5 San Francisco Art Museums to Introduce Your Kids to the Arts

San Francisco Art Musuems That You Can Take Your Kids ToA love of art comes from exposure and the opportunity to create. Children can learn about art through traditional framed works hung in galleries and performances, but why not take it a step further by giving them a more hands-on approach? Check out these five San Francisco art museums committed to introducing kids to the arts:

1. International Children’s Art Museum

Children will be delighted to enter the exhibition galleries and discover that all the artists are fellow children. Offering the rare opportunity for kids to view the work of their peers in a formal gallery setting, the museum features art from kids around the world. One of the intended purposes is to see the artistic influences and traditions of different cultures, while also understanding art as a unifying force. Plus, weekend workshops – a staple at many San Francisco art museums – at the International Children’s Art Museum give kids the chance to discover their own artistic talents with hands-on activities.

2. de Young Museum

A San Francisco institution since 1895, the de Young Museum provides an incredible opportunity to bring children into one of the traditional San Francisco art museums with a permanent collection featuring American art spanning many centuries. You can visit the de Young Museum website beforehand to show children which collections are being featured, to build the excitement. The free Saturday classes are geared toward kids ages 4 to 12 and offer a tour of the current exhibitions on display before the kids begin creating their own. The combination of understanding the work of others and then using their imagination to create their own masterpiece is a great exercise in artistic inspiration.

3. Asian Art Museum

The Asian Art Museum admits children under 12 for free, making it an affordable way to gain familiarity with the arts at a museum that offers many family-focused services. Free family tours of the museum help little ones explore the many aspects of the artwork, while using art terms as an introduction. This museum also stages storytelling tours, yoga workshops, and street performances to fully explore the many expressions of art.

4. Children’s Creativity Museum

Billed as an interactive art museum, the Children’s Creativity Museum offers a fun family experience working with a variety of art mediums. There’s more than just finger paint and crayons here – this cutting-edge creator’s haven even offers an animation studio where kids learn stop motion animation techniques by creating their own film! A design studio is another feature, along with a music studio, where there are costumes, a green screen, and everything else you need to film a musical performance. Software tools, such as GarageBand, are also available for exploration of the creative process of recording music.

5. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

One of the few San Francisco art museums that is focused on modern art is the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Prep before your visit with the Family Guide cards, which focus on specific artists, and then see who can recognize the works in the gallery. The museum also likes to take their art to the streets with moving exhibits that showcase art’s ability to exist anywhere!


San Francisco art museums offer many different opportunities for introducing kids to the arts. Select one that strikes your fancy, and get that imagination working in overtime!


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