Visiting the Museum of Fine Arts Boston with Kids
The Museum of Fine Arts Is a Great Place for Kids!
Thanks to corporate sponsors, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston offers free admission for a day a few times a year. In 2011, we went to the Open House/Community Day on the Monday holiday for Columbus Day. Last year, we went to the Open House/Family Day on the Monday holiday for Memorial Day and, this year, we visited during the Monday holiday celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. For families with kids (even for those with rambunctious toddlers), it’s a fantastic place to visit! Of course, though, we parents have to let go of grown-up expectations: it’s a huge museum and you probably won’t be able to see the entire collection in one day while towing young children. Whether you live in or near Boston, or are planning to visit, the MfA is a must; this article offers a few tips for your next visit.
A Family-Friendly Museum
Whether you visit during one of the Open House or Community Days (when admission to the Museum is free for everyone) or come during any other time of the year, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston’s education department offers activities for kids of all ages. On Open House or Community Days, these activities are set up throughout the Museum and are easy to find. At other times of the year, simply go to the Information Desk and ask. They will guide you to where you can obtain a bag with a sketchbook, colored pencils or crayons and suggested activities for the area of the Museum you are planning to visit. When my daughter was four, we planned to visit the Japanese kimono exhibit room. We received a small tote bag with sketch paper and pencils. We also received some pre-printed postcards with kimono outlines, to inspire young children to create their own textile designs. We spent two hours in that one room alone, with my daughter going from kimono to kimono and then sitting to sketch out her own ideas!
Linde Family Wing at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts
A large space (but, if you have small kids, be careful for there are often large contemporary sculptures around this lobby space and it's easy for small kids to run into them) to wander about, the Linde Family Wing is usually where many of the family art-making activities are set up at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Plus, there's a convenient restaurant right there; great coffee (for parents who may need a quick pick-me-up) and food even finicky kids will enjoy, in a stimulating setting of contemporary art.
Boston's MfA Attracts All Types of People
Boston's Museum of Fine Arts has something for everyone. The Linde Family Wing houses the Museum's vast collection of contemporary art in a building designed by famed architect, I. M. Pei. The MfA also has tons of paintings, by French Impressionists, like Paul Gauguin, and revered American artists, such as John Singer Sargent. It also has world-class paintings, such as Boccaccino's Virgin and Child.The MfA has extensive Ancient and Asian collections as well. If you visit during Spring, Summer or warm Fall days, the Zen Garden will also be open; this is a great place to relax and reflect on the great art you've seen (and perhaps made!) during your visit!