Kids Activities

Children's Art & Literacy Festival
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The second weekend of each June, downtown Abilene is transformed into a childhood adventure into art and literacy for three days. The CALF honors a different picture book artist each year whose work is on exhibit at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature. Activities include the Storybook Parade, artist talk at Paramount Theatre, Storybook Sculptures, dramatic readings, live animals, costumes, magic shows, live music and art activities. ArtWalk night on Thursday is free. Registration required for Friday and Saturday activities where you can earn 11 buttons for your lanyard.

Children's Performing Arts Series
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Come see professional touring theater companies present child friendly shows at the Historic Paramount Theatre. Some shows include an exclusive after party. Past shows include magicians, "The Wizard of Oz," "The Jungle Book," "Pinkalicious" and more!


National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature (NCCIL)

102 Cedar St.

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The NCCIL collaborates with award-winning artists to produce exhibitions of their artwork that are distinctive, appealing to museum visitors of all ages, and of the highest quality. Following its debut at the NCCIL gallery, each exhibition travels to museums, public libraries and galleries nationwide.

To the local community, the NCCIL offers:

  • 1. Opportunities to meet visiting artists during exhibition opening events.
  • 2. FREE family art activities every Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and a reading area.
  • 3. Docent-led school tours to elementary classrooms.
  • 4. Annual summer art camps for ages 5-11.
  • 5. Books signed by exhibiting artists.
  • 6. Bookstore featuring books from exhibit artists and plush toys.
Storybook Guide

Storybook Capital of America Adventure Guide

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Over the years, Abilene has undertaken a series of unique efforts to showcase the wonders of children's literature. The city is home to the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, the Storybook Sculpture Project and the annual Children's Art & Literacy Festival in June. To find all the Storybook Sculptures in downtown Abilene, download the Adventure Guide or pick one up for free at the T&P Depot, 1101 N. 1st St. on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.


Mobile Storybook Scavenger Hunt

Download the adventure guide


Earn a Storybook Capital button by completing the free Storybook Scavenger Hunt on your mobile phone! Download the free GooseChase app for Android or iPhone. Sign up and select a user name. Join the game by searching for Storybook Sculpture Scavenger Hunt. Complete missions by submitting creative photos from within the app of the Storybook Sculptures in downtown Abilene. Do not climb on the sculptures to take photos. After completing your missions, pick up your button at the T&P Depot, 1101 N. 1st St. on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Children's Museum

Children's Museum at The Grace Museum

102 Cypress St.

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Located on the second floor of The Grace, the Children’s Museum serves as a hands-on discovery-based learning center for children and families. The space underwent renovations in 2007 and 2009, including addition of a child-size replica of Abilene’s Paramount Theatre complete with sets, costumes, dressing room and lights. The space also includes a Texas twister, showcase of local student artwork and much more! Winning art pieces from the first Children’s Museum Art Competition is now on view in this space.


For more information on classes and programs available for children, visit the website.

Seymour Passport

The Seymour Passport Project

For the 2013 Children's Art & Literacy Festival, six 3-foot-tall Seymour characters were permanently hidden at different Abilene locations. Seymour is a character created by Walter Wick, the 2013 CALF honoree. To help children find each Seymour, a passport was created. Visitors to each destination can have their passport stamped and receive a Seymour sticker. The passports are free. No admission is charged to see the Seymours. The six locations are: The Grace Museum, Frontier Texas!, The Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene Public Library, National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature and the Abilene Zoo.


Click here to see passport.


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Every second Thursday of the month, the Center for Contemporary Arts hosts a downtown-wide mini-arts festival known as ArtWalk from 5 to 8 p.m. Each month is a different theme (DogWalk, CarWalk, etc.), and families can enjoy free museum exhibits and activities, including street performers. The Abilene Public Library and other downtown groups offer free children's crafts. Restaurants and shops are open late. Abilene's ArtWalk continues to serve as a model for other cities seeking revitalization through the arts.