Pacifiers will be flung onstage. Blankies will be abandoned. And, juice boxes will be heavily consumed. Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players are coming to Vegas.
There goes the neighborhood.
The children’s band is just one of many performing acts making its way to the Centennial Hills Amphitheatre on Saturday for the free Children’s Arts Festival. The event will demonstrate for attendees all the arts and culture this city has to offer, starting with killer tunes.
Roberts and his band are really hot on the indie family music scene right now. He travels so much, entertaining his fanbase, that he’s been called the hardest working man in children’s show business.
Roberts, a former religious studies student and Montessori preschool teacher, has recorded eight children’s albums. He’s been nominated for a Grammy and won a dozen awards from national parenting groups.
He was in the vanguard of musicians who broke the tyranny of Barney and gave kids — and just as importantly, their parents — a real choice with catchy pop tunes with clever lyrics.
His gentle humor shows through in songs such as “Meltdown” (about coloring the furniture), “Airplane of Food” (trying to find your baby brother) and “Pop Fly” (spacing out in right field).
Everything here will be family-friendly, starting with the price of admission: free.
The other main acts include Aaron Nigel Smith and Alex & the Kaleidoscope Band. Smith is the founder of FUNdamentals of Music and Movement, so don’t shy away from the gourmet hamburger and hot dog, and ice cream trucks. The little ones will burn off that sugar in the audience here.
The Kaleidoscope Band also gets interactive with the kids and keeps its messages positive with a special focus on world appreciation.
The fun doesn’t end there, folks.
“We’ll have multiple vendors that offer programs for families and children,” says Brian Kendall cultural project specialist for the city of Las Vegas. “We wanted a one-stop shop, an expo, if you will. Often we hear there aren’t programs for families here and there are.”
There will be four zones for kids and their parents to navigate. The dance zone, which features Ballet Folklorico Xyachimal and Nani Ola Hawaiian Dance Company demonstrations. The visual arts zone, where kids can partake in arts classes, clay arts, fish printing and sculpture art. The theatre zone, complete with puppet making and demonstrations from friends of Rainbow Company and Sign Design Theatre. And, finally, the music zone.
In the music zone kids can take in the sounds of the Las Vegas Kaminari Taiko Drummers and enjoy a musical petting zoo. Not to be mistaken with the traditional petting zoo (Roos-N-More Petting Zoo will be on site), this one is brought to them by the Nevada School of the Arts. Kids are encouraged, for once, to abandon the whole “look but don’t touch” philosophy and instead go onstage and feel musical instruments, indulge their curiosities.
Rounding out the event will be balloon artists, face-painters, chalk art and take-home projects.
“It will be a quality day with their families,” Kendall says. “But also, it’s an opportunity to experience the arts in many forms, to have a quality cultural experience.”
Contact Xazmin Garza at email@example.com or 702-383-0477. Follow her on Twitter @startswithanx.