Have you ever had a weekend that you just want to enjoy again & again? I felt this way last Saturday after my kids and I ventured to downtown Raleigh for the 2015 Artsplosure. Artsplosure is a family friendly festival that showcases artists and performers from all over the area. This year Artsplosure was celebrating its 36th anniversary. This was also the first year it was being held over a 3 day (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) period. Artsplosure had an Art Market & live music on Fayetteville Street while right down the way all children’s events were being held at Kidsplosure in Moore Square park. If you are from N.C. you might know that this is where the Acorn drops for New Year. Check out Raleigh’s famous Acorn…
Saturday afternoon I packed up my 3 kiddos and headed downtown. Now as any good Mommy does before you leave the burbs for the city you look up where you are going to park the van. Raleigh has tons of parking downtown, but this was such a huge event I didn’t want to get caught circling the city. So, I went to the Artsplosure website and it showed me helpful parking options along with what events were running that afternoon. I found a perfect $5 all day space at City Market right across the street from Moore Square. Whoop, whoop! 🙂
Kidsplosure had been running events all day from featured artists from puppeteers, drum circles, face fainting, aerial performance and much more. We walked in close to 5:00 in the afternoon & there were still booths open. music blaring and lots of fun things to keep my kids busy & engaged.
The first exhibit we stopped into was the Community Birdhouse Project. This exhibit was overflowing with colorful bird houses that were decorated by local artists & art students. These were functional birdhouses, but honestly they were so beautifully crafted they would look amazing displayed inside. Check out some of my kid’s favorites.
Icing on the cake….the Commuity Birdhouse Project also had a Young Collector’s Mart where only kids under the age of 15 could shop. Artists who were involved with Artsplosure donated their art pieces to this shop so children could purchase. Everything in the shop was under $20…perfect! There were so many pieces (jewelry, paintings, hats, etc.) I was eyeing & trying to nudge my daughter to buy for me…since I was a bit too old. Didn’t happen..hee, hee! My daughter found some beautiful amethyst handcrafted earrings & a matching pendant that she purchased for $13…wow! 🙂 She was so proud of her purchase & loved the idea that she had her first art piece from Artsplosure.
Keeping with the bird theme we walked (well, my kid’s ran when they saw this bad boy) across the park and went to “Birdtown”. Honestly, I had never seen anything like this before nor dreamed of something so elaborate. Imagine a humongous bird house with many rooms for kids to run through…all made out of sturdy cardboard. My kid’s mouths dropped when they saw how massive this house was. Children were running through doors, peeking through windows pretending like they were birds. Birdtown was a place where children can get lost in their creativity and really just soar. Many of the other parents along with myself just sat back and watched our children play & get lost in their imaginations.
After moving on from Birdtown we spotted the face painting booth by Paint Savvy. I was familiar with Paint Savvy because over the years I have seen their booths at local events & their face painting is gorgeous. Plus, you can’t leave an art festival without a little face paint & glitter. My younger two jumped in & this is what they came out with….
Hmm…wish I could have gotten my done. Well, there is always next year! 🙂
After face painting there was still more to see. We went to Sandy Feat (“feat”…get it!) where award-winning sand sculptor & architect, Ed Moore, along with his team were constructing an elaborate bird house all from sand! Can you imagine the talent, patience & steady hand you must have to build something like this? We just stood in awe watching them work.
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Another highlight to our evening at Artsplosure was the exquisite multi-colored piano that sat in the middle of Moore Square park. This piano was painted by local artist, Dare Coulter, and its bright colors & beautiful orange keys beckoned my daughter to play. The night before this the kiddos had their piano recital so coming across this beauty was right on time! (One of my favorite parts of our evening was gathering around the piano watching a woman play and sing an Indian classical song then afterwards a man jumped on and played Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. Art bringing a variety of cultures together….beautiful!)
Our last exhibit of the evening was Miss Sandra’s, The Spin Art Lady, booth. My kids had never done spin art (heck, I hadn’t either) so this was intriguing. The kids first choose their canvas…a frisbee & a drawstring backpack….art & play mixed in one…yay! 🙂 Miss Sandra put each item in the magical barrel & let the kids choose their colors and go at it. Take a look at the process & the beautiful keepsakes they created. Such a perfect momentum for a perfect day! Check it out…
Here are a couple more shots from our visit to Kidsplosure during the 2015 Artspolosure. We all had a blast & I can’t wait to attend next year especially if continues to be 3 days. This is a perfect event for a stay-cation with your family. Enjoy the beautiful art, live performances and shopping then afterwards grab a yummy meal at one of the local restaurants downtown. However, don’t forget to get your face painted, too! I know I will….2016 Artsplosure here we come! 🙂
Have you visited any local attractions that your city had hosted that you’ve really enjoyed?