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Give your kids a little dose of culture and take them to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) for their Free Third Saturday event!

The UMFA is a real, legit art museum. It’s very quiet and the art shouldn’t be touched. My kids had never been in this sort of environment before. At first I was little nervous. Surely they were going to break something. But we talked about museum etiquette before entering and they did a great job practicing it throughout. It was a new way to teach our kids about manners and respect. And I really loved that. (Read about Harmony's first experience here.)

UMFA’s Free Third Saturday always follows the same format.

First, your family will be given a map of the museum with a few scavenger hunt type instructions. Find this, find that type of thing. The idea is to gather inspiration for the art you’ll be making after you browse the museum. The art you’ll be making is based on a particular object or exhibition on view at the Museum.

For example, in October, the Free Third Saturday program was built around their new contemporary art show, Brian Bress: Make Your Own Friends.

Our job was to tour the museum looking for various sorts of masks made by Brian Bress.

Our first stop was The Mushroom (Ellie) by Brian Bress. The prompt asked us what was on the woman’s face and also talked about how masks can have all sorts of things on them, including food.  

The scavenger hunt had us stop by a few of these video “portraits” of Brian Bress’s work.Watching this body mask move was one of our favorites. The girls were mesmerized by the movement.

The last step in the scavenger hunt led us to this space which had all the masks from the video “portraits” on display. Seeing them both ways really made an impact on my girls. They kept talking about how they’d seen it in the video before.

Once we had found our inspiration, it was time to head to the art studio to create our own art.

My five year old is obsessed with creating art. You should have seen her face light up when she saw all the art supplies scattered on the tables. In her eyes, she had found heaven!

As we walked into the studio, we were each handed a mask and told to find a seat. There were plenty of tables and supplies for everyone. The staff was amazing. They gave us the freedom and space to create but were also incredibly helpful. They found our favorite colors when we couldn’t find them. They handed us a hole-punch when we needed it. They took a picture of our family. They were great!

Can I also mention how artistic this whole event was? You could really tell the event was created by artists. The map was beautifully designed. The masks were sturdy, craft masks. When the art director handed us pipe cleaners, they were nude colored. Their attention to the artistic side of this event made it so that both beginner three-year-olds and experienced artistic parents could enjoy creating something beautiful.

Mark your calendar for UMFA’s next Free Third Saturday. It takes place on November 21st and will focus on The British Passion for Landscape: Masterpieces from National Museum Wales.  I hear there will even be some paintings by Claude Monet!


1-4 pm
Entrance Fee(s)
Admission: Free (for the Free Third Saturday event)
Normally, Adults $14, Kids (6-18) $12, Under 6 FREE
Helpful Tips
  • Bathrooms available.
  • Handicap accessible.

Check out The Salt Project's Previous Post and Tips Here.

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