Oklahoma City family fun transcends tedium and the boring parts of family life.
Sometimes, I overhear other parents say “We keep going to the same three venues over and over again.” I hear you. There’s literally a community calendar right here of so many places to go, things to do and new venues to see but I know what it’s like to feel that you’ve seen all there is to see and it’s not always easy to get out of the house.
Getting to know your community requires putting on all the socks, finding all the shoes of various sizes and getting in the car. If you have kids under 5, that can seem like a lot of effort when you’re going to the same place you’ve already been. Kids under 5, 10, I don’t know. Someone tell me it gets easier at some age. In any case, leaving the house and disconnecting from all of these screens and making the time to go anywhere out of the ordinary is an effort.
You know what, though? Going to see something together is worth all that struggle because people and places change over time. Kids see the wonder when we no longer do.
My family has been to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. We go a few times each year. Every time, though, it’s different because there’s something new to see. The exhibitions change and with them, the ideas children understand right then about the world.
Come to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art next Sunday, April 9 and find that wonder alongside them. It’s Family Day, which means free admission for kids and adults. Twice a year, the Museum opens its door without charge to the public. Everyone can come and see what’s new, what’s different, all that there is for families.
If you’re definitely coming, you may as well enter to win a prize pack while you’re at it, since we’ll giving it away at the event. It’s worth $200 and includes t-shirts, a Museum restaurant gift card and return tickets. Enter to win here before April 7 and you could pick it up during the event.
Whether your family has been to the Museum of Art or it’s a place you haven’t visited yet, here are five areas to find and enjoy together. Challenge your kids to get around and see them all.
Plan your own scavenger hunt with these five strategies in mind:
Count the samurais: How many can you find in the “After the Floating World” exhibition? Right now, there’s an incredible display of Japanese woodblock art that features a painting style your kids probably haven’t seen before. I know mine haven’t and I want them to see it. There will be conversations about Japanese culture and how did the artist do that and why is there an ocean in that drawing.
Creepy or not? Imagine with me: There’s a cool new photography collection called “The Unsettled Lens” that shows surreal-style images and invites the viewer to imagine what’s really happening in them. The display hinges on the psychoanalytical idea of the uncanny.
I spy with my little eye… Play the color game: Teach your younger children the colors and play I spy throughout the Museum. Chihuly glass makes for a memorable medium where you can point out shapes too. There’s also a temporary exhibition called “The Modernist Spectrum: Color and Abstraction” that’s ideal for older kids to see geometric shapes that stand out way more than in any textbook.
Find Frida Kahlo: She’s in the Museum but maybe not where you’d expect to find her.
See where you can design your own art: Sketch pads are provided to visit the different areas so your kids can copy the art they see. We’ll also be there with crowns kids can color and wear throughout the day. Find the MetroFamily table! Hint: We’ll be downstairs in the lobby.
At my house, suddenly, there’s context for art, more so than ever before. My fourth-grader learns more in school year, my pre-K kid just found out who Keith Harring is and we read about artists’ lives and work and there’s a framework that those visits have now. I recently saw the Dali Museum in Florida and brought home a few picture books. We just read about how Dali arrived at a party in a limousine covered in bunches of cauliflower.
Art is relevant to kids in different ways and at different times. That’s what it’s supposed to do, anyway, make daily life better.
Family Day should make next Sunday brighter and give us all something to think about, the images we all see when we close our eyes at night. Children take it all and we watch them as they watch something else. That’s worth the time and effort. Hope to see you there!