Dallas Aquarium. Experience the tranquility of the underwater world while observing 375 marine and freshwater species. For the more excitable ones in your group, check out the shark and piranha feedings, every day except Monday, at 2:30 p.m. Open daily, 9 ajii.-4:30 p.m. Fair Park. 214-670-8443.
Dallas Arboretum. Summer at the Arboretum features Garden Critters-a display of friendly, larger-than-life animals and insect creatures vital to the health of a garden-for children to climb on. crawl through, and play with. Through Sept. 6. Open daily; Mon/Wed/Fri, 10 a.m.-6p.m.; Sat-Sun, Thurs, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat-Sun 8 a.m.-6 p.m. 8525 Garland Rd. 214-327-8263.
Dallas World Aquarium. The most peaceful place downtown. This West End aquarium features exotic marine life in 12 saltwater tanks, along with Texas’ largest South African black-footed penguin exhibit. Open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1801 N. Griffin. 214-720-1801.
Fort Worth Botanical Garden. Fort Worth isn’t just for cowboys and cowboy wannabes: Nature-lovers have a place here, too. The 110-acre, tree-shaded complex includes a rose garden, conservatory, and Japanese gardens. Open daily; 8 a.m.-dusk (9 a.m.-6 p.m., Japanese gardens). 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. 817-871-7686.
Fort Worth Zoo. One of the nation’s most acclaimed zoos, with 5,000 exotic and native animals, including Bluebonnet, the Zoo’s first-ever baby elephant. Don’1 miss the Thundering Plains exhibit featuring American bison, wild turkey, and endangered Mexican wolves. Open daily; Mon-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 1989 Colonial Pkwy., Foil Worth.817-871-7050.
Movie Studios at las Colinas. Enjoy a look behind the scenes of such locally produced hits as “Robocop ” and “JFK. ” Daily tours of the studios include up-close looks at memorabilia from “Star Wars. ” “Superman ” and other big-screen adventures. Open daily; hourly tours begin at 12:30 p.m. 6301 N. O’Connor Blvd., Las Colinas. 972-869-FILM.
Old City Park, The Historical Village of Dallas. This outdoor museum, a complete turn-of-the-cen-tury village, rests in the shadow of the Dallas skyline; a stroll along the streets offers a glimpse into the life of early North Texans. 1717 Gano St., Dallas. 214-421-5141.
Southfork Ranch. If you’re worried about being labeled a tourist, blame it on your Yankee friends who just had to see J-R.’s house. Visit the Ewing Mansion, explore the ranch by tram, and walk through the “Dallas” Museum, with memorabilia from the hit TV series and its stars. There’s also a Western-wear store and the Front Porch Cafe. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 3700 Hogge Rd., Parker. 972-442-7800.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
Visions: The Women’s Expo. Visions is the place for women to be this month with guest speakers, seminars, and how-to demonstrations covering issues of career, health, home, family, and lifestyles. Aug. 28,10 a.m.-6 p.m.: Aug 29,11 a.m,-6 p.m. Dallas Market Hall. 972-395-9034.
Africa’s Elephant Kingdom. This stunning Omni Theater presentation offers an insightful and dramatic look into the lives of an elephant family embarking upon a dangerous, yet vital, journey across the African plains. Show times daily, with extended hours in the evenings and on weekends. Omni Theater. 1501 Montgomery Street, Fori Worth.817-255-9300.
Amazon. Follow two explorers through the IM AX-enha need Amazonian Rain Forest as they search the mysterious and awesome canopy for cures to deadly diseases and secrets to prolonging life. Also playing: “Mysteries of Egypt,” a spectacular ride through Egyptian history and myths, narrated by Omar Sharif; and “Mission to MIR.” The Science Place, Fair Park. 214-428-5555.
Weekday Classic, The nostalgic air of this vintage movie series from the 1930s-50s will leave you with thoughts of days gone by. Enjoy 15-cent admission and 25-cent popcorn. Playing at Lakewood Theater every second Tue and Wed of the month. 1825 Abrams Rd. 214-827-5253.
Conduit Gallery. Appearing in its first solo show in the United States, the artwork of graphic artist and illustrator Magda Marton will be on display to catch the attention of those not familiar with her artwork, and quench the artistic thirst of those who are old admirers. After previously illustrating children’s books, Marton has expanded her array of talents to abstractions in china ink and aquarelie. Tue through Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and by appointment. Continues through Aug 11. 3200 Main. Dallas. 214-939-0064.
RINGLING BROTHERS, BARNUM & BAILEY CIRCUS Once, a good clown could find a job anywhere. But thanks to a few wayward yuck-sters like The Simpsons’ Krusty the Klown, the whole profession has become somewhat of a pathetic joke. Young Bozo hopefuls have had to give up their dreams, work as mascots, or go into politics. But there is one place where big red noses and floppy shoes are still fashionable-Ringling Brothers,Banium & Bailey Circus. Get in touch with your inner child and support the noble clowns. They’re funnier than you remember. There are also trapeze acts, daring acrobats, and all the excitement that have always made this the Greatest Show on Earth. August 1-8. Reunion Arena.
214-939-2K00. -Hudson Weichsel
Craighead-Green Gallery. 5th Annual New Texas Talent Exhibition. Drop in on this diverse collection of photographs, paintings, sculptures, and more from 21 Texan artists. The displayed artwork, chosen by juror Charles Dee Mitchell, will leave art enthusiasts searching for more. Continuing through Sept 4. 2404 Cedar Springs Rd. Suite 700.214-855-0779.
David Dike Fine Art. A continuing summer exhibition of Texas paintings features the art and imagination of Texas artists Jerry Bywaters. Otis Dozier. Alexandre Hogue, Julian Oanderdonk, Olin Travis, and Porfirio Salinas. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 1! a.m.-5 p.m., by appointment. 2613 Fairmount. 214-720-4044.
TEXAS RANGERS. O.K.,Aiigust heal can be miserable, and sitting next to a yelling, deodorant-impaired fanatic is hardly your idea of refreshing. But as long as you’re going to be hot anyway, you might as well be sweating with a cold beer in one hand and a bag of peanuts in the other. Unlike other summer activities, baseball watching can be done from the couch potato position. As a patriotic American you’ll have to stand for the national anthem and for the occasional homerun. But for the most part you can just sit on your duff. Note: Activity may be required should you appear on the Jumbo Screen. August 13-19,30-31. The Ballpark in Arlington. 817-273-5100. -H.W,
Irving Arts Canter. Guy Deel: Walt Disney Artist. The Irving native returns for an exhibition of works representing his career in visual development and production styling for Walt Disney Studios. Through Oct 3. 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. Irving. 972-252-7558.
Prestige Gallery. Beyond the Speed of Thought, a photographic exhibition combines the refined and striking black and white images of Jim Allen and the thought-provoking interpretation of Dennis Alcorn. Mon-Sat, 10a.m.-5p.m. Continuing through Sept 30. 3308 Preston Rd. at Parker Suite 300. 972-717-2915.
Southwest Gallery. Art lovers can visit the L. Gordon Show to savor impressionistic paintings of the most picturesque places in Europe and the United States. Aug 14-15,1p.m.-5p.m. 4500 Sigma at Welch. 972-960-8935.
Valley House Gallery. Dorothy Austin and Constance Forsyth: Rediscovering Two Early Texas artists features two talents of the early 1900s together in one exhibit. From Austin’s sculpture to Forsyth’s water-colors, the atmosphere of the early part of the century is evident. It’s a refreshing change of pace-looking back at the century instead of ahead to Y2K. Mon-Sat, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continuing through August 21.6616 Spring Valley Road. 972-239-2441.
ArtFACES. Join in a day of art-making with the featured artists from The Arlington Museum of Arts exhibit. A Hot Show: Abstract Paintings. Pick up an ArfFACES workbook and meet the pros. Perfect for blooming and aspiring young artists. Aug 28, 1-3 p.m. 201 West Main. Arlington. 817-275-4600
Dinosaur Families. Observe how dinosaur families care for, nurture, and protect one another. These realistic reptile replicas, based on discoveries at “Egg Mountain,” will be appearing at The Science Place through Sep 6. Open daily 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Fair Park. 214-428-5555.
Summer Art Camp. Kids get to learn the basics of contemporary art. exploring everything from abstract expressionism to pop art. Five weekday sessions; dates and times vary according to age group. Arlington Museum of Art. 201 W. Main St.. Arlington. 817-275-4600.
SUMMED SCIENCE DISCOVERY. Summer is when many parents find themselves pondering if year-round school is such a bad idea after all. Kids can ask hundreds of questions in a normal day and drive you mad. Let the Science Place save your sanity by answering the questions for a while. (Although the “because I said so” response can still be used in a pinch, and there’s a good chance the really tough questions will be answered in health class next fall.) Until then, register kids age 3-12 for summer workshops aimed at walking children through the wonders of science. Toddler and parent classes available. Classes offered daily. The Science Place, Fair Park. 214-428-5555. -H.W.
African American Museum. On My Way: The Arts of Sarah Albritton. This self-taught painter takes us on a haunting and personal tour through her memories and impressions of growing up in rural north Louisiana and the Deep South. Through Aug 29. Fair Park. 214-565-9026.
Amen Carter Museum. Cuming Attractions, a preview of the museum’s proposed building expansion, features 135 works by 100 artists; the selection includes masterworks of pastels and watercolors. as well as a section on art of the American West. Through Aug 1. Tues-Sat, 10a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun, noon-5 p.m. 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd.. Fort Worth. 817-738-1933.
Arlington Museun of Art A Hot Show: Abstract Paintings will sample artists such as Aaron Baker, Scott Barber, Arm Glazer. and many more in an exploration of new materials and strategic approaches to contemporary abstract painting. Through Sept 4. 201 Main, Arlington. 817-275-4600.
The Cavanaugh Flight Museum. A trip to DFW can make you forget that flying was ever a romantic venture. A trip to this museum, featuring meticulously restored warbirds from WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam, will remind you. Mon-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Addison Airport. 4572 Claire Chennault. 972-380-8800.
Dallas Museum of Art Visit Expansive Visions: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions of Photographs, a collection of recent additions to the museum’s photographs, which covers a diverse and unique scope of topics. The show will leave you with an appreciation of the possibilities in photography. Through Aug 29.1717 N. Harwood St. 214-922-1200.
Dallas Museum of Natural History. Predators! Visitors are warned to view this exhibit with caution. Hungry plants and animals lurk ravenously behind every comer. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Through Aug 29.3535 Grand Ave., Fair Park. 214-421-DINO.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.Robot Zoo” features huge mechanical animals and an up-close glimpse into how the real beasts function in die wild. Through Sep 6, Mon-Wed,9a.m.-5 p.m.:Thurs-Sat. 9 a.m.-9p.m.; Sun. noon-9 p.m. 1501 Montgomery St., Fort Worth. 817-255-9300.
Meadows Museum of Art Building Our Future: Architectural Designs of the New Meadows Museum. Mon,Tue, Fri, Sat, I0a.m.-5p.m.; Thurs, I0a.m.-8p.m.; Sun. lpjn.-5p.m. Through Aug 29. SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, corner of Bishop Blvd and Brinkley Ave.214-768-2516.
Sixth Floor Museum. This museum exposes alleged cover-ups of the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield. Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy, as well as the crash of Korean Flight 007. Open daily. !0a.m.-6 p.m. 110 S. Market St. 214-741-3040.
AI Jarreau. Jazz lovers can take the break they deserve and relax to the innovative music of this Grammy-award winning artist. Aug 12. Starplex Amphitheater. 214-373-8000.
K.C. and the Sunshine Band. Say what you will, but disco is far from dead. And there’s nothing wrong with”Shakin Your Booty” to it as this ’70s funk band proved long ago. Aug 28. Six Flags Amphitheater. Arlington. 817-530-6000.
Dallas Bum. On a soccer kick? Score this summer by beating the heat while supporting Dallas Burn soccer. Aug 4.22,28. Cotton Bowl. 214-979-0303.
Legends of the Game Baseball Museum. Relive baseball’s memorable past at this historic niche inside the Ballpark. Items on display include a Babe Ruth bat and glove and a jersey belonging to Lou Gehrig. New this season is an exhibit honoring Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Last tickets are sold one hour before closing. Mon-Sat, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. The Ballpark in Arlington, 1000 Ballpark Way. Arlington. 817-273-5600.
Mesquite Rodeo. The Rodeo’s 42nd season continues through Oct 2. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.; the Rodeo begins at 8p.m. 1818 Rodeo Drive. Mesquite. 972-285-8777.
Texas Motor Speedway. Thursday Night Stampede features Legends and Bandolero racing, along with contests, food, and music. Through Aug 26. I -35WandSH 114, Fort Worth. 817-215-8500.
Beyond Therapy. Theatre Three opens its 39th season with this comedy, a satirical look at the relationships between men, women, and their psychiatrists. Through Aug 29. Thurs, 7:30 p.m.; Fri and Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun, 2:30 p.m. 2800 Routh St. 214-871-3300.
Dead Man-a-Go-Go. Whodunit? This psychedelic “Austin Powers” parody murder mystery dinner set in the ’60s will send you to the dance floor to do “The Pony.” but only after enjoying a three-course-meal, interviewing possible murder suspects, and searching around the room for clues and evidence from the crime. Presented every Sat. through Aug 28.7:30 p.m. Hotel Inter-Continental. N. Dallas Tollway at Arapaho. 817-572-2212.
Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. Theatre Arlington presents (he celebration of the female spirit in a humorous portrayal of five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids who bond while trying to avoid the ceremony itself. Performances are Thurs, 7:30 p.m.: Fri-Sat, 8 p.m.: Sun. 2 p.m. Through Aug 15. 305 West Main. Arlington ,817-275-7661.
Jolson. A musical based on the legendary life of Al Jolson. the immigrant son of a Lithuanian Jewish cantor, who wins the lead in the first talking movie. “The Jazz Singer.” Aug 10-15. Music Hall at Fair Park.214-691-7200.
The Scarlet Pimpernel. This Tony-nominated musical features plenty of blackmail, bribery, and deception: it also tells the story of a masked hero who saves French aristocrats from the guillotine. Through Aug 8. Tue-Sun, 8 p.m.; Sat and Sun, 2 p.m. Music Hall at Fair Park. 214-691-7200.
The Vietnam war ended a quarter century ago, but the story isn’t over. The battle scars remain embedded in the American psyche. Miss Saigon explores the turbulent world of Vietnam, but with a twist: It’s the tale of an American solider and the love he must leave behind. Sounds almost Shakespearean, but this is the late 20th century, and war isn’t the ideal setting for love-don’t expect Romeo and Juliet Yes, the lovers’ relationship is ill-fated, and yes, there’s plenty of bittersweet moments. But in the end, Miss Saigon is more than a love-story. It’s the story of a generation of Americans. Aug 4-28; Mon-Fri, 8 p.m., Sat/Thur, 2 p.m., Sun, 2 p.m./7:30 p.m., Bass Performance Hall, 817-332-2272.
Blue Gat Blues
If you’re looking for light shows, airlifts, and explosions, wait for the next Garth Brooks concert. But, if you’re looking for a place to hear authentic, straight-ahead R & B, then you can find it at Blue Cat Blues. BCB has hosted a variety of artists from the likes of Jimmy Rogers and Stevie Ray Vaughn to current W.C. Handy award winners. The Blue Delta Grill (a recent addition) serves everything from filet mignon to jalapeno poppers. For a decade, owner Doug Henry has booked fresh, hard-hitting, top-notch rhythm and blues acts and produced the best blues club in town. Blue Cat Blues is where even musicians go to hear good music. -Valerie Douglas
Blue Cat Blues, 2612 Commerce St., Dallas, TX (214) 744-CATS