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Veteran ArtPrize moms and dads, thanks for sharing your ArtPrize tips for making the most out of this popular annual event. Yes, everyone can have a blast at ArtPrize–no minimum age required!

September 19-October 7, 2018

ArtPrize is an extremely popular Grand Rapids event, especially on evenings and weekends. If ArtPrize is new to you, or if this is your first visit with kids, take a minute to read over these great tips to maximize your visit. You CAN visit ArtPrize with kids and have a blast!

Here’s a summary of what West Michigan moms and dads recommend for getting the most out of ArtPrize:

Timing is Everything at ArtPrize

  • If possible, go on a week day! I cannot emphasize enough what a difference this makes!
  • If you do go on a weekend, stick to the more spacious, outdoor venues and use our ArtPrize Family Walking Tour  to find places that are easy to navigate.
  • Don’t miss the ArtPrize’s fun Workshops and Activities. Watch our ArtPrize Family Friendly Events post for special happenings on the day you go. They have STEAM lab, Mobile Workshop and more.
  • ArtPrize runs September 18 – October 7, 2018. Monday – Thursday, most venues are open till at least 8:00 PM. Friday and Saturday many venues are open till 10:00 PM and on Sunday till 6:00 PM.  If you have a specific venue you aim to see, please check their hours before going.

Places Families Need to Know About

  • Public restrooms. There are restrooms in Ah-Nab-Awen park as well as participating hotels. Also, DeVos Place serves as a good potty stop.
  • Parking. Downtown is packed for ArtPrize, but there are lots of ramps and other parking available. If you’re looking for free parking try under the 131 overpass to the west of the Gerald R. Ford Museum or at Park Church (10 East Park Place NE).
  • ArtPrize Visitor Pavilion at Rosa Parks Circle. Friendly ArtPrize volunteers can help you register to vote and answer questions.

Don’t Forget Key Equipment for Adventuring With Kids

  • Dress in layers. The weather gets much cooler in the evenings.
  • Bring snacks and drinks. Many venues are outside, making it a perfect place to munch. Or bring a picnic and stop for lunch/dinner along your way. I just know that my kids are happier companions with snacks and you can wander exhibits a lot longer if kids aren’t hungry.
  • Bring the smallest stroller you have, or use a baby carrier. Wagons are not recommended. 
  • Wear comfortable clothing and footwear. You will be walking a lot!

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Engage the Kids at ArtPrize

  • Give older kids CAMERAS to snap pictures of things they find interesting.
  • Older kids can also bring a little bag or purse to collect ARTIST TRADING CARDS. Go through them together at home.
  • Bring a smartphone and let your older kids help you VOTE for your favorites.  (Download the ArtPrize app for easy voting.)
  • Participate in places where kids can CREATE ART.
  • Bring a NOTEBOOK for older kids and have them draw their favorites. It keeps them busy at each piece so the adults can stop and actually look at the art instead of seeing it all at 75 miles an hour…. plus, the kids end up with a cool ArtPrize notebook.

Look up the Art Ahead of Time

  • Culled with families in mind, our ArtPrize Family Walking Tour can help you find art recommended for children.
  • Look up any venue you are unsure of to find out if there is material there you do not want your kids viewing.

Do you have any other tips to share? Please leave us a comment so other moms and dads can benefit from your knowledge!

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