My comrade over at Family Fun Twin Cities did a great feature on the Family Fun Tuesdays series at Caponi Art Park. So inspiring was she that I finally decided to quit putting off the trip (all the way to Eagan) and go the next open Tuesday on the calendar (which happened to be today).
Storyteller Jerry Blue was this particular Tuesday’s performer, bringing his Southern American and West African folk tales to the sculpture garden. We heard stories starring the familiar characters of Anansi and Br’er Rabbit (interactive and easy enough for my young daughters to follow). Storytelling as entertainment, explained Jerry Blue, evolved from oral tradition, or the passing of history orally from one generation to the next. His message to the children was to use storytelling as a way to speak up and use their own voices.
Other performers and presentations scheduled through August 27 include Mexican folk, flamenco and Aztec dancing, a puppet show with Open Eye Figure Theater, and many flavors of live music with both traditional and unusual instruments to learn about. Get the complete summer schedule here.
We finished our picnic about the same time the storytelling wrapped. Then the girls burned off energy exploring the meandering paths of the Art Park, pausing here and there to interpret sculptures. More than 30 of them can be found throughout the 60 acres of rolling trails (some of them pretty steep! You’ll get a good workout.). Olivia’s favorite was the serpent integrated into a hillside.
It was not the kind of park my 4-year-old daughter imagined we’d be going to when we set out that morning. But I assure you she was singing its praises by the time we were on our way out. The importance of creativity and nature in play is not lost on her.
For the Files: Caponi Art Park Learning Center is located at 1220 Diffley Road, Eagan, MN 55123.
May – October, Tues. thru Sun.
9 a.m. – 8 p.m. thru Labor Day
Family Fun Tuesdays are scheduled:
June 4 – August 27, 2013
10 – 11 a.m. in the sculpture garden
Admission is free with $4 donation per guest suggested.
About the Author: Anne Kingston is the Owner and Founder of Tourmoms.com.