Friday, June 27
Our most stunning accomplishments in the area of LEGO block architecture were the one-floor red, yellow and blue brick homes designed to house our Fisher-Price Little People families. Surprisingly, even that would earn us the title of Official LEGO Builder...if we were still 5 years old. During LEGO Challenges Dallas, kids and their families can attempt to become one of the world's best LEGO builders by entering their plastic architecture in the competition. Playsets, blocks and more will be available as building materials, plus there will be new toys to try out, games and models by celebrities such as Raghib "Rocket" Ismail. There's even a 6-foot-tall robot made from more than 20,000 LEGO bricks. The event is 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Cotton Bowl Plaza inside Fair Park. Visit the Web site at www.lego.com/create or call 1-800-422-5346.
Saturday, June 28
We remember when skateboards were shorter and skinnier than they are now and were made of metal with those bathtub traction stickers on the top. Unfortunately for us, when it comes to today's extreme, trick-oriented professional skateboarding, being this old-school isn't rad or gnarly. Even our lingo is outdated. But maybe pro skaters Jason Ellis, Kerry Getz and Caine Gayle can teach this old hot dogger some new tricks when they challenge some of Dallas' best skateboarding amateurs during Ramps and Amps noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Town East Mall, 2063 Town East Mall, Mesquite. Part of a national tour that ends with a BMX, skateboarding and motocross competition in New York City in July, Ramps and Amps also features the Giant Bicycles BMX Stunt Team doing demonstrations and DJs providing a soundtrack. Visit the official Web site at www.rampsandamps.com.
Sunday, June 29
If, like us, you were inspired by Frank Abagnale Jr.'s story in Catch Me if You Can and want to buy a uniform and pretend to know how to perform a critical skill, here's a helpful tip that doesn't require collecting food labels or buying a laminating machine. Sign up for one of the Dirty Dozen Cooking Classes at Abacus. For $350 to $425, participants will get a personalized chef's jacket and learn how to prepare a meal. Sure, it's just one meal, but call it your signature dish and you're on your way to fame, fortune and a jail sentence. Each course begins at noon on a Sunday and includes the students being teamed up with one of four of Abacus' chefs, including Kent Rathbun, to prepare a meal to be served to the students' guests. This lesson's theme is "Tastes From the Southwest," and previous ones have included "Clam Bake," "Pan Asian" and "April in Paris." The series continues through November with focuses on Pan Asian, Latin American and Italian food, plus cheesemaking and holiday cooking. Abacus, 4511 McKinney Ave. Call 214-520-0151.
Monday, June 30
Sure, Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam and Vijay Singh are good for a little controversy and discussion. But our all-time favorite golfer is still Alice Cooper. Onstage he wore black eye makeup and played with guillotines, but on the green he wears khakis and swings a wicked 5-iron. While we can't confirm he'll be in attendance Sunday and Monday at the Cadillac Finley & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament, Michael Finley and his fellow Dallas Mavericks players and coaches will be, as will some other local celebs. The proceeds benefit the North Texas chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation so that kids with life-threatening medical conditions can have their wishes granted. It takes place at the Trophy Club Country Club, 500 Trophy Club Drive in Trophy Club. Call 972-450-9474.
Tuesday, July 1
The Amon Carter Museum is not--we repeat not--dedicated to cowboy and Western art. There aren't galleries upon galleries of mesquite-branch whittling and cowhide drawings. There are some woodcuts, but they weren't done with the same knife that deboned a grizzly earlier that day. As proof, we offer a quick rundown of the exhibits currently on display at the Carter. Makers' Marks in the Landscape (not sponsored by bourbon whiskey, Kentucky or otherwise) features photographs by five artists of pictographs and petroglyphs found in several archaeological sites. Masterworks of American Photography puts on display a fraction of the museum's quarter of a million photographs from the 1840s to the present. American Masters of the Woodcut features 50 prints by 35 artists from 1843 to 1970. Big Sky Country: The Photographs of L.A. Huffman documents the last two decades of Western frontier in Montana and Wyoming. And, finally, City Lights shows urban landscapes photographed by 20th-century artists. Amon Carter Museum, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. Call 817-738-1933.