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Exploring St. Louis: Artsy Play Dates

2014 January 26
by Becky

St. Louis is rich with cultural institutions, Grand Center alone boasting 12 museums and galleries, plus Powell Symphony Hall, The Fox Theater, and Jazz at the Bistro. Within a three mile radius we have all the arts covered. And while we may not be art experts or theater “buffs” (although we do make it to several shows each year), attending evening openings and schmoozing with the creative crowd that is so abundant in this city, during the day we’re excited to check out the family friendly events many of these respected establishments have to offer. 

Not surprisingly, they are very cool.

Artsy Play Dates: St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum Free Craft Day

Like the Contemporary Art Museum‘s stroller tours and craft day, held one Wednesday of every month. We’ve attended this free event and loved it, it’s actually quite popular and often very busy. The kite Ethan made at one craft day still hangs on his bedroom wall, he every so often points and says, “I made that!” Just tissue paper between two sheets of clear contact paper, a few long ribbons hanging from the bottom and some wooden dowels taped on for support, this adorable project is colorful and durable…the perfect toddler craft. He ran up and down the courtyard “flying” his kite with the other kids while parents munched delicious pastries and sipped coffee in the sunshine. Before leaving we wandered amongst the gallery, gazing at the beautiful artwork. Though the courtyard would be too chilly, these kinds of events are PERFECT of passing the winter months.

Artsy Play Dates: St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum Free Craft Day

We recently checked out another free event at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts as they have just started a “Reset” series, which is basically a week of programming between art installations which included a few sessions family events called “Bamboo for Kids”. I found out about it through Perennial, an organization with which I’m proud to be involved. Jen at Perennial is a genius at using found items to create new things, in this case old t-shirts and industrial mop threads (not joking…she’s ridiculously crafty) became colorful materials to pull, push, stack, jump on, and hide under. My favorite part was watching both parents and kids come up with unique ways to use the plush objects. Like the mom who created an obstacle course or the kids who, without talking to or knowing each other, banded together to roll a giant “blob” across the room, running over a few parents on their way. A member of the Folk School provided wonderful musical entertainment for the kids and even took requests, to which Ethan shouted out “Somewhere Over the Rainbow!” like his life depended on it. The gentleman was all too happy to oblige.

Artsy Play Dates: St. Louis Pulitzer Foundation For the Arts Free Event for Kids

Artsy Play Dates: Pulitzer Foundation For the Arts Free Event for Kids

Artsy Play Dates: St. Louis Pulitzer Foundation For the Arts Free Event for Kids

After playing for a while, the kids had fun running up and down the empty corridors of the gallery, looking out over the steamy central water feature in the courtyard, and munching snacks provided by the Pulitzer. It was a fabulous way to burn some energy sheltered from the freezing cold temps. One we haven’t tried but is on our list is the St. Louis Art Museum‘s “Wee Wednesdays”. It sounds like a great experience for 3-5 year olds and their parents and consists of an hour-long museum experience including a gallery tour, story time, and a hands-on art project. Ethan has school on Wednesdays but hopefully these will be happening during the summer!

Other cultural events we play to check out include St. Louis Symphony’s Family Concerts, the Young People’s Concert Orchestra free family concerts, wander through the fantastic (and free) Laumeier Sculpture Park, or Friday story times at the Missouri History Museum. I’m on a mission to find more of these events—actually I’m working on some blog updates which include an events calendar to keep track of all the awesome family (as well as some parent-oriented) things happening in STL!

So stay tuned.

And if you know of some artsy kiddie events, please share!

Interested in checking out Perennial? Come learn more at the next ReMake event, February 20, at Firecracker Press. I’ll be there! 

2 Responses
  1. Michelle Bernth permalink
    January 27, 2014

    Please do the calendar!! I don’t know how you know about all this stuff, but I need you to put it all in a calendar.

    • Becky permalink*
      January 27, 2014

      Awesome! Glad you’d like it. Look for it in March.

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