Almost every child has a love for puppets — and At the Puppetry Arts Institute in Independence, Missouri, you can watch that love come to life.
My kids and I road tripped to Kansas City, MO, and spent the day touring Independence. On our list was the Puppetry Arts Institute. At the time, I was not sure how well this would go over–especially for my young son of age 4 and his limited patience–but 10 minutes into our stop I was proven wrong!
Upon arriving at the Puppetry Arts Institute, we had the opportunity to learn a bit of the history behind the institute from Hazelle Harriet Hedges Rollins, the woman originally behind all the puppets. Hazelle began a small puppet company in Kansas City in 1932 that became the largest puppet factory in the world. The factory made marionettes, hand puppets, and finger puppets until the 1980s, when it closed. Inside the museum, you can see many of the puppets that were produced at the factory.
The highlight of our visit was making our own puppets. The Puppetry Arts Institute offers workshops that allow children (or adults) to get hands-on experience making their own puppet. The session takes 30-60 minutes; you choose your puppet, paint your puppet, and give your puppet a body. Children over the age of 12 can also make their own Hazelle clown marionette; however, these take 3-4 hours and can take a bit of patience.
The institute also hosts monthly puppet shows that are suitable for all ages. Visit here for their schedule of shows and upcoming events.
BeckyDavenport began sharing her family travel stories after many of her friends called, texted, or nagged to find out where her latest adventure was. The real truth about her adventures is she has a strong dislike for sitting still, being bored, and really doesn’t like to go to the same old places everyone else goes. She says she’s no nature expert even though they spend a lot of time outdoors, however, she has a firm belief that fresh air exhausts kids, getting a little dirty is good for their health, and discovering new things keeps them diversified. When Becky is not blogging, traveling, or chasing kids, she enjoys running, dancing, and photography.