Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If you're trying to squeeze in some fun, yet educational opportunities for your kids this summer, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston just made it easier. Check out these events and start penciling in activities on your calendar.

All Summer Long Breakfasts and Boxed Lunches, MFAH-Style
Bring the kids and enjoy a meal in the museum’s Cafe Express, located in the MFAH Beck Building, Lower Level, or enjoy a picnic in the sculpture garden with its delightful cafĂ© seating.

MFAH Family Packs (MFAH Law and Beck Buildings)
Family Packs are filled with hands-on activities, looking games, and books. These interactive resources are available at the Membership Services desks in the Beck and Law buildings during museum hours and at the Kinder Foundation Education Center Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Borrow them free of charge during your museum visit.

o Buildings and Beyond Family Pack: Explore your inner architect with this blue pack. Use the laminated guide that’s designed like a blueprint to guide your visit throughout the museum. Recommended for children ages 4+

o People and Personalities Family Pack: Meet a variety of people that are featured in paintings and sculptures at the museum using the family guide in the green pack to guide your visit. Recommended for children ages 4+

o Let’s Play! Gallery Games with Mwamba and Naki Family Pack: This purple pack is filled with puzzles, sketching activities, and looking games that will help everyone have fun while learning about art from all over the world. Recommended for children ages 4+

o Five Paintings to See With Your Little One: Designed just for the younger child, with an emphasis on colors and shapes, this resource helps families have great experiences with little ones in the galleries. Recommended for children ages 2+

Kick-off and Finale Events FREE Summer Programs Kickoff Performance at the MFAH (MFAH Beck Building)
Thursday, June 9:  Kick off the summer on Thursday, June 9 at 2 p.m. in Gallery 214. No admission for Free Thursdays. Experience the original performance by Houston’s most unusual string ensemble, Two Star Symphony. The group aims to create new and diverse music that speaks to the collective conscience of a broad audience offering a unique and powerful sound, as each instrument reverberates off the others and fills the audio spectrum with a deep, dark, melodic blend.

Thursday, August 11 FREE Summer Programs Finale Performance (MFAH Beck Building)
A chamber group from the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra will fill the museum with beautiful music during a concert in the galleries that will delight guests, Thursday, August 11 at 2:00 p.m. in the Beck Building.

Tuesdays-Saturdays Detective Days at Bayou Bend
May 31- August 26: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. There’s mystery afoot at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens this summer! Located a few blocks away from Memorial Park, Bayou Bend has 14 acres of woodlands and gardens for summer sleuths age 6 and older to explore. Beginning May 31, go on a self-guided outdoor detective adventure. Educational themes range from plants and trees to sculpture and architecture. And, starting August 2, you can also go on an indoor detective adventure. Tour the historic mansion which is filled with antique treasures from the 18th and 19th centuries. Every Bayou Bend detective gets an “Investigator’s Kit” to help them with their sleuthing, and a bottle of water to keep cool during the hunt. Children 12 and under are free; $5 for everyone else. Ages 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Bayou Bend Collections and Gardens is located at 6003 Memorial Drive @ Westcott St.
Beginning May 31, 2011:
  • The Case of the Missing Trees – Searching for 10 special trees hiding amidst a thousand is kind of like trying to find a needle in a haystack! Locate and identify the trees using special clues we will provide the detective--images of their leaves and rhyming clues. Recommended for children ages 6+
  • On the Trail of the Evolving Plant – Take a trip through time as you track woodland and garden vegetation back to the age of the dinosaurs! One problem – those pesky plants are masters of disguise and adaptability, so you’ll have to use your top-notch detective skills to keep up with them. Recommended for children ages 10+
Beginning July 12, 2011:
  • The Architect’s Evidence – The 1920s era mansion at Bayou Bend was carefully planned and thought out – clearly, this was no accident. Explore all of the details of the house’s exterior and sort out the rhyme and reason behind its design and construction. Recommended for children ages 10+
  • Mysterious Messages – The statues located throughout the gardens have messages for you – but what are they trying to say? Using informational clues, our summer sleuths will learn how to interpret art through history. Recommended for children ages 7+
Beginning August 2, 2011:
  • By the Numbers – A riddle has been discovered in the gardens this morning, and the secret to solving it lies within the two-story historic mansion, filled with antique treasures from the 18th and 19th centuries. You’ll have to have a pretty sharp eye to find all of the clues, but we are counting on you to figure it out! Recommended for children ages 10+
Wednesdays (June & July) from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m: Storytime Tours at Rienzi
Summer time is story time at Rienzi every Wednesday in June and July. Introduce children to the magic of art and literature in an intimate house museum setting. Rienzi’s Storytime Tour is a fun and interactive activity featuring stories related to themes highlighted in Rienzi’s collection. Admission is free. Reservations are suggested and space is limited, please call (713) 639-7800 for reservations. Recommended for children ages 3+ Rienzi is located at 1406 Kirby Drive.

11 a.m. REEL Kids Summer Movies (Brown Theater Auditorium, MFAH Law Building)
Free Summer Movie Matinees with paid museum admission are fun for the entire family. This incredible line up of films, several with Oscar® connections, screen on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. in the Brown Theater Auditorium and are free with museum admission and free to members of the museum’s Film Buffs patron group. And here's the line-up:
  • June 1 The Karate Kid* (Directed by John Avildsen, USA, 1984, 126 min)
  • June 8 The Kid (Directed by Charlie Chaplin, USA, 1928, 72 min., silent with musical soundtrack)
  • June 15 The Parent Trap* (Directed by David Swift, USA, 1961, 129 min.)
  • June 22 Bugsy Malone* (Directed by Alan Parker, UK, 1976, 93 min.)
  • June 29 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial** (Directed by Steven Spielberg, USA, 1982, 115 min.)
  • July 6 My Bodyguard (Directed by Tony Bill, USA, 1980, 96 min.)
  • July 13 It Came from Outer Space 3D (Directed by Jack Arnold, USA, 1953, 81 min.)
  • July 20 Howl’s Moving Castle* (Director by Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2004, 119 min.)
  • July 27 Secret of the Kells* (Directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey, France/Belgium/Ireland, 2009 75 min.)
  • August 3 National Velvet** (Directed by Clarence Brown, USA, 1944, 123 min.)
  • August 10 Fantastic Mr. Fox * (Directed by Wes Anderson, USA, 2009, 87 min.)
Thursdays Creation Station (Beck Building): (June, July & August) 11a.m. – 2 p.m. Guests are invited to create art with an MFAH teaching artist and explore the galleries. Each week, explore a different work of art and learn a new art-making technique. Recommended for children ages 4+

Gallery Investigations (MFAH Law and Beck Buildings)
This summer, kids and families can become Art Detectives, investigating a new work of art each week in the galleries—looking carefully, uncovering details, and thinking about the intriguing things discovered. As each case is completed, investigators will earn a clue for their “Clue Book,” which will be used to guess the mystery work of art to be unveiled at the end of the summer. There are two chances to participate each week – Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. All Art Detectives are eligible for a special prize-drawing at the end of the summer. Participation in the MFAH Art Detectives program is free with admission. Recommended for children ages 4+

A Book and a Look (Kinder Foundation Education Center, Law Building)
NEW PROGRAM! At this storybook check-out program, families can check out a storybook and take it into the galleries to read together in front of a work of art that that they will also “read” with the help of hands-on materials and looking questions. MFAH staff will match up each family’s interests and favorite things with a storybook and art pairing. Recommended for children ages 2+

Artful Thursdays (MFAH Brown Theater Auditorium)
Explore the museum June 16th, July 14nd and August 18th beginning at 6:30 p.m. for a themed evening with the MFAH. Mythological Subjects and Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting in June, The Music of Cole Porter; Presented by Michael Lasser in July and Aesthetics of the Everyday Presented by Tacey Rosolowski in August.

Sketching in the Galleries (MFAH Law and Beck Buildings) Sundays in June - August
An MFAH teaching artist guides adults and children of all drawing levels during sketching
1 p.m. – 4 p.m. in the galleries. Sundays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Recommended for children ages 4+

Creation Station (MFAH Law and Beck Buildings)
Guests are invited to create art with an MFAH teaching artist and explore the galleries. Each week, explore a different work of art and learn a new art-making technique. Recommended for children ages 4+

July Family Art Workshops at Rienzi
Family Art Workshops encourage families to come together to create art, write stories and poems, and watch performances inspired by Rienzi’s collection. Admission is free. Reservations are suggested and space is limited, please call (713) 639-7800 for reservations. Recommended for children ages 4+ Rienzi is located at 1406 Kirby Drive.
  • Sunday, July 10, 2011: Cinderella Stories from Around the World -- Instructions from the Rice Literacy and Culture Project will explore the many Cinderella stories written from the point of view of different cultures and countries. Families will enjoy hearing these international tales, write their own Cinderella story, and have the opportunity to make puppets for an impromptu performance.
  • Sunday, July 17, 2011: Portrait Miniatures; Love Tokens before the Digital Age -- Discover what was used before photography to represent portraits. Learn about Rienzi’s Caroline A. Ross Collection, which includes portrait miniatures by European and American artists between c. 1710 and 1900. Families will explore this unique artistic tradition and create their own version for family and friends.
  • Sunday, July 24, 2011: “The Fantastic Fables of La Fontaine”, a musical recital for children -- Early Music Southwest presents “The Fantastic Fables of La Fontaine,” a musical tale of wise and foolish animals from 17th century France. The narration with accompanying chamber ensemble will delight kids of all ages. The musical recital will be followed by a cookies and lemonade reception. The recital will begin promptly at 1:15pm.
1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday Storytime (MFAH Law and Beck Buildings)
Family-friendly Sunday Storytime introduces young learners to the world of art through hands-on gallery activities, close looking, and the reading of a storybook in MFAH galleries. Recommended for children ages 2+

2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Gallery Investigations (MFAH Law and Beck Buildings)
Join the MFAH Art Detective program. Each Art Detective case takes kids into the galleries to investigate a work of art. Each investigation is different, but all ask Art Detectives to look carefully, uncover details, and think about what cool stuff can be discovered. Recommended for children ages 4+

Locations: Caroline Wiess Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005
Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Westcott @ Memorial, Houston, TX 77007
Rienzi, 1406 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77019

MFAH Parking: All-day parking is only $6.00 at the Visitor Center Garage or free across the street from the Caroline Wiess Law Building.

For m
Until the next nap time...