I am passionate about the arts and particularly about kids having access to looking at, thinking about, and making art (see my Culture with Kiddos post from 2018). When I first moved to Idaho Falls six years ago, I was delighted to discover that there is a TON of art stuff going on here and a great deal of it is kid friendly. The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho (TAM) is our featured non profit for IFMB Cares this month, and I was very happy to be given the assignment to write about it! I’ve worked in the arts for close to two decades now and I know that many parents of small children do not want to take their kids to an art museum. They might be worried about their crazy tiny humans damaging something, or being too loud, or they might just be intimidated because they don’t know much about art themselves. I’m here to tell you that you do not need to worry about this at TAM! They have a very welcoming, non-intimidating atmosphere with activities designed for kids available all the time. Kids pay just $2 and under 5s are free (adults pay $4); on the first Saturday of every month, admission is completely free for everyone! There’s a permanent dedicated space for kids inside the museum and an outdoor playground right next door, so you really have no excuses not to visit with your wee ones.
TAM is a regional leader in the visual arts with a mission to promote the power of the arts to educate, inspire, and enhance the lives of individuals of all ages and abilities in eastern Idaho. They want to ensure that the arts are an integral part of living, which is something I am 100% in support of. As well as their schedule of rotating exhibitions in the galleries and their kids “Art Studio,” TAM also offers youth and adult art classes, art camps for kids in the summer, and their unique ARTworks program, in which they take hands-on activities into the classroom in schools across eastern Idaho. One of my favorite activities to do with my kids is their “Eye Spy” scavenger hunt, which challenges kids to study the artworks on display to find small details. It really encourages them to stop and look at the paintings, and makes the whole experience more interesting for a small person. TAM also offers regular Family Days, during which they offer fun, hands-on activities in addition to free admission and the chance to see all of the regular exhibitions. The next one is on January 25, 11am-3pm.
As with all non profits, TAM relies on support from the community in order to provide all of the wonderful programs that they do at such a low cost. You can support them through membership, which gets you free admission year-round, at one of their fund-raising events, or simply by participating in a class or camp.
Address: 300 South Capital Avenue, Idaho Falls, ID 83402
Phone: (208) 524-7777