Quick, before standardized tests turn your kids into standardized thinkers, give them a chance to let their natural creativity rule. This weekend, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas is hosting Family Arts Day, dedicated to bringing out the free-thinking geniuses hiding inside their school uniforms. The program's theme, "Pictures Paint 1,000 Words," comes from AMSET's current exhibit by Texas native Chuck Russell, whose narrative art uses surprising combinations of pictures and words to tell its stories. Russell takes some of his inspiration from rock lyrics, and AMSET will bring in local rock group Buffalo Blonde to light a musical fire in your munchkins' minds.
And speaking of fire, the day's main attraction should be a blazing-hot draw. AMSET will have a controlled burn on its grounds all day long, and your little maniacs will be encouraged to capture the flames -- in art. Red, orange and yellow paint will be provided. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, February 7. 500 Main in Beaumont. For information, call 409-832-3432 or visit www.amset.org. Free. -- Lisa Simon
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You can never have too many party favors. The Aurora Picture Show is passing out loads of free balloons for a screening of Albert Lamorisse's classic kids flick The Red Balloon, a 34-minute short with virtually no dialogue. It starred the director's son, yet it's no amateur affair: The touching tale earned Lamorisse the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1956. 3 p.m. Saturday, February 7. 800 Aurora. For information, call 713-880-5565 or visit www.aurorapictureshow.org. Free. -- Keith Plocek
The 13th floor is always a place of mystery. In Profiles in Black, a new play by Celeste Bedford Walker, the 13th floor has latent political overtones: It's where three children discover the hidden annals of black history. Their explorations will teach kids from all backgrounds about some of our nation's most important artists and activists. 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Friday, February 6. Heinen Theatre, 3517 Austin. For information, call 713-759-1314 or visit www.expresstheatre.com. $5. -- Keith Plocek