Fancy handwork, fur, feathers and food will keep this weekend fun and interesting for folks of all ages. Activities stretch from Plano all the way north to Sulphur, Oklahoma and east to Bonham, so fill up the gas tank and take a weekend road-trip. It’ll be worth the drive.
1. Sleep with a portrait
Don’t just keep those portraits of loved ones hanging on the wall or adorning a table. Let them keep you warm too! This Thursday, quilting expert Leo Ransom will give a program on creating his favorite quilts — those adorned with portraits. He’ll go over manipulating photos to use, determining fabrics and layers and all the other needed details. The program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Creative Arts Center, 200 W. 5th, in Bonham. Though it’s free to attend, donations which go to the center would be appreciated. Call 903-640-2196 for more details.
2. Get that eagle eye
Grab the binoculars, camera and walking shoes so you can check out the nation’s highflying symbol — the bald eagle — this Saturday and/or Jan. 28. Take a scenic drive to Sulphur, Oklahoma, stopping first at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area’s Travertine Nature Center for a 9 a.m. ranger program on eagles. The group will then caravan to the nearby Lake of the Arbuckles to observe eagles in their natural habitat until 11:30 a.m. The Chickasaw Cultural Center, also in Sulphur, will show the PBS documentary “Nature: American Eagle” at its Anoli’ Theater at 1 p.m. Original artwork from a series of eagle-based children’s books will be on display at both centers plus there’s tons of other great stuff to explore at both sites, so plan on an all-day adventure. All the events and locations are free and open to the public. Call the recreation area at 580-622-7234 or visit www.nps/gov/chic or call the cultural center at 580-622-7130 or go to www.chickasawculturalcenter.com.
3. Just eat a ‘tater
You have to eat, so grab a baked potato lunch and help a great organization this Saturday at the Travis Masonic Lodge 2817 in Sherman. From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., the Carpenters Chapter #183, Order of the Eastern Star will host the tasty meal which features a hot, baked potato plus all the toppings, a salad, dessert and drink. You can even get one to go! All this for just a $5 donation and you don’t have to make reservations or call ahead.
4. Trains, trains and more trains
Does the sound of that long, lonesome whistle and the click-clack of wheels against an iron rail draw you like an ant to a picnic? Do the mini-versions of those steel horses grab your interest, as well? If so, don’t miss the annual Dallas area model train show, hosted by the North Texas Council of Railroad Clubs. The show will be this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Plano Centre, 2000 E. Spring Creek Pkwy. in Plano, just east of U.S. Hwy. 75. Some 24 area clubs will be involved, bringing enough operating model train layouts, products, videos and information to keep you busy the whole time. Admission is $8 for everyone age 12 and up. Everyone younger will be admitted free of charge. Get all the information you need at www.dfwtrainshows.com.
5. It’s chili in Durant
It’s cold and damp, so heat up with a big bowl of chili this Thursday. The Durant FFA and 4-H groups are holding a chili dinner and auction fundraiser from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the Bryan County Fairgrounds, 1901 S. 9th Avenue. You’ll pay $7 in advance or $9 at the door for a bowl of chili, dessert and drink. A silent auction will continue throughout the day and a live auction begins at 7 p.m. There will also be giveaways to some lucky folks. Proceeds will help both of the groups of students.
6. Squirrel away the day
They’re brownish red with bush tails, natural-born athletes, and masters at snagging nuts and such (including bird feed from protected feeders), not to mention driving dogs crazy. It’s the lowly, little squirrel and that will be the topic this Saturday of the monthly youth (ages 4 to 12) program at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Sherman. The free program for youngsters will run from 10 until 11:30 a.m. at the Visitors’ Center at the refuge. A parent or responsible adult must accompany children in the 4-to-7-years-old group. Registration is needed to insure there are enough materials. Go to www.friendsofhagerman.com/Youth or call the refuge at 903-786-2826.
7. Get in the habi-tater
Potatoes and homes have more in common than you think, especially if you’re eating said potatoes to help build a home. That’s exactly what the annual Habi-Taters fundraiser is for Habitat for Humanity of Grayson County. The popular event starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the Sherman Municipal Ballroom, 405 N. Rusk in Sherman. Besides a full-blown baked potato dinner, there will be a silent auction. Tickets are $15 and are available by calling 903-893-0009. For more information, go to www.graysonhabitat.org.