First, have you marked your calendar and synchronized your watches? Tonight is the night I’m appearing live on The Coupon Project. Tune in at 8:00 to watch Angela Russell and I dish on all things fun and frugal. Angela says to let you know that you may see a little ad at the start of the webcast. Stick with it, and we’ll come right up.
With that out of the way, I’m pleased to announce “Museum Mondays.” Why Museum Monday? Well, I love museums, and I love alliteration (yeah-I’m a pretty big nerd). Put the two together and…voila…Museum Mondays! I’ll be featuring museums big and small, and if that sounds a little intimidating, don’t worry! I promise I’ll give you the scoop on which museums are the most kid friendly and how to keep the outing affordable.
Today I’m going to tell you a bit about The Tacoma Art Museum. We went here for the first time when my younger son was 3, and let me tell you, I lost a few pounds in sweat trying to keep him off the paintings, sculptures, and (gulp!) pieces of glass art. Here’s a hint: Even if the sculpture looks like a chair, you are not supposed to sit in it!
As you might guess, I’d suggest waiting on this outing until your children are old enough to understand a few, simple museum rules. Most 5 year olds and some 4 year olds will be fine here. For grade school children, it’s a feast for the imagination!
The museum has both permanent collections and rotating exhibits, and when you come in you can borrow a sketch pad and pencil to take notes or do drawings of art that inspires you. A fun idea for a first visit is to preview the current exhibits online and see who can be first to find the art in real life.
Once you’ve had your fill of looking and admiring, the real highlight of this visit is the Open Art Studio. Honestly, if your kids are not the stand and gaze types, you have my permission to go straight here. What’s the Open Art Studio? It’s a fully stocked space where kids and adults can make real art and use real artists’ supplies, all for free. You may choose to use one of their kits, which are filled with supplies and decorations inspired by the art in the museum, or just let your little artists choose a paint and paper of their choice and create! The first time we did this I was a nervous wreck. My kids and oil paint? Really? Once I took a few deep breaths, I was fine. Just dress them in something that can get messy (there are also aprons available). There are usually volunteers on hand to help with clean-up, but please do your part!
How to keep this outing under budget? Every library in Pierce County (yes, every single one) has an Art Access Pass that will get up to 4 of you into the museum for free. Kids under 5 are always free. You go to the library and check it out just like you would check out a book. Show it when you arrive, and just like magic, you’re in! You can also get in free between 5-8 on third Thursdays, but I’d do the pass so you can pick a less crowded day. The Open Art Studio is a fairly small space, and you want to have room to create.
You will have to pay 2.oo an hour to park in the garage, or you can park on the street and feed the meter, as Tacoma recently went to metered parking. An even better option is to park at The Tacoma Dome station and take the link, which can be an activity all by itself!
What else is coming up on SFM? This afternoon, I’m launching a really cute giveaway. I’ll also have more ideas for rainy day activities, as it looks like you’ll need some. Later this week, there will be trick or treating options galore.
I have to figure out what to wear for my webcast, so go have some fun, and I’ll see you back here a bit later.