The International Museum of Cultures is an odd little corner of Dallas' museum scene, with exhibits highlighting the indigenous cultures of little-known peoples in Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, Amazonian Peru and other Third World nations. It's a small museum, something you can see in about an hour, with life-size dioramas and native artifacts acquired through the field research of linguists and anthropologists associated with SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) International. Admission is free, with donations encouraged, and if your kids can survive without a constant flow of electronic stimuli, they'll like it, too. SIL teaches students from around the world to translate the Bible into native languages and develop written languages where none exist. While SIL is a Christian organization, the museum displays are, for the most part, religiously neutral. This month, the museum offers a short-term exhibit honoring Native American Heritage Month, with documentary films and activities for kids. One highlight for preschoolers is Monday-morning story time in a Lakota Sioux tepee on the museum grounds. Afterward, the kids make a Native American craft they can take home. To reserve a spot for your child at 9:30 a.m. on November 3, November 10 or November 17, call 972-708-7537. The museum is located at 7500 W. Camp Wisdom Road. Visit the Web site at www.internationalmuseumofcultures.org.
It's that time of year again, and if you've got little ones, you're probably running around like a frat boy at last call trying to find the right costume for Halloween. So why not let your kids make their own this year--starting with a cool mask they crafted with their own two hands? On October 30, the Highland Hills Branch Library will have a Mask-Making Festival and Parade from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Not only will your kids have a personalized start to a potentially great costume, they may even win a prize. The library is located at 3624 Simpson Stuart Road. Call 214-670-0987. --Jenice Johnson
Computers, DVDs, cell phones, automatic flushing, cars you don't have to wind up. These galdurn kids today don't appreciate none of it. They're never sayin' "thank you" or showin' the proper respect for their elders and betters. Your whippersnapper got thankfulness issues? They don't appreciate the fact they don't have to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow every day of the year? Well, rather than tannin' their hide like we did in our day, we recommend a visit to Barnes & Noble for a special story time. Holly Bea will be reading her picture book Thank You, God, and maybe those kids can learn to be a little more thankful for the things they's got. Also, Bea will be available to sign books for the younguns if you think the little ingrates deserve it. The event's November 5 at 10:30 a.m. at the Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Park, 7700 W. Northwest Highway. Call 214-739-1124. --Mary Monigold