Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Family Outings: My Art Museum Picks

Rain or shine, visiting an art museum can be a great summer family activity for all ages... A few tips for your visit:

• You DON’T have to tour an entire museum at once. It’s perfectly fine to pick a gallery or two and spend an hour taking in a small part of a museum. That leaves something to see on your next visit!

• Consider taking a guided tour. Many can be geared to younger kids and can be really interesting whether you know a little or a lot about art already. The audio-tours can be fun for a few extra dollars, and teens especially like those since they can tune out the grown ups even when we’re right nearby!

• Prepare the kids about how to behave at a museum: Only touch the art if it says you can. Wait your turn to stand in front of the art. Talk softly. No running. No taking pictures of the art even with a cel phone.

Here’s a list of art museums that are family friendly and an hour or less from Southcoast MA. I have personally been to and highly recommend every museum on this list. Many museums have free admission days (check their web sites) or you can get a pass from your local library. Have fun!!

RISD Museum - Providence, RI: Small, welcoming, awesome giant Buddha!

Whaling Museum - New Bedford, MA: In addition to Kobo the whale skeleton and other cool stuff, it has some great maritime art pieces on display.

De Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park - Lincoln, MA: Great for kids since it’s a park and a museum at the same time! Bring a picnic lunch. It also has one of the best art museum gift shops ever.

Heritage Plantation - Sandwich, MA: If you get past the working antique carousel, the art collection has some great pieces of American folk art. An antique gravestone exhibit runs though October 2010 which might be a cool thing for the teens who are into all the current spooky vampire lit.

Fuller Craft Museum - Brockton, MA: A small gem on a pretty lake, the exhibits feature the amazing works of seriously high craft artists.

Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, MA: A mondo museum with world-class permanent and special exhibits. One of the most outstanding collections in the country, and only an hour away.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - Boston, MA:
Suitable for tweens and teens, one of the most gorgeous museums I’ve even been in, it’s like traveling to Venice for the afternoon. Famous for its art theft of 1990, that bit of museum history is just part of the incredible Gardner experience.

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