Art Archives - 2 Dads with Baggage
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Art Tour of Seattle With Kids

Art Tour of Seattle With Kids

Without a doubt, Seattle is a hip and happening city full of fresh seafood, great coffee, an amazing food culture and tons of art. TONS. That’s why we approached it as a Art Tour of Seattle With Kids, and it’s just as much fun for the parents.

Seattle boasts a great many fantastic examples of public art, as well as showings of enormously talented local artists. To give you an easy starter list for your Art Tour of Seattle With Kids, our family put together the following high points from our recent visit.

Pike's Market Seattle

Pike’s Market is so colorful and full of interesting things, we could spend all day here rummaging through all the stalls.

Art Tour of Seattle With Kids

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

More like a whimsical Dr. Seuss From Outer Space collection, Chihuly Garden and Glass features incredible artistic works by glassblower Dale Chihuly. Really to call him a glassblower is a vast understatement. Chihuly sculpts glass in such unusual ways with such vibrant colors that is defies the imagination. When we walked into the first exhibition room, we literally gasped out loud at what we saw. Over and over, we asked the kids what they saw in each creation, and our minds were blown with their creativity and imagination.

Chihuly Museum Seattle art glass sculpture ceiling

Even the ceilings at the Chihuly Museum are covered with glass art – so colorful and interesting.

Outside in the garden, Chihuly has woven his art into natural blooming flowers and plants. Colors of glass creations and the flowers around might be similar so they blend together. In another spot, they are so juxtaposed that it conjures images of another planet.

  • Open: 11-6 Sunday-Thursday; 11-7 Friday & Saturday
  • Cost: Adults $24, Kids $14, Under 4 free

Olympic Sculpture Park

Among the lawns and walkways of Olympic Sculpture Park stand one of the most interesting collections of outdoor sculpture we’ve seen. All are available free to the public on a sloping hill with a gorgeous view overlooking the Puget Sound. We weaved through the park admiring sculpture after sculpture, all so different and interesting. Some were more difficult to decipher than others, which made it more fun.

Seattle Olympic Sculpture Park

Throughout Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park, the views of art battle views of Puget Sound.

The sculptures range from monolithic to humorous, from modern to traditional. Plus there are plenty of wide open lawns for the kids to run around and work off some energy.

  • Open: 7 Days a Week during Daylight Hours (check website for specifics)
  • Cost: Free

Walking Tour of Downtown

As we walked through downtown, we came across many examples of public/private partnership. High rise office towers, hotels, restaurants and more – they have all committed to making art a part of their Seattle presence.

Hammering Man sculpture Seattle Art Museum

Art abounds thoughout Seattle, including this kinetic sculpture in front of the Seattle Art Museum.

We started at the Seattle Art Museum on First Avenue, and walked north through town towards Pike Place Market. Every street had an installation to stop and admire as we walked along. With the gorgeous bay to our left, we could pay homage to the original Starbucks location, and continue along an easy pedestrian mall all the way to Olympic Park.

  • Open: 24/7
  • Cost: Free
original Starbucks store Seattle

We loved visiting the original Starbucks while on our art walk through downtown Seattle.

Space Needle

We would be remiss if we did not include the Seattle Space Needle as a true piece of art. This famous landmark is an artwork all to itself, and worth the visit just to understand the story behind its creators’ vision. Intentionally designed to look like a flying saucer, the Space Needle is an honor to the race for space.

Seattle Space Needle from below

The Space Needle is so cool and futuristic, even decades after it was originally built.

There are so many interesting examples of paraphernalia from the 1950s and 60s inside. Plus if you haven’t been to the Needle lately, you are in for a treat. The whole viewing experience has been updated with clear glass instead of the old wire cage. Well worth the visit – plus those incredible views from the top!

  • Open: Daily 10-8
  • Cost: Adults $22, Kids $14, Under 5 Free
view from top of Seattle Space Needle

The view from the top of the Seattle Space Needle is pretty darn awesome.

Alki Beach

One day we ventured out for dinner to meet family that lives locally. They introduced us to the sweet neighborhood community of Alki Beach, the birthplace of Seattle dating back to 1851. Right on the water, Alki offers crazy-good views of the Olympic Mountains and nearby San Juan Islands across the Puget Sound. And Alki is also full of art. With more historic art lining the waterfront (including a smaller scale replica of the Statue of Liberty), the area is full of creative souls who make a living as artists in many mediums. There are galleries full of paintings and photography, sculpture and jewelry makers dotting the streetscapes. Alongside, there are plenty of cool people who look like they have interesting life stories to tell.

Alki Beach Seattle Pugent Sound

Looking out into Puget Sound, we loved hanging out in Alki Beach.

While there, check out Cactus Southwest Kitchen & Bar for dinner. We loved their take on Mexican cuisine, and coming from San Diego that is saying a lot. We can usually judge from a Mexican restaurant’s guacamole if they are going to be good, and this one did not disappoint. They also make a delicious margarita, and offer several non-alcoholic drink concoctions for the kids as well.

Inside , the fire pit warms up the room as we wait for our guacamole and chips.


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Las Vegas for Art Lovers

Las Vegas for Art Lovers

Las Vegas has more to offer than great hotels, shows, food and of course gambling. In fact, Las Vegas is a place for artists and art lovers to gather and fall in love with the brilliance of modern art. From the lights of the strip to its architectural brilliance, visit Las Vegas for art lovers and the city’s landscape of art inside and out.


Bellagio Resort & Casino Las Vegas fountains

The Bellagio fountain are an art form themselves.

Las Vegas for Art Lovers

Here are a few places to check out in Las Vegas for art lovers:

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

Our family has spent hours watching the mesmerizing fountains at the Bellagio Hotel. The last time we were there together, we practically had to pull the girls away from the sidewalk kicking and screaming. When that gets old, go inside the hotel to check out the art gallery. It’s complete with premiere pieces and rotating exhibitions from around the world. The gallery has hosted works from the likes of Picasso and Warhol, as well contemporary artists like sculptor and eclectic artist Yayoi Kusama. The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is the perfect place to take the whole family when the neon lights of the strip get to be a little much.

man looking up at glass flowers on Bellagio Las Vegas ceiling

Triton was particularly amazed at the glass flowers on the ceiling of the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

And how about that collection of artistic glass flowers on the lobby ceiling in the Bellagio main entrance? That creation by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly is a modern masterpiece. It’s called Fiori di Como, and is the artist’s interpretation of Italian flowers in the spring.

Neon Museum

Speaking of neon, art can take more forms than just paintings that adorn museum walls. The Neon Museum is a great example of non-traditional art. This non-profit museum houses and restores iconic Las Vegas neon signs. It’s amazing to see some of the old school marquis signs from the Vegas Strip, so close you can walk up and touch them. Some in this collection are so OG that you’ll have to watch scenes from old movies to even remember where they stood. Actually, the museum is very good at explaining the importance and history of each neon piece of art. This place is a goldmine!

Vegas neon sign

Las Vegas is chock full of neon art, practically anywhere you look.

The Arts Factory

The arts in Downtown Las Vegas range from showcases of masterpieces to stunning shops. The Arts Factory is a nondescript building from the outside, but when you walk inside you’ll be mesmerized. There are scores of  tenants that bring together art, entertainment, and even cuisine for a perfect artistic experience. Gaze on the photography of local artists in Perception Gallery, grab a drink between galleries at the The Urban Lounge, and check out Peace N Art Studio, a collaborative gallery of ecletic art. There’s something for every artistic taste at The Arts Factory.

black and white wallpaper of playing cards and other items

This cool wallpaper pattern at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is truly art in and of itself.

Metropolitan Gallery Las Vegas

The MGLV is more than just a place to view local artists. With more than 17,000 square feet of space on Fremont Street, MGLV is the perfect place to apply to exhibit your own work. If you’re an art creator (not just an art lover), you’ll love this hidden gem in downtown Vegas. It also has space to host individual art for shows and sales (after application and fee). For the visitor, it’s fun to see what local artists are creating in Las Vegas. A nice way to mingle with real people outside of the casino world.

blank canvases are still art

Sometimes art does not framed the way we expect.


Vegas’s CityCenter is a work of art in itself. The architectural design of CityCenter, complete with gorgeous staircases and glass exterior, is home for a large public space of fine art. International artists’ pieces adorn CityCenter to make the 21st century space one of Vegas’s favorite art destinations. Here you can find stunning works by Frank Stella, Henry Moore, Jenny Holzer, Richard Long and more. It’s impressive how the curators have placed art in ways to highlight the architecture of the buildings.

Art for Everyone

Whether you’re a budding artist, born with a paint brush in your hand, or an appreciator of fine art, Las Vegas is a great destination for art lovers. Check out the casinos, sculptures, and galleries that fill the Strip and downtown Las Vegas.

view Las Vegas strip at night

The view of the Las Vegas Strip from our room on the 65th floor at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas – not too shabby.

Las Vegas itself is an art form in an of itself, and we had fun finding a little piece of creativity everywhere we looked. Let us know what you find there – we’d love to add new places to our list!

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Trolling Melrose in WeHo

Trolling Melrose in WeHo

That’s how Sophia and Ava like to refer to our trip to visit Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood (WeHo, get it?) After all, when you hang with the cool kids, you pick up some lingo.

Last week we spent our long Thanksgiving weekend at the Beverly Hilton, mixing it up with the Angelenos for turkey day. One of our favorite outings was to Melrose Avenue to shop, see and be seen.

So Many Murals, So Little Time

On a quest to find the famous angel wings mural that Sophia insisted we visit, we found many others along the way. I guess murals are a thing on Melrose, and each of them were incredible works of art. As we drove along the street headed east from Beverly Hills, we spied literally dozens of artworks on walls in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles. My favorite looked like a cubist Goldie Hawn/Mr. Monopoly mashup from outer space, but here are some other family favs:

The famous angel wings mural did not disappoint. We must have tried 80 poses per girl. The famous angel wings mural did not disappoint. We must have tried 80 poses per girl.

The graffiti murals of Melrose are epic, and we found a whole parking lot filled to the brim. The graffiti murals of Melrose are epic, and we found a whole parking lot filled to the brim.

Triton was, quite literally, made in LA. Triton was, quite literally, made in LA.

Sidebar: It was hilarious to see the hoards of tourists gathered in front of some of these murals to take selfies, sometimes several people deep. #humanselfiemachines

Shopping High and Low

The collection of retailers on Melrose is pretty eclectic – everything from high end boutiques to the iconic Fred Segal on Melrose and Crescent Heights (I have a pair of Fred Segal sneakers that I totally love). There were stores like the K-trash Dash (no, there were no K’s in sight), and then down and dirty skate shoe emporiums catering to a grittier crowd. The girls really liked a new boutique called Sorella, which carried some pretty cool women’s fashions I would characterize as urban chic with an edge. Sophia must have tried on two dozen slutina outfits before settled on something more “age appropriate”.

Sidebar #2: Is it ironic that she paid $$$$ for a pair of cutoff Wrangler jeans from 1985 that I probably had in my closet at one time?

Somehow a photo of the girls with this mural seemed appropriate. Somehow a photo of the girls with this mural seemed appropriate.

Celeb Sightings

Last time we were in LA, we ate dinner at a great vegan/Mexican restaurant called Gracias Madre, which is also on Melrose. Don’t let the idea of vegan Mexican scare you off, because the food is de-licious. This time we opted for lunch there, and are so glad we did. As we walked in the door, a family was exiting and it turned out to be Tobey Maguire with his wife and kids. Just a regular schlub out for a bite in his tshirt and sweats. Shortly after we sat down, the table next to us was seated, and Sophia let out a squeal and said in a not-so-subtle stage whisper, “That girl is famous but I don’t know her name!” As I tried to look over my shoulder, VERY INCONSPICUOUSLY I MIGHT ADD, I realized it was Katie Holmes with Suri Cruise.

Sidebar #3: Have you seen the parody tumblr site called Suri’s Burn Book? Oh it’s goooooooood….

The stars shine bright at Gracias Madre Restaurant on Melrose Avenue The stars shine bright at Gracias Madre Restaurant on Melrose Avenue

All in all, a good Hollywood kind of day.

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What Kids See at Art Museums

What Kids See at Art Museums

We’ve dragged our kids through museums all around the world, and sometimes I wonder what they think. Like this piece on display right now at the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC for instance. Do they see a symbol of our decaying humanity as depicted by a man made of wax, slowly melting away as lit flames devour his head and he turns into a puddle on the floor?

Or do they see a huge birthday candle in the shape of a man, and wonder where the giant cake is? Hmmmm.

Ever have a day when you feel like you are slowly melting away? Ever have a day when you feel like you are slowly melting away?