Taliesin West has long been known for offering tours of Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert masterpiece, but its new Youth and Family Programs Manager, Abbie Wilson, also wants to let families know that programs are designed with them in mind.
“I’m not sure if many families think of Taliesin West as a place for kids, but we’re going to change that,” Wilson said.
Through hands-on activities, the programs are designed to encourage people of all ages to explore and discover science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) through fun, interactive activities inspired by Wright.
“Our programs and activities are all about learning by doing, which was Frank Lloyd Wright’s educational philosophy as well,” she added.
The one-hour Family Tour of Taliesin West was specifically created for young visitors and their families. Together with a Museum Educator, families will learn about architecture, the wonders of the Sonoran Desert, and more.
“Our programs allow kiddos and their families to learn and share together, which I think is super exciting,” she said.
During Family Workshops, families can work together to design a unique project. Groups are kept small so educators can take families on an engineering adventure. Educators encourage questions in this active-learning environment that is a great way for children to explore STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities.
“We have an architectural model building workshop, where children and their guardians make their own dream home. It’s fantastic to watch the adults give suggestions to their children, and then see the children critique dad’s interior design or mom’s roofline,” Wilson explained.
Family- and child-friendly activities include programs for scouts, homeschoolers, out of town tourists, local families, and K-12 students, including weeklong camps in spring, summer, and winter.
“We have a long history of summer camps here at Taliesin West,” she said. But summer camps are held indoors due to the heat. Spring and winter camps open new possibilities.
“For winter and spring camp, we get to explore the Sonoran Desert, play outdoor games, and investigate the shelters and structures built by Frank Lloyd Wright’s apprentices. It’s such a different experience and I think both returning and new campers will find these programs unique.”
Girl Scout programs, offering full badge workshops for cadettes and brownies, are also new this year. “The badges focus on nature, design, and art; all things we explore at Taliesin West every day,” Wilson said. “Not every Girl Scout gets to say they earned a badge at a UNESCO World Heritage site!”
Taliesin West is located at 12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in Scottsdale. Learn more and find Youth and Family Programs at Taliesin West by visiting franklloydwright.org/programsguide