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Hit the art museum with a toddler? It totally happened.

imagine the possibilities

Let me begin by saying that I’m not really an art museum sort of person. I totally get it and respect it, but unless it’s in France or is focused on ancient civilizations, it’s hasn’t really been my thing.

However, last week I was listening to my local NPR station (yes, I’m one of those people) and the local host was interviewing the Executive Director ‎of the Columbus Museum of Art.

They were discussing how the museum just finished a several-stage massive expansion project that includes The Center for Creativity which has activities that are interactive and available to those of all ages – even the little ones.

I was intrigued.

How do you get art to keep flourishing in our communities? You engage young adults to keep the support going generation after generation. What do young adults usually have? Kids.

Making a kid-friendly wing of an art museum is brilliant.

What’s even more brilliant? The Columbus Museum of Art received a grant to allow for FREE admission on Sundays.

center for creativity

Seeing the $15/adult price tag was like, “Yeesh.” I’d have a hard time paying that anyway, but then add in a toddler that may last 30 minutes or 3 hours? It’s risky. I can spend $15 on a lot more “sure” things.

But, the NPR interview caught my attention and I mentioned it to a friend, who also showed interested, so we found ourselves at the Columbus Museum of Art on Sunday with 5 young adults and a 2-year old.

And guess what? It was awesome! We had so much fun. The interactive area kept all of us engaged. Pookie and I did scoot out earlier than our group (nap time, ya know?), but she was totally entertained for close to two hours. That’s pretty impressive.

playing at the museum

In addition to the museum activities, there were so many great open spaces with lots of tables, so Pookie had a grand time running around, climbing on and off the chairs, and going up and down the stairs.

And we didn’t feel like we were bothering anyone. There was plenty of chatter around and other little kids.

So, Columbus-peeps or those visiting, I definitely recommend checking it out whether you have kiddos or not. The museum is so beautiful and many different exhibits available.


I dare say it would be a pretty fun “date night” activity and you can even eat at the fancy little cafe on-site.

If you’re not a C-bus person, I highly recommend looking into the museums in your neck-of-the-woods. There seems to be a movement to make them more welcoming to those of all ages. Plus, more and more of them are offering free admission days. Woo-hoo!

Here’s a link I found for other art museums in the US offering family friendly exhibits:

The Ten Best Art Museums For Kids (there’s one in Dayton!)

Know of a great one in your area? Post a comment and let everyone know! Let’s get cultured together. 🙂

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • nancy November 17, 2015, 8:33 am

    More and more museums are either free or have free days in the Dallas / Fort Worth area and there are lots of spaces where the art is interactive. This has been a wonderful change, it makes art much more fun for people in general, but especially with little ones. I do love museums, but Steve…well not so much (my 72 year old just doesn’t have enough of an attention span and then there is the nap issue! so I feel you there.)
    We were in Columbus a few years ago and wished we had had time to stop and really see the city. NPR, say it loud, say it proud 🙂

    • Amy Rakowczyk November 17, 2015, 11:49 am

      HAHA! “attention span and then there is the nap issue!” – so funny that we both experience this! Great to hear about Dallas/Fort Worth museums. Maybe we’ll get there someday in the future!

  • Jacqueline November 17, 2015, 9:20 am

    I heard part of that interview, too, but missed the part about the free admission on Sundays! So glad to hear it really * was* kid-friendly, we will definitely check it out!

    • Amy Rakowczyk November 17, 2015, 11:52 am

      Yeah – I was surprised. “Kid-friendly” – are you sure?? But it was great. Pookie loved this stuff called kinetic sand. It’s the coolest and I had no idea it existed!

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