Plaza Art Fair – fun for all ages!

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Expensive art and children. What could be a better match, right?

Luckily, the Plaza Art Fair has much more to offer than pretty art you can’t afford. Between three live music stages, tasty local food vendors (ice cream for the kiddies, a beer for mommy) and activities just for little ones, this event is a win for the whole family. It seems like every year we’ve attended it’s been blazing hot or rainy and cold, but this year’s forecast looks perfect – sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70’s.

Your first stop should definitely be the Kids Art Workshop, sponsored by the Kansas City Art Institute, located across from the Apple Store on Broadway. Kids can create a string art project and then work with other Kansas City kids to design a large-scale string art piece. All ages are invited.
Mom Tip: Arrive early, as this attraction gets super crowded.

After creating some art, head to one of three live music stages for some dancing. The stages – Wornall Bridge, Ward & Pennsylvania, and  Nichols & Central – feature local bands every hour during the fair.

There’s also the Kemper Art Museum (north of Nichols Road on Broadway) which brings the curation of art to the streets. Not only can you view some cool art but there are activities for kids and prizes to be won.

Don’t forget to stop for lunch at one of the best kinds of art there is – culinary art! The Plaza restaurants break out of their traditional buildings and open street food booths. Plan your menu here: a slice of pizza from Coal Vines, paella from República and frozen peach Bellini from Brio are guaranteed satisfiers. If you really just need to rest your legs in an air conditioned space, the restaurants are still open as usual.

Once your tummy is full and your kids are getting sleepy, it’s time for the adults to saunter through booths of more than 240 artists. Whether you’re decorating your dream house or finding a piece to fit in that spot above the couch you can’t seem to fill, this street art fair offers every kind of media you could imagine – jewelry, pastel, ceramics, photography, you name it.

No matter what draws you to the Plaza Art Fair this weekend, be sure to allow for extra time. The streets are crowded with people, dogs and strollers. Consider dividing your time between two visits so you don’t feel rushed.

Now, for logistics. We can walk to the fair from our house, so I’ve never had to battle the “parking situation.” (What I do have to battle is never being able to get out of my driveway because of all those yahoo art lovers.) Regardless, parking is always free on the Plaza and the surrounding neighborhoods have ample street parking, as well. Plan ahead and check out the parking map online.

A few other tips:
  • If you’re bringing Fido, most Plaza businesses have dog bowls outside their doors to keep puppy hydrated.
  • Don’t forget your water bottle to save on lunch costs.
  • If the kids need a break, Barnes and Noble has a great children’s area with a train table.
  • Need  a sugar boost? Topsy’s Popcorn on Central has ice cream, fudge and multiple kinds of popcorn.
The Plaza Art Fair is a landmark Kansas City event not to be missed. Check it out 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday.

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One Response to Plaza Art Fair – fun for all ages!

  1. Erin
    Erin September 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    great tips, sarah! we are out of town this year for the second year in a row, but one of these years, we’ll make it down there–and thanks to your tips, our daughter will be joining us! –E