Damn that "aged museum" stigma. It stealthily places blue-haired ladies and dozing lecture-goers where edge-dancing art and youthful activities should reside in the minds of the young and artful. Of course, blue-hairs will always lunch at the Atrium Café, and 80-plus series sponsors will always nod off during your favorite author's appearance. But hey, doesn't the fact that the exceptionally cool author (Augusten Burroughs, Salman Rushdie, need we go on?) is even there mean that this museum, this Dallas Museum of Art, has something seriously fab going on? Yes, it certainly does. The DMA continues the cool factor with Thursday Night Live! in the Sculpture Garden Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. This week, pop-heads can enjoy international pop with DJ Wild in the Streets featuring new music from M.I.A. and new big thing Brazilian Girls. The DMA is located at 1717 N. Harwood St. Admission is free. For more information, call 214-922-1826.
Friday, April 15
We suppose we owe our ability to share our toys with Miffy. OK, maybe it would be fairer to say we owe Dick Bruna, the creator of the big-headed white bunny of moral story fame. We distinctly remember not wanting to hand off our orange Big Wheel to the neighbor kid, and Mom hauled us inside for a lesson. She said she was "miffed," so we just assumed that she was behind the aptly named Miffy, but hey, we were young. She read us just one of Bruna's simple, easily digested tales, all about sharing, and we totally understood. Perhaps too much, though--later we got in trouble for trying to "share" our green peas with the cat. Miffy continues to spread the joy of literacy and good behavior with the Miffy at the Library tour, opening Friday at the J. Erik Jonnson Central Library, 1515 Young St. Check out 20 limited-edition prints of Bruna's artwork, narratives discussing his work and stories and craft sessions. Miffy will be around through May 22. Call 214-670-1400.
Saturday, April 16
As writers, text is important to us. We depend on it to get our point across; we visualize it when we're trying to think of the perfect phrase; and we read it with the voracity of a starving dog tearing at a juicy bone. Put words, or typefaces rather, in the hands (and bizarrely genius mind) of Dallas artist Zachary Broadhurst, and you've got the sometimes menacing, sometimes comforting, always hypnotizing works featured in his New Fine Art exhibit, opening Saturday with a reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at IR Gallery, 830 Exposition Ave., Suite 103. Broadhurst uses paintings and photographs tied together with those ever-important typewriter characters to explore protection, or the illusion of it, and vulnerability. While you might not recognize the artist, his art will almost always slap you right in the face. And trust us, that fascinating sting will stick around a while. Now prep the cheeks and head down to the gallery. Broadhurst's work hangs through May 11. Call 469-951-7323.
Sunday, April 17
We never buy the right plants. Or at least, if we have, we killed them. We never aim for plant carnage, but every spring we plant, we water, and we kill, kill, kill. So we looked into what might be the problem, and the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary (one mile east of Highway 5 South on FM 1378, in McKinney) might just have an answer. Why not try native plants? During the Annual Heard Museum Native Plant Sale, experts can help with gardening questions and with selecting plants perfect for Texas beds. The sale will feature more than 300 varieties of trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, perennials and wildflowers that perform well in the Texas climate while still being vibrant and beautiful and that attract butterflies (which, for those with brown thumbs, is a good thing). All sales are tax-free, benefit the museum and make planting a garden a touch more effortless, so strike while the weather's mild. The sale is open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Call 972-562-5566 or visit www.heardmuseum.org.
Monday, April 18
You're hoping you did them right. You've been dreaming about them. You even did that thing where you open the mailbox again and strain your neck trying to make sure the envelope went down and didn't get lodged in the slot, somehow delaying your return check. Taxes. Due. Done. Sent. Gone. And yet somehow, you've achieved no closure. Franki's Li'l Europe, 362 Casa Linda Plaza, offers solace with its Post-Tax-Day Wine Dinner. From 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday (Franki's is normally closed on Mondays but is opening just to comfort weary taxpayers), the restaurant offers a special five-course dinner served with specially paired wines. The meal is $49.95 before tax and tip. For reservations, call 214-320-0426.
Tuesday, April 19
If ever you wanted some tea, you'll scream for it while reading Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. The red bush tea of Botswana, more precisely. Throughout Smith's latest, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Mma Precious Ramotswe is back, along with assistant detective Mma Makutsi, Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, the aforementioned tea and lots of mystery. We're talkin' huge pumpkins, dance lessons, trumpet players and secrets from the past. Now what better way to celebrate the book's release than to exchange a greeting with Alexander McCall Smith himself? Smith will make his first stop on his tour at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Call 214-922-1803.