On our way back from Indianapolis, Prof and I had a conversation about how many museums we’ve taken the boys together. It’s gotta be at least a dozen. I started to think about what made some museum trips enjoyable and memorable. Most of our museum visits relied on the hands-on experience. After all, what kid is going to resist touching something that’s cordoned off? There had to be some traits that encouraged an enjoyable museum visit. Here are five helpful tips to get your kids to enjoy the museum, thus making your trip to the art museum an enjoyable one for the whole family.
1. Do your homework.
To get them excited about the museum, research what exhibits are available. Is there an upcoming exhibit that interests your child? Linus is an avid planes, trains, and automobile kind of kid. Mention those words, and he’s sold. What gets your little one excited to learn?
2. Timing is everything.
You know when your child is tired. Don’t go when it’s near nap time. It won’t be any fun for your child or you. Or for others around you.
Unless you’re Tilda Swinton and napping for the sake of art. Awesome.
3. A full stomach leads to a fuller experience.
You can’t ask a young person to learn and soak up information on an empty stomach. Basic human body needs overrides any sense of mental capacity. It may be helpful to stop for a snack/lunch break in the middle of your museum experience. Once they’ve refueled, you can encourage your child to check out more exhibits.
4. Learn museum etiquette.
Some museums are loud and proud, say a children’s museum. Some are a quiet space to reflect on a piece of work, say an art museum. Know thy museum etiquette, and thou shalt have a more enjoyable experience.
5. Be realistic.
We know those who could stay for four hours (or more) to soak in every single piece of art. If the stars are aligned, then you might be able to stay for an hour or two. If everything seems to be falling at the seams, then be prepared to call it day. Most likely it’ll be there tomorrow, so make a trip another day.
Although taking your child to an art museum is a whole different experience. It’s like introducing your child to a new vegetable. He may not like it at first, but keep trying and eventually kale will be part of his meal repertoire. Have you got other tips to make your child’s museum experience a positive one?
Here’s our current running list of art museum visits:
Here are a few other museums worth exploring: