Learning about light at the Exploratorium (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)
Getting out of the house for an art event is good fun. Speaking of houses, children can enjoy making their own edible candy houses for the holidays. Grownups may prefer admiring someone else’s house, namely an 18th century English palatial country estate. San Francisco art lovers have plenty of choices this winter, some with free admission, that will appeal to youngsters and oldsters and everyone in between.
Light Walk: Bob Miller And The Exploratorium
San Francisco Main Library
100 Larkin St.
Art, Music and Recreation Center – 4th floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
Date: Through Feb. 5, 2015 (see library website for opening hours)
The 40th anniversary of the Exploratorium’s Artist-in-Residence program features an exhibition about the work of Bob Miller (1935-2007). The multi-talented Miller was one of the first to be invited by the founder of the Exploratorium, Frank Oppenheimer, to “come and play” in 1970. The result was the creation of some of the museum’s most well-loved interactive displays exploring light, color and shadows. Miller continued his work at the museum for two decades. Admission is free.
Holiday Crafts Fair
199 Museum Way
San Francisco, CA 94114
Date: Dec. 7, 2014 at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Kids, bring your folks to the children’s museum run by the city’s recreation and parks department. If you don’t already know the place, you’re in for a treat. Admission is free and so is the Saturday crafts day. In the true holiday spirit, there are gifts and decorations to make yourself. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to guide with roll-your-own beeswax candles, handmade candle holders, scented soaps and candy houses. The Daniel Davinci Comedy Circus Show performs in the auditorium at 2 p.m. The café offers a menu with tasty sandwiches, piping hot chili and more.
Travelogue With Michael Wolfe
Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Date: Dec. 13, 2014 at 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
A Talks & Lectures presentation by the poet, author and acclaimed filmmaker takes the audience along as Michael Wolfe shares his personal stories from journeys around the Arabian Peninsula. In 1997, Wolfe filmed a pilgrimage for ABC’s “Nightline” with Ted Koppel. The talk is free with admission to the museum, which is featuring the exhibition “Roads of Arabia: Archeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” through January 18, 2015.
(credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)
Docent Tour And Tea – Houghton Hall: Portrait Of An English Country House
Legion of Honor
100 34th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94121
Date: Tuesdays – Sundays through Jan. 18, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m
Interiors from the palatial Norfolk home built by Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, in the 1720s, including paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Andrea del Sarto, Artemisia Gentileschi and John Singer Sargent, are on display. Docent tours are conducted twice daily at varying times and are free with exhibition admission, generally $10-$18. Museum-goers can get into the proper British swing of things with a tea served in the museum café, the menu starting at $2.50.
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Authentic Disneyland Railroad Train (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)
All Aboard: A Celebration Of Walt’s Trains
The Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94129
Date: Through Feb. 9, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Tuesdays and holidays
Walt Disney was a kid at heart, and he certainly loved trains. Railroading influenced Disney’s life, his work and continues as a presence at Disney attractions and theme parks around the world. Guest curator and railroad historian Michael Campbell collaborated with Disney’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, and her son, Walter Elias Disney Miller, on the exhibition. Tickets to the special exhibition are priced at $17-$25 and include the permanent collection.
Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on Examiner.com.