Family Visitors

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We welcome families & kids of all ages!

From Preschool Play Dates to drop-in ARTventures: Gallery Fun for Families on weekends and holidays, the galleries are a great place for families to experience amazing things together. We hope these tips will help make the museum a favorite destination for you and the children in your life.

Planning Your Visit

Before Your Visit
→ Build some anticipation by asking your child what kinds of art he or she expects to see at the museum.
→ Remind everyone about museum behavior:
    • All visitors must stay about 18 inches away from the art.
    • Even though it looks so appealing, we can’t touch the art—even very clean hands have natural oils that can damage artwork!
    • The galleries are for walking and taking a good look at the objects on view, no running, please. Feel free to talk out loud and enjoy what everyone has to say about the art. Security officers protect you and the art. Please respect their requests. 

 

During Your Visit
→ Ask at the admissions desk about family activities or, on weekends and holidays, find our friendly ARTventures staff in the galleries. Signs in the lobby will point you in the right direction. 

→ Consider touring the collection with a free family audio guide narrated by Art Cat, the museum’s mascot for kids.
→ Pick up ARTventures activity cards for a variety of fun conversation prompts and activities for kids and grown-ups to do together.
→ See our tips for discussing art with children (below). 

 

Amenities for Family Visitors
→ Strollers are permitted in the galleries (use your own or pick one up in the museum’s coat rooms on a limited-availability basis). You may store your stroller in one of the museum’s coat rooms.
→ Backpacks, bags, or purses smaller than 11"x16" are permitted in the galleries; these items may not be worn on the back but may be carried by hand. Umbrellas are not permitted in the galleries.
→ Food and drinks are not permitted in the museum galleries, but you can visit Carnegie Café or Fossil Fuels Cafeteria for lunch or snacks.
→ Accessible bathrooms with baby changing stations are available throughout the building.
→ Photography (without a tripod) of the museum’s collection is permitted. Typically, photography is NOT permitted in temporary exhibitions. See our photo policy. 

 

Tips for Discussing Art with Children
→ Take a quick look around each gallery. The museum’s curators organized the artwork in each space—what do you think about the artworks that are next to each other? What do you see that is similar or different about them? If you had to give the gallery a name or theme, what would it be?
→ Ask your children open-ended questions like, “What’s going on in this picture?” Prompt them to support their opinions with observations by asking, “What do you see that makes you say that?”
→ Take turns telling a story about a work of art. Grown-ups say one sentence, children say the next sentence, and so on.
→ Bring paper and a pencil and encourage your child to draw from observation (sorry—pens, markers, and crayons are not permitted in the galleries).
→ Play “I Spy” by describing an artwork in the room and asking your family to guess which one you are describing.
→ Ask your child, “How did they make that?” and let your child speculate about an artist’s process, technique, and materials.