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Family Attorneys Texas - Support Children's Health Holiday ParadeAbout the Parade

Each December, the annual Dallas Children’s Health℠ Holiday Parade marches through the streets of Downtown Dallas to ring in the holiday season. This year’s parade, as always, will feature spirited marching bands, holiday floats and larger-than-life balloons, among other treats.

The parade, first held in 1988, was created by The Adolphus Hotel and Children’s Medical Center as a gift to the community. The internationally acclaimed hotel and Children’s wanted to give a gift to the citizens of Dallas, for enabling both institutions to prosper. The parade has kicked off the city’s holiday season celebrations ever since.

Today, the downtown Dallas parade is presented by Pizza Hut and draws crowds of more than 400,000. In addition, more than 350 TV stations syndicate the parade nationally.

The parade is free and open to the public. Sidewalk seating is available along the parade route and bleacher seating is available to purchase, beginning October 8th.

The 27th annual parade will step off at 10 a.m. on December 6, 2014. To order tickets online for bleacher seating, call 888-454-4353 or order online here, starting October 8th.

Family Attorneys Texas - Fun Stuff Over Christmas 2015 Holidays

 

Classes: Winter Break Camps & Clinics

Keep Your Kids Entertained & Busy 2015

Rita Boyd with Family Attorneys Texas wants you to remember that in the wake of a divorce or child custody battle, it's always important to remember to put your kids first. It's never to late to spend time with them over this Holiday Season. Dallas has so many wonderful activities for you and your family to share together.

Family Attorneys Texas invites you to spend time with your kids and help with keeping them entertained over Christmas Break. Since Christmas break is just around the corner, remember that your kids will be home with nothing to do for a few weeks. So where do you send them while you plow through work, end-of-the-year busyness, and last-minute shopping (if you’re like us)? These 24 holiday camps rescue kids from boredom — with options ranging from gymnastics and painting to music and robotics — and may teach them something new too.

Here are some great opportunites you may want to consider this year. Some will be family outings, others classes, and others camps and clinics. Whatever the event; from all of us here at Family Attornies Texas we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

SCIENCE & NATURE
 
Sign the kiddos up for Snowfari Winter Camps at the Dallas Zoo and Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park. Both locations host single-day camps, where kids pre-K through fifth grade learn about animals and their adaptations, do hands-on projects and meet live critters. Camps at the zoo are themed by day and available for all ages, while camps at the aquarium are offered on different days based on age. $40 per day for members and $45 for nonmembers, with a 5 percent discount for multiple days; extended care is available for an extra cost. Register online.
WHEN: Dec 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30; 9am–3pm
WHERE: Dallas Zoo and Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, Dallas
CONTACT: 469/554-7300; dallaszoo.com and childrensaquariumatfairpark.com
 
TechEdventures of Dallas introduces kids to robots, HTML and age-appropriate video games during Winter Tech Camp. Kids in kindergarten through second grade spend the morning playing with robots before taking on video game and Minecraft challenges, while third through sixth graders design web pages and program robots (those who want to stay and play can tack on an afternoon in the Gamer Zone). $325 for half-day camp or $395 for full-day; register online.
WHEN: Dec 28–31; 9am–2pm or 9am–5pm
WHERE: Tiferet Israel, Dallas
CONTACT: techedventures.com
 
Keep little minds working during the winter recess at Sci-Tech Discovery Center’s science-themed day camps. Kids in preschool through third grade explore the science of winter by making snow globes, growing snowflakes, building with gingerbread, studying penguins and more. Fourth through eighth graders design and construct a Rube Goldberg machine, a deliberately over-engineered device created to perform a simple task, or build circuits and robots during Newton’s Lab three-day camps. Prices vary per camp; visit mindstretchingfun.org for more details and to register.
WHEN: Dec 21–23 and 28–30; 9am–noon (preschool) and 8am–5pm (1st–8th grades)
WHERE: Sci-Tech Discovery Center, Frisco
CONTACT: 972/546-3050; mindstretchingfun.org

For More Events Click Here: http://www.dfwchild.com/features/3221/Winter-Break-Camps--Clinics

Carrie Steingruber
PUBLISHED
December 2015 in DallasChild
UPDATED
November 23, 2015

Remember if you have any questions about family law, child custody issues or you need help with court preparation; we are here to serve you in the Dallas Texas region. Please call us today at Phone: 972-380-8000. 

 

Holiday Light Shows and Christmas Tree Lightings Worth Delaying Bedtime

Family Attorneys Texas Invites You To Holiday LightsIt's time to trim the tree, deck the halls and hang the stockings by the chimney with care. Now we are less than 2 weekends away from celebrating Christmas, and everyone here at Family Attorneys Texas wants to invite you and your family to see all the Holiday Lights and Christmas Tree lightings near Dallas.

Rita Boyd, here at Family Attorneys Texas wants you to remember that in the wake of a divorce or child custody battle, it's always important to remember to put your kids first. Sharing fun times is so easy over this Holiday Season. Dallas has so many wonderful activities for you and your family to share together. Remember is you have any questions about family law, child custody issues or you need help with court preparation; we are here to serve you in the Dallas Texas region.

So pack up the kids and head outside because the weather is delightful for a night’s drive, a carriage ride or walk down a twinkling lane to take in one of these magical holiday light displays.

Printed in Dallas Child, Fort Worth Child, and North Texas Child magazine for December 2015. Julia Bunch Words, and Stevan Koye Photography thanks for getting this together for all the families here in Dallas and surrounding areas.


Vitruvian Lights in Addison
Where: Vitruvian Park, 3966 Vitruvian Way in Addison
When: November 27−January 1 nightly after sunset
From sunset to sunrise, this 12-acre park displays an unbelievable light exhibition, where cypress, oak, birch and ash trees get wrapped in neon holiday lights and reflect on water ponds and fountains.
Bonus: On November 27, December 5, 12 and 19, the park will host live music performances, food trucks and St. Nick. On these evenings, snap a picture with Santa for free from 6−10pm, watch a balloon artist or dine on fare from local trucks, such as Easy Slider and Yummy Pizza.
Admission: Free
 
Highland Park
Where: Highland Park, loosely defined by Dallas North Tollway, Mockingbird Lane, Katy Trail and Hawthorne Avenue.
When: Every evening in December
Highland Park boasts some of the best-lit homes in the area thanks to a bit of friendly competition between neighbors and a pack of professional lighting services. While this sparkling night’s drive isn’t a regulated event, it’s definitely worth an hour or so to get you and your family in the holiday spirit. If you’d like a fairy-tale experience, catch a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. (Prices vary by carriage type and company and most accept online reservations.)
Bonus: Highland Park Village shopping center hosts its annual holiday celebration on Saturday, December 5. Let the kids take the token photo with Santa, get their faces painted or snack on sweet treats before taking a tour (by car) of the surrounding homes.
Admission: Free
 
Farmers Branch Tour of Lights
Where: Start at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Valley View Lane, and follow signs to Farmers Branch Historical Park at 2540 Farmers Branch Lane. 972/919-1433
When: November 27−December 30; 6:30−9:30pm
Themed fantasy, winter and patriotic holiday scenes captivate kids and adults on the .7-mile driving route that leads up to the Historical Park. Within the 27-acre park, see the historical general store and schoolhouse decorated in period-appropriate ornaments from the 1870s−1930s. Santa will be on site handing out candy until Christmas day.
Bonus: On Saturday, December 5 at 6:30pm, the Historical Park will light their iconic Christmas tree in style with fireworks, tours and hot cocoa.
Admission: Free
 
Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie
Where: Lynn Creek Park, 5610 Lake Ridge Parkway, Grand Prairie; 972/237-8100
When: November 26−January 3; 6−9pm Sun−Thurs, 6−10pm Fri−Sat
If you’ve lived around Dallas through a holiday season, you’ve likely heard of Prairie Lights. With over four million lights spanning 2 miles with hundreds of animated displays, your family will be seeing sparkles long after you exit the grand finale light tunnel.
Bonus: Stop at the halfway point to ride the carousel, take a photo with Santa or sip come hot chocolate, all included with the price of admission.
Admission: $20 per car on non-holidays and $35 per car on holidays; prices for busses and limos vary; laser shows and walk-through forest cost extra
 
Deerfield Holiday Lights at in Plano
Where: Loosely defined by Legacy Drive, Ohio Drive, Quincy Lane and Preston Meadow in Plano
When: The month of December; 7−11pm
Residents of this sub-division take their holiday cheer very seriously by competing in contests for the best houses. Mapped trails found on Deerfield’s website help you plot your route by car, carriage or Segway. Visit Deerfield’s website for details on reserving.
Bonus: Bring notebooks and pens on the drive or carriage ride to note your favorite displays. Text your votes for best overall, most traditional, children’s favorite and funniest light displays, then check in after New Year’s to see the winners.
Admission: Free
 
Christmas in the Square in Frisco
Where: Surrounding the Simpson Plaza on Frisco Square Boulevard
When: November 27−January 2; 6−10pm; activity availability and times vary
Come to the Come to the Frisco Square Property Owners Associations' Light Extravaganza to see the more than 175,000 sparkly lights, then  stay for the horse-drawn carriage rides, petting zoo, ice skating rink, train rides and music shows. Exact activity times vary so check online to verify.
Bonus: Visit on December 19 at 5pm to witness St. Nick parachuting into the square with two elves to kick off a special event night complete with a four-lane inner tube snow slide.
Admission: Free; activities cost extra

Interlochen Lights in Arlington
Where: Begin at the intersection of Randol Mill Road and Westwood Drive
When: Every evening in December after sunset
Forget the typical lined eves and gables light displays; this neighborhood in Arlington out does itself every year with inflatable characters, holiday scenes, fully wrapped trees and more. Grab some hot cocoa, and turn on the holiday tunes as you drive the 3-mile loop and enjoy the winter wonderland.
Bonus: Before you start, stop by the Randol Mill Park just down the road from the entrance to the light trail. Let the kids run, slide and climb on the impressive playground or pack a picnic dinner to eat at the tables.
Admission: Free
 
Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
Where: Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Circle, Fort Worth; 817/632-2218
When: November 26−December 31; 6−10pm                
Take a 2-mile sleigh ride — er, drive — to see more than 200 lighted displays of over 2 million LED lights. The drive leads to Santa’s Village, a 22,000-square-foot indoor area within the track of Texas Motor Speedway. In the village, snap a photo with the big guy, snack on treats from food vendors and craft some holiday projects.
Bonus: Bring an unwrapped toy to benefit Toys for Tots and get $5 off your admission price.
Admission: $25 per car; limos and busses vary
 
Whistle Stop Christmas in Cleburne
Where: Hulen Park, 201 W. Westhill Drive, Cleburne
When: November 23−December 31; dusk until 1am
After a lighting ceremony on November 23, the 25-acre park will sparkle with 3.5 million lights covering trees, holiday scenes, a gazebo and a 50-foot light tree. Let the kids take a train or horse-drawn wagon ride on Fridays and Saturdays.
Bonus: On December 4 at 6:30pm, a Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree-themed parade strolls through downtown Cleburne and ends at Hulen Park. Eat and shop at food and art vendors and listen to an Elvis impersonator concert while the kids take train, wagon and pony rides or snap a photo with Father Christmas and the Mrs.
Admission: Free; activities cost extra
 
Magic of Christmas Light Show in Grapevine
Where: Historic Downtown Grapevine, Main Street and Dallas Road
When: November 24−January 3; 6−11pm
This daily light show has become a tradition for the Christmas Capitol of Texas. This year, an all-new singing tree will belt some of your favorite holiday tunes while you enjoy the glimmering 25-minute performance running on a loop.
Bonus: Gaze upon more than 100 lit floats at the Parade of Lights in downtown Grapevine on December 3 at 7pm. Or, watch a water parade at the Twinkle Light Boat Parade on December 5 from 6−9pm on Lake Grapevine.
Admission: Free
 
Home for the Holidays in Southlake
Where: Southlake Town Square, 1256 Main St., Southlake
When: Nightly through New Years; events occur throughout December
After kicking off a month-long event series on November 21, Home for the Holidays keeps the 30-foot-high Christmas tree and Town Square lit until New Years. Visit during one of several kid-approved events, such as carriage rides in the square, breakfast with Santa or story time with Mrs. Claus. Find details online.
Bonus: No holiday affair would be complete without the man in the red suit. Stop by Rustin Park on weekends and select days (found online) to walk through Santa’s Village, take a photo with St. Nick and pen him a holiday letter or wish list.
Admission: Free; some activities cost extra
 
Six Flags’ Holiday in the Park in Arlington
Where: 2201 Road to Six Flags St. E., Arlington; 817/640-8900
When: November 21−January 3; daily hours vary, see site for details
Everything at this holiday event is interactive—from the Frosty Show Hill (think: sledding with a wild twist) to Carole Kringle’s Christmas Crafts and Karaoke for Kids. What else would you expect from Six Flags Over Texas? Take a gander at the 60-foot lighted Christmas tree, 70 twinkling trees and more than 1 million lights throughout the park.
Bonus: It wouldn’t be a holiday adventure without St. Nick. Board the SantaLand Express train to Santa’s workshop to meet the jolly man and his wife and tour of the workshop. The head elf is your guide until December 23.
Admission: $68.99 for adults and kids taller than 48 inches; $53.99 for kids shorter than 48 inches; free for kids under 2

Denton Holiday Lighting Festival
Where: Downtown Denton, surrounding the Denton County Courthouse at 110 W. Hickory St., Denton
When: December 4 from 5:30−9:30pm
Denton gets funky and festive with live music, food vendors and more before Santa flips the switch on the Christmas tree. Don’t miss kids’ arts and crafts, horse-drawn wagon rides and pictures with St. Nick.
Bonus: If you can’t make it out to the festival, the holiday lights and tree will be twinkling until New Years.
Admission: Free; activities cost varies
 
Holiday Lighted Parade and Tree Lighting in Coppell
Where: Parade route starts at Samuel Boulevard and ends at the Town Center Plaza in Coppell for the tree lighting
When: December 5 from 6:30−9pm
Catch the storybook-themed holiday parade with Santa and Mrs. Claus before heading to Town Center Plaza. Countdown to the tree lighting and jam with the Joel Cross Trio band. Let the kids write a letter to Santa to send to the North Pole; snack on cookies and hot chocolate; and dance, sing and play with Rudolph, the Gingerbread Man or Santa’s elves—all dressed in costume.
Bonus: Loads of glow sticks will be handed out during the event.
Admission: Free
 
Flower Mound Night-time Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting
Where: The area around Flower Mound Community Activity Center at 1200 Gerault Road. Find a parade map online. 972/874-6276
When: December 5 from 5:45−9pm
Enjoy a winter wonderland-themed parade before stopping by the Flower Mound Community Activity Center for outdoor activities such as a petting zoo, crafts, letter writing to Santa and pony rides. Don’t leave without sliding down the snow hill.
Bonus: If you can’t make it to the event, the tree stays lit through the New Year.
Admission: Free; food for purchase
 
Argyle Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting
Where: Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St., Argyle
When: December 5 from 3−6:30pm
Encourage the kiddos to search for elves in an scavenger hunt, get their face painted, decorate a tree ornament, watch a balloon artist and take a photo in the photo booth. The main event — the lighting of the nearly 30-foot tree — will take place at 6pm.
Bonus: Santa Claus arrives not by sleigh, but by fire truck to take photos with kids.
Admission: Bring canned food or an unwrapped toy as an entrance fee. Food for purchase.

Published December 2015

February 18, 2015

By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Department of Family and Protective ServicesIn Texas, efforts to improve child protection may be bearing first fruit. In the past, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has been plagued by underfunding, caseloads over twice the industry standard and a whopping 26% annual turnover rate for caseworkers. That’s resulted in cases of children known to be at risk falling through agency cracks while less urgent ones receive caseworkers’ attention. Agency rules, regulations and policies are so cumbersome, and paperwork so time-consuming that a report last year revealed caseworkers spend only about 26% of their time on the job with families in need. Here’s what My Fox Austin reports:

  • The agency officially started their "Transformation" back in August. Part of that was to get feedback from staff. There has traditionally been a lot of turnover rate. Caseworkers had said they were overloaded and bogged down with paperwork. Some of them have as many as fifty cases. And an independent report blamed that for the reason higher priority cases had fallen through the cracks...
  • Last month a legislative committee proposed ninety-seven changes to the agency most of which deal with how the department is governed, "The bill has been filed and basically there was a process with Sunset Commission of looking at those statues and we propose they ask us to go through Sunset and ask us for as many deletions in the Family Code," [DFPS head John Specia] says.
  • There has also been other legislation filed to help better protect kids. One bill proposes to cap case loads for workers at around 15 — another would enforce the child safety alert checklist.

Additional reforms would include increasing press access to the workings of the agency, the better to inform the public.

Read more here (My Fox Austin, 2/13/15).

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Suite 300
Addison TX 75001
Phone: 972-380-8000
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