Cotton Candy, Short Chefs & Bounce Houses: Kids Guide to the Coconut Grove Arts Festival
The 49th annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival rolls into town Presidents Day weekend (Feb 18-20), bringing nearly one mile of arts, food, crafts & entertainment to the heart of the Grove. It’s three days of family-friendly fun waiting to be enjoyed – and we’ve got all the insider info. Hint – there’s more to the Fair than cotton candy and painting…
- When: Feb 18-20, 10am-6pm daily
- Pricing: $10 per person per day, free for kids 12 and under, $5 admission for Grove residents (ID required), buy at the gate or online
- Where: The heart of the Grove: McFarlane Rd, S Bayshore Dr and Pan American Dr
- Parking: street and garage parking, be prepared to pay – and walk, click here for info
- Bring a stroller – parking can be spotty and the show is surprisingly long
- Lather on the sunblock
- Pack some extra wipes – fair food + heat = mess
- Skip the snacks – there’s food aplenty to be had, brace yourself for munchkin begging
- Potty train: porta-potties are the only on-site option
1,200 artists from 43 states and Canada applied to showcase their goods in this year’s festival. 360 were selected. Genres include mixed media (2D and 3D), painting, photography, digital art, claywork, fiber, jewelry, sculpture and wood. Prices vary by artist and are sometimes open for negotiation. Click here for a list of participating artists. Warning – it can be hard to shop with a little one in tow. If you find something you love, snag it early and/or get the artist’s card for follow-up. A few particularly munchkin-friendly artists to check out:
- Ed King: A neo-pop artist who transforms his visions of the world into imaginative artwork
- John Chumack: A photographer of astronomy focusing on images of space and the galaxies
- Steve Doan: A photographer specializing in underwater imagery
- Christopher Smith: A bronze sculptor who focuses on nature and animals
- Keith Bradley: A sculptor who uses scrap metal and other resources to create larger than life animals
Thing of the Fair as a three-day smorgasbord. Arepas, pizza, ice cream, smoothies, cotton candy and gyros are among the dozens of options available at the food carts & Global Food Village. Little ones (and adults) will be salivating at all the choices – brace yourself for whining and sugar overload.
When you’re ready for a rest, grab a seat for a live cooking demo (or two) in the Culinary Pavilion (warning, this is best for older and/or sleeping munchkins) or bring the whole family to a kid-friendly Short Chef presentation. Chef Ray Newlands will be on hand Sunday at 2pm to discuss fighting childhood obesity and Chef Paulette Bilsky will take the stage Monday at 2pm.
Each day of the Festival features two-four live musical performances, great for munchkin entertainment and parental rest time. Highlights include Nestor Torres (Sat at 5pm) and Suenalo (Sun at 5pm). Click here for the complete list.
It wouldn’t be a fair without the bounce houses. Treat munchkins to bungee trampolines, water-ready hamster balls, bounce houses, tower slides and arts & crafts in the kid zone in Peacock Park. Warning – some activities may come with additional fees.