As a complement to my recent Library Book Parade about A Year Full of Stories: 52 Folk Tales and Legends from All Around the World, I thought how wonderful it would be to highlight the child friendly, cultural festivals available to Dallas/Fort Worth families. What a delight it is to show our children the diversity of our world, pursuing unity with our neighbors, listening to different music, hearing different languages, seeing different shades of skin, different styles of dress, and expanding our palate by trying new foods! Of course, it’s beneficial, too. See some resources and articles at the bottom of this post. And if you missed the book I’m talking about, take a look inside here.
Chinese New Year Festival at the Crow Collection of Asian Art
Dallas Arts District
Highlights from this cultural festival include performances every hour, such as lion and dragon dances, face changers, kung fu demonstrations, Beijing Opera renditions, musical performances, and traditional Chinese dances. Chinese New Year art activities to get creative, as well as other attractions such as calligraphy demonstrations, face painting, fortune telling, and much more. Food trucks and traditional noodle dishes. A fireworks display is the grand finale.
I’d love to fill up my calendar. If you know of an excellent cultural festival in the DFW area in February, please let me know!
North Texas Irish Festival
Tickets vary in price for adults depending on the day. Children 0-11: free
Visit the culinary area featuring tastings of Irish food and beverages, as well as samplings from over 100 local vendors. Enjoy a variety of performances, such as traditional Irish music sessions, dance performances, and storytellers, in addition to cultural presentations and educational workshops. Watch sheep herding demonstrations, check out the Deloreans, or visit a Celtic Village.
Free admission if you are wearing complete German ethnic attire
Muenster prides itself on being a place “where Texas hospitality and German customs meet.” Try mouthwatering sausage, strudel, cheeses and pastries. Participate in the fun run, bike rally, or BBQ cook off. Experience shows by mimes, magicians, storytellers, and clowns. Create arts and crafts, go folk dancing to German music, or rock climbing. Don’t forget the Karneval and Kinder Theater for the children.
Japanese Garden Spring Festival
Adults: $8, Children 4-12: $4, Children 0-3: Free
Fort Worth Japanese Garden
Enjoy Sakura Japanese dances and music with the backdrop of the serene Japanese Botanic Garden. Watch sword and martial arts demonstrations, or check out a tea ceremony if that’s more your thing. Bonsai and ikebana displays make for beautiful viewing, and vendors come to sell artwork, jewelry and gifts. Japanese food is available in the food court. Children can enjoy dressing up in kimonos, Japanese story time, orgami, calligraphy, crafts, games, temporary tattoos, Japanese fish painting, and koi fish feeding.
Thai Culture & Food Festival
Shop unique, intricate and beautiful handcrafted Thai gifts, souvenirs, arts and materials directly from local Thai vendors and from Thailand at the Thai Marketplace. Cultural performances and dances include traditional Thai classical dances and Muay Thai demonstrations. Take a stroll through the temple, or enjoy a guided tour to gain a better understanding about Buddhism. The Food Bazaar is the place to try Thai delights from all 4 regions of Thailand, from Thai tea, fresh coconuts, chicken satay, sticky rice & fruity desserts, (and of course Pad Thai).
Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games
Tickets vary in price for adults depending on the day. Teens: $8, Children 6-12: $5, Children 0-6r: free
UTA Campus, Arlington
The Scottish Festival has five large entertainment tents to showcase the national and regional celtic, folk, and Scottish entertainers. Watch some of the top Scottish performers and groups in the world. Enjoy multiple competitions such as premier pipes and drums and championship dancers. Be entertained by a full range of Scottish athletic competitons at the Highland Games. The schedule is packed with fireworks, a Scottish fiddle workshop, children’s games and activities, Scottish country dancing, Visit the Scottish Military living history encampment or the Medieval Scotland area. Enjoy the all-Scottish breed dog show, or view Celtic art and listen to Celtic music. Seminars include Scotch whisky tasting and education, genealogy and history, and Gaelic language seminar.
DFW African Festival
This is a weekend of family fun that celebrates the culture diversity of Africa. Highlights African arts, crafts, clothing, culture dances, speakers, live music, education and information, ethnic food, the Hakuna Matata Children’s Village, story tellers, drum workshops, and traditional commodities in the marketplace Bazaar, and Kishwahili language workshop.
Dallas Bastille Days
Bishop Arts District / Downtown Dallas
This annual event is a family-friendly festival celebrating the French holiday Bastille Day. Featuring French wine, food, music, and market. Costumes and themed clothing abound, so don’t be shy- stripes and berets are très chic.
I’d love to fill up my calendar. If you know of an excellent cultural festival in the DFW area in August, please let me know!
Greek Festival of Dallas
Adults and Children 13+: $6. Children 0-12: Free
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Dallas
Opa! The festival offers a variety of authentic foods and treats made with love by our own Greek chefs from recipes passed through the generations. Expect the pace to be lively and the party to be spontaneous as Greek bands play! See Greek folk dancers, and check out the fun and entertaining cooking demonstrations. The marketplace is the perfect location to peruse imports and the creations of Greek and Greek-American artists and artisans, or pick up specialty Greek food/ingredients or cookbooks. Play backgammon, visit the bookstore, or have a tour of the beautiful church. Children will enjoy sand art & crafts, caricature artists, face painting, and more.
Native American Pow Wow
Several hundred Native Americans, representing dozens of tribes from across the United States, will take part in this celebration of their culture and heritage. Precision and showmanship abound as drums will beat for the tribal dancers in full regalia of colorful feathers, buckskin, bells and beadwork. Artists, craftsmen and traders from all over the country will showcase their wares and talents at the arts & crafts show and sale. Wander through the tipi village and try authentic Native American foods all weekend long. Hear singing and watch honoring ceremonies.
I’d love to fill up my calendar. If you know of an excellent cultural festival in the DFW area in October, please let me know!
Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival
This festival pays homage to the goodness of the harvest, Dia de los Muertos, and all things Halloween. Be a spectator for the very-popular coffin races and root for your favorite team or local business. Wear your finest costume and bring your own paper lantern or puppet for a walk down the streets of historic downtown Denton. Get thrilled and chilled down to your bones at Cirque du Horror, a musical performance featuring poems and short stories.
I’d love to fill up my calendar. If you know of an excellent cultural festival in the DFW area in December, please let me know!
Note: I’m sure there are festivals that I (unintentionally) left out. If you know of any exciting and family-friendly cultural experiences and events in the DFW area, please consider leaving me a comment!
Extra Reading and Resources:
- How to teach children about cultural awareness and diversity – PBS
- The Benefits of Raising Kids Cross-Culturally – The Art of Simple blog
- 10 Tips for Raising a Global Child – The Huffington Post