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ArtPrize Highlights For Kids

Matt Milhouse

ArtPrize is a lot of fun for both kids and adults.  There is plenty to see, but taking the kids to ArtPrize requires a little preparation.  Attention spans are a shorter and legs get tired a little quicker.

I’ve put together a few of ArtPrize’s highlights for kids so you can maximize your family time and fun this year.

ArtPrize entries that are great for kids aren’t always ArtPrize front-runners.  Although there have been exceptions such as “Steam Pig Experiment” and “Elephant Walk”.

Large animals seem to have been a formula for success over the past couple of years.  Whether these entries deserve a top ten finish isn’t the issue.  I’m just trying to identify entries that kids will like.

Here’s a few to check out with the kids.

  1. The Kevin Kammeraad and Friends Puppet Theatre at Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.  I brought my kids to the show on Thursday.  They loved it.  Kevin has the kids (and grownups) singing and dancing along for half an hour.  There are 6 shows every day so finding time to catch one shouldn’t be a problem.  Shows are at 11:30am, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, 4:00pm, 5:30pm, and 7:00pm.  Try catching the show towards the middle of your trip to ArtPrize to give your kids a chance to sit down and relax for a minute before doing some more walking.
  2. Christopher Hoyt’s “Mustache Yourself” at Grand Rapids CC Spectrum Theatre.  This is just fun.  Christopher has put vinyl graphics on the glass walls and doors at GRCC Spectrum Theatre.  The graphics are ArtPrize orange and are all of hair.  Sideburns, mustache, beards, you name it.  Simply stand behind the glass and put your face up to the graphic then have someone on the other side snap a photo.  The simplest things can be so much fun.
  3. Sparta’s Robert Shangle is back as a live statue at The B.O.B. again.  This year his son joins him with their work entitled “Under Construction”.  My kids were in awe.  They didn’t want to leave.  Once we finally left one of the live statue’s gave them a quick wave.  I swear it’s true.
  4. “Tonku Truck” by Dale VanDerMeer at Huntington/50 Monroe Place.  It’s a giant Tonka Truck made from the frame of a 1992 Jeep Cherokee.  Nice ride.
  5. “Deinonychus” by Joseph Krajkiewcz at Van Andel Arena.  It’s a life-size steel dinosaur that stands about 5 feet tall.

I’ve only listed five choices for kids here, but there are dozens more.  Please let us know your favorite ArtPrize entries to share with the entire family.




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