How to Take Kids to the Museum

Being silly at the Maeght Foundation

Do you take your kids to museums? I don't mean children's museums - which are great, but different - but actual art and history museums. That adults enjoy. I used to be intimidated by this activity, but over the years I've stumbled onto some good strategies for keeping everyone happy...

Know before you go

Research the museum websites before you go - but look beyond the opening hours. Many museums offer children's tours and art activities during certain parts of the day. Plan your visit accordingly.

Also, some museums have great interactive websites for kids. One summer in Paris, Sophia got hooked on obsessed with Le Louvre's Tales of the Museum. When we finally visited the museum, she was dying to see all the pieces she had learned about.

Le Louvre has a great interactive website for kids.

Create a scavenger hunt

Like the tip above - this is all about getting kids excited to look for their favorite pieces. It sounds counterintuitive, but go to the gift shop first. Have everyone pick out a few postcards of the art/sculptures they want to go find. Then get a museum map and go on a scavenger hunt! It's not the most logical way of appreciating art, but it keeps things fun.

Or you could get a few families together and contact Watson Adventures. They will create an organized scavenger hunt for you!

Super-special sketch book

My girlfriend swears by this tip. She buys "fancy" art supplies for each kid, which they are allowed to use only on museum days.  She says that her girls look so cute sprawled out on the museum floor sketching, that strangers stop to take pictures of them!

sketching at the museum

End on a high note

In other words: Get in, get out, get ice cream.

You don’t have to spend all day just because you paid an entrance fee. Better to leave happy after 1 hour than have your kids hate museums altogether after 4 hours. Get out of there before everyone crumbles. Go get some ice cream and talk about your favorites.


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