a girl and a woman painting at easels in the Paint Studio

6 Ideas for Family Fun at the DAM in September

Although summer officially wraps up in September, the museum shows no signs of slowing down. Plan a September visit to enjoy The Light Show, make something new at two Create-n-Takes, and try out techniques in the Paint Studio. Remember, general admission is free for youth 18 and under every day.

Here are six things to be sure to do at the museum in September:

1. Stop by the new “Light the Way” Create-n-Take

Now is the time to try out two Create-n-Takes, available from 10:30 am–4 pm on weekends in the museum galleries. We welcome a new Create-n-Take, “Light the Way,” beginning August 31 on Level 3. Drop by to discover the importance of animals throughout Asia and make a lamp that shines.

Pop up to Level 4 for another Create-n-Take, “The Shape of Feelings,” inspired by artist Marie Watt’s colorful piece. Challenge yourself to capture your feelings with only colors and shapes in this fun, take-home project.

2. Sniff out clues with Foxy and Shmoxy: Art Detectives

Foxy and Shmoxy: Art Detectives swing back into action on September 8. Head to the museum to join these two dynamic foxes as they begin to unravel a new mystery! Pick up a letter from the Fox Box in the Hamilton Building atrium, and catch the fox detectives at 10:30 or 11:30 am.

3. Get your hands dirty in the Paint Studio

Set aside some time to drip and dash paint as you experiment with watercolor techniques, explore the idea of painting en plein air, or use paper marbling to create an abstract painted masterpiece. Drop by the Paint Studio on Level 1 seven days a week during regular museum hours, and make sure to catch demonstrations from local artists every weekend from noon to 3 pm.

Visitors in the First Light Family Space
Visitors in the First Light Family Space.

4. Keep things “Light”

Enjoy a dazzling array of artworks in The Light Show before heading into the First Light Family Space for hands-on fun. All the light-filled activities in First Light are inspired by the artworks in The Light Show. Capture nature’s shadows, experiment with transparency and color on overhead projectors, mix patterns to cast bold shadows, and design a wearable mirror.

5. Circle September 7 on your calendar

Not only is general admission free on Saturday, September 7, it’s the 30th Annual Friendship Powwow & American Indian Cultural Celebration! All are welcome to check out one of the museum’s longest-running events. Enjoy watching American Indian dancers and drum groups throughout the day, try traditional fry bread, and contribute to a community collage on the plaza. Catch the Grand Entry at 11 am, and then head inside the museum to enjoy more hands-on activities throughout the day.

6. Make a Monet-inspired artwork

In celebration of the upcoming exhibition, Claude Monet: the Truth of Nature, the DAM and Denver Philharmonic Orchestra are excited to announce an opportunity for kids 18 and younger to create their own artworks inspired by the iconic artist. Until September 15, the DAM will accept digital submissions. A selection of submissions will be featured at the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra concert, First Impressions: Music and Monet, on October 4 as a brilliant backdrop to specially chosen French music selections.

Natalie Ruhe Thomas is coordinator of family and community programs in the department of learning and engagement at the Denver Art Museum. Natalie has been at the DAM since 2012 and her favorite exhibition that has been on view here is Becoming Van Gogh.