It’s that time of year! Spring, Mom’s Weekend at the University of Illinois, and one of our favorite Champaign-Urbana events: the Boneyard Arts Festival. Which means that it will be a crazypants weekend filled with family fun that won’t break the bank.
Let me just preface this by saying: the vast majority of Boneyard Festival Events are family-friendly. But as we all know, some are more family-friendly than others; some you will find on the chambanamoms.com events calendar, and others you won’t. The Boneyard Festival folks have put together a list of them on their website, and you can find that here.
But we decided to narrow the list even more, below. These venues have live performances and/or interactive events to keep your kiddos occupied.
A few exceptions: venues displaying local children’s artwork, because who doesn’t want to see their friends’ artwork? Best of all, they are ALL FREE (of course artwork will be available for purchase everywhere, so be prepared).
So, for your viewing pleasure, our Top Family-Friendly 2018 Boneyard Festival Events:
1001 S Wright, Champaign
Workshop: Thursday, April 12, 10am-5pm.
Dust In Their Veins: A Visual Response to the Global Water Crisis is a mixed media exhibition, bringing discussion & action to the plight of women and children who are adversely affected by the lack of clean water. Exhibition on view at the Y’s Murphy Gallery, 9am-9pm Monday-Friday through May 6, 2018.
Boneyard workshop: Candace Hunter will conduct a drop-in hands-on art making workshop in the gallery, Thursday, April 12, 10am-5pm. Chicago artist Candace Hunter has been honored with the prestigious 3Arts Award. Her work is currently on view at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the South Side Community Art Center as well as at the University YMCA.
600 S Gregory, Urbana
Thursday, April 12, 5-7pm. Drop-in event.
The Spurlock will work with artist Evelyne Tardy to provide a family art-making project. The art-making will be led by the artist and related cultural activities will be led by Spurlock Museum educators.
Next Generation Preschool
2508 Galen Dr, Champaign
8:30am-5pm on Friday April 12.
Featuring a mural created by artist Kelly Hieronymus and painted by students of Next Generation Preschool.
Art at The Market, 201 Lincoln Square, Urbana
Saturday, April 14, 8am-1pm
As part of Market in the Square, the Urbana Business Association and Urbana Public Arts Program are proud to present Art IN the Square featuring local band, Los Guapos! Los Guapos is an instrumental quartet performing cumbia, salsa, and son montuno styles from Central and South America. Urbana’s six-month winter and spring indoor Farmer’s Market.
URBANA CELEBRATES THE BONEYARD!
Boneyard Creek Crossing, Corner of Race and Griggs, Urbana
Saturday, April 14, 1pm-5pm
This family-friendly arts celebration will offer a variety of arts performances and activities including: Music by Dance Music Therapy; Magic and flow arts from Michael Moxie and Satina; Bubble display from Joyfulbubbles; Puppet & marionette performance from Puppetfolk Productions. All in addition to food trucks, face painting, games, and art stations for the whole family.
C4A: Community Center for the Arts
202 W Main St, Urbana
Music Morning concert for young children: Saturday, April 14, 10:30-11:30am
Music instrument petting zoo with free instruction: Saturday, April 14, 11:30am-3pm
Origami folding demo & workshop: 10:00am-2:30pm
Champaign Public Library
200 West Green St, Champaign
Champaign Public Library Hours: M-Th 9-9 | F 9-6 | Sat 10-6 | Sun 12-6
FriendShop Book Store Hours (located in the basement of the library): W-Sat 11-5 | Sun 1:30-5
Expect the Unexpected (at the Library) by Adriane “Binky” Donley: Composed of 145 beautifully suspended umbrellas, Adriane “Binky” Donley’s installation bursts with color in the library’s lobby and children’s area, and reminds us Spring is just around the corner!
The Art Connection Schools to Library: “The Art Connection: Schools to Library” is an exhibition series with kids, teens, and art teachers from four Champaign schools: Kenwood Elementary (Jill Kjorlien), Westview Elementary (Amy Johnson), and Centennial & Central High Schools (Rachel Kinney). The exhibition is on display in two areas. Be sure to visit both the children’s area on the first floor and the FriendShop Bookstore (elevator to lower level).
Champaign Urbana Potters’ Club
900 S Race, Urbana
Saturday demos,11 am, 1 pm, and 3pm.
The CU Potters’ Club is a studio cooperative with over 45 members. Various members will be at the studio. On Saturday we will be open from 9am-5pm with sales and pottery making/throwing demonstrations at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3pm. We are hobbyists that make functional pottery as well as decorative pottery.
602 E High, Urbana
Saturday, April 14:
10am-4 pm: Artists showing and selling artwork
1pm: Cutting and soldering demonstrations
1:30-3:30pm: Music and storytelling by Joe Reichlin – all ages
1:30-3:30pm – Fused Glass Workshop (drop-in)
2116 Griffith Dr., Champaign
Friday, April 13, 11am-1pm, Papermaking Demo, workshop, and paper sales
Saturday, April 14, 11am-4pm, Papermaking Demo, workshop, and paper sales
During Boneyard, Fresh Press is opening their studios to the community to learn the art of Western hand paper making with agricultural fibers from local farmers. This environmentally friendly paper will also be for sale at Fresh Press to start your next artistic or creative project!
Green Yoga Spa
302 W Elm, Urbana
Open House & Live Artist Demonstrations – Friday, April 13, 6-9pm
Open House & Live Artist Demonstrations – Saturday, April 14, 5:30-6:30pm: “Imaginal cells, Mount Up!” : a Singalong Story-hour with Lyndsey Scott
Join Green Yoga Spa for an exhibition of selected works by Suzanne Loechl, Sierra Murphy, and Lyndsey Scott. Opening reception Friday, April 13, 6-9pm and Saturday, April 14, 5-7pm, featuring a mingle, artist demos, and brief bodywork demos of Green Yoga Spa services.
Last fall Lyndsey and friends pedalled around the midwest on a month-long healing-song bikeabout. Join her Saturday evening in the interactive sharing of the story of this adventure as anchored in the painting and sculptural installation Expansionatrix ~ a colorful altar created by an intricate canvas mandala + giant encaustic heart crayons + plant material + stories + songs. Using games, call-and-response, and circle-work, she will weave participants together in a soulful celebration of the transformation that is emerging in our collective Heartland.
Hopscotch Bakery + Market
802 W. John, Champaign
Thursday thru Saturday, April 12-14, 7:30am-5:30pm
Multi-media artwork inspired by sweet treats! Created and displayed by Southside students in grades 1, 3, and 5. Installation will pop-up overnight Wednesday and stay up through the weekend both inside and outside Hopscotch.
Market Place Shopping Center
2000 N Neil, Champaign
Student Art Work from each of the Champaign Unit 4 Schools will be on display @ Market Place Shopping Center from April 7 – April 27.
Meadowbrook Interpretive Center
2808 S Race, Urbana
Saturday, April 14, 12-3pm
Featured artist Blacksmith Dean Rose will bring forged items such as bells and candelabras, plus photos of past work. Rose will also have a live forge and anvil going, doing blacksmithing right on site! His live demonstration will be joined by drawings from the district’s SPLASH students from Dr. Williams and King Schools- illustrations inspired by Rose’s work around Urbana. The exhibit will also feature clay sculptures by Dr. Williams first graders in the “Collaboration Through Art Mentors” program. Their work will be aided by Urbana High School art students and are also inspired by Rose’s work.
Museum of the Grand Prairie
950 N Lombard, Mahomet
Sunday, April 15, 1-4pm
This year Stratton Elementary is 20 years old and we are in on the celebration! Join us as we feature artwork of students from Stratton who have learned about the history of 1997 (the year their school was founded) with museum educators, and have responded with artistic representations. Many of our young artists will be on hand to meet and greet and we will have multimedia materials for visitors to make and take your own amazing masterpiece!
126 Pinetree Rd, Seymour
Sunday, April 15, 10am-4pm
Watch the process of turning clay into usable vessels. Artist Cammie Meerdink will do live demonstrations throughout the day of both wheel thrown and hand built ceramics.
Inside Lincoln Square, Urbana
Saturday, April 14 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
A variety of free performances can be heard when students and faculty from The Conservatory of Central Illinois celebrates its 29th Annual Playathon at Lincoln Square Village. Playathon performances will include, solo and ensemble performances on a variety of instruments, winning groups from the Annual Faucett Memorial Chamber Ensemble Festival. The East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra that is slated to perform at 1:00 PM and the Church Street Ramblers performing at 2:30 PM. Performers through the day will range from pre-school through adults.
Springer Cultural Center
301 N Randolph, Champaign
Friday, April 13, 8am-6pm
Saturday, April 14, 9am-2pm
Springer Cultural Center hosts annually the Town & Country County Amateur Art Show. These shows are held throughout the state to encourage amateur artists to experiment with the visual arts. It’s an opportunity for youth and adults who are not professionally trained in drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, printmaking, digital media, pottery and crafts to have an opportunity to display their talent in this show. The show is jurored by a professional in the area of arts. We have over 100 pieces this year!
The Urbana Dance Company
122 W Main, Urbana
Friday 7pm-9pm Local Native American Art and dance film showings.
Saturday 2pm-3pm FREE all ages Community Dance class.
A soft opening for the Urbana Dance Company’s new space. The Urbana Dance Company teaches dance and performance that enriches people’s lives, builds confidence and connection to others, and fosters an appreciation for great artistry and imagination. The Urbana Dance Company is committed to backing Native American existence and leadership. Come join us!
The Urbana Free Library
210 W Green, Urbana
-Saturday, 11:15 am Knights of Cabiria perform: all-ages concert (high energy dance music from Latin American and Eastern European countries)
-12:30 pm Red Herring Writers will read from their work (Urbana’s longest running writer’s workshop)
– Lydia and Tedra will display art in a variety of media including wood carved illustrations and handcrafted books.
-Creative works of K-5 students from Urbana public schools in Children’s Services from April 7-15.
Weiskamp Screen Printing
312 S Neil, Champaign
10 AM – 2 PM on Saturday, April 14
We’re hosting a pop-up poster screen printing demo! Stop by and tour our screen printing facilities, and get hands on by printing your own Boneyard Arts Festival Special Edition poster! Family-friendly, stop by any time during our pop up hours. Best of all, it’s free!
Thanks to 40 North, the organizer of the Boneyard Arts Festival, for its help curating this list.