Boundless spirit. Endless curiosity. Sudden boredom. Weekends and snow days with restless kids in tow, from toddlers to teens, can be a challenge for even the most skilled parents. When the playground is not an option and sports fields are ice-packed, there is another alternative. Arts provide activities to help channel childhood creativity and energy. Here are several suggestions of cultural activities fun for children and their stir-crazy parents alike.
- Courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art
- The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Make & Take activities offer aspiring artists of all ages the chance to create their own masterpieces.
Destination: The Indianapolis Museum of Art
Ideal audience: All ages
The IMA wants to get the entire family involved in learning about and creating visual art. Coming in February, weekend visitors can celebrate Norman Rockwell's "The Love Song" through a collage Make & Take activity in the Star Studio. On the second and fourth Saturday of each month, get hands-on at Hold It! carts in the museum's permanent collection.
Destination: Tin Comet Coffee's Children's Music Hour
Ideal audience: Babies to preschoolers
Mr. Daniel (Paquette) performs original children's music at the 10th Street coffee shop every first Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon. Paquette made music in Indianapolis and beyond for more than a decade before becoming a parent. Now he's cultivating an enthusiastic audience in the urban hipster preschool set.
Cost: Free -- or the price of a cup of joe for dad.
- Courtesy of the Center for the Performing Arts
- At the Center for the Performing Arts’ monthly Peanut Butter & Jam Saturday morning music series, children get to touch instruments and meet musicians following a brief concert.
Destination: The Center for the Performing Arts' Peanut
Butter & Jam Series
Ideal audience: 1- to 7-year-olds
This monthly series lets kids explore, hands-on and through artist interaction, music and dance. On Feb. 1 at 10:30 a.m., Iibada Dance Company visits to showcase African dance and storytelling. Additional spring events feature Celtic, jazz and klezmer music, where children can also touch and play with musical instruments.
Cost: $10 per child, 2 free adults with every kid ticket.
Destination: The Indianapolis Art Center
Ideal audience: 2- to 17-year-olds
From tiny tots learning to draw to surly teens working out angst with steel sculpture, the Art Center wants to get your child making masterpieces. One-time classes (Lil' Pops) and multi-week series allow young artists to try out new media or commit to one creative adventure.
Cost: $10 - $200+
- Michael Anthony
- In addition to Indy Reads Books’ Saturday story time, many families enjoy the store’s policy of selling children’s books for just $1 apiece.
Destination: Indianapolis Public Library
Ideal audience: Varies by program
The library offers a range of programs, including yoga, music-making, opera performance and Dr. Seuss, through programs that visit every branch. At "Singin' Time with Miss Bobbie," babies and preschoolers are invited to raise their voices in song and try out their best dance moves. School-age kids can learn the art of face painting later this spring at the library.
Destination: Indy Reads Books
Ideal audience: Newborns to elementary-age kids
Each Saturday at 11:30 a.m. moms, dads and little literary enthusiasts gather for story time at this nonprofit store. Volunteer readers often let the audience select the books, create a casual environment (read: safe for quick meltdown exits) and share children's tales. Every first and third week, canine listeners join the group from PAWS and Think. And, when you're done, each kids' book is only $1 -- and proceeds support adult literacy.