Biology dictates that small children, particularly those ages 2 to 4, are just not good people. They can be sweet, sure, but they deploy that only strategically and in private. In public, there are fits and lapsed "inside voices" and the total inability to just sit in a chair and act like a human person. Any of us with a conscience limit the public's exposure to these hellions as much as possible, keeping them the hell outta most restaurants and any other place requiring a modicum of dignity and restraint. But somehow, AT&T Performing Arts Center's Patio Sessions seem to transcend the social order of toddler/people relationships: it's a place where you don't fully have to quell the instincts of the tots and people don't (always) hate you as a result.
Every Thursday, starting tonight and running through October 31, you can set 'em loose in the reflecting pool at Sammons Park just outside the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., while local musicians bang out a set right behind them. Starting at 5:30 p.m. they can run in the water without disturbing non-parental patrons or holler like a banshee. Nobody will even hear them. It's actually an idyllic scene, despite -- or maybe because of -- the carousing kids, with picnic blankets set all over the grass and an atmosphere more reminiscent of a small town square than a mid-city park. There's a loyal group of Dallasites, both with kids and without, who have discovered this gem of a series and return each season, looking forward to the killer roster assembled by PAC talent buyer and local musician Becki Howard. The fall series kicks off with Chris Johnson of Telegraph Canyon, and in the coming weeks will host Kristy Kruger, Salim Nourallah, Jeff Whittington, Somebody's Darlin', Bravo, Max!, Dallas String Quartet, Centro Matic, and Home by Hovercraft. There's no admission fee, though you'll want to bring some dough for the aforementioned concession stand or the food trucks usually parked across the street. The shows are subject to cancellation because of weather; be sure to follow them on Facebook for updates and the full roster.