Friday, May 4, 2012

Totally Texas -- Art, music, food at Cottonwood Park

Cottonwood Art Festival

1321 W. Belt Line Road (between Coit & Waterview)

Richardson, Texas


It’s looking to be a great weekend for outdoor family activities in North Texas. Close to my heart -- Richardson’s semiannual Cottonwood Art Festival this Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6. The highlight, of course, is the art -- work by 240 or so visual artists selected from more than a thousand applicants.

But my whole family goes not just because there’s plenty of art, but because there’s plenty of room for the boys to run, and plenty of food and music. It’s also nice that it’s free. Hours are 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday. In my experience, parking between a nearby shopping center and Cottonwood Park is readily available early in the day. And of course, free. Later, expect to walk a bit. But put on your walking shoes anyway to cover everything you’ll want to see.

It’s a rain or shine event, but this weekend looks sunny and bright, with temperatures warm but not yet sizzling.

Near the banks of Cottonwood Park’s duck pond, the ArtStop Children’s area provides lots of opportunities for kids to channel their inner artists. It’s okay for them to play in the mud at a pottery activity station, paint their own Truffula trees, and leave their mark on the Monster Mural, among other activities.

Across the pond’s northern bridge, is the tree-shaded courtyard, with room to eat and listen to music -- blues, jazz, country or rock -- from opening to closing.

See for more information and directions.


I’ll definitely be at the Cottonwood Festival, but there are a lot of other activities vying
for attention this weekend:

-- Official opening of the exhibition of Dale Chihuly glass art at the Dallas Arboretum, Saturday, May 5. Through November 5. See for information and ticket prices.

-- The Garden Conservancy’s Dallas Open Day, Saturday, May 5. Five local private gardens open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., including the tropical paradise of Oak Cliff gardener Matthew Nichols featured in Thursday’s Dallas Morning News. There’s a $5 admission charge (free for children 12 and under) for each garden, or $20 for a day pass, cash only. See for information and addresses.

-- Several area farmers markets are open the first Saturday (or every Saturday) of the month. See the April 23 post in the archives of this site, or

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