Art meets grandparents

Ian’s Corner at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix

Grab a grandparent (gently) this weekend and celebrate National Grandparents Day together with a lovely bit of arts and culture. Museums with special Grandparents Day activities include the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, the Phoenix Art Museum and the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix offers free admission to grandparents this Sun., Sept. 9. The museum’s art studio is open 10am-3pm for children who’d like to make a refrigerator magnet, a little something grandparents can never have enough of.

There’s plenty to explore beyond the art studio as well — including cozy spaces for reading together, a child-size supermarket complete with carts and cash registers, a giant climber (best to let the kids climb while the grandparents admire them), hands-on exhibits and more.

You can even treat the grandparents in your life to some time in the Children’s Museum of Phoenix gift shop. Perhaps they’d enjoy being pampered with some new books for storytime, a feathering wand and sparkling tiara, a nifty piece of scientific equipment or some puppets for rainy day playtimes.

The Phoenix Art Museum opens an hour early (at 11am) for members this Sunday, and there are several special activities taking place from 11am to 3pm (others can enjoy them starting at noon). A newly installed PhxArtKids gallery, described by the museum as “a visual exploration of how color, math, science, and art intersect,” opens at 11am.

A new scavenger hunt will be available from 11am to 3pm, as will opportunities to “make a paper silhouette portrait of your family” and “sketch collaboratively.” Thirty-minute family tours take place at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm and 2:30pm — and storytimes are scheduled for 11:30am, 12:30pm and 1:30pm. The museum’s cafe is offering a free kids meal with every adult entree purchased.

Arizona Museum for Youth also offers free admission for grandparents on Grandparents Day, and has special activities planned from noon to 3:30pm. It’s also the last day families can enjoy the “Extreme Pets” exhibit featuring animal-inspired art and hands-on activities. They’ve also got a multigenerational tea party for mothers, daughters and granddaughters scheduled for Sat, Sept. 15.

The City of Mesa currently offers free admission to three museums the first Sunday of each month thanks to a “3 for Free” program presented by Target. Participating museums include the Arizona Museum of Natural History, Arizona Museum for Youth and Mesa Contemporary Arts (located at the Mesa Arts Center).

Click here to learn more about National Grandparents Day, which was inspired by Marian McQuade of West Virginia and established by President Jimmy Carter during the late ’70s, here to explore facts about grandparents in America and here to find additional family-friendly events taking place this weekend and beyond.

— Lynn

Coming up: Cross one off the bucket list

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