com

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Let your child be king or queen for the day at Arturo’s Nest inside the DA L L A S M U S E U M O F A R T . This month’s theme is imaginary worlds. Kids bring imagination to life with a kid-size castle, mini marionette theater and dress-up crowns and capes to defeat the dragons. dma.org Give your kids a local history lesson while they take a break from the books at DA L L A S H E R ITAG E V I L L AG E . This month, visitors can tour three historic homes decorated with photos, artifacts and memorabilia from prominent societies in Dallas’ history: the Jewish Historical Society, the Dallas Mexican American Historical League and Remembering Black Dallas. If you can swing it, get to the annual candlelight celebration on Dec. 9 and 10. You’ll be serenaded by carolers dressed in period costumes and take a candlelit hayride on an antique tractor. dallasheritagevillage.org

For $7 (free for ages 2 and younger), your jet-setter can scramble up and down a play control tower with knobs and levers, slide out of a kid-size plane or even catch a show at the mini theater at F R O NTI E R S O F F L I G HT M U S E U M . flightmuseum.com It may be too cold to explore outdoors, but kids can learn about nature indoors during story time at the H E A R D 1 N AT U R A L S C I E N C E M U S E U M A N D W I L D L I F E S A N C T UA RY . Fridays at 10:30am, kiddos gather round for a nature-themed book often accompanied by a live animal followed by a handson activity. heardmuseum.org Start your month of celebration at I NTE R U R B A N R A I LWAY M U S E U M where Eugene the MotorMouse tells the tale of The Polar Express during Plano’s Dickens Festival on Dec. 1. The rest of the month, join story time followed by a guided tour of the over-100-year-old Car 360 every Friday morning at 10:30am. Don’t forget to peruse the collection of interactive STEM displays before you leave. interurbanrailwaymuseum.org This month, kiddos meditate on the extraordinary 3-D sculptures that paper can create—and it’s not just paper airplanes—in the Paper Into Sculpture exhibit at the N A S H E R S CU L P T U R E C E NTE R in Dallas. Get the most out of your visit on the First Saturday (Dec. 2) for free family activities such as arts and crafts, art scavenger hunt and a family tour through the museum. nashersculpturecenter.org In December, the P E R OT M U S E U M O F N AT U R E A N D S C I E N C E in Dallas celebrates its fifth birthday with free cupcakes, ice cream chemistry demos and 3-D chocolate printing on select days for museum ticket holders. And Dec. 23–Jan. 7, older kids experiment with arctic slime, dry ice bubbles and snowball launchers while kids ages 5 and younger make melted snowmen and snowflakes and do other water-play activities at the Candy Cane Art Lab (free with admission). Don’t forget to download the winter-themed scavenger hunt before you go. perotmuseum.org

a wild holiday

Pet and feed the animals of P R E S TO N TR A I L FA R M S

in Gunter. Admission is free, but feed for the cows, sheep, goats, chickens and more 2 costs $3 per cup. prestontrailfarms.com Being able to tell their friends they met a zorse might make going back to school even more enjoyable for your kids. Fortunately, they can meet and pet a zorse and his furry friends at S H A R K A R O S A W I L D L I F E R A N C H in Pilot Point. $12 for adults, $10 for ages 3–12 and free for kids 2 and younger. sharkarosa.com

1 // Hear The Polar Express and other favorite tales during story time at the Interurban Railway Museum every Friday morning. 2 // Make friends with Sharkarosa’s scarlet and blue and gold macaws as well as a zorse this holiday break.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF INTERURBAN RAILWAY MUSEUM; SHARKAROSA WILDLIFE RANCH

kid culture / B E A T


Dental Care for your Special Loved One Anna Willison, DDS

People with disabilities often need special care to maintain their dental health. Dr. Willison is a member of the Special Care Dentistry Association and is trained to provide her patients the attention and care they deserve. Our state-of-the-art office with trained staff is available to treat most of our patients. In-office sedation is available by a board certified anesthesiologist. Dr. Willison is also on medical staff at the Medical City Hospital in Dallas, where she can safely complete the necessary dental treatment under general anesthesia in the operating room. We recognize that caring for special needs patients takes compassion and understanding. We focus on meeting those needs, both for the patients and the care givers.

Dallas Center for Oral Health & Wellness Medical City Hospital Dallas, 7777 Forest Ln., Ste. A-309

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11/2/17

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dfwchild.com / december 2017

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A CHRISTMAS TRADITION there’s no place like highland park village for holiday cheer

PHOTO COURTESY OF LAURA WILSON

WORDS JESSICA MYERS

H

ot cocoa and carriage rides, chocolate chip cookies and children’s books, a wall full of toys and kids’ Christmas films—you and your children can behold these merry amusements in this month’s itinerary at Highland Park

Village. In 6 hours give or take, stroll from The Tot to Bird Bakery and eventually to the Village Theatre aglow at dusk. If you plan just right, your family can snap your holiday photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus or attend a holiday-themed cookie decorating party with dinner included.

dfwchild.com / december 2017

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Browse THE TOT ’s collection of handpicked toys, games, clothing and mommy must-haves. While you filter through the racks of designer kid rompers and mom get-ups, kids tinker at the toy wall. Lined with BPA-free, ethically crafted items made to last (and good-looking enough to decorate with!), kiddos of all ages amuse themselves with pegboards and make-believe novelties including old-school puppets and capes made new by Seedling, 1 wooden role-play toys like coffee makers and fire stations from Hape, and French plush stuffed animals and accessories by Moulin Roty. The store, originally designed to be a temporary pop-up, is only 400 square feet so if you browse all the hangers before the kids finish playing, be sure to pencil in the shop’s next story time, usually Tuesdays at 10am. // The Tot Store, 4 Highland Park Village, Dallas, 469/687-5133; thetot.com When the littles’ tummies start to grumble, stop in for a bite or quick grocery shop at ROYAL BLUE GROCERY, a modern urban market with grab-and-go–style meals like sandwiches, salads and hot paninis. Enjoy a glass of wine as you pick from the gourmet chef’s case, then take it to the patio with covered tables and chairs. For kiddos, locals recommend the simple grilled cheese, daily soup and yogurt parfait. // 1 Highland Park Village, Dallas, 214/526-9516; royalbluegrocery.com If you’re in a hurry, snag a basket of carriage-ride goodies including hot chocolate, cheese, crackers and wine for you, Mom, before hailing your horse and buggy. A THREEJAYS CARRIAGE takes families of up to 12 people (prices vary per carriage size) on a 60-minute sleigh ride around the village and into Highland Park’s best-lit neighborhoods. Each driver has his or her own route through Highland Park so reserve multiple times for a different ride, some to the tune of holiday carols. The holiday spirit is sure to warm you up but stay cozy under the provided red velvet blankets. Reserve a ride online from $175 for a small carriage that fits up to six people; one child ages 3 and younger may ride on your lap. // Threejays Carriages, 214/521-6717; threejayscarriages.com

For dessert, kill time, not calories, at BIRD BAKERY. Granted, you can feel good about these carbs because they are made from scratch daily with high-end ingredients like Plugrá butter and Valrhona chocolate—plus what’s left over at the end of the day is donated to local nonprofits instead of thrown away. Try their famous Monster cookies—made with oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips and M&M’s (your kids won’t believe it’s flourless either), Mexican hot chocolate brownies, lemon bars and more. No crumb gets left behind in the kids’ corner where littles chomp down their goodies while watching kiddie shows like Peppa Pig and reading children’s books about birds and baking. Before you leave, sign up for a cookie decorating class this month. For ages 6–12, kids learn the basics on holidaythemed cutouts of snowmen, gingerbread men and Christmas trees, then take home their creations along with a Bird Bakery gift basket. Register in store or online. // 7 Highland Park Village, Dallas, 214/7800322; birdbakery.com Continue basking in the holiday spirit at VILLAGE THEATRE with this month’s evening (usually around 7pm) retro screenings of Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone 1 and 2, Elf, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, Arthur Christmas and more for $9 per child ages 2–11 and $12 per adult. // 32 Highland Park Village, Dallas, 214/443-6035; hpvillagetheatre.com When the movie is over, you can experience the Village by night decked with thousands of twinkle lights, lighted ornaments and reindeer statues that greet you on every corner. The constant march of horses’ hooves and sleigh bells heard throughout the square makes 2 the scene even more magical. To preserve this enchanted evening, be sure to take a picture with the Christmas tree in the southwest corner of the square by Rag & Bone. While this itinerary should keep your family occupied multiple times over the course of the month, if there is one day to visit the Village, it’s Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 6–9pm. This is when Santa and Mrs. Claus make an appearance for free photographs (until 8pm), and carriage drivers offer complimentary rides all evening long. There will also be face painting and a toy land by The Tot.

PREVIOUS PAGE // With trees gilded in twinkling lights, carriage rides and larger-than-life reindeer, Highland Park Village is the place to be this holiday season. 1 // Local mom and entrepreneur teaches kids’ baking classes at Bird Bakery next to The Tot at Highland Park Village. 2 // Snap a free photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus during LOCAL, a once-a-month seasonal artisan market on Dec. 13 from 6–8pm. 38

december 2017 / dfwchild.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CARA MATHIS; CARRIE SPIVEY

dallas co. / L O C A V O R E


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PLAYGROUND REVIEW:

©

E VA L L

YV

IE W

LN

farmers branch’s oran good park Location: 13411 Dennis Lane, near Interstate 35 and Valley View. There is limited parking on Tom Field Road, or you can park in the lot by the softball fields and cross a bridge over Rawhide Creek to get to the playground. Best for: A long Saturday morning. Bring kiddos of all ages to this playground with two unique play areas. The tots will stay shaded under awnings as they test out the tunnels and slides in the animal-themed area, while older kids climb on the big play set or hang out in the antiquestyle car. And—count ’em—11 swings are available, including baby swings. Afterward, the whole family can walk the trail that loops around the park. For your convenience: Benches and chairs are set in the shade by each play area. When kids get thirsty, they can drink from a fountain inside a lion’s mouth. Safety: The playground equipment is worn, but wellmaintained, though we found a few minor pieces of litter. The playground is located between a creek and a relatively busy street with no fence, so keep an extra-careful eye on kids who like to run. —Sydni Ellis

+

+ 11 swings + Two large

play areas + Lots of shade

-

- No restrooms - Close to creek Our Rating: 4/5

*Based on the National Program for Playground Safety’s Report Card at playgroundsafety.org. 40

december 2017 / dfwchild.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SYDNI ELLIS

This review was distributed to the City of Farmers Branch Parks and Recreation Department for further review and/or action.


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Wishing you a joyful, peaceful and safe Holiday Season.

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dallas co. / R E S T A U R A N T S Modern Market // Farm-to-Table See Sunday for details. The String Bean // Southern 1310 W. Campbell Road, Richardson; 972/3853287 // thestringbean.com // Free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult dinner entree after 5pm. Age 12 and younger. Dine-in only. Unleavened Fresh Kitchen // American See Sunday for details.

TUESDAY

Café Brazil // Breakfast/Brunch See Sunday for details. Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant // Mexican See Monday for details. Jed’s Grill // American 1001 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas; 469/291-5001 // jedsgrillrestaurantdallas.com // Kids 12 and younger eat free with purchase of an adult meal of $7.99 or more, all day.

deals for every day of the week SUNDAY

Blue Mesa Grill // Mexican 14866 Montfort Drive, Addison; 972/934-0165 // 7700 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas; 214/378-8686 // bluemesagrill.com // Kids 5 and under eat free with purchase of an adult brunch buffet from 9am–3pm. Kids 6–11 eat for $7. Deal also offered on Saturday from 10am–2pm (Addison location only). Café Brazil // Breakfast/Brunch Multiple locations // cafebrazil.com // Free kid’s entree with purchase of an adult entree from 5–10pm. Age 12 and younger. Drinks charged separately. Prices vary by location. Deal also offered Monday–Thursday. Dickey’s // Barbecue Multiple locations // dickeys.com // Free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult dine-in meal, all day. Age 12 and younger. Also, free ice cream every day with dine-in purchase. Details vary by location. Freebirds World Burrito // Mexican Multiple locations // freebirds.com // Kids 12 and younger eat free with purchase of an adult entree, all day. Details vary by location. JC’s Burger House // American 4135 Belt Line Road, Suite 100, Addison; 972/2392740 // jcsburgerhouse.com // Free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult meal all day. Age 12 and younger. Deal also offered Monday and Saturday. Modern Market // Farm-to-Table 7949 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 101, Dallas; 469/5320206 // modernmarket.com // Free kid’s entree with purchase of a full-size item 5pm–close. Age 12 and younger. Dine-in and takeout. Deal also offered on Monday. Moe’s Southwest Grill // Mexican 13701 Midway Road, Farmers Branch; 972/2332700 // 5949 Broadway Blvd., Garland; 972/3035555 // moes.com // Kids eat free all day with purchase of an adult meal. Age 12 and younger. Oliver’s Eatery // Deli 4727 Frankford Road, Suite 373, Dallas; 42

december 2017 / dfwchild.com

972/818-5445 // oliverseatery.com // Free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult meal all day, dine-in only. Age 12 and younger. Deal also offered on Saturday. Pakpao Thai // Asian 1628 Oak Lawn Ave., Suite 120, Dallas; 214/7497002 // 7859 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 150, Dallas; 214/484-8772 // pakpaothai.com // Free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult dine-in meal, all day. Age 10 and younger. Schlotzsky’s // Deli Multiple locations // schlotzskys.com // Kids eat free with purchase of an adult medium-size meal. Dine-in and takeout. Deal also offered on Saturday. Details vary by location. Simply Fondue // Fondue 2108 Greenville Ave., Dallas; 214/827-8878 // simplyfondue.com // Kids 12 and younger eat free after 5pm with purchase of an adult entree. Unleavened Fresh Kitchen // American 1900 Abrams Parkway, Dallas; 214/828-8700 // unleavened.com // Up to two free kids’ meals with purchase of an adult meal after 4pm. Age 12 and younger. Dine-in only. Deal also offered Monday–Saturday. Villa-O // Italian 4514 Travis St., Suite 132, Dallas; 214/780-1880 // villaorestaurant.com // Kids 12 and younger eat free all day with purchase of an adult meal.

MONDAY

Café Brazil // Breakfast/Brunch See Sunday for details. Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant // Mexican 4170 Lavon Drive, Suite 100, Garland; 972/4967555 // cristinasmex.com // Two free kids’ meals with purchase of an adult entree, all day. Age 12 and younger. Dine-in and takeout. Deal also offered on Tuesday. JC’s Burger House // American See Sunday for details.

Luna Grill // Mediterranean 1419 E. Renner Road, Suite 510, Richardson; 469/677-6812 // lunagrill.com // Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal 4pm–close. Age 12 and younger. Paradise Bakery & Café // Bakery 13710 Dallas Parkway, Dallas; 972/503-1800 // paradisebakery.com // Free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult meal, all day. Age 12 and younger. Dinein only. Deal also offered on Thursday. Pluckers // American 5100 Belt Line Road, Suite 520, Addison; 972/490-9464 // 5500 Greenville Ave., Suite 406, Dallas; 214/363-9464 // pluckers.com // Up to two free kids’ meals with purchase of an adult dine-in entree, all day. Dine-in only. Age 10 and younger. Drinks not included. Details vary by location. Slater’s 50/50 // American 2817 Greenville Ave., Dallas; 214/888-0158 // slaters5050.com // Kids 12 and younger eat free with purchase of adult entree, all day. Unleavened Fresh Kitchen // American See Sunday for details. Texadelphia // Deli Multiple locations // texadelphia.com // Free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult entree or regular sandwich, all day. Dine-in and takeout. Details vary by location.

WEDNESDAY

Braindead Brewing // American 2625 Main St., Dallas; 214/749-0600 // braindeadbrewing.com // Kids eat free with purchase of an adult entree 5–10 pm. Age 12 and younger. Café Brazil // Breakfast/Brunch See Sunday for details. Colter’s Texas Bar-B-Q // Barbecue 3904 W. Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas; 972/2983335 // coltersbbq.com // Free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult platter, all day. Age 12 and younger. Hook Line & Sinker // Seafood 17602 Preston Road, Dallas; 469/587-5888 // hookline-sinker.com // Up to two free kids’ meals with purchase of an adult meal 5–8pm. Ages 12 and younger.

©ISTOCK.COM/NEBARI

KIDS EAT FREE


Kyoto Japanese Steak House // Japanese 1599 Laguna Drive, Rockwall; 214/7710688 // 9900 Lakeview Parkway, Rowlett; 972/463-0288 // kyotosteakhouse.com // Kids 12 and younger get a free hibachi chicken meal with purchase of an adult hibachi dinner entree of $15.95 or more. Dinner only. Details vary by location. Luby’s // Cafeteria Multiple locations // lubys.com // Free kid’s plate with purchase of an adult dine-in meal all day. Age 10 and younger. Deal also offered on Saturday. Mattito’s // Mexican 7778 Forest Lane, Dallas; 214/377-9576 // 3102 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas; 214/526-8181 // mattitos.com // Kids 10 and younger eat free with purchase of an adult entree after 5pm. Also, free ice cream for kids every day with dine-in purchase. Penne Pomodoro // Italian 1924 Abrams Parkway, Dallas; 214/8266075 // 11661 Preston Road, Suite 143, Dallas; 214/368-3100 // pennepomodoro. com // Two free kids’ meals with purchase of an adult entree, all day. Age 12 and younger. Dine-in only. Shenaniganz // American 1290 E. Interstate 30, Rockwall; 972/7221133 // shenaniganz.com // Kids 12 and younger eat free with purchase of an adult meal after 5pm. Unleavened Fresh Kitchen // American See Sunday for details.

THURSDAY

K. B. Polk Center for Academically Talented and Gifted

Beto’s Mexican Restaurant // Mexican 2530 W. Interstate 20, Grand Prairie; 972/660-1289 // eatatbetos.com // Free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult entree after 5pm. Age 12 and younger. Dine-in only. Café Brazil // Breakfast/Brunch See Sunday for details. Paradise Bakery & Café // Bakery See Tuesday for details. Unleavened Fresh Kitchen // American See Sunday for details.

FRIDAY Denny’s // Diner See Sunday for details. Unleavened Fresh Kitchen // American See Sunday for details.

SATURDAY

Blue Mesa Grill // Mexican See Sunday for details. JC’s Burger House // American See Sunday for details. Luby’s // Cafeteria See Wednesday for details.

“If I had to pick two things that I treasure K. B. Polk for, I would pick the incredible, amazing teachers and the education. Both of these things make me want to learn and open my doors of wisdom wider.” —Jane, Vanguard student

Oliver’s Eatery // Deli See Sunday for details. Schlotzsky’s // Deli See Sunday for details. Unleavened Fresh Kitchen // American See Sunday for details. KNOW OF A DEAL WE MISSED? SEND US AN EMAIL AT EDITORIAL@DFWCHILD.COM. BE SURE TO CALL AHEAD BEFORE YOU GO, AS DETAILS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: UIL COMPETITION; DESTINATION IMAGINATION; LONE STAR CHALLENGE COMPETITION; WINSTON SCIENCE; ROBOTICS; CHESS; SOCCER; AFTER SCHOOL CARE PROGRAM ON-SITE

Magnet applications for the 2018–2019 school year open December 4, 2017 for our Vanguard Program Open House December 14 from 5:30–6:30pm Please call us at 972-794-8900 or email balvarado@dallasisd.org for more information or to schedule a day and time to tour our campus.

2016–2017 Texas Education Agency Distinctions:

Other programs K. B. Polk offers:

• ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS/READING

• PRE-K (3 YEAR OLDS HALF-DAY, 4 YEAR OLDS FULL-DAY)

• ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN SCIENCE

• SPANISH LANGUAGE IMMERSION (TWO-WAY DUAL LANGUAGE)

• TOP 25% STUDENT PROGRESS

Visit dallasisd.org/domain/15436 for more information.

dfwchild.com / december 2017

43


kid culture /

CELEBRATE

WORDS JESSICA MYERS

PASTRY PARTY a bake shoppe party that takes the cake

1 For her daughter Teni’s seventh birthday, Mom and party planner Nike Olagbegi originally planned a Strawberry Shortcake shindig, but Teni, a Cake Boss fan, wanted something a little more … grown-up. Inspired by Teni’s kitchen prowess—measuring, mixing, baking and decorating—Olagbegi made Teni the head baker at her own bake shoppe–themed birthday complete with a Parisian storefront poster and menu chosen by the boss lady herself.

2 Olagbegi ordered personalized place mats with the names of her daughter’s seven guests, and under pâtissier Teni’s direction, she set out tools for the girls to decorate their own 6-inch marble cakes: sprinkles, fondant cutouts and tubes of peach, pink and mint green frosting—the shoppe’s color palette. The decorators took home their confectionary creations and souvenir aprons embroidered with “Teni’s Bake Shoppe.”

MINI CAKES AND DESSERTS YummyTecture Dallas-Fort Worth area, 469/759-3550 yummytecture.com

3 After cake decorating and a kitchen utensil scavenger hunt, the guests indulged in slices of Teni’s two-tiered red velvet and cookies and cream birthday cake. Before the bake shoppe closed for the day, the girls filled paper party favors shaped like Teni’s storefront with selections from the birthday girl’s menu: chocolate-covered Oreos topped with fondant flowers, pastel cake pops, white chocolate–dipped pretzels, apron-shaped cookies, and peach and mint macarons. 44

december 2017 / dfwchild.com

TENI’S BIRTHDAY CAKE Kristy G’s Cupcakes Lewisville, 972/436-1234 kristigscupcakes.com PERSONALIZED APRONS GreatStitch Birthday Apparel etsy.com/shop/greatstitch

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kid culture

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WORDS ELIZABETH SMITH

2 6 F A M I LY- F R I E N D LY E V E N T S Y O U C A N ’ T M I S S I N

DECEMBER and elementary-age children. Family activities run from 10am–2pm; museum open through 5pm. FREE 2001 Flora St., Dallas; 214/242-5100 nashersculpturecenter.org

LANTERN LIGHT

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CHRISTMAS AT THE ANATOLE FEATURING PEPPERMINT PARK

H I LT O N A N AT O L E DA L L A S Through December 30 The legendary hotel in the Design District transforms into a winter wonderland packed full of evening activities. Take the vintage-style mini train, see Le Theatre de Marionette’s The Penguin Show, and earn your elf diploma in only 12 minutes. Register online for Breakfast With Santa on select dates. See website for day pass prices and hotel packages. 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas; 214/748-1200 christmasattheanatole.com

TEXAS BALLET THEATER’S THE NUTCRACKER

WINSPEAR OPERA HOUSE December 1–3 It’s not Christmas without The Nutcracker. Relive the eternal holiday favorite when Clara, Uncle Drosselmeyer and the Sugar Plum Fairy, directed by legendary choreographer Ben Stevenson, dance on the Dallas stage. Before the matinee on Dec. 2, journey to the Kingdom of Sweets (i.e., the lobby) for story times, crafts and surprises, free

with your seat reservations. Tickets from $20. 2403 Flora St., Dallas; 877/828-9200 texasballettheater.org

DSO FAMILY CHRISTMAS POPS

MORTON H. MEYERSON SYMPHONY CENTER December 2 On this Saturday morning, turn off the radio and tune into the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Pops concert live at the Meyerson. Sing along to the carols and Christmas classics as Santa himself takes to the stage in this hourlong concert featuring the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas. Tickets from $49. 2301 Flora St., Dallas; 214/849-4376 mydso.com

TARGET FIRST SATURDAY

NASH E R S C U L P T U R E CENTER December 2 The Nasher opens the doors to its art galleries for a full schedule of artist demos, stories, a colorful art project and yoga poses in the sculpture garden, all designed to inspire your preschoolers

H E R I TA G E FA R M S T E A D M U S E U M December 2 Bundle up for sledding and playtime on a snow hill, made from 14,000 pounds of ice, at the farmstead’s holiday event themed after the great Texas snowstorm of 1929. Experience Depression-era children’s games, candle dipping and Santa visits, and hop on the mule-driven wagon for rides around the farmstead. $5 admission. Separate tickets may be required for the snow hill. 1900 W. 15th St., Plano; 972/881-0140 heritagefarmstead.org

CAMP GINGERBREAD

N O R T H PA R K C E N T E R December 2–3 Decorate gingerbread cookies with your choice of frosting, nuts, dried fruit, candies, sprinkles and more sugary goodies between 10am–5pm on Saturday and 11am–4pm Sunday. Located on level one near Macy’s. $10 per child. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Shared Housing. 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas; 214/363-7441 northparkcenter.com

CHRISTMAS AT THE BEACH

L I T T L E E L M PA R K December 2–3 Feel the sand in your toes this Christmas at Little Elm’s two-day festival, with a lighted parade, tree lighting

and fireworks the first night, and live reindeer and holiday train rides ($3) the second night. Free admission. $10 for commemorative Santa photos. The Santa Land village will be on display through Dec. 31. 701 W. Eldorado Parkway, Little Elm; 972/731-1468 lakefrontlittleelm.com

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS!

WINSPEAR OPERA HOUSE December 5–17 Calling all you Whos down in Whoville: The national touring production of the famed Dr. Seuss story is coming to Dallas. Don’t miss your chance to hear Max the Dog narrate and see the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes in this live musical with sets and costumes inspired by the original illustrations. Tickets from $25. 2403 Flora St., Dallas; 214/880-0202 attpac.org

SCROOGE

NORTH TEX AS PERFORMING ART S – PL ANO December 8–10 C O U R T YA R D T H E AT R E December 15–17 See the famed curmudgeon from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in this musical adaptation staged at the North Texas Performing Arts’ newly constructed headquarters inside The Shops at Willow Bend, plus during a second weekend of performances in Courtyard Theatre. Tickets from $15.

6121 W. Park Blvd., Suite 216, Plano; 972/422-2575 1509 H Ave., Plano; 972/422-2575 northtexasperformingarts.org

CANDLELIGHT

D A L L A S H E R I TA G E V I L L A G E AT O L D C I T Y PA R K December 9–10 Celebrate Christmas circa the late 1800s at the village’s 46th annual Candlelight festival. Snap a photo with Saint Nicholas at the Depot and follow the candlelit paths to neighboring historic buildings dressed up for the holidays. Stop into The Parlor, the new play space with a reading nook, dressup clothes and more historic toys and activities. Through Dec. 7: $10 adults; $6 children. At the gate: $12 adults; $8 children. 1515 S. Harwood St., Dallas; 214/421-5141 dallasheritagevillage.org

DISCOVERY DAY – SPACE

PEROT MUSEUM O F N AT U R E AND SCIENCE December 9 Create your own alien, learn about craters, set off rockets and enjoy more family-focused experiments related to the Perot’s current exhibition, Journey to Space, from 10am– 4pm. $20 adults; $13 kids ages 2–17. Museum members get in free and get a sneak preview from 9–10am. 2201 N. Field St., Dallas; 214/428-5555 perotmuseum.org

dfwchild.com / december 2017

49


AGENDA dessert, kids’ crafts and a variety show featuring Matty the Magician. $20 adults; $10 children. $25 for reserved seating. 4501 Legacy Drive, Plano; 972/633-8783 thissideupfamily.org

HOLIDAYS AT THE HEARD

HEARD N AT U R A L SCIENCE MUSEUM & WILDLIFE S A N C T UA R Y December 15–16 At the Heard, even the dinosaurs get into the holiday spirit. See the animatronic T. rex and more dinos lit up like Christmas along the half-mile nature trail, take photos with Father Christmas and Mother Nature, and listen to live music at the amphitheater while sipping on cocoa. $9 adults; $5 kids ages 3–12. $2 discount online. 1 Nature Place, McKinney; 972/562-5566 heardmuseum.org/holidays

GINGERBREAD HOUSE DECORATING

DA L L A S A R B O R E T U M December 17 Work as a parent-child team to design and decorate a gingerbread house during a two-hour, Sunday morning program presented by Taste Buds Kitchen and held inside the Test Pavilion at the Dallas Arboretum’s newest garden, A Tasteful Place. $50 per house. 8525 Garland Road, Dallas; 214/515-6615 dallasarboretum.org

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S VAREKAI

DR P E P P E R A R E NA December 20–23 Cirque du Soleil’s global force returns to North Texas with a new show based on the Greek myth of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun. Watch as the unimaginably talented artists and acrobats perform gravitydefying feats as the environment changes from hidden forest to volcano to sky. Tickets from $40. 2601 Avenue of the Stars, Frisco; 800/745-3000 cirquedusoleil.com/varekai

SESAME STREET LIVE! LET’S PARTY!

ALLEN EVENT CENTER December 28–30 Sing along to “I Love Trash” with Oscar the Grouch and “C is for Cookie” with Cookie Monster and explore a wintry wonderland when Abby Cadabby’s magic goes awry in an all-new, interactive show on one of the world’s most famous 50

LONE STAR CHRISTMAS

streets. Seats from $37. Additional $20 for preshow meet and greet. 200 E. Stacy Road, Allen; 800/745-3000 ticketmaster.com

CIRQUE JOYEUX

DA L L A S C H I L D R E N ’ S T H E AT E R December 28–January 1 Ring in 2018 with this New Year’s tradition at Dallas Children’s Theater: a holiday circus show by Dallas’ own Lone Star Circus. See the leotard-clad contortionists, aerial acrobats, clowns and four-legged performers with tickets starting at $22 (and check out their children’s classes in Addison). 5938 Skillman St., Dallas; 214/740-0051 dct.org

HAPPY NOON YEAR’S EVE

R O RY M E Y E R S CHILDREN’S ADVENTURE GARDEN December 31 Rather than stay up until the crack of midnight, take a daytime trip to the Dallas Arboretum for a celebratory ball drop. Count down to noon and join science- and music-related crafts and activities that celebrate the New Year. $3 for timed ticket, plus general admission to the main garden: $15 adults; $10 children ages 3–12. 8525 Garland Road, Dallas; 214/515-6615 dallasarboretum.org

TURN BACK TIME, THE BALL DROPS AT NINE

LEGACY CHURCH December 31 Toast to the New Year with a glass of sparkling juice and get free family portraits at this kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party benefiting This Side Up Family Center. The early evening includes dinner and

december 2017 / dfwchild.com

G AY L O R D TEX AN RESORT Through January 1 Grant your kids’ Christmas wish with a fun day on the Gaylord’s Texassized snow tubing lanes, ice rink, snowball target range and two-story-tall ice slides inside the ICE! exhibit featuring scenes from ’Twas the Night Before Christmas. Prices vary by activity; open daily through New Year’s Day. ICE! tickets from $21.99 for adults and $12.99 for children. 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine; 817/778-1000 christmasatgaylordtexan.com

DAREDEVIL SANTA

Watch as Old Saint Nick makes his grand entrance via a parachute, a plane and a pair of ice skates that shoot sparks. MACY’S GRAND TREE LIGHTING CELEBRATION

G A L L E R I A D A L L A S December 2, 9 and 16 Gather around the ice skating rink at 6pm, with the nation’s tallest indoor Christmas tree standing at the center, and marvel as champion figure skaters and Missiles Toes, the back-flipping, pyrotechnic Santa Claus stick their landings. Come earlier at 1 and 3pm for Slappy’s Holiday Circus (additional show on Dec. 23) for clowns, contortionists and jugglers, on level one near Nordstrom and Belk. FREE // 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas; 972/702-7171; galleriadallas.com

CHRISTMAS IN THE SQUARE SPECIAL EVENT NIGHT

F R I S C O S Q UA R E December 16 Kicking off a night of winter fun, Santa parachutes into the square at 4:15pm. Slide with the kids down a four-lane inner tubing snow slide, practice forming snow balls in the snow play area, and warm up with a jump time in the inflatables. $3 for trackless train rides; $12 for ice skating on the outdoor rink. // Main Street and Coleman Boulevard, Frisco; 469/633-1721; friscosquare.com/cits

SANTA DAY

DALLAS ZOO LIGHTS

DA L L A S Z O O Through January 2 The Dallas Zoo begins a new holiday lights tradition in a big way, covering 25 acres of ZooNorth with light-wrapped trees and 3-D light sculptures. Come on weekends and select weeknights through Jan. 2. (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) for kids’ activities and holiday performances. Free with regular admission: $15 adults; $12 children ages 3–11. 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas; 469/554-7500 dallaszoo.com

THE TRAINS AT NORTHPARK

N O R T H PA R K C E N T E R Through January 7 This 30th annual exhibit benefiting Ronald McDonald House of Dallas harkens back to the glory days of toy trains. Get an up-close look at the rail cars zooming past elaborate re-creations of American landmarks, on view on level two between Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. $7 adults; $4

F R O N T I E R S O F F L I G H T M U S E U M December 17 Santa trades his reindeer and sleigh for a Cirrus SR22, a single-engine aircraft with a glass cockpit. Watch him fly in at 200 miles per hour at 2pm and stay for an up-close look at the red-and-white-painted plane, photos and activities such as building a snowman using CO2 bubbles. $10 adults; $7 children ages 3–17; free for members. // 6911 Lemmon Ave., Dallas; 214/350-3600; flightmuseum.com

children ages 2–12. 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas; 214/631-7354 thetrainsatnorthpark.com

972/905-6742 holidaywonder.com

HOLIDAY WONDER  

DA L L A S A R B O R E T U M Through January 8 See the Partridge in a Pear Tree and the other Victorian characters from The 12 Days of Christmas carol on elaborate display inside 25-foot-tall gazebos around the Arboretum. The exhibition is on view daily through Jan. 8 and nightly on select evenings through Dec. 30. Daytime admission: $15 adults; $10 children ages 3–12. Separate tickets required for nighttime viewing. 8525 Garland Road, Dallas; 214/515-6615 dallasarboretum.org/holiday

FA I R PA R K Through January 7 Enter Fair Park’s Leonhardt Lagoon through the snowflake corridor to find a land of holiday light displays created in the Chinese lantern style, on display daily through Jan. 7, including holidays. General admission is $20 adults; $12 children ages 3–12; $54 for family four-pack. For an extra charge, throw snowballs (at targets, not at each other) and sled down the twostory Santa’s Arctic Slide. 1318 S. Second Ave., Dallas;

HOLIDAY AT THE ARBORETUM

F O R M O R E F A M I LY- F R I E N D LY F U N T H I S M O N T H , C H E C K O U R O N L I N E C A L E N DA R AT D F W C H I L D.CO M/C A L E N DA R.

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53


confessions

“My 4-year-old son’s school was closed, so I took him to work with me for a few hours. He was using the potty by himself (he does it at school, and it’s literally next to my desk), and he was taking a long time so I peeked in to find him wiping up the poop he had gotten all over the toilet seat.”

MOMMY FAILS ILLUSTRATION MARY DUNN

—ASHLEY, DALLAS

My 2-year-old dropped a piece of ice in Panera, threw his hands up in the air and yelled ‘Damn it.’” —KIM, ROANOKE

I TOOK MY KIDS TO THE MOVIES AND LET THEM GET CANDY. I WAS DISTRACTED DURING THE PREVIEWS AND DIDN’T REALIZE THAT MY 4-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER ATE AN ENTIRE BAG OF GUMMY BEARS IN 20 MINUTES.” —SALLY, COPPELL

“I burped my 2-month-old daughter sans burp cloth and then discovered her dried spit-up in my hair in the form of a sticky clump of milk knots hours later while trying to run my fingers through my hair at work.” —JESS, DALLAS

Got a parenting fail you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you. Send it to editorial@dfwchild.com.

“Ten minutes before boarding a plane for an international flight, my 3-year-old spilled an entire cup of milk down the front of her. My husband took her into the bathroom, but instead of rinsing her clothes, he put them under the dryer. She stunk of spoiled milk for the entire flight.” —SUSAN, SOUTHLAKE

MY 3-YEAROLD DAUGHTER OFFERED TO DRESS HERSELF SO I LET HER, AND SHE ENDED UP IN A CUTE DRESS. WHEN I PICKED HER UP AFTER SCHOOL, HER TEACHER REMINDED ME TO SEND HER IN UNDERWEAR SINCE SHE HAD BEEN TWIRLING IN HER DRESS ALL OVER THE PLAYGROUND.” —TRACY, FORT WORTH

54

december 2017 / dfwchild.com


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DallasChild December 2017