The Crocker Art Museum Unveils New Art Spot PL!NK, and Kids Love it!

Sacramento is a wonderful family town with a plethora of events, activities and venues for children and families. Perhaps one of the most surprising places in Sacramento to welcome children is the West Coast’s oldest public art venue, the Crocker Art Museum. While the Crocker has welcomed children for years, they have really stepped up their game within the last several, opening exhibit after exhibit and offering class after class geared towards children of all ages as well as their parents and caregivers.

In an effort to better understand what kids enjoy and how they learn, and with funding in part from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and First 5 Sacramento, the Crocker developed an experimental Art Spots program that features four experiential installations designed for children ages 5 and under. The first Art Spot, Gato – a mellow, but mesmerizing exhibit featuring a giant cat – opened in May.

The museum’s newest Art Spot exhibit PL!INK opened just a few days ago. While Gato is housed in the museum’s historic building, PL!NK is perfectly situated in the light and airy Teel Family Pavilion, the museum’s modern addition. Comprised of more than 100 tetrahedron clusters of mirror and colorful plexiglass, PL!NK is meant to be an immersive experience where children can experiment, explore and even create their own shape-based, interlocking sculptures to add to the colorful collection that shines with light reflected from the windows of the room.

The artwork isn’t just something to see, it’s interactive as well. Guests have the opportunity to insert themselves into the artwork as tiny cameras capture and magnify their images and display them in a real-time video playback effect as if a kaleidoscope within the artwork. They also can hear their experiences play back to them by talking into a storytelling station that voice-records their stories about what they see, hear, do, touch, feel and create within PL!NK. What kid doesn’t love to hear their recorded voice play back to them in a fun and creative way? It’s pretty awesome. PL!NK will be on display through Oct. 29, 2017.

What’s up next for the Crocker’s child-centric Art Spots? The very popular Tot Land will soon be completely revamped and a new creation by Bay Area artist Martin Webb unveiled. The new Tot Land will feature a life-size wooden boat that will allow children to hop on board and let their imagination soar. Tot Land will close briefly at the end of August and re-open on Sept. 10, 2017. And opening in Nov. 2017, the last Art Spots exhibit will be open to the public. Wingding will be yet another interactive exhibit that lets children learn through play, experimentation and creative collaboration.

What: Art Spots: PL!NK

When: Now through Oct. 29, 2017

Where: Crocker Art Museum, Teel Family Pavilion

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Mom of Four Small Children Braves the Crocker Art Museum and Leaves with Very Happy Kids

With four kids under the age of seven, I’m always looking for new ways to get out of the house AND beat the heat. Tired of splash parks and not wanting to go to an indoor play place, we found ourselves at the Crocker Art Museum.  I had been to the Crocker once before, many years ago, for their Wee Wednesday program (which was wonderful!) – but this time we’d be walking around the museum on our own and I was particularly worried about how my 3 and 4-year-old would fair.  I did a little research and found that the Crocker Art Museum offers something called The Story Trail.

If you want to take your kids on the Story Trail, just pick up a book called “Birdy’s Museum Adventure” at the admission desk and it takes you on a little scavenger hunt through the museum. My kids loved it! We were able to walk through many different galleries, ending in Tot Land which was by far everyone’s favorite stop.  It’s a very inviting space where the kids performed puppet shows, read books, and made crafts.

Over all I was very impressed with how kid friendly the Crocker Art Museum is. Not only did the Story Trail keep my kids engaged, but the museum staff was incredibly helpful. As soon as we left the admission desk a docent approached me and suggested a few exhibits the children might enjoy. Another docent encouraged the kids to touch an interactive exhibit (which they were thrilled about since the “no touching” rule had been firmly established!).  And I was thrilled that the museum offers free admission to children age 5 and under.

In addition to Story Trail and Tot Land, the museum offers a host of other kid-friendly activities and events. For babies and toddlers, there’s Wee Wednesdays, a gallery-based art experience, Baby Loves Art where babies and toddlers are free to roam the galleries while interacting with each other,  and Sunday Playday, a program that helps to support school readiness. Older kids will enjoy Sketch It, a drop-in art instruction program, Kids & Co. Gallery Adventure, an educational tour for children five years and older, and Wonder Lab, another drop-in art making program where kids with disabilities are especially welcome. For more information on all of the Crocker’s kids programs, click here.

We can’t wait to go back!

By Kate Nally



 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat, Drink and Create Masterpieces with your Kids at Art Bistro

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Anyone else have an aspiring Picasso in their household? My daughter loves art… drawing pictures, painting, and pottery, creating extraordinary masterpieces out of recyclables… yep – we love art of all kinds!

A couple of years ago when the whole “paint and sip” craze came to Sacramento, I was excited to take my daughter to experience a night out of painting. Sadly, due to my daughter’s young age, we couldn’t find a place that allowed  those under 21 years old, due to the presence of alcohol. Luckily, I finally found Art Bistro in Rocklin! Art Bistro is located at 6848 Five Star Boulevard in Rocklin (right off of Hwy 65). They offer painting, drawing and pottery classes, as well as an open studio to create on your own.

Unlike other “paint nights” hosted at different venues, Art Bistro offers classes throughout the month to anyone ages 8 and over. They have a great selection of bistro items – sandwiches, pizzas, salads, appetizers plates, etc. to munch on, and for those who are of age and choose to have an adult beverage, they also sell those as well.   The painting classes are approximately 2 hours and they urge you to arrive early so you can order, eat and be ready for the lessons.

We chose to visit over Mother’s Day weekend and my daughter painted me a beautiful bouquet of flowers…one that I will have forever and not worry about watering. While she was getting the instructions on how to paint, I was wandering around the studio and learned that they also offer the “drop in” studio, which is similar to other ceramics places around town and you can choose a ceramic item to paint and they will glaze and fire it for you (at a fraction of the cost of some of the other places).

So if you like to paint, create or draw, this is a great place to stop in and check out. They also have “Live music and Open Mic” nights for those who are more creative with their singing voices.   During the summer, they host Summer Camps for kids and open studios throughout the week. They open for lunch at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday, close at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.

For 2 hours of painting instruction and a beautiful canvas of flowers that my daughter painted for me, it was only $35. They almost always have coupons and for 2 hours of entertainment, it’s a great deal. The food was tasty and they have a nice selection of drinks to choose from.   Between the open studio, classes and party choices- I’m sure we will be back to visit Art Bistro.

By Heather Crivellone

Our Top Winter Break Activities to Keep your Kids Busy

winter-breakIt’s winter break for most kids in the Sacramento area and some parents are wondering how to keep them busy.  We have plenty of options in the Sacramento area and here is my top list of things to do with my crazy and active kids:

Sky High Sports is an indoor trampoline center located at 11327 Folsom Blvd in Rancho Cordova.  They have open bounce hours, dodgeball, AIRobics, special days for those with “special needs”, family and great holiday discount packages.  For the kids who are a little older and have lots of energy to burn, this is the place to take them! Admission is $12 per hour.

Bounce U has 2 locations, one in Roseville (7611 Galilee Rd) and another in Rancho Cordova (11280 Sanders Dr).  Both locations offer open play sessions of bouncing fun – all with slides, bounce houses, obstacle courses and more.  Check their website for specific days and times each location is open.  They have two different sessions of open bounce – one for the children who are 7 years of age and younger and one for all ages.  This will help in making sure your little toddlers don’t get trampled by the bigger kids!

Roller Skating and Ice Skating is always a great way to burn energy indoors.  Sunrise Roller Lane (6001 Sunrise Vista Drive, Carmichael) has several weekday sessions to choose from.  Admission is $8 and skate rental is $3.  Skatetown Ice Skating Rink (1009 Orlando Avenue, Roseville) is a premier facility that currently has both indoor and outdoor ice skating available.   Holiday rates include the price of skate rental and are $15 general admission and $13 for ages 10 and under.  Both roller skating and ice skating sessions have “learn to skate” times for those who may not be quite as comfortable on skates.

Check out one of our local museums: California Aerospace Museum, Sacramento Powerhouse Museum, Sacramento Kids Museum and the California Railroad Museum to name a few.  Each museum has interactive exhibits and is a great way to spend time with the kids, learn a few things and stay warm during these cold winter mornings.

Get busy creating a unique masterpiece at Color Me Mine Ceramics studio.  Choose a ceramics option (vase, trinket box, statue, bowl, etc) and spend hours painting and creating your own unique project.  Locations are in Elk Grove, Folsom and Roseville. The cost of the items are dependent on what you choose, but the best part of painting at a studio is that the mess is contained, they do the firing and glazing of the pieces and all the cleanup is taken care of- this is my kind of art project!

So even though it may be cold outside and the kids are bouncing off the walls, you don’t have to resort to turning on the TV and playing video games all winter break.  Go out, explore the city, get active and have fun creating memories with your children.

For information on SNOW PLAY, click here.

By Heather Crivellone