Think the Real to Reel Film Festival is just for adults? Well, think again. The family that films together, has fun together!

We’ve curated two weekends of screenings, exhibits and events sure to delight and inspire art lovers, adventurers and film buffs of all ages. From our Films for Families playlists to our in-school outreach program, the Saugatuck Center for the Arts dedicates itself to creating engaging experiences and educational opportunities for our entire community.

So, before you phone the babysitter, check out the full lineup of kid-friendly events surrounding the 2020 Real to Reel Film Fest:

March 18-26, we’re taking the show on the road to bring the Films for Young Audiences playlist to area students. Since 2013, the SCA has hosted Mountainfilm on Tour: Saugatuck’s program for schools, reaching over 5,000 students annually.

This suite of films exposes students to fascinating subjects, new points of view, inspiring stories that ignite the imagination and broaden perspectives, as well as a dose of adrenaline-packed fun.

If you’re interested in Mountainfilm on Tour: Saugatuck coming to your child’s school, ask their teacher to request more information: whitney@sc4a.org

Saturday, March 21, we’re dedicating the whole day to educating and entertaining the entire fam with our Films for Families series. Across three age-focused sessions, you’ll find 90 minutes of film-fun. See a handful of awe-inspiring Mountainfilm shorts, listen to a story, try your hand at climbing with Scrapyard Climbing Collective, create a themed hands-on project (or two!) and meet animals from the John Ball Zoo up close and personal.

“Film is an awesome storytelling medium that pairs up beautifully with all these other experiences,” said SCA Education & Exhibition Manager Whitney Valentine. “Our Family Film sessions nurture creativity and creative experiences that can be shared indoors, outdoors, alone or together!”

While these playlists are appropriate for all viewers, note they are broken out by age group based on themes and approaches to storytelling. From 9:00 – 10:30 AM, we’ll have films geared for kids age 1-5. From 1:00 – 2:30 PM, check out films for kids age 5-10. And, from 3:00 – 4:30 PM, we’ve got screening for kids 8-14. Tickets are just $6.50, and accompanying adults get in free. Register here.

If you and the young ones are looking to stretch your legs and get in a little cardio, meet us Saturday, March 28 at 11:30 AM for our Adventure Climb up Baldy, sponsored by the Mt. Baldhead Challenge. You’re welcome to join the fun whether you’re seeing films that day or not.

302 steps straight up the slope of this stable sand dune take you to the top of our town where sweeping scenic views of the twin hamlets of Saugatuck and Douglas and the Lake Michigan coastline await. Oh yeah, and there’ll be hot cocoa to sweeten your spirit.

Of course, what goes up must come down. Once you’re done taking in the views atop old Baldy, hit the trail for a hike out to Oval Beach. The selected path winds through the coastal forest and dune grass before letting you out on our civic shore. Trolleys from the Saugatuck-Douglas Interurban Service will be waiting to take you back to the parking area

Joining us on this hike will be Will Robinson, famed thru-hiker and the first African-American male to complete the Triple Crown of Hiking (Appalachian, Pacific Coast, Continental Divide). He is also the focus of Real to Reel film Akuna, which plays Saturday afternoon at the Woman’s Club as part of the Indomitable Spirit playlist.

“Film is an incredibly attractive, accessible medium for all ages,” said SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “From 10-year olds viewing short documentaries during the Children’s Film Festival to adults being awed during the screening of “By Hand” on March 28 – film has limitless boundaries. The stories told through film spark conversation and curiosity. No matter your age or your interests, the film festival will surprise, delight, and inspire you.”

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