I love art and so does Juliet. We’ve enrolled her in art classes since age 18months and she has happily and proudly made her own art at various school settings and at home ever since! She often comes running over to us at school pick-up excitedly telling us, “I made this for YOU!!” And we’ve already collected a mountain of her artwork, turning our fridge and sometimes her playhouse into a virtual art gallery. One way we’ve encouraged her love of art is to take her to art galleries around the city. Here are the 3 main reasons galleries are great places to take a toddler.
- It’s a mommy and me outing that doesn’t SUCK. There comes a time (usually weekly) where you’ve had enough of the playgrounds and indoor play pits. Anyone relate to this? Kids running around, crying and screaming while your mind goes numb and you look into your phone as your only outlet for parental pleasure… Sometimes you need to mix it up! Take your kids to a kid-friendly art gallery for some education and culture that feeds both your minds and souls. How many times can you say you left inspired after leaving the playground??
- Experience the culture without the overwhelm. Toddlers (and plenty of adults) have short attention spans. Instead of trying to cover an entire museum in one day in order to try and get your money’s worth, (after all you could be forking over $20 admission at a famed NYC museum), you can expect to dedicate anywhere from 10minutes to a half an hour at a gallery for free while feeling the same accomplishment and satisfaction of having completed an artsy, worthwhile experience. Small doses feel manageable. Avoid the overwhelm and ensure yourself a happy toddler.
- It encourages curiosity and creativity. Win mommy of the week award (if there ever was such a thing) by enriching your child’s life with the joy of exploration, curiosity AND creativity. Juliet actually told me the other day at our last gallery outing, “Mommy, I love going on adventures with you. this is so exciting!” You never know what you may find! In today’s case, we found an all yellow room, with fun painted furniture in the shape of bananas, snakes and bones. The large-scale paintings, and wall murals seemed straight out of a child’s imagination. Juliet immediately related and was quick to tell me about her favorite finds.
If you’re interested in checking out this sunny space, go to 312 Bowery to a gallery space named “The Hole” before this “Cave Life” exhibit by Misaki Kawai ends on October 30th. Note that it is only open Wednesday – Sunday 12pm-7pm and is by the Bleeker Street 6 train and Broadway-Lafayette B, D, F and M trains.
It promises to bring out the kid in all of us. Juliet and I went home and continued to talk about what we saw and even tried to replicate some of the artwork at home!