More dinos for the kids
at San Antonio’s Witte
Few things make children happier than dinosaurs. Great news: A huge new dinosaur exhibit — Dinosaurs Unearthed: Bigger. Better. Feathered — has opened at San Antonio’s Witte Museum and will remain through Sept. 2.
It costs $5 on top of the usual museum admission ($10 adult, $9 senior, $7 child) and includes animatronic dinos, skeletons, fossils and a dig site. Among those represented: Allosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Microraptor, Protoceratops, Angustinaripterus, Stegosaurus, Yangchuanosaurus, Omeisaurus, Tuojiangosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. The feathered ones include a Velociraptor and Gigantoraptor. Look for Patty the Apatosaurus out on the lawn.
The museum is at 3801 Broadway St. Find out more at wittemuseum.org.
French Quarter, jazz festivals on the way
New Orleans’ busiest season of the year outside of Mardi Gras is getting ready to crank up, with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival the weekends of April 26-28 and May 2-5 and French Quarter Festival, which some people think is even more fun, April 11-14. They’re both all about music.
JazzFest, which over the years has broadened way beyond jazz (but won’t ever forsake it) will this year include Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, the Black Keys, John Mayer, Widespread Panic, B. B. King, Band of Horses, Frank Ocean, Stanley Clarke/George Duke Project, Jill Scott, Gipsy Kings and Willie Nelson.
Remember to come to JazzFest prepared for either searing heat or torrential rain. It’s usually one or the other, but the shows go on. And don’t forget the scrumptious local food. JazzFest is at the Fair Grounds Race Course, 1751 Gentilly Blvd., but don’t try to park there. Take the $18 round trip shuttle. See pickup locations on nojazzfest.com.
French Quarter Festival is, of course, in the French Quarter and focuses on jazz and Cajun music. French Quarter Fest artists will include Soul Rebels, George Porter Jr., NOLA Nightingale Revue, Raw Oyster Cult and more. This year, an evening concert series will feature the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet and Terrance Simien. And did I mention that French Quarter Festival is free to attend? Find out more at fqfi.com.
Quarter horse art
at Amarillo museum
If you’re into horses or art — or perhaps even both — you’ll want to pay a visit to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in Amarillo now through July 27 to see an Orren Mixer show. Mixer is known as the definitive painter of quarter horses. The museum is at exit 72A off Interstate 40. Find out more at quarterhorsemuseum.com. Admission (unless you’re a member of the American Quarter Horse Association, in which case you get in free) is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for youth 6 to18 and free for kids 5 and younger.
Want to paint where O’Keeffe
did? Here’s your chance
Artists, here’s an opportunity to go to Abiquiu, N.M., and sketch and paint independently. The George O’Keeffe Museum is offering half- or full-day sessions in the high desert grounds of Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio May 20.
Artists of all level are welcome, but it’s not cheap: $324 for half a day or $600 for a full day. And, of course, you’re on your own to get there and find a place to stay (probably in nearby Taos). Find out more at okeeffemuseumevents.org.
Dos Brisas scores 5 stars
again in Forbes rankings
The 2013 Forbes (formerly Mobil) Star Awards rankings are out, and, once again, one place in Texas scored five stars: the restaurant at the Inn at Dos Brisas between Washington and Brenham. There were no five-star hotels in Texas. Four-star hotels included Four Seasons Austin, Houston and Las Colinas; Houston’s Granduca, Houstonian and St. Regis; Dallas’ Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and Ritz-Carlton; and the Mokara Hotel & Spa in San Antonio. Four-star restaurants included Quattro in Houston and five Dallas restaurants: Fearing’s, Stephan Pyles, Abacus, the French Room (at the Adolphus Hotel) and the Mansion restaurant (at the Mansion on Turtle Creek). Four stars were awarded to spas at Mokara, the Houstonian, Dallas’ Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons hotels in Austin and Las Colinas. Congrats, all.
Renovated Frontier museum
is open again in Abilene
Abilene’s Frontier Texas! (exclamation theirs), a Western heritage center, just reopened after renovations. Using holograms of Cynthia Ann Parker and Pat Garrett as “spirit guides,” you’ll explore the history of that part of Texas.
You’re greeted by an eight-buffalo weather vane that I’m told is the world’s largest. Exhibits include buffalo hunting artifacts and — oh, my — real human scalps recovered in 1872. Among the new exhibits: depictions of early life on the plains and an explanation of cattle drives. The museum is at 625 N. First St. in Abilene. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for kids. Find out more at frontiertexas.com.