Children's Museum participation in its first Arts Walk makes fest even more kid-friendly

Contributing writerApril 25, 2013 


    What: The free twice-yearly arts festival features visual and performing arts by everyone from professionals to kindergarteners at 128 downtown businesses and on the streets of Olympia.

    When: 5-10 p.m. today; noon-5 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Throughout downtown Olympia

    More information: 360-753-8380 or Maps and listings of venues and artists are available at participating businesses and at The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. N.W., Olympia.

Kids, this one’s for you.

Of course Arts Walk — the weekend when downtown businesses become galleries and streets become stages — is a big event for pretty much everyone – or at least it feels that way when you’re trying to navigate along the sidewalks of Capitol Way.

But the 46th Arts Walk, happening tonight and Saturday, offers a lot for the younger set to see and do.

Probably the biggest news is that the Hands On Children’s Museum is celebrating its first Arts Walk downtown with free admission and activities tonight (5-9 p.m.; 414 Jefferson St. N.E.) and free tours Saturday.

“The exciting thing is that we’ve never been on Arts Walk before,” said museum director Patty Belmonte. “We were outside of the Arts Walk zone” at its former location at 11th Avenue and Capitol Way.

Tonight also is a rare chance for grownups not accompanied by kids to freely explore the museum. Normally, adults without children are allowed only on accompanied tours. But on Saturday, tours are free; regular museum admission will be charged for children and parents who want to explore on their own.

“That will be fun for adults who want the opportunity to go through and play with the exhibits, even if they don’t have kids with them,” Belmonte said.

The museum will offer kids a chance to make “tree buddies” with green yarn “hair” and create redwood-tree wall hangings as tall as they are. There’ll also be special art and science activities in every room of the museum, Belmonte said.

The Olympia Timberland Regional Library also has a craft for kids tonight — making paper birds with artist Nora Walsh (5-8 p.m.; 313 Eighth Ave. S.E.).

It’s the first time the library has celebrated Arts Walk this way, said library spokeswoman Leanne Ingle. “We’re thrilled to be doing it,” she said.

The library will be transformed for the weekend into a children’s art gallery, showing animal and plant figurines, and sock kitties made at recent workshops with Walsh and artist Ruby Re-Usable, also known as Diane Kurzyna.

And tonight, there’ll be live music performed by kids, too, including Sambalincolnwa, Lincoln Elementary School’s own samba group (5:15 p.m.). Among the other Arts Walk offerings for children:

“Cinder Edna” previews: The Olympia Family Theater previews its upcoming original musical in its Playspace (every half hour between 5-8:30 tonight; 112 State Ave. NE).

Make a home: At the Family Support Center, kids can create and decorate two-dimensional homes from felt and color pictures of homes (5-8 tonight and noon-3 p.m. Saturday; 108 State Ave. NW).

Pet the Instruments: Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia (SOGO) hosts this Arts Walk tradition at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts (1-4 p.m. Saturday; 512 Washington St. SE).

Zackery Puppy stories: Author Beverlee Boe reads at the Eagles Hall (1:30 p.m. Saturday; Plum Street and Fourth Avenue).

Face painting and more: Olympia’s Department of Parks, Arts and Recreation has kids face painting (applied by the Lakefair Royal Court), a craft (by the Hands On Children’s Museum), bubbles and sidewalk chalk. Keep in mind that they are at a new location this year because The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is in the midst of a facade reconstruction. Find them from 5-9 tonight in front of Timberland Bank, 423 Washington St. SE.

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