Kids have an insatiable appetite for entertainment. As a Bay Area parent, you want your kid to grow up in a cozy nest of diverse cultural experiences, so I've compiled this list of art events that are fun for kids and palatable (or even enjoyable) for adults.
Sand Castle Building 101 and Sand Castle Contest
Class Sept. 14, Contest Oct. 12
Ocean Beach (Great Highway and Balboa Ave., SF)
LEAP, a San Francisco arts education provider for youth, will host a sand castle building course, followed by their annual contest at Ocean Beach a month later. This year's contest theme is "Masterpieces in Sand," and this reporter will be there as an official judge.
For registration and information, visit leaparts.org.
Yerba Buena Family Day
Yerba Buena Gardens and surrounding museums, SF
It's a block party for one of San Francisco's most artistic neighborhoods. Enjoy free admission at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, MoAD, and the Children's Creativity Museum. There'll also be plenty of kid-friendly art-making activities, acrobats, clowns and music by Lilah Downs and her band (1-2:30pm), among others.
For more information, visit ybfamilyday.org.
Luna Park Chalk Art Festival
Backesto Park (N. 13th and Jackson St., San Jose)
Local artists will rock out with their chalk out at the sixth annual Luna Park Chalk Art Festival, but it doesn't stop there. Beyond the chalk masterpieces and arts and crafts vendors, you and the kids can enjoy food trucks and live music from bands with fun names like Ukelele Jams, Cuatro con Tres, and This is Embarrassing! Dance groups Movimiento Cosmico, Aztec and Empire Garden Folklorico will also be getting down at the Chalk Fest.
For more information, visit lunaparkchalkart.org.
Jam Band Family Festival
Sept. 22, Oct. 27
The Park Chalet Garden Restaurant (1000 Great Hwy., SF)
Sit back and enjoy the "kid folk" and family tunes from bands like Orange Sherbet and Hullabaloo while sipping a cocktail or Shirley Temple as you relax in the Adirondack chairs on Park Chalet's lawn. Afterwards, cross the street for a walk on the beach to make sure the little guys get fully tired out.
For more information, visit jamjamjam.com.
Storybook Puppet Theater
Weekends, three shows daily
Children's Fairyland (699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland)
Children's Fairyland is a delightful throwback that has entertained generations of Bay Area kids. Their puppet theater lineup for fall includes Tashi, a Boy from Tibet (through Oct. 27) and Hans Christian Anderson's The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (starting Nov. 1).
For more information, visit fairyland.org.
SFMOMA's Mark di Suvero Family Day
Crissy Field (1199 E. Beach, SF)
Mark di Suvero's massive metal sculptures have taken up residency at Crissy Field, a place with plenty of grass for running and playing. Participate in a full day of hands-on art-making activities designed for kids aged four to 12 while enjoying music and poetry and marveling at the mighty metal works up close. For more information, visit sfmoma.org.
Finding Meaning in the Mess
Through Sept. 29
The Bay Model Visitor Center (2100 Bridgeway Sausalito)
Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang collect tons of plastic from the beach and repurpose it into colorful sculptures. For your environmentally conscious kids, spend time identifying the debris and take advantage of this teachable moment while enjoying the Langs' creativity. Then check out the Bay Model, a giant scale model that simulates the Bay Area's tides and currents. (The Langs also have an exhibit, The Ghost Below, with large sculptures made of fishing nets, at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands through the end of the year.) For more information, visit spn.usace.army.mil.
Rooftop School Residency and Art Exhibition
Tenderloin National Forest and Luggage Store Gallery Annex(509 Ellis St., SF)
Rooftop students experience a robust, thematic art program every year with a focus on community. They work with professional artists and participate in the local art scene themselves. They'll be exhibiting their work at the Tenderloin National Forest, the Luggage Store Gallery's park and public art project, with a celebration and performance by Marcus Shelby. Rooftop students are currently collaborating with artist Flo Oy Wong around the theme "coming together."
For more information, visit artsed4all.org.