Whatcha gonna do next week in New York before and after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade?
How about a little culture for the kids? It’s a terrific indoor activity when the weather turns cold in New York, whether you are there for Thanksgiving or later this winter: MoMA. New York’s Museum of Modern Art. What I LOVE about it is that it offers a sophisticated environment, yet still reaches out to children.
I understand it may be hard to get your kids excited about going to a museum. I’ve tried all the tricks with my own. But MoMA offers many activities to keep kids engaged, from ages 4-14.
You can take tours that are divided into age groups – for instance, there are free tours for teens and parents only. I like this idea because your teen is able to engage differently than a five year old, so will presumably get more out of it.
These age specific tours encourage discussion & interaction & are available certain Saturdays and Sundays – no tickets are required. It is first come first serve at 10 AM – so show up early.
MoMA is really smart about sneaking in fun while looking at art - there are all sorts of printed guides available for kids with games, puzzles, even bingo where you have to find items in paintings in order to get “five across.” MoMA also has kid-friendly audio tours.
These are just a few of the family–oriented activities… to learn about all of them go to: www.moma.org/learn/kids_families/index
Let me say that the art at MoMA is more interesting for young kids too – bright, big pieces from Monet…
to Matisse. The structure itself feels less formal than other museums because of the big windows and large open spaces.
And adults can get lost here for hours. There is a really interesting exhibition there now until January 26 – Called “American Modern – Hopper to O’Keefe”
It is a small show – won’t take you more than an hour or so, and curated so thoughtfully, it really makes you appreciate how history of the time period influenced the art.
Georgia O’Keefe “Farmhouse Window and Door”
You’ll see works by Georgia O’Keefe that are unlike her more well-known floral pieces, and other paintings that have been in the museum’s storage. It has received mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it – and sometimes can’t relate with those esoteric analyses from art critics.
One of my favorite places in the museum is actually NOT in the museum – it is the outdoor sculpture gardens.
TIP: The museum opens to the public at 10:30, but mornings in the sculpture gardens are free from 9-10:15. I had a coffee and read the NY Times there one morning. If it is bad weather, there is a chance it will be closed, however.
My only complaint with the museum is that to eat lunch in the cafe, there is usually a long line at lunch time. Plan ahead. If you simply want a latte, go to the sculpture gardens.
TIP: A great date would be UNIQLO Free Friday Nights – From 4-8 every Friday the museum is free.
TIP: MoMA offers one free admission to active members of the US Military with valid ID as well as free admission for military families with dependent cards.
TIP: Head across the street to the MoMA store for some unique holiday gifts. The costume jewelry there is beautiful.
MoMA is at 11 W 53rd St. Kids under 16 are free! Adults are $25… It will fuel your passion.