Family Museum Adventures

Before our kid started school, weekends were just days to avoid running errands. Like many self-employed people, every day was a work day. And as performers, most weekend nights were also dedicated to work.

Even though we still do work some weekend nights, we've gotten more selective about evening performances and busier with day-time gigs. (My husband's kid music show is a stellar example of adaptability. Matt has really found a way to make high quality music that seems to be engaging for both kid and parents/caregivers, which I think is a tremendous feat and service to humanity.)

So now whenever we can, we grab weekend days for museums! Outside of our bigger field trip to NYC during school vacation where we got to see the recently discovered Titanosaur at the American Museum of Natural History and where we watched our 5-year old's interest in medieval Europe blossom at the Met Cloisters, our local adventures have been a great way to get away, right here at home.
 
Recent highlights have included the Peabody Essex Museum. We were surprised at how much there is for kids and families. We spent a lot of our time at the Maker Lounge. Then some guy told us that our son would be great with horses and should really start training them ASAP. We decided it was time to go home....

And our last trip to the Museum of Fine Arts was especially inspired. We brought our own paper and markers and spent the whole day looking at art, talking about it, and making some of our own works.

Here's our kid's MFA Top 5 list:
  1. "The glass chair"
    This 1993 creation by England's Danny Lane reminded us of Lego Chima. Made of glass and steel, the blue-green glass led to an episode of sketching on one of the benches in the Contemporary Art wing.
  2. "The dancer with the sharp leg"
    Viktoria Modesta's Prototype video is excepted in an exhibit at the museum. The full video is beautiful and a bit scary/edgy. But the museum has just the last minute cycling as part of the exhibit. It really took our son's breath away and inspired him!
  3. "The Picasso room!"
  4. "The winter/iceberg paintings"
    The Lawren Harris exhibit "Idea of North" consists of bold, icy, geometric images. These paintings inspired another drawing fanstasia, which unfortunately ended in a frustrated meltdown. Ironic...
  5. "The cupcake"
    The cupcake-of-the-day in the cafe just outside the contemporary wing really helped cool the meltdown and eventually rinse all grief away.
After the MFA we went to Slumbrew in Somerville, which is not really a museum. But it's a getaway in itself! A family-friendly brewery, and a post for another day.

Heading to museums has given us adventure-filled, highly affordable days, thanks to establishments that are designed for the whole family... and thanks to library passes. If you get organized, you can get big discounts through local library branches. But you do need to look a few weeks/months into the future, because the free passes get reserved well in advance. Sundays are much less crowded than Saturdays.

For those who haven't planned way ahead for those quickly devoured passes,  the MFA allows free admission after 4pm on Wednesdays (go right at 4, since it gets pretty busy). And kids aged 7-17 get in free on weekdays after 3pm, on weekends, and on Boston Public School holidays.

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