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Keeping the Kids Engaged Over Spring Break

Nurture your son or daughter’s creative spirit with these artistic activities.



Whatever your destination this spring break, the Bay Area offers many opportunities for your mini-Monet to find a creative outlet. Here are a few suggestions from East Bay art history teacher Meg Honey.

Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek offers educational tours of its beautiful setting, and allows young people to get up close and personal with native plants and succulents of all kinds. After finding inspiration in the Garden, head to San Francisco’s de Young Museum for the stunning Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keefe and Lake George exhibit, where budding artists can examine O’Keefe’s unique perspective and presentation of the flowers, fruit, and landscapes of the Adirondack Park region of New York.

While you’re in San Francisco, take in the beauty of the Palace of the Legion of Honor’s surroundings and architecture while you visit the Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art traveling exhibition. For those young people who fall in love with Degas’ iconic ballerinas, Diablo Ballet is staging spring performances throughout the Bay Area, bringing the artist’s images to life. If your young visitor is inspired by the architectural grandeur of the Palace of the Legion of Honor, be sure to schedule a trip to The Adventure Playground in Berkeley. Future architects will love creating, building, painting, and riding the famous zip line around this beloved outdoor facility chosen as one of America’s top ten playgrounds by National Geographic.

For the artistic types who want to get their hands (face, hair, clothing …) dirty, be sure to check out the drop-in studio time at the Museum of Children’s Arts in Oakland. During select hours, children can work with a featured museum artist and create their own masterpieces. Habitot Children’s Museum in Berkeley offers young artists a paintable wall, clay, and a mixed media table where creativity is cultivated and exploratory discovery is expected.

Don’t forget about our local college art galleries. Saint Mary’s College of California’s Museum of Art features works from around the world and includes more than 100 photographs by Andy Warhol. The museum accepts free passes from Contra Costa Library cardholders, and the campus offers visitors a beautiful place to stroll after your museum visit. The UC Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive invites kids to create art related to its current exhibits. Using a variety of materials, children can work with artists-in-residence and learn about the incredible collection housed there.

Other artistic adventures: The Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito)Studio Grow (Danville)Color Me Mine (Lafayette, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek)Fashion Knit knitting classes (Walnut Creek)

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Added: 2017-03-07

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