Tips for Visiting Art Galleries with Children, Part 1

Many kids might perceive art galleries to be dry, stuffy places, but a rewarding learning experience can be found for those parents who know how to reveal it.

1. Pre-visit Preparation Children might find artwork more interesting if they are prepared to receive it prior to arriving at a gallery. Search online for an art gallery you would like to visit, then research that exhibit hall to find out about the works they have on display. Then, rent books and videos about the artists and their works to read and view with your children.

2. Look, Do Not Touch Children are naturally inclined to touch things that interest them. Sit down with your child before visiting an art gallery, and explain that art is meant to be seen, not touched. You should also talk to them about other museum and gallery faux pas, such as running, shouting, and horseplay.

3. Safe Play Areas Children, especially small ones, will have a tough time keeping their bountiful supply of energy bottled up for their entire visit. While conducting your pre-visit research, look up nearby parks and playgrounds to stop by after the gallery, or as a means of breaking up the gallery visit. Some museums have playrooms on-site.

4. Ask and Receive Questions Children are naturally curious, and should be encouraged to ask questions. Stock up on gallery pamphlets and booklets to consult when your child inundates you with inquiries. Likewise, you can ignite a child’s curiosity by asking them questions.

By Albert Scaglione