It’s not about the ties. Or the sports gear. Or the tools. Or the electronic gizmos. What dads cherish most on Father’s Day is making memories with their children. Several Valley museums are offering special deals to make Father’s Day visits especially fun.
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is open noon-4pm on Sun, June 17. They’re offering free admission for dads and grandfathers, and kids who hit their art studio can make a special tie with personalized poem for the dad or father figure in their life.
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix features three-floors of exhibits and spaces meant for hands-on play and learning. There’s a book loft, building area, child-sized gallery filled with desert theme artwork, a special play area for toddlers and market perfect for pretend play.
Also multi-level child-operated racetracks, a transparent structure that moves scarves inserted by kids through a series of giant tubes, a “pedal power” corridor for riding museum-provided tricycles, a jumbo climber towering over the museum’s atrium and a “noodle forest” filled with swimming pool noodles suspended from the ceiling.
The Arizona Science Center is open 10am-5pm on Sun, June 17. They’re offering free admission to dads and grandfathers, plus a “sweet surprise for the first 2oo in the door.” Visitors can paint their own masterpiece in the “Body Depot” from 2:30-3:30pm.
The Arizona Science Center is participating in Wired magazine’s “National GeekDad Day” — and celebrating Father’s Day with several hands on activities, including baseball and light stick dissection. Also making electric play-doh, building an art bot and a little something called “saltwater batter exploration.”
Dads who attend are eligible to enter to win a family 4-pack for the Arizona Science Center’s “Math Alive!” exhibit, which opens on Sun, July 8. Father’s Day is the final day families can enjoy the “Van Gogh Alive” exhibit featuring “more than 3,000 oversized images synchronized to a powerful classical score.”
The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix is open 10am-5pm on Sun, June 17. They’re celebrating with performances by father/son and father/daughter duos, live painting by Phoenix father/son artists and a family drumming workshop. Several activities are free with museum admission, and others require tickets.
Families can learn “the basics of African, Latin and pop-music hand drumming with master instructor Frank Thompson” during a 1:30-3pm workshop (tickets $10; purchase museum admission separately). The workshop features basic instruction followed by a jam session, and all experience levels are welcome.
Phoenix musician Paul McDermand and his son Matthew McDermand perform “a diverse program on steel drums, marimba, and Latin percussion instruments” from 10-11:15am. Father and daughter Bill and Rachel Brown perform from 12:15-1:30pm.
Brad Newman of the northern Arizona folk/rock scene performs with son Ethan Newman from 3:15-4:30pm. And there’s a an evening concert in the MIM Music Theater featuring father and son Curt and Elmo Kirkwood. Curt is lead singer for the Meat Puppets (tickets are $27.50).
MIM visitors can enjoy live painting by Phoenix native Such Styles and his son Champ, both graffiti artists, from 1:30-4:30pm. The pair works together “blending old-school traditions with the new generation’s artistic inspiration.”
If the dads in your life enjoy concerts, theater and such, consider gifts of tickets to upcoming performances at Valley venues including the Mesa Arts Center, Tempe Center for the Arts, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Herberger Theater Center.
And remember that lots of Valley museums have gift shops featuring unique fare it’s hard to find elsewhere. Those of you whose hearts are set on ties can find nifty neckwear with an arts twist at the Phoenix Art Museum, Xico gallery, Taliesin West, and both the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and the Scottdale Museum of Contemporary Art.