Getting the most out of your art museum trip

Yea it’s museum day! Your family is excited as you all pile in the car. How can you get the most out of your precious time together? Here are some tips to help you enjoy your local art museum to the fullest.

  • Go when your family is at their best. for some it’s morning, for others the afternoon. Assess your family’s best time and go then. And remind the kids about the usual–whispering, not touching anything, etc. so they know what to expect, especially if it’s their first time.
  • Go on free day. Many museums offer days with free admission. Take advantage.
  • Check the schedule. Before you head out the door check the museum’s listing of temporary exhibits. Maybe one fits what you are studying. Mark future exhibits on your calendar so you won’t forget.
  • Study a local artist that has work in your museum before you go. Your kids will enjoy the artist’s work much more when they feel connected to the artist. Maybe you can even schedule a studio tour with the artist. It never hurts to call and ask!
  • Leave prepared. Have all the stuff you would have wherever you go. Feed the kids. Wear comfy shoes.
  • Get a map. Plan out your tour, learn where the bathrooms are (and the fire exits too) and see what’s available for viewing.
  • Get a tour from a docent. They will tell you all the interesting tidbits you might never learn otherwise. They are passionate about the museum and will usually offer a great tour.
  • Go on a regular basis. You don’t have to see the whole thing at once. Take it in small bites and savor each moment.
  • Buy a membership. Membership really does have its privileges. Members have access to private shows, special events, classes and newsletters. And if you are a regular museum goer you’ll save money on admission.
  • Plan a visual scavenger hunt. Make a list for the kids to check off, such as “a lady with a hat” or “a piece of fruit” or “a statue of a horse” and let them look for them.
  • Don’t skip the gift shop. It’s a great place to pick up unusual gifts. And they almost always have neat things you can use in your homeschool, like sun printing paper, models and art prints.

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