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Cultural Family Outings to Ring in 2015

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Looking to unite your family around a common cause in 2015? Sure, sports offer the chance to cheer, restaurants provide palate-pleasing adventures and outdoor activities give kids ways to expend extra energy. But one surefire way to build new connections and ignite interesting chatter is an artful outing. And, happily, Central Indiana's cultural institutions aren't holding back this January.

Check out our ideas for staring the New Year with a heavy dose of arts and culture.

Kick of the new year with kid-friendly cinema, jazz for juniors, and history that's crucial to Americans of every age.
  • Kick of the new year with kid-friendly cinema, jazz for juniors, and history that's crucial to Americans of every age.

Make Your Mini-Me a Movie Lover

Indy Film Fest launches a new series this month -- Cereal Cinema. In partnership with the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Athenaeum, some of Indy's most ardent film fanatics are screening classic kid-friendly flicks on the first Saturday of the month -- and offering a buffet of cereal choices. Tickets are $5 and the series opens with An American Tail at the IMA at 10 a.m. on Jan. 3. The event also marks the first Family Day at the museum. Future screenings include The Princess Bride, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. More info is available on the Indy Film Fest website.

A Polynesian Performance

Carmel's Center for the Performing Arts aims to develop the next generation of arts advocates with its Peanut Butter & Jam series. At each event families have the chance to experience a live performance, touch and play instruments and ask questions of the various artists who perform the shows. The first event for the new year features Indy Hula, a group that brings modern and ancient dances from Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, the Marquesas, Tahiti and the Cook Islands to Central Indiana. Consider it a Tahitian treat -- without the high fructose corn syrup. These events are ideal for kids aged 1 to 7 years old, and tickets are $10 per child with 2 free adults for every kid ticket. More details and tickets are available on the Center's website.

You've Got the Beat

Give kids an interactive introduction to jazz at the Central Library through the Hot Jazz for Cool Kids! Series that kicks off Jan. 11 at 3 p.m. This first concert of the year features local drummer Kenny Phelps, who introduces children of all ages (and probably a few parents, too) to the building blocks of jazz, including rhythm, melody and improv. These concerts are presented in partnership with The Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and Indy Jazz Fest, which means that the audience is guaranteed to learn from talented local musicians at each event. Get additional information on this free series from the Indianapolis Public Library website. Check out Phelps' handy work:

History for The Partaking

For nine days this month, you'll have the rare chance to glimpse the parchment on which two central documents in American history were written. The recently restored Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment are making their way to the Indiana State Museum Jan. 10 - 19. The artifacts are rarely on display, due to their fragility, so this is a unique chance to see two of the most important pieces of Abraham Lincoln's legacy that helped bring an end to slavery. The exhibit is included with museum admission. Find out more about the documents on the museum's website.

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