Bringing kids to an art museum can be rewarding, but it can also be trying for parents who want to share their love of art with a child more focused on getting to the cafeteria for ice cream when the tour is over. The best way to avoid meltdowns (and that includes your own) is get the kids involved in a way meaningful to them. With just a little prep work, it’s not as hard as you think. Obviously all of these ideas are not appropriate for all ages, so adapt to your own child’s age.
- Ask yourself, what is my child interested in? Sports? Cooking? Music? What gets him/her excited?
- With this in mind, check out the museum’s website and look through the exhibits, noting those your child might have more interest in. Find out if the museum has a scavenger hunt for kids. If not, make your own.
- Find pieces of artwork that will interest your child and unique elements for them to look for. Print a copy of the floorplan and highlight their locations.
- Pack a pencil, pencil sharpener and a sketch book or some blank paper — if your kids aren’t enthusiastic about drawing, just let them know it’s there if they want it. They may surprise you!
During your visit:
- Look for small details and challenge the kids to find things others might not notice.
- Play “I Spy” to get them really looking at the exhibits.
- Encourage the kids to take photos if the gallery allows it. Be sure they disable the flash.
- If there are common elements, have them see how many they can find. (How many paintings with roses can you find? How many Roman busts are missing a nose?)
- Is there an artist your kids really liked? If so, check the museum shop — most have kids’ books about individual artists or interactive books that bring the artists’ lives and work to life. Use this to encourage their own creativity and expression.
Suggestions for after your visit (courtesy of the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, N.H.):
- Talk about the visit, and ask the kids to tell you about their favorite works.
- Ask, is there anything you wanted to spend more time on? Any type of artwork you found out you really like or dislike?
- Create a piece of sculpture together inspired by a favorite piece, using materials you already have from around the house.
Most importantly, ask questions — What do you see in this picture? Do you think the artist is trying to say something about the subject? How does it make you feel when you look at it? What are the people in it feeling — scared, confident, happy, sad?
You may get some unexpected answers, as a docent at the Baltimore Art Museum in Maryland did recently. She was guiding a school group and as they stopped in front of Rodin’s “The Thinker” she asked, “What do you suppose he is thinking about?”
A little boy piped up, “He’s thinking ‘Where did I leave my clothes?’”
With kids back in school and the grueling temperatures of summer finally behind us, life is starting to get back into the routine of fall. That doesn’t mean, however, that family fun has to stop. Big international trips may not be practical for all family travelers this time of year, but places like South County in Rhode Island offer so many fun things to do for families, a quick trip to this East Coast haven is practically a must.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Take Part in England’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Dusk Wildlife Safaris and Children’s Art Competition
Planning a trip to the United Kingdom soon? Time your travel for the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Somerset, England, from Oct. 13 to 29. The setting is Exmoor National Park, located within a gorgeous mix of farmland, wild forests, stunning valleys and moorlands in South West England.
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Overshadowed by nearby Portland and overlooked by tourists bound for the popular coastal towns of Camden and Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick is not on the radar of most family travelers in Maine. But couples looking for a cozy getaway will find fine dining, antiques, art and quiet streets for strolling, many lined by distinguished homes and well-kept gardens.