While I have been to some larger art museums, such as the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and The Tate Gallery in London, my kids have only been to one smaller art museum that can be quickly walked through. I wanted to take them to a large art museum, but I was also afraid that they might not find an art museum quite as enchanting as I would.
10 Notes on Taking the Kids to a Large Art Museum
1. I had thought about going to an art museum with the kids for quite some time, but kept thinking they might not like it, so I kept putting it off. I shouldn’t have underestimated the kids.
2. I figured that Noah, in particular, would be bored. Instead, he filled us in on history, talked about some cultural tidbits, and even discussed a large vase’s decorations with one of the museum employees.
3. Kids will find African fertility types of figures incredibly amusing. If you are, hypothetically, an adult who secretly has the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy, you will also find them wildly amusing.
4. Sometimes, you just feel called to strike a pose:
5. It was fun to see the kids’ reactions to both traditional art forms and to more modern works. Sometimes, all we could do was shrug and say, “Um, okay.” But, the fun part of that was that all the kids felt comfortable sharing what they liked or didn’t like about the pieces.
6. One of the funniest moments was when we were looking at some modern, abstract art and Molly delivered her reaction with a deadpan delivery, “Oh yeah, that really expresses my soul.”
7. I loved when we came upon this large painting that, even though we haven’t studied about her at all, the kids recognized that it was done by Georgia O’Keefe:
I also may be clueless, but I thought she only painted flowers. So, we were all pretty interested to see some other non-flower works for her too.
8. The kids all found different pieces or areas that made them feel particularly moved. For a place that I thought they might find boring, that was a surprise to me. A wonderful, magical surprise.
Of course, they weren’t the only ones moved. I loved so many parts of it, but for me, it was hard to keep walking when we stood in front of paintings by the likes of Cezanne, van Gogh, and Gauguin all in a row.
9. I hadn’t realized that the museum would have a hands on area for kids. It wasn’t overly impressive, but it was a fun addition to our day. Oh, and apparently the proper attire for an art museum trip is a beret.
10. So, this leads me to the question that I have posted at the end of each of the posts in this series — Would I do it again?
Absolutely, unequivocally yes.
I thought they would end the day with a cheer to leave, but instead, they just loved the whole experience and so did I. It reminded me that I have to be more willing to try these new experiences with the kids because they usually surprise me.
Join 40,000+ Other Awesome People
Subscribe to the Real Life at Home weekly newsletter to get our latest content, exclusive free printables, learning activities, and ideas for celebrating with your kids all year