The old adage may be “April showers bring May flowers,” but in McKinney, we don’t have to wait until May to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. It’s safe to say that the heavy rains we had in March have already contributed to some beautiful colors and foliage around town. And in April, the sights can only get better!
Enjoy the first full month of spring with a wide variety of fun activities, with major emphasis on “all things art!”
Celebrate Nature Family Festival (4/14; 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) This one-day outdoor festival features live concerts, “green” and other vendors who want to support nature and The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, interactive animal presentations, kids’ activities, guided trail tours, and canoe/kayak demonstrations. Guests will also enjoy our Live Animals of the World and Animal Superheroes exhibits, and the Native Texas Butterfly Garden.
McKinney’s Farmers Market at Chestnut Square Historic Village begins its regular weekly season (4/7, 14, 21, 28; 8 a.m. to noon. Monthly at Chestnut Square , you can enjoy Ghostly Haunting Tours held the third Saturday; tours of the grounds and homes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 11 a.m.; and trolley tours of the historic district which leave Chestnut Square every second and fourth Saturday at 11 a.m.
For those wanting to get some exercise for a great cause, McKinney’s Relay for Life event will take place at the main ballfield at the Ballfields at Craig Ranch (4/27-28).
Easter Photo Ops
The city-sponsored annual Easter Egg-stravaganza (4/7) features family fun at Al Ruschhaupt Soccer Complex located at 1986 Park View Ave. This free event starts at 11 a.m. Have the kids’ pictures taken with real, live bunnies (4/7) when you make an appointment for the Easter Bunny Photo Shoot, available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Children can take a bunny home for the day on Sunday on availability.)
April is Arts-Crazy!
McKinney is busting at the seams with artist offerings in April.
The Heard-Craig Center for the Arts hosts the monthly free Art History Brown Bag lunch-time discussion (12:30-1:30 p.m., 4/4). The gardens at the Heard-Craig House are once again the site of the annual April concert series, Music in the Garden, featuring free concerts on Thursdays (4/5, 12 & 19). The Young Artist Competition of the McKinney Musical Arts Society takes place in the Heard-Craig Performance Hall (4/13-15) while the 48th Annual Collin County Art Show fills the hall and gallery (4/20-22). People who enjoy making crafts will enjoy the Pinterest Party (4/12) in the hall, with all attendees leaving with a completed project of their choice. Then near the end of the month, women will fill the hall for Ladies Night Out (4/26), a fun evening of arts, shopping and food-tasting that serves as a popular annual fundraiser for the Heard-Craig Center for the Arts.
The Young Actors Guild of the McKinney Repertory Theatre offers a thought-provoking spring coming-of-age story dealing with Nazis and Jewish death camps, “And a Child Shall Lead” (4/6-8) on the Courtroom Theatre stage in the McKinney Performing Arts Center. Also at MPAC this month are pianist-singer Charlotte Martin (4/13) and Country Music Award-nominated singer-songwriter Collin Raye (4/20).
And of course, you can try your hand at African drumming every month, courtesy of Drums Not Guns on any Saturday morning at Old Settlers Recreation Center or during the Fourth Friday Drum Circle in Mitchell Park.
The monthly Second Saturday arts events including the regular monthly gallery exhibit openings and live music will take place that evening as usual (7-10 p.m.), but during the day, visitors to the square will enjoy Arts in Bloom (4/14, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.). The event’s activities include:
- Art Walk with artists displaying and demonstrating their art along the sidewalks and in some of the businesses on the downtown square;
- Chalk Walk when the sidewalks around the McKinney Performing Arts Center come to life with incredible chalk art;
- MISD Student Art Show in the MPAC gallery; and
- DD and the Studebakers perform jukebox favorites from the 1950s and 60s in the MPAC Courtroom Theatre (7:30 p.m.).
The Second Saturday (4/14, 7-10 p.m.) art offerings include the following:
Garret Art Gallery will be featuring McKinney resident Jenny Archbold, a graphic/commercial and fine artist who works in pencil, ink, pastel, watercolor and acrylic. 111 E. Virginia St., 972-548-9361.
Over at Laura Moore Fine Art Studios, artists featured during Arts in Bloom are Elaine Adams, Amanda Beller, Linda Chidsey, Audrey DeFord, Shayna Duvarney, Pernie Fallon, Julia Forsyth, Sona Knox, Elizabeth Lane, Don Matschull, Laura Moore, Nathaniel Smyth, Joseph Taub, Amy Taylor. Then that night for Second Saturday, Laura welcomes artist Nathaniel Smyth for the opening of his exhibit, Character Studies. 107 S. Tennessee, 214-914-3630.
Debra Linker at The Artist’s Loft will host artist Lynne Hubner teaching a Whiteline Print Workshop from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with students creating 6″X 8″ multicolored prints through the use of this technique developed in 1915 New England using one woodblock, one carving tool, watercolors and a spoon. We will cover image transfer to the block, carving and inking techniques. Students should come to class with drawings and or photo reference. Call 972-345-6311 for details.
Orisons Fine Art and Framing Gallery welcomes well-known Taos Master Artist Charles Collins in his return to the Dallas area to open his only Dallas-area exhibit. Collins will be bringing several original oil paintings rarely seen outside of his gallery, the oldest gallery in Taos, New Mexico. 110 E. Louisiana St., 972-529-1441.
2nd Saturday Magic Show: Each Second Saturday, the Main Street Magic & Fun Company hosts a Cabaret Style Magic Show at 7 or 9 p.m. in our Magic Attic Theater. Tickets are only $10 and include a complimentary glass of wine for those 21 and older. Children are admitted to the 7 p.m. show. Seating is very limited so call 214-274-7802 to reserve your tickets. 211 N Tennessee Street.
Also on the second Saturday, the popular “Music Under the Stars” concert series opens its 2012 season at Wales Manor Vineyard & Winery as Jon Christopher Davis takes the stage with special guest Byron Dowd.
Performers from across McKinney will take the stage later in the month (4/20-21) for the annual McKinney Has Talent competition, our city’s version of American Idol, hosted by the McKinney Repertory Theatre on the MPAC stage. Then the last weekend of the month (4/28), American Passport: A Journey Through the World Music, hosted by the Cultural Concert of International Music, will provide attendees with a glimpse of the world through the eyes and music of children.
Garden, Animal & Farm Fun
Myers Park & Event Center offers a month of wide variety as always with the Collin County Master Gardeners will have a garden tour (4/4, 972-548-4219); dog and livestock shows including Lone Star 4H Horse Club (4/7; 972-658-5201); Dallas Agility Working Group (4/14-15, 972-540-1413); Ducks Unlimited banquet (4/19; 972-658-1961); and Chisolm Trail Texas Longhorn Association cattle show (4/21; 254-630-0053); Basic Ag Field Day (4/27; 972-548-4233); and the Collin County Master Gardeners plant sale (4/28; 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; 972-548-4219).
Also, the Collin County Farm Museum located at Myers Park is offering another Model T class (4/14, 10 a.m.-noon) when attendees get a hands-on course in starting the museum’s 1911 Model T. (There are more steps to it than you’d think!)
(A second session to be held at a later date will cover the actual driving of the car and is open only to those completing the first class.) Myers Park is located at 7117 CR 166.
Here are a few events for which we’ve just received details:
- The 2nd Annual WAM Chef’s Challenge (4/19) at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club involves chefs from Bailey’s Prime Plus, Louisiana St. Grill, Holiday Inn and Suites, and Stonebridge Ranch Country Club competing for the win! WAM will be supporting a great cause this year, the Children and Community Health Center McKinney.
If you learn of something else going on in McKinney this month, please let us know. As always, you can learn more about McKinney’s events by visiting VisitMcKinney.com and by downloading our free Visit McKinney Texas Smartphone app. (For links to the Apple Store and Android Market, click here.)