Funday Sunday at Gilcrease

Enjoy free admission and art activities the third Sunday of each month at Gilcrease Museum

On the third Sunday of each month, Gilcrease Museum hosts Funday Sunday, a day of free admission and art activities. The last time we attended was December 2017, and I’d been eager to return ever since. That time, we met Santa (twice), made sand-and-glue landscapes, explored the Kravis Discovery Center, and generally had a lovely time. The only issue that day was parking–I circled the lot at least twice before finally settling on the side of an access road-of-sorts behind the museum. I assume it was so packed because of Santa’s presence and also because one of the activities that day was a high school vocal performance.

joss sits on santa's lap in front of a christmas tree at funday sunday at gilcrease joss stands in front of a statue at the front of gilcrease museum during funday sunday

Look at tiny Joss! He’s changed so much since then!

joss uses colorful sand at funday sunday at gilcrease museum a display of children's artwork at funday sunday at gilcrease

For the curious (or those who, like me, readily let potential driving difficulties dissuade them from daring out), parking was a lot easier last Sunday. While the lot was by no means empty, spots were readily available. Yay!

One thing I love about Gilcrease’s Funday Sunday is how they really work to tie in all the activities with the current exhibits. This month, all the activities had to do with their T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America exhibit, which is definitely worth checking out. I’m not going to say much about it because chasing after a small child who doesn’t understand why he can’t touch important works of art means that I didn’t get to really study the exhibit and information available. But I will just say that I think it would appeal to kids because the works are colorful and there are some interactive elements to the exhibit, like listening to some of Cannon’s music and songs written by Samantha Crain inspired by his work, drawing a portrait or landscape in a journal (inspired by Cannon’s own journals), other musical and video elements, etc.

Before starting on the day’s activities, of course, we had to stop by the kids room, which houses a puppet theater complete with animal puppets, a reading nook with log-shaped pillows, sculptures and animal fur that you can touch, a computer loaded with educational games, and a canoe kids can sit in while pretending to paddle down a river, which is projected on a screen in front of the canoe.


I was finally able to drag Joss away from this room (although he kept asking to go back) and to the Vista Room. The Vista Room is another great thing about Funday Sunday: the view is incredible, it is such a beautiful place to create art! The Vista Room activity for this month was to ask your child to think of a loved one and describe them with five words or phrases, creating a simple poem. Then, the child could draw a portrait of the loved one to accompany the poem. This was inspired by a portrait Cannon drew of his grandmother, which was accompanied by a powerful poem that I wish I could find online!

joss draws with colored pencils and funday sunday at gilcrease joss writes a poem for grandma dana at funday sunday at gilcrease

This was Joss’s first poem, which I am thrilled about! 

After this activity, we did the exhibit-exploration one. We picked up a clipboard and prompt sheet and walked to the T.C. Cannon exhibit. The prompt sheet had you search for two paintings in the exhibit, and asked questions about both. One of the questions was “describe what you see,” which is a good, simple prompt that even Joss could answer. Older viewers could, of course, have used it to jumpstart a deeper discussion. For the second painting, a prompt asked you to draw two panels indicating what you thought happened immediately before and after the painted scene. It was really special seeing children sitting on the benches in the middle of the exhibit rooms, working on their own drawings, and discussing the works with their caregivers. After “completing” this activity, we returned the clipboard, and Joss got to pick out a nice prize.

The final activity was to create a collage. A volunteer took Joss’s photo using a polaroid camera, then cut a window in a piece of construction paper, taping the portrait behind it. We then got to decorate the paper using magazines, other colored paper, and words from book pages. The instructional sheet below explains it better 🙂


All in all, we had a wonderful time! The art activities were meaningful and would have been fun for children of all ages, I think. On our next visit, I definitely want to leave time to explore the grounds around Gilcrease, but at least they do have a small garden in front of the museum that we got to run around in for a few minutes.

Have you been to Funday Sunday? What did you enjoy most about it?

Categories: Spaghetti on the Wall