I hope to raise children who behave in a museum, enjoy visiting the theater and see art as a form of expression. Though my girls are only 2 and 4 years old, there are still so many opportunities to expose them to the local art scene. Here are some ideas for the next couple months, many of them free or low cost, to help your children appreciate the arts.
The Sunday Times and Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit will present the 13th annual Art for All Seasons Student Artist of the Month exhibit starting this Friday and running through the month of March in the Scranton Times Building lobby, 149 Penn Ave. An opening reception will take place Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. as part of Scranton’s First Friday Art Walk. This is a great opportunity to meet the student artists and find inspiration.
Take a class at Spirited Art in Dickson City. The studio has classes for preschoolers, parent and child classes and even summer camps. I’ve taken several of the adult classes, and I love them. I hope to check out the Electric City Art Studio at the Marketplace at Steamtown, Wonderful in Moscow and Abington Art Studio in Clarks Summit.
Go to a high school musical. West Scranton High School’s drama club will present “Shout! The Mod Musical” starting Thursday, and Lakeland Curtain Club will present “The Sound of Music” starting Friday. Check out Access NEPA’s event calendar for a full listing of shows. High school musicals are great entertainment for a low price. Before I pay for tickets to Scranton’s Broadway Theatre League or tickets to a show in New York City, I want to make sure my kids can remain in their seats and enjoy a show.
The Scranton Cultural Center’s youth theater events are another great, inexpensive option. Check out “Wilma Jean the Worry Machine” on Saturday at 11 a.m. The musical celebrates diversity with empathy. Sounds perfect. My 4-year-old went to a children’s show last month with one of her best friends from preschool. The show easily kept the attention of two preschoolers. The Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA also offers great children’s shows and the opportunity for children to act on stage.
Expose your toddlers to music during a Tots and Toddlers Music Class at the Waverly Community House. Children dance, beat drums and sing. We did this class when my oldest was 1 1/2- 2 years old, and she loved it. I need to sign up my youngest daughter ASAP.
Local colleges and universities have strong music programs that offer (usually) free concerts. Check out the upcoming events at Marywood University and the University of Scranton. Marywood even has a string program for children ages 5-18.
Create your own masterpiece at home. Visit the craft store, buy some paints and canvases and let your child be an artist. My older daughter loves it when I make time to color or draw with her, and our refrigerator has become an art gallery.
What are your ideas? Email me at email@example.com.
Sarah balances life as a reporter for The Times-Tribune and as the mom of two little girls. A graduate of Ithaca College, Sarah started covering education in 2006. She has received awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association, Inland Press Association and Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association. She lives in Clarks Summit with her husband, their daughters and their sweet pug, Sadie. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 570-348-9133 or @HofiusHallTT.