The Oklahoma City Museum of Art isn't just for out-of-town visitors. It's a resource for local families that's surprisingly family-friendly. If you haven't gone to the Museum lately, now is the perfect time to plan a visit and find out all that it has to offer for both parents and children. Oklahoma City family fun happens at 415 Couch Drive, in the center of the city.
My sons and I enjoyed Family Day, a twice-annual free admission date, this past Sunday. The event featured hands-on arts and crafts, including still-life sketches and plaster creations, as well as open galleries with the latest exhibition, "Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris." There was definitely something for each person in our family, as the hands-on crafts held their attention and my husband took advantage of the opportunity to point out masterpieces he's seen in France that we might not otherwise be able to show our kids in person.
The ongoing exhibition "Illuminations: Rediscovering the Art of Dale Chihuly" was Sam and Isaac's favorite, with a display of colored glass in complex shapes that sparks the imagination. Knowing that the display will be available all year long prompted me to find out what else they'd enjoy on a return trip.
The Museum offers a variety of classes for kids of every age, beginning at just 15 months. Isaac is an energetic toddler but finding a class that holds his interest and allows for a margin of supervised messiness is a challenge that the Museum's roster looks prepared to meet. The sensory experience is sure to be well worth the $10 I'd pay as a non-member. I'm sure Sam, 7, would enjoy an upcoming self-portrait class. All children must be accompanied by an adult, which is fine with me. It's worth my time to watch Sam and Isaac learn about art through a sensory experience and not every venue can accommodate their five-year age gap.
There are other ways to enhance the experience too. Stop by the admissions desk for a free backpack full of materials that help foster learning by making the exhibitions more hands-on that they might otherwise be. Toddler Totes, small backpacks with age-appropriate activities, songs and stories, are available for kids up to age 5. Discovery Packs are for elementary-school students and feature exhibition guides, drawing pads, color paddles and kaleidoscopes.
Classes are listed here. Maybe we'll meet you and your children this fall!