edamomie

An Exploration of Parenting by the Vowel

Currently a Good Thing for Ages Cradle to 8 February 20, 2011

O: Outings

Today’s Rock the Cradle event at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) / Children’s Theater seemed and huge success despite the small blizzard pending. Since the snow started at 9:30a.m., many savvy event-going parents planned to get to this event early today to beat the crowds and the snow. We almost opted out entirely, but my 7-yr-old daughter and I decided to go, based on previous experience. The rest of the family voted to stay home and play cards.

 

RTC Crowd

RTC Crowd

We arrived at noon and there was nowhere to park – the surfaces lots, three parking ramps and streets were full. (Note: my earlier blog about ease of parking, getting in and out, apparently only applies to the monthly family programming, not this annual event.) We waited at least 10 minutes for an on-street parked vehicle’s owner to brush her car down and leave so we could grab her spot. Worth the wait.

 

We were greeted in the lobby by a Current staffer who handed us a program and coupon book. There were arrow signs on the windows and around both buildings directing people. There was plenty to do between some specific things with start and end times and other things going all day long that you could just happen upon. By 12:10 the tickets for the free hourly puppet shows were all but sold out – there were a few remaining for the 3:30 performance.

 

Moving from the Children’s Theater to MIA, we took our seats to hear Chris Monroe, the cartoonist and author, as she sat in a big overstuffed chair on the MIA Pillsbury Stage and read three of her books while the pages displayed behind her. Ava, my 7-yr-old, was annoyed with all the babies crying and kids talking. Monroe read over the din and chattering (which died down by book two) and even seemed to find it and rediscovering her own stories amusing. Ava liked the Sneaky Sheep best and I enjoyed the Monkey with a Tool Belt and The Noisy Problem story including monkey’s elaborate tree house with an elephant stuck in his laundry chute.

 

RTC: Passport, Coupons and Coloring Book

RTC: Passport, Coupons and Coloring Book

Still in the MIA, we popped into the Musical Petting Zoo. Too loud, crowded and possibly past piquing her interest since she’s technically at age 7.75 and the event touts its programming as appropriate for ages 2-8.  We did wander around the MIA to find art carts complete with passports to stamp upon your visit to each one. Now this intrigued her. She recapped what she learned about the mummy in the Africa area through the Art Adventures program and stamped “Grace” in Chinese at the China art cart to take with her to see if she could replicate at home.
RTC Merchandise

RTC Merchandise

Then back over to the theater side. We just missed Koo Koo Kanga Roo and only joined the Kid’s Disco area briefly with Dave Campbell. This area feels like a winter picnic. Parents literally plop down anywhere on the floor with all their gear and people just maneuver around. Ava got some good snacks courtesy of Mississippi Market and a tattoo from Pizza Luce. We do some browsing in the central theater area where books, cds, t-shirts and merchandise is for sale. We got some cool Current buttons. I don’t recall there being a coupon book last year, but this year’s seems a good value with partners like Blooma Yoga, Crave, MN Children’s Museum and Creative Kidstuff with deals in the mix.

 

What next? A quick look outside to see it’s still snowing. We decided to head it out as planned at 1:30. True to form, another 1.5hour outing.  Because I may only have one more year left for kids to fit in the event’s target demographics, I’m glad we made the effort to attend what’s currently one of the best winter arts and music outings for parents and kids in the Twin Cities.

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Keep on Rockin in the Free World February 18, 2011

OP: Outings Preview

Window Seating Only

Window Seating Only

My dial doesn’t oft move from Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) (91.1) on my morning commutes. If it does, it goes over to the Current (89.3). Even during the membership drives, I am not turned off. I revel that the show hosts are able to say the same thing in one million different ways and counting. It’s a message that resonates with me and all of MPR/Current members: Minnesota Public Radio is a free service, but the info and insight it brings to your life and our community is of value and needs to be supported with monetary contributions. Plus get free stuff, discounts and all sorts of perks if you do – see their very robust member page.

 

As Marianne Combs of MPR chimed in on the Current for yesterday’s weekly focus on art, she talked about the upcoming Rock the Cradle free event on Sunday, February 20 from 11:00a.m. – 5:00p.m. at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts/ Children’s Theater. The Current DJ’s will be reading stories during the event. Via the on-air-dialogue, I could sense a genuine excitement by Steve Seel to read Punk Farm. After a quick check of the schedule of events for the day online, I’ll also be sure to attend cartoonist Chris Monroe’s reading of The Sneaky Sheep – I’m fairly certain my 5-yr-old Calvin will want to go since he’s all about cartoons now.

 

Quietly Petting the Drums

Quietly Petting the Drums

Combs also piped in about how great it is that kids can touch, feel, play and experience musical instruments. I thought back to last year’s event when we stood in line to test out the drum set and piano in the area they’ve termed the Musical Petting Zoo. Let me assure you, the drums are impossible to “pet.” Bring your patience and earplugs if you’re sensitive (… I can listen to my own kids bang away on the drums, but other peoples’ kids… how annoying!)

 

Speaking of other people’s kids, I’d like to encourage all parents to attend with their kids. No, wait, that might make it too crowded… Although I guess it does hurt much because most hip parents I know are already planning to go. It can be tough to find seating for the concerts (go early or even late, I’d advise). We stood in the back during the musicians last year and created a spontaneous dance floor of sorts.

 

It's Black. It's White.

It's Black. It's White.

The band area was a blast last year with Koo Koo Kanga Roo, who will be there again this year, no doubt playing Lava Tag or Rollin in the Minivan. The kids packed the dance floor. The lights were low like an adult concert event. There was strong gourmet coffee for the parents which was much needed by the time 2:00p.m. rolled around. After all, we needed to keep up with the kids, who were rockin in the free (concert) world, courtesy of MPR/Current and MIA/Children’s Theater.

 

 
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