Family Days at the Museum of Glass

Caspar Babypants performs for a Family Day audience. Photo credit Museum of Glass

The second Saturday of the month, the Museum of Glass has Family Days. Family Days are intended for families with children age 12 and under. Elisabeth Emerson, education program coordinator at the Museum of Glass, explained what Family Days are: “It’s a day set up to invite families; particularly with 12 and under aged children, to experience the whole range/spectrum of art form. They get to learn the performance of art, fine art, the chance to be creative, and do everything as a family unit. There is an additional seasonal craft that is set up in the grand hall with exhibition. 9 months out of the year performers perform in the Grand Hall of the museum. We focus on youth performers. It’s a win-win for both parties; the performers get to highlight their skill and promote their services and we benefits because we have really awesome performers and it draws everyone out of galleries into the Grand Hall; so we have really unique experiences to offer our visitors.”

The next Family Day will take place this Saturday, November 10, 2012 from 1 pm to 4 pm at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. It does not cost extra to attend Family Days; everything is included in admission price. Admission costs are as follows: Adults are $10 a person, children age 6 to 12 are $5 a person, and children aged 5 and under are free.

There will be a food drive for the Family Day this Saturday, November 10. Attendees can bring a non-perishable food item and for every person that brings a non-perishable food item, they will be able to have a chance to win a family membership that will allow the winning family to come back for a whole year to museum events. The donated food items will benefit the Food Connection, a local Tacoma Food Bank associated with St. Leo’s Church.

Attendees will also be able to make their own Thanksgiving themed pin with artist Jennifer Adams and enjoy the Tacoma Banjo Club’s spunky tunes from the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s. Elisabeth also revealed, “Bertil Dallien, a glass artist, will be in the hot shop working with the hot shop team from 10 am to 5 pm that same day to cast glass pieces.

There is also a new exhibition that opened on November 3, 2012 called the “Ray Turner: Population.” He focuses on community 12 X 12 square portraits and takes photos of people in the community for his exhibition. The exhibition keeps going from museum to gallery. His artwork is oil painted on glass.”

Saturday, December 8, 2012 will be the next Family Day. Attendees will be able to make a festive Shrinky Dink ornament with artist, Jennifer Adams. Also, piano students of Paul and Phyllis Twedt will return for their annual Holiday Musicale in the Grand Hall for everyone to enjoy! Richard Marquis, a visiting artist from Whidbey Island will be at the Museum of Glass (Wednesday, December 5 through Sunday, December 9.) Elisabeth commented: “Richard’s art work is always fun, charming, and colorful.”

Elisabeth commented on which she thought of Family Days, “I think it’s a really fun and open time to experience glass with the whole family. A lot of children are 3 and 4 years old and maybe it’s not their first time being to the museum, but it’s spectacular that their parents are bringing them here. There are multiple things to keep them engaged and actively thinking what’s going on here and getting them excited to come back. I think it’s a fun way for parents to interact with their children in a creative way. A lot of projects help children learn teamwork.”

When asked the best thing about Family Days at the Museum of Glass, Elisabeth replied, “It’s fun and an easy way to enter the museum world. I think that by being here, you’re not being pressured to understand something; it’s put out in a fun and easy way to experience new things.”

Elisabeth revealed what many people may not know about Family Days, “I think that this is one of our most popular public programs and we do see the same families every month. People walk by ask about the cost for Family Day and it’s all free. It’s a nice surprise for people that don’t know about it. People should mark their calendars, as it’s always fun and always a different and nice Saturday afternoon activity.”

Elisabeth discussed the uniqueness of the Museum of Glass, “We base a lot of projects on themes in the exhibition of the museum. In itself, it’s a different type of museum than what people are used to since we tie in a lot to make it a holistical experience while they’re here.”

Elisabeth recommends people with age 12 and under children to Family Days, “They would mostly enjoy it and people that like creating crafts and experiencing new things,” Elisabeth stated.

For more information about Family Days or the Museum of Glass in general, please visit: or call: Elisabeth at: 253 284-4713.

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for