Making art fairs a family outing is popular around the country. It exposes children to art and artists as a young age and fosters appreciation for creative works. The St. Croix Valley is full of opportunities to have family fun in artful ways.
This September, Take Me to the River will offer an array of family friendly art activities. Perhaps you will start a new tradition at Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival in Hudson. During this Saturday and Sunday festival, Lakefront Park will be filled with artist booths, demonstrations, live music and dozens of hands-on kids’ activities like hula hoops and painting an art canoe.
Across the St. Croix in Stillwater, kids young and old enjoy a stop at Valley Bookseller. This locally-owned, independent book store carries a wide range of books including local interest and authors, indie best sellers and an impressive section for middle grade readers and young adults. Grab a Mad Libs and continue the family fun on your drive north.
Why North you ask? Because two not to be missed family friendly experiences take place is Shafer, Minnesota. On Saturday, Franconia Sculpture Park transforms into an all ages party for their annual Art & Artists Celebration as they officially unveil new works created this summer by artists from around the country. Enjoy food, music, artist-led tours and hands on activities throughout the 43-acre sculpture park.
Local glass blower, Alan Honn, will be demonstrating glass blowing techniques during the Art & Artists Celebration. Al is known for following the “glass cowboy” tradition of design and production by a single artist. Kids and adults alike will be fascinated by the molten shapes created by the heating and cooling of the glass.
A neighbor of Franconia Sculpture Park, Peter Jadoonath Backyard Pottery Sale is located just north of the roundabout at Highways 8 and 95. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you will have a chance to enjoy pottery, pie and conversation that make this a great stop for the whole family. Jadoonath and his fellow potters provide a table of pottery just for the kids to buy from with kid-friendly pricing. And keep an eye out, sometimes the chickens hang out on the pottery.
- Alan Honn Glass (by appointment; alanhonnglass.com)
- Franconia Art & Artists Celebration, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Shafer (Sept. 22, 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Parking $5)
- Peter Jadoonath Backyard Pottery Sale, 30208 Tern Ave., Shafer (Sept. 21-23, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; free admission)
- Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival, Lakefront Park, Hudson (Sept. 22, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sept. 23, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; free admission)
- Valley Bookseller, 217 Main St. N., Stillwater (Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. and Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.)