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Visiting the Museum of Fine Arts Boston with Kids

Updated on September 10, 2014
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston offers several Community Days or Open Houses throughout the year; admission is free on these days.
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston offers several Community Days or Open Houses throughout the year; admission is free on these days. | Source

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.

Family Art Making Activities are always planned at the MfA Boston during Open House days.
Family Art Making Activities are always planned at the MfA Boston during Open House days. | Source

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!

Here are instructions posted during the recent MLK Day Open House at Boston's MfA.
Here are instructions posted during the recent MLK Day Open House at Boston's MfA. | Source
The Linde Family Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House.
The Linde Family Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House. | Source

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.

There's something for everyone at today's MfA Boston: contemporary, ancient (Greek, Roman and Pre-Columbian American), French Impressionist and much more art!
There's something for everyone at today's MfA Boston: contemporary, ancient (Greek, Roman and Pre-Columbian American), French Impressionist and much more art! | Source

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!

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    Anahi Pari-di-Monriva 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Thanks, @srsddn! It is a great place to visit with - or without - kids! But it's great to expose kids to art early in their lives, I think!

  • srsddn profile image

    srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

    Seems to be a nice place for a family visit. Kids do enjoy museums and family art-making activities must a real fun, the way children normally involve themselves. Thanks for sharing this nice Hub.