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Go Ask Mom

Taking kids to Artsplosure? 5 things to know before you go

Posted May 15, 2019 8:20 p.m. EDT
Updated May 17, 2019 5:08 p.m. EDT

— For the 40th year, Artsplosure - the Raleigh Arts Festival - will take over parts of downtown Raleigh, drawing thousands of people for art, music, dance and other performances and entertainment of all kinds.

The festival runs 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, in downtown Raleigh. If you go with kids, here's what you'll need to know.

Newish Location

In past years, the festival has been centered around Moore Square, which is currently undergoing a massive renovation.

So, like last year, this year, artist booths will line Fayetteville Street. Among them, you'll find music and art installations, along with food trucks and other attractions. Kidsplosure, which features activities for kids, will be on Martin Street this year between Wilmington and Fayetteville streets.

Kidsplosure performances

The Kidsplosure area is open 11 a.m. to 6:15 p.m., Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday.

The stage features a variety of performances, including a storytime with Read With Me, and performances from young puppeteer Tarin Pipkins, the North Carolina Association of Black Storytellers, Enloe Jazz Ambassadors, and One Tribe Drumming.

Kids also can make some arts and crafts, including flower festival wear, bird puppets, art rocks and more.

Artsplosure 2016

Check out "What's That?"

No. This isn't a play on the classic "Who's on First?," this is an art piece that takes the form of an illuminated humanoid on City Plaza. According to Artsplosure's website, "the work is designed to playfully transform public space, utilizing scale and mythos to redefine the viewers’ experience of the world around them. Festivalgoers are encouraged to give the visually stunning sculpture a gentle hug, take a selfie with it, or just enjoy the synergy of this unexpected work of art."

In other words, "What's That" is what will be all over social media from Raleigh this weekend.

Get into the Bass Line

Bass Line Installation, according to Artsplosure, is another art piece that offers an interactive experience for all ages.

Here's a description: "Made of bamboo and fabric with a footprint matching the bass clef symbol, the artwork was in fact an interactive musical tympanic sculpture with five separate bamboo instruments (4 each of a clatter, thumb drum, rain tubes and quiro). The three high chime towers with teal fabric skirts and a series of teal fabric arches running along the inside of the bamboo arc are all illuminated at night, creating a wonderful ambiance to the musical activities of guests."

You'll find it on Fayetteville Street from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday.

Artsplosure 2016

Enjoy the Pop-Up Artlet

Groups participating include the Poetry Fox, who writes poetry on the spot, NC State Crafts Center, puppeteer Tarrish Pipkins, City Sketchers and more. It's on Fayetteville Street from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

Artsplosure's website has a lot more information about what's up if you go, including lots of handy maps and parking recommendations.