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Indoor Activities for Arizona Kids: The Phoenix Art Museum!

Hey, Valley moms!  Does the Arizona heat have you searching for indoor activities for your kids?  Do you need to add some variety to your Splash Pad/Library/Children’s Museum/Play Structure at Fashion Square summer rotation?  Do you have older kids that need some indoor activities of their own when it’s 117 degrees outside? There may be a great resource that you’re forgetting:  The Phoenix Art Museum!

photo credit:  phoenix.org

photo credit: phoenix.org

I am sure some of you just pictured a horrifying scene in which your boisterous toddler accidentally runs into the “Venus de Milo” and sends it crashing to the floor in a million pieces, right?  Have no fear!  The museum is family-friendly and truly a worthy experience for all ages.

This summer, you’re really in luck.  From June 16th-September 29th, The Phoenix Art Museum is hosting “The Art of Video Games”, a touring exhibition from the Smithsonian.  Here’s the synopsis: “The Art of Video Games is one of the first exhibitions to explore the forty-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies. It features some of the most influential artists and designers during five eras of game technology, from early pioneers to contemporary designers.”

Do you have kids over the age of 9?  They will think you’re the BEST MOM EVER (and maybe even pick up their socks!) if you surprise them with a visit to this exhibition.  My teenager, Zoe, is a gaming fanatic–so much so that he wants to work for the development department of a gaming company in a few years! He is SO excited to go check this out! He was practically raised in museums, so it’s quite comfortable for him.  MOM HINT:  If art museums, history museums and the like are important to you, begin exposing your children to that culture at a young age.  They are never too young to start appreciating the world beyond their backyard (or too young to practice their “inside voices” and good manners!)

pacman-2Aside from touring the exhibition itself, there’s a slew of related programming including a Curator’s Talk, a long list of film screenings, and hands-on workshops and events. Care to play an old school game of Frogger? Yes, please! Do you have an older child who is a budding artist?  They can come dressed as a favorite video game/anime character and spend a day drawing live models with experienced artists!

Do you have younger kiddos?  Check out the FAMILY page on their website.  The museum does a great job of creating activities for younger children (and their parents!) to enjoy.  Elementary school children can even check out a “Kid Pack” from the front desk at no additional charge–it’s a backpack full of scavenger-hunt style activities designed to pique their interests in current exhibitions.

Our family will be heading to the Phoenix Art Museum later this month to check out “The Art of Video Games”–I’ll check back in and let you know what we thought!

Aside from the usual suspects, where in the Valley do you take your kids to beat the heat?

Please post your creative ideas and undiscovered gems below!

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