Los Angeles art museums are wonderful places for children to learn about many different areas of arts and culture. While most galleries and museums are designed more for older children and adults, some stand out as venues where youngsters are welcome to learn and explore the world of color and imagination. Here are a few of our favorites:
J. Paul Getty (1892-1976) left his priceless collection of art, sculptures, decorative arts, and furnishings to the public at the free Getty Center, located at 1200 Getty Center Drive. This is one the major Los Angeles museums with spectacular gardens and a view of West Los Angeles.
Children will enjoy the Family Room and its five activity coves, where they can decorate an illuminated manuscript, play with cameras and lenses, and build sculptures from tubes. They’ll also be fascinated with a hall of mirrors and a treasure hunt, which leads them to peepholes where they can get a bird’s eye view of the fine art in the galleries.
The Getty Center is an excellent place to spend an afternoon or a whole day exploring the modern building and its gardens.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The LACMA (5905 Wilshire) offers tons of great programs for kids, including the nation’s only free youth membership program, Family Sundays, Story Time each week, art classes for kids and teens, and even a special gallery where kids and family can make art together and learn about Asian brush painting and textile skills.
Zimmer Children’s Museum
This is one of the special Los Angeles museums created especially for children, located at 6505 Wilshire in the Goldsmith Center in the Miracle Mile. Here, kids can participate in story time and sing-alongs, create art projects, and much more. The museum also hosts playtime exclusively for babies every Wednesday morning, where babies and their caregivers can explore in a more relaxed setting.
Kidspace Children’s Museum
Take a trip to nearby Pasadena for the Kidspace Museum at 480 N. Arroyo Blvd. This is another of the Los Angeles art museums that explores science and art with exhibits, classes, and workshops. The Imagination Workshops gives youngsters a chance to create art from tubes, old toys, baskets, and other items. Kids can also drop in to classes to learn about soap making, mosaics, and more.
Children’s Art Studio
Color is everywhere at the Children’s Art Studio at 12401 Wilshire Blvd in the Brentwood area. This is where kids ages two through teens can discover the world of creativity through painting, woodworking, and pottery. Parents are also encouraged to participate alongside the kids, too!
The Hammer Museum, maintained by UCLA, is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd at Westwood. This is another of the Los Angeles art museums that’s great to visit with the family. It’s sponsored by the family foundation of the late Armand Hammer (1898-1990), and houses his collection of classic and contemporary art, along with a variety of special exhibits. This museum also hosts lectures from local artists, and all programs are free to the public.
Art is everywhere around Los Angeles. This is one of the major advantages of living in a large metropolitan area! So next time you’re looking for things for kids to do in Los Angeles, take advantage of the many LA art museum offerings to help your children appreciate art in many forms.
Photo by Smart Destinations