Dead Zone

A better treat than candy

10/1
Looking for a cool alternative to traditional rug-rat Halloween festivities? An interactive Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, mini-exhibit starts Wednesday at the Dallas Children's Museum. Unlike Halloween--based on old European negative views of death, rife with menacing demons, ghouls and other evil spirits--Mexico's Day of the Dead is a combination of Roman Catholic beliefs and pre-Hispanic, Aztec customs of offering food and alcohol to welcome departed souls back to the realm of the living. Millions celebrate south of the border by dancing in cemeteries and feasting at loved ones' manicured, decorated graves. The centuries-old holiday is really celebrated two days: All Souls' Day on November 1 in honor of deceased children and All Saints' Day on November 2, which is dedicated to all the other dead. A deliberate jumble of the sacred and the profane, prayers to home altars and reflective graveside visits mix with more irreverent customs such as eating "Pan de Muerto" (Dead Bread), decorated with dough in the shape of bones. Revelers give candy skulls to friends and sometimes write satiric "death poems" lamenting friends and even public figures' "departures." Kids can help decorate an altar area by contributing photos of the deceased, drawings and other trinkets or creations. There's even an altar dedicated to Mister Fred Rogers. Paper skulls are on hand for decorating as well as some traditional Mexican dishes for snacking. The Day of the Dead exhibit runs through November 3 at Valley View Mall, Preston Road and LBJ Freeway. Call 972-386-6555. --Cheryl Smith

9/25
Turkish Delight

You can't help but love their full breasts, luscious legs and that sassy way they strut around, seemingly unaware of the hunger they arouse. Do they have any idea how they tempt us with their firm, fragrant flesh? Darn turkeys. Whether you have a daily appetite for gobblers or only feast on them at Thanksgiving, we bet Feathers & Folklore: A Look at the American Turkey has a few fun facts to surprise even the most hard-core poultry lovers. For all the caruncle, wattle and snood you can handle, visit the Dallas Museum of Natural History, 3535 Grand Ave. in Fair Park, starting September 25. Admission is $4 to $6.50, and the museum is open seven days a week. Call 214-421-3466. --Michelle Martinez9/27
Do the Ani-Motion

So, your kids act like animals? Then strap on their favorite tiger-striped kiddy leashes and bring the whole mangy pack to Ani-Motion: An Animal Inspired Carnival and Concert, the eighth annual Sounds of Class concert and family festival, presented by the University of Texas at Dallas and the city of Richardson. Entertainment includes a children's carnival and petting zoo, a concert by Eddie Coker and an animal-themed performance by the Richardson Symphony Orchestra. The event takes place 5 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. September 27 on the lawn adjacent to UTD's McDermott Library. Food will be available for purchase, and admission and parking are free. Call 972-883-6259 or visit www.soundsofclass.org. --Mary Monigold10/1
It's a Party, Charlie Brown

Who is black and white, has four legs, but stands upright, never speaks, merely thinks and has multiple personality disorder? Yep, it's the lovable, huggable, floppy-eared Snoopy. Charlie Brown's best compadre, otherwise known as Joe Cool, World War I Flying Ace, Literary Ace, Flashbeagle, Vulture and Foreign Legionnaire, celebrates 53 years in the comics this week. If you're too young, old or simply not interested in the three-hour trip to see the ever-awaited Radiohead on Wednesday, Oak Lawn Public Library, 4100 Cedar Springs Road, will have stories, games, crafts and refreshments on hand at 5 p.m. to recognize the literary greatness of Charles M. Schulz's Snoopy and the whole Peanuts gang cartoons. Call 214-670-1359. --Desirée Henry

 
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