Dinos are close to home
Twelve years ago, Dallas was home to the most visceral dinosaur experience in the country. Many would say Jurassic Park was just a movie--certainly not the leading authority on the subject (even its title was misleading, since few Jurassic-era dinos were in the flick)--but those people didn't go to Dallas' own NorthPark West 1 & 2. The long-gone movie theater, heralded by George Lucas for its unbeatable prints and sound, was perhaps the only screen in the country that did the T-Rex justice. When that lizard stomped around, even your drink rippled. Unfortunately, the franchise (and Jeff Goldblum) lost steam years ago, and dinosaurs are losing modern children's attention at an upsetting rate. Fortunately, dino-loving parents can turn their kids back to the light with Lone Star Dinosaurs, an exhibit that opens Saturday at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1501 Montgomery St. in Fort Worth. Dinosaurs don't get more hands-on than this, as the exhibit puts kids through four stages of excavation. After digging in a field for fossils, visitors study and analyze their findings in a specialized lab, finding out what every nuance in the bones and fossils tells scientists about the ancient half-lizard, half-bird creatures. Once the results have been loaded into a 3-D imaging station, a final room reveals full dinosaurs that were found only an hour from home. Kids'll definitely get jazzed once they realize how local the Pawpawsaurus and Nodosaur species are, but make sure the kids don't hit the gas main when they dig through your lawn after seeing this exhibit. General admission is $6 for kids and seniors and $7 for adults. Call 817-255-9300. --Sam Machkovech
Moms Gone Wild
The Dead Milkmen were on to something when they sang, "Punk rock girl, you look so wild/Punk rock girl, let's have a child." Some of the best-pedigreed punk women have taken that path, including Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith and Kim Gordon. But even rock-and-roll mamas need a little support, and they get it with Dallas-based Punkymoms. The group will host a fund-raiser bazaar May 28 from noon to midnight with fun, funky and functional arts and crafts for sale and live music from The Happy Bullets at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. The Punkymoms bazaar will be at Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm St. Admission is $5 for adults. Raffle tickets benefiting the North Texas Food Bank are $1 or a nonperishable food item. Visit www.punkymomsbazaar.com. --Leah Shafer
Somewhere between the rambunctious crowd, the hot sun and the oversized corny dog you just ate, it happens: You discover a charming piece of handcrafted jewelry or a luscious landscape painting that makes you smile. And that's the point at this year's installment of The 500 Inc. ARTFEST. Check out everything from paintings, sculptures and mobiles to creative wearables (use your imagination). There's also ARTFEST for kids, which includes a monitored interactive play area. Enjoy live music by oldies fave Peter Noone from Herman's Hermits, jazz musician Chris Botti and Grammy Award winners Brave Combo. Corn dog sold separately. ARTFEST 2005 runs from Friday through Memorial Day at Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Drive. Tickets are $4 in advance (at Tom Thumb stores) and $5 at the gate. Festival passes are available for $8. Check out www.dallasartfest.com. --Christopher Wynn
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I grew up in West, a small Czech town near Waco, which led to three things: 1) the ability to curse in Czech, 2) the capacity to drink large quantities of pivo (uh, beer) and 3) a natural talent for polka dancing. All three of these came together in high school, when I was part of a polka-dancing group, the Junior Historians, that took its particular brand of magic on the road to the finer junior highs and convalescent centers of central Texas. I'm thinking about going back on the road on May 27 through May 29, when Ennis hosts the 39th annual National Polka Festival, which will attract more than 50,000 polka patrons for an affair that features a parade, Czech food and costumes and, of course, polka. Grammy winners Brave Combo will be on hand to provide some of the latter, and it's guaranteed to rock your prdl. Call 1-888-366-4748. --Zac Crain
The Asian invasion is back again with the 2005 Short Film Festival competition presented by the Asian Film Festival of Dallas. Keep in mind that the AFFD showcases all types of movie genres and not just the tired stereotypes that many people assume. That said, we can't wait for the kung fu kicks and the judo face punching, and let us not forget the flagrant abandon for severing body parts. Plus we're definitely looking forward to a little geisha-on-geisha action. Admission is free for this two-day event, during which more than 30 competitive entries will be viewed and judged. The festival runs 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. If you miss this, you might want to watch your back. Remember the samurai code: one cut, one kill. Visit www.affd.org. --Jonathan Freeman