|"The Scream" National Gallery, Norway|
When we do make it to the museums, it requires a bit of work on our part to keep the little C&Gs interested and focused on what we're looking at. We've found a few games and challenges that work well and give us at least two good hours of fun and adventure. After that, we're all in need of some gelato. And cocktails.
Many museums have helpful information on how to visit with kids on their website. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has phenomenal family guides online you can look at before you go, and they are also available at the information desk when you arrive. The Guggenheim has a downloadable activity guide for kids showcasing the unique architecture of the museum. Our first stop in any museum is always the information desk for maps, activity books, scavenger hunts, or any kid friendly info they have on hand.
|Crafts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum|
Postcard I-spy is always a fun game if you're up for spending a few dollars in the gift shop before heading into the galleries. We let the little C&Gs pick out a postcard or two (try and pick something you know is in the collection), then it's their job to track it down. We have to give them a brief art history lesson (Monet's Water Lilies will be found in Impressionists, not ancient Roman sculptures) while they're looking at the map and then off they go. When we've left the museum and are seated somewhere nearby enjoying cocktails, the postcards make perfect scrap paper for the little C&Gs to color or play tic tac toe on.
|Harvard Museum of Natural History collection|
We played it again at the Yale University Art Gallery by sending Big C&G a few galleries ahead to find his mystery artwork. Little C&G had to keep his eyes closed till his brother came back and then the challenge was on. He got stumped looking for the giant dots that turned out to be a corner of a comic book style painting by Roy Lichtenstein. The game works especially well with modern art and the crazier the better!
Be sure to check with the guards in the galleries to get permission to sketch or take photographs of the works of art. Most museums will allow photography, as long as you turn off your flash. You wouldn't want to end your day of adventure with a trip to the police station to bail out your suspected junior art thief.