How does your family spend Sundays? If it's not at the Columbus Museum of Art then it's time to take a second look my friends. The newly renovated Columbus Museum of Art is a wonderful family outing and you can't beat that fantastic price of free.99 !! Yes folks, admission and parking is free on Sundays. Does that make the museum more crowded than normal? Yes. But does that make taking young children to an art museum more tolerable? Definitely, yes. They will actually blend in quite well with all the commotion and all the visitors know what they are in for when arriving on Sunday. I'm definitely not condoning letting your minions run wild (this is a museum after all) but I am saying that it makes the whole experience less stressful knowing that your toddler isn't the lone echo in a silent cave of fragile objects.
As new transplants to the Columbus area, we did not have the pleasure of visiting the museum pre-makeover but the difference is obvious. Modern vs classic. The back entrance is vibrant and open and may remind you of the Apple store in the bright, airy, nature of the space with pops of color. On either side of the back entrance is the gift shop and the Schokko Art Cafe run by Cameron Mitchell. (Kids menu for the win!)
The children's area on the first floor is magnificent. I love that such a cool space like this exists in the midst of what many consider to be a more formal, adult specific, attraction. There is a cute treehouse, costume dress up area, and multiple stations to create your own art and stretch the imagination. This is a space for all age groups from toddler to teen.
I have heard wonderful things about the rotating exhibits (Lego, Chihuly, etc) but for our excursion I strapped the kids in the stroller and toured the standing exhibits. I asked the kids what they saw in each picture and what colors they noticed. It will be so interesting to hear how those answers will change and become more insightful as they age. That is what makes this particular Columbus attraction a definite repeat for us for years to come.
It is a major plus that going on our "adventures" saves our living room from being destroyed, but much more important is the opportunity to stimulate the little minds of which I have been blessed to have charge. Balance is everything and yes, my kids love their movies and toys, but they also love going to new places, seeing new things, and having new experiences. Art is going to have to be a part of their childhood because that creativity is surely going to boil over into other parts of their life and hopefully their future.
We will definitely be visiting in the next couple weeks to celebrate spring with "Art in Bloom."
Until then…. "Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure." - J.K. Rowling