By GRETCHEN MURRAY Special to the Record-Eagle
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Plenty of movies at the Traverse City Film Festival are appropriate for families, but festival organizers fully realize not every film is appropriate for children.
But that doesn’t mean kids have to stay home.
Film Festival officials struck a partnership with KidzArt of Traverse City to provide fun, safe and constructive activities to keep children occupied while parents take in a film.
Daily mini-art camps, geared for ages 3 and older, run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the studio, located in Suite 102 of Front Row Center, 121 E. Front Street, across from the Traverse City Opera House.
Kate Daggett, owner and executive director of KidzArt Traverse City, said children enrolled in the art camps work individually or in groups on age-appropriate projects using paint, clay sculpting, drawing and sketching mediums while under the guidance of KidzArt’s certified instructors.
“We’re happy to work with the children for as long as parents are at the movies,” Daggett said. “Kids come and go throughout the day, but they can stay all day if that’s what the parents wish.”
Costs are $7 per-child, per-hour; $18 per-hour for families of three siblings; $22 per-hour for families of four siblings and $25 per-hour for families of five siblings or more.
KidzArt also accommodates special requests for babysitters for children ages 2 and under. Available sitters have Red Cross training and CPR certifications, and are paid directly by patrons.
Sitters receive $7 per-hour for children under 2 with no more than four children in their care at a time. After 8 p.m. the rate is $10 per child per-hour, regardless of age or number of siblings.
“We are what I call a process-over-project program, meaning we’re more interested in what children learn than what they walk out the door with project-wise,” Daggett said. “We’re very interested in making this an educational experience.”
Daggett said parents, particularly out-of-towners who don’t know where to turn for reliable daycare, tell her they appreciate the service.
“We know that babysitters are hard to come by ... we found that many local sitters are at the movies, too,” she said. “Families tell us it’s a very positive experience, and they’re always blown away with what their child has created on his own.”
Space is limited and Daggett strongly recommends reservations be made 24 hours before movie times. Food is not provided for children, so parents should pack snacks and beverages. A refrigerator is available onsite. For reservations, call 231-421-1222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.