I do not know about you ladies, but I love spring. I love getting to wear flip-flops again and to see flowers bud and bloom. However, with all the wonderful things about spring, also comes rain. April showers bring May flowers! I try to spend a lot of our family time enjoying the warm weather activities. Well, till those pesky rainy days come around, and then we need an indoor activity.
A few weeks ago, it was dreary and rainy. I had heard earlier in the week that The Frist Center for the Visual Arts was allowing certain zip codes in for free that Saturday. We just happened to be in that zip code, so I stored that fact in my head as I drove to work listening to the radio. When Saturday dawned rainy and not full of other events, we threw caution to the wind and headed out.
The nice thing about The Frist is children under 18 are always free. They run a lot of specials for adults or you can pay full price on any day. They have a great parking lot behind the building, you do pay to park, but they will validate your parking ticket inside the art museum when you pay for your admission which results in discounted parking. We ended up only paying $6 for the whole time we were inside. It was safe and convenient to head across the street to The Frist. They do not allow food or drink in the exhibit halls. However, there was a cafe in the back with food options. We ate lunch before leaving the house so we did not try the cafe, but it looked nice.
[Depending on your viewpoint, some artwork may not be appropriate for all ages. Do not hesitate to ask any of the employees for areas of concern as you enter the hall of exhibits.] The day we visited, we saw a few signs that warned about content, so my husband or I would breeze through to view before taking our children – that way we could decide which areas to go in, or not, for our children. This is a full art museum and very kid-friendly but art is art and not all art is kid-friendly. We only saw a few photos that were a little much for our kids so we avoided that area. We spent a lot of time in the Secrets of Buddhist Art area. There was an amazing sand mandala we viewed for a long time. Not to mention all the cool statues and tapestries. That exhibit is available through May 7th in the main hall on the first floor. My kids really loved the video showing how the monks made the mandala by hand.
We explored the art exhibits for a little while and had a great time. Then we headed up to the Art Quest area to have some hands-on fun. This is an area for all ages to explore different aspects of art. There are books, blocks, water colors, drawing, foam mandalas to make, print making, animation stations, and so much more. We spent almost two hours working our way through all of the areas. I enjoyed water color painting and print making the most. My son spent twenty minutes making a cute video and my daughter loved the foam mandalas. You get to take your art work home after it dries. Currently our pieces are display in the art area we have hanging in the dining room. We really enjoyed the time in the Art Quest area. The people working there are super nice and love seeing kids and adults try new techniques. The nice thing for moms is you do not have to clean up the mess!!
All in all, I totally recommend spending a rainy or a sunny day at The Frist. It is a Nashville treasure for sure. We are so very lucky to have such great places in our town.