I love the Philadelphia art museum! I used to spend afternoons wandering the galleries after my college classes were over. Now I am a mother to a three year old little girl. I found that the children’s programs at the Philadelphia Museum of art are the perfect way to introduce her to the museum and art. Many of the children’s programs are completely free with admission. I am going to highlight the programs we have attended and found enjoyable.
One of the best events the Philadelphia Art Museum offers is their “Open Studio” event. It’s open to any age child and their caregiver. They have many picnic tables setup in an art studio and at each table there is a different art project the child can create. Each of the projects is tied together with a theme relating them. For example, we recently participated in a “Medieval Themed Open Studio.” My daughter created a sculpture like castle, decorated a piece of armor, made a stained glass window and created her own book. All of the materials and support from the staff is free. My three year old spent about an hour and forty five minutes crafting in this room. She was in heaven with all of the art materials available to her – stickers, confetti, tissue paper, etc. They even gave us a tote bag to carry all of her works of art home with us. The open studio is a great deal of fun and is generally offered once a month between 10AM to 3PM.
Another program we participated in was the “Early Bird” program. This one is specifically geared towards preschool age children. In order to participate you have to ask for a spot when you enter the museum with your admission. The program is free, but it limited to about twenty children. Parents attend with the children and get to interact with them during the craft portion. The first part of the program takes place in a gallery. The children are read a story and then they look at a painting. The teacher of this program was wonderful with the children. My daughter can be shy, yet she felt comfortable enough to participate and offer ideas. The second half of the program ended with a craft that was created out in the hallway of the gallery. My daughter and I sat on the floor and worked together on it. The “Early Bird” program is offered once a month and runs from 10:15AM to 11:00PM.
The next set of free programs for families is the tour programs. They offer three tours depending on your child’s age group. They offer stroller tours for newborns to one year of age. I love this idea because you don’t have to worry about your baby being noisy or upset; you will be surrounded by others with children. They also have a preschool tour program and an older elementary program. My favorite thing about these tours is how specific they are toward certain age groups. This ensures your child will have an excellent time!
The next time you feel like getting out seeing some beautiful artwork, consider bringing your children along and enjoying the many free programs offered. You can find full details at the Philadelphia Museum of art website: http://www.philamuseum.org/