I feel so lucky to live in an area so rich in museums! My kids get to spend several days each year contemplating rooms full of Rodins, cases of ancient cultural artifacts, and galleries of contemporary art at NCMA. A stroll through the permanent collection can take us an entire day, so we try to divide up our trips by whatever artistic subjects are relevant to our studies at the time, or we may take a few hours and spend them in one of the museum’s amazing temporary exhibits. While the permanent collections are strictly hands-off, the special exhibitions often have interactive pieces, and sometimes a whole gallery for children’s discovery and creation. Outside of the exhibit halls, visitors are treated to acres of manicured walking trails that wind around and through outdoor exhibits, an amphitheatre, and a discovery garden with a great slide sculpture and sensory garden. The rolling hills of the park lead down to a wooded area with bridges and an AMAZING ‘cloud house’ built of stone and earth . The wooded trails loop back to the parking areas, amphitheater, and connect to a greenway that crosses the highway. Pop-up art programs are held regularly out in the small pavilion in the middle of the park, and are a great, free way for kids to connect to the art. I hope you and your family get to see some of the wonderful pieces this museum has to offer soon.
With Love, Turtle Dove
Know before you go: There are restrooms in both exhibit halls and outside underneath the amphitheatre. There are no restrooms out in the art park.
There is no charge for the museum entrance, but special exhibits usually have a fee. Children under 6 are often discounted or free.
There is food available at the art museum cafe, but you may need a reservation to be seated on busy days. It is slightly formal, and the arrangement doesn’t lend itself to play, but you can order and take food outdoors. Sip Cafe, also in the main building has great coffee and baked goods.
The museum is closed Monday, but the park is open each day, dawn to dusk.