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Published: Monday, July 23, 2012, 8:39 a.m.

Chihuly can be an inspiration for kids

  • Chihuly-inspired artwork.

    Chihuly-inspired artwork.

Last weekend my family went to visit the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. Afterwards we ate lunch at Collections Cafe, which is part of Chihuly Garden and Glass and located right at the base of the Space Needle. In all honestly, it was the most pleasant meal my family has had in recent memory.

The weather was nice, we were seated outside, there was live music off in the distance, and my children were (for once) well-behaved and ate everything on their plates. Bruce and Jenna shared grilled cheese, French fries, watermelon, berries, cookies and milk. I had an excellent gluten-free chicken salad with pear cider, and my husband ordered a hamburger. We paid about $15 more than if we had eaten in the nearby food court, but this was money well spent.

The surreal moment for me as a mommy-blogger, was sitting at our table and using my husband's smartphone to look up a blog post on Exploring More that shared ways to teach your children about Dale Chihuly. My 7-year-old was instantly hooked by Mr. Chihuly's eye patch and wanted to learn more. So the next day we did our own Chihuly-inspired art project, taking our directions from the Boston based author of Exploring More.

For our version, we painted white coffee filters with finger paint. Then we arranged the filters over plastic cups to dry. While they were drying we gave them a good dose of spray starch, which I purchased at Fred Meyer for about $2. The filters were so wet by this point that it took a full 24 hours for them to dry.

Once the filters were dry, I (the adult) used a hot glue gun to attach them all together, and finish our "installation." This ended up being a family art project, because it took all of our filters together to create one piece.

My mom and some out of town guests have already visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit and absolutely loved it, but Grandma cautioned me that it would probably not be a very fun place to take children who "had a hard time containing themselves." Since my own kids make me nervous just standing next to my china cabinet, I don't know if I'll be taking my kids to the Glasshouse anytime soon. We will certainly be going back to the restaurant, however! :)

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at
Story tags » Family fun

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