Musings on Main Street

We often strolled the main streets in Tempe and Scottsdale when our children were younger, but rarely made our way to Mesa. Nowadays, I often make my way down Main Street heading to and from the Mesa Arts Center, which is home to both visual and performing arts venues.

I paused one day to enjoy a relatively new bevy of small shops and businesses, plus longtime favorites like Linton-Milano Music, and found Main Street bustling with families enjoying the sculptures, friends chatting over coffee and folks supporting local fare from vintage clothing to used books.

I remembered playing I-Spy with my kids when they were little, calling out things that they could look for during all those drives between home, school and lessons. Red stars. Yellow cars. Round signs. White animals. Flashing lights.

So when I walked along Main Street in Mesa, I imagined doing a treasure hunt for various types of sculpture. If you’re game, give your kids some themes to look for, then see that they come up with.

Sculptures in Mesa include a trio of children playing baseball, a pair of boys playing on a tire swing, and more. Challenge your children to find a tool, a fish, a book, an orange and a newspaper. Even Humpty Dumpty and a high heel shoe.

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Consider these photos a cheat sheet of sorts. They’ll help you get the lay of the land before you head out with young explorers. When you go, take some drawing materials along. There are plenty of benches and places to sit and sketch your many finds.

While you’re there, check out the many museums located on or near Main Street — Mesa Contemporary Arts at MAC, the Arizona Museum for Youth and the Arizona Museum of Natural History.

Click here to learn more about Mesa’s permanent sculpture collection and find a map you can follow as you explore public art along and around Main Street.

— Lynn

Coming up: Peace out

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