Heads up! You're smack-dab in the middle of our brief, semiannual window of opportunity for all things al fresco. You know, right now and for about 72 measly more hours, the days are warm, not sweltering; the nights are cool, not cold; and the West-Nile-virulent skeeters are just beginning to yawn out of their harmless larvae, if the ice storm didn't kill them. The best outing we've heard about (that doesn't involve alcohol consumption) is a new, Sculpture in the Garden guided tour/walk at the Dallas Arboretum partnered by the Dallas Museum of Art. The DMA's Lisa Guido and one of the Arboretum's garden guides will offer insight and tips through the flora and discuss the relationships between art and nature with a "Windmills of Color" theme. Held on Saturday, April 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., tour admission is $20 or $18 for DMA and Arboretum members. Meet at the Arboretum's main ticket booth. Call 214-328-4556. --Annabelle Massey Helber
On the Ball
Charity soiree is all for the kiddies
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One of our favorite holiday cards featured a woman with red, pursed lips, clutching her handbag tightly. Her message: "It may be Christmas, but I don't do charity." We giggled slyly at the meanness in that sentiment and immediately purchased a package of the cards. While the thought of someone being so blatantly callous made us titter, in reality, we're big fans of charity, especially when it's for kids. So quit thinking about yourself already and check out The MPI Kids Charity Ball sponsored by the area chapter of Meeting Professionals International. The event is set for 6:30 p.m. April 5 at Southfork Ranch, 3700 Hogge Road, in Parker. Ticket prices for the ball, which benefits Love for Kids, Wipe Out Kids' Cancer and the MPI D/FW Education Fund, are $100. Call 972-250-7555. --Rhonda Reinhart
Here's how rumors get started. Dr. Ted Pillsbury, proprietor of Pillsbury-Peters Fine Art, was seen at a recent party given by a bunch of hoodlum Dallas artists to wish David Quadrini, of Angstrom Gallery fame, well before his kidney surgery. But no one saw him leave before the revelry deteriorated into a bizarre round of creamed-corn wrestling, wherein leftover plastic sheeting and duct tape were put to good use. Did Pillsbury get mucked? Ask him during the Q&A portion of his talk and tour of James Surls in Context on Friday, April 4, at 12:15 p.m. at the Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Blvd. on the Southern Methodist University campus. Dr. Pillsbury will lead visitors through the museum's special exhibition of Surls' celebrated sculpture, drawings and prints. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors. Call 214-768-2516. --Annabelle Massey Helber