Festival for Kids

Festival for Kids

This is a happy place where budding young artists get their hands dirty, their wiggles out, and their imaginations stirred. Here young children collaborate with on-site sculptures, create make-and-take projects with some of Salt Lake’s most creative nonprofit organizations, watch some creative films with Fear No Film Kids, and play an instrument.

Art Yard: Circles!

Daily, Noon–9PM
Southwest Corner of the Festival

Circles are found everywhere you go—whether you gaze at the night sky, inflate the tires on your bicycle, or explore ancient petroglyphs on a rock wall. They are universal symbols with extensive meaning in art and tradition. They represent infinity, wholeness, and so much more. Come play with us in our land of circles.

Some exciting installations that all kids can work on:

  • Dream Catchers: In many Native American cultures, these intricate webbed circles served as protective charms. Join us in decorating our own dream catchers with upcycled materials.
  • Dot Paintings: Aboriginal artists in Australia created images out of dots to disguise the sacred meanings behind the stories in the paintings, and you can too!
  • Mandalas of the World: Mandala is Sanskrit for circle, and cultures all over the world create them. Many Asian cultures used them for meditation, the Aztecs used them for timekeeping, Celtic peoples used them for protection. The iconic rose stained windows of Gothic architecture represented a connection to the divine. What will your mandala represent?
  • Spheres of the Universe: A sphere is a 3D circle. How many spheres do you encounter in your everyday life? From lollipops to planets, baseballs to oranges, we can create our own wacky universe of everything spherical.

Summerhays Music Center Instrument Petting Zoo

Have you ever wondered what it is like to play a band or string instrument? Can you see yourself or your child playing an instrument in the future? Come visit Summerhays Music in the Art Yard and test a musical instrument. All ages welcome. We have experts to help you make your first sound on an instrument. And we’re careful: Instruments are well sanitized before they are played individually.

Make & Take Projects

Every year the Utah Arts Festival partners with local nonprofits to make the Art Yard a dynamic place of wonder for Festival-going kids. Here’s who you’ll find this year:

  • Art Access: Join us to make your own unique circle sticker to wear throughout the Festival with pride! Art Access is an inclusive arts organization working to make artistic development accessible to all members of our community.
  • Craft Lake City: Join Craft Lake City to make your own paper circuit. You’ll combine arts and technology to make your own glowing craft. Using a battery, LED and copper tape, young artists can create their own circuit on paper that illuminates a personalized work of art.
  • Natural History Museum of Utah: All around us are examples of natural spheres: from the planet we inhabit, to the seeds we find inside fruit, and to some of our own physical features. Come learn about the round parts of nature and why they may have developed that way. Paint a cool key chain in your style while you learn at the Natural History Museum of Utah’s booth in the Art Yard!
  • Tracy Aviary: Join us in exploring the role circles play in the bird world by crafting a vulture mobile, as we learn about the connection between circular flight patterns and thermal currents. Tracy Aviary inspires curiosity and caring for birds and nature through education and conservation.
  • Utah Museum of Contemporary Art: Artist Yayoi Kusama’s polka-dot fantasies inspire us to see how something as simple as a circle can be used to create intricate patterns and artworks. By repeating the pattern, Kusama shows us there is power in numbers. Kusama explains, “With just one polka dot, nothing can be achieved.” Using paper and polka dots, create your very own spherical sculptures to follow in Kusama’s footsteps with the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art!
  • Utah Museum of Fine Arts: Get inspired by a 1,000-yearold circular Mayan chocolate pot in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) collection and then decorate your own chocolate cup encircled with Mayan designs and glyphs. As a bonus, take home your own recipe for spicy Mayan hot chocolate!

Fear No Film Kids!

KIDS! 3 and up

Screened every half hour in the Art Yard, Noon–8PM

  • Peixes, 6 min, Spain
  • I can’t wait to fly!, 5 min, Japan
  • The Snowboys, 4 min, Russia
  • Trail Running Toddlers, 4 min, Utah

KIDS! 8 and up

Screened hourly in the Art Yard, Noon–8PM

  • Talent Scout, 8 min, Spain
  • Doctor of Monster, 11 min, Brazil
  • A Turn for the Best: A Film About Artists with Disabilities, 11 min, Utah
  • Finn’s Whistle, 11 min, Idaho

More for Kids

  • Explore Your World with the ZAP Kids Summer Passport Program: Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) invites you to EXPLORE YOUR WORLD this summer. Pick up a passport at your local Salt Lake County Library, and visit the Utah Arts Festival Kids Art Yard as a featured destination. Present your passport at the Kids Art Yard headquarters tent to receive a stamp, and share photos of your journey by tagging #exploreZAP.
  • Literary Workshops: Learn to write a screenplay or write poetry at the SLCC Community Writing Center. See schedule here.
  • Toddler Zone: An area designed specifically for the under 4 crowd featuring storytelling.
  • Face Painting: Face painting and airbrush tattoos available for a small fee.

Program Sponsors

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