Kids’ Art Fest
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
11 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
Sept. 28, noon-5 p.m.
grcm.org, (616) 235-4726
The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum offers some outdoor art exploration during ArtPrize and just for the kids on Sheldon Avenue, Library Street and Veteran’s Park, adjacent from the museum. Get crafty at 12 art stations, each featuring a different activity so little ones can experience painting, pastel drawing, a sculpture station, jewelry making and weaving opportunities. “It’s a chance to try out different art forms while looking around ArtPrize. It’s a chance to try out what they are seeing,” said Marketing and Events Manager Adrienne Brown. There’s even an entertainment stage with live performances and presentations throughout the day. We’re talking singers, dancers and jugglers, too. Each artistic creation can be taken home with the exception of a community mural project children may add to. Try different art forms free from the worry of doing it wrong. “If kids don’t like it, they can go on to the next station," Brown said. "It’s about art as expression and kids especially can use it when they can’t find the words for it.”
Be an Art Detective!
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo
Sept. 13, 11:15 a.m.
kiarts.org, (269) 349-7775
Find out what happens when kids really take the time to stop and look at art. Join Arty the mouse detective for children’s stories that teach them to love and appreciate art. The library at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts offers a new program filled with story adventures the second Saturday of each month. Come hear the book Look, Look, Look, head into the gallery to view a painting (adults and kids get in free), solve a puzzle and make a craft to take home. “Children hear the book then head into the gallery to look carefully and see things in the art,” said Malcolm McBryde, librarian at the Mary and Edwin Meader Fine Arts Library at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Guests will love hearing a story and will enjoy heading into the gallery with their parents to explore. “They are learning to see art in a way that makes sense to them—something they can see and things they understand and can connect to.”
Play with Your Food!
435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Sept. 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
$35/includes one adult and one child
The Downtown Market kicks off West Michigan’s art season with a creative class for families to get crafty and play with their food. Parents and children can make artful dishes by cutting up veggies in the shape of a flower and adding ranch dip or try their luck at low fat Greek yogurt parfaits with homemade granola topped with a ladybug decoration made of strawberries. There’s even time for sugar cookie paintings using food coloring. “Playing with food is important as far as introducing children to healthy foods and to steer away from processed foods and it’s fun to use food from the market,” says Executive Chef Instructor, Sarah Herman. This teaching kitchen is geared toward ages 5 to 11 and is a great way for families to bond and spend time together promoting healthy attitudes toward food that parents struggle with. Leave the food rules at home and explore all that the market has to offer, inspiring healthy eating that hopefully carries through to adulthood. Scholarship programs are available for those on limited incomes.
Live Mannequin Night
Sept. 19, 7-8:30 p.m.
holland.org/events, (800) 506-1299
A fun Friday is in store when you head to downtown Holland for the Live Mannequin Night. Participating businesses artfully decorate their window fronts and shops for sightseeing. The theme is Comics and Cartoons, which should appeal to kids, kids at heart and those interested in the art side of the drawings and comics. “It’s fun not just for kids but for everyone to see,” said Marketing Coordinator Kara de Alvare. “To see how merchants interpret the theme always amazes me and how much time and effort they put into dressing the mannequins and dressing the windows.” From comic books, Sunday paper cartoons, Saturday morning television cartoons and some full-length cartoons such as Disney movies, kids will enjoy pointing out many familiar faces. Plans are in the works for projects including the X-Men, Dora the Explorer, Popeye, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Mickey and Minnie mouse. “Dora appeals to children, while Beetle Bailey appeals to parents and a wider audience.” Rain or shine, families can come downtown and dine, shop and gaze into the wonderfully decorated windows.