Both boys love anything ancient so we started in the Greek and Egyptian rooms. They loved it all. It was especially cool for Dean, who had just finished Greek Theater Camp.
We also visited the Impressionists and Edgar Degas rooms. Dean had the pleasure of seeing his very favorite Monet, The Water Lily Pond. He has loved this painting since he was a young child.
Anne loved seeing all of the Degas paintings and statues. However, she loved The Little Dancer statue most of all.
We saw several works of art out of the corner of our eyes and went to investigate. We loved seeing a few Picasso and Vermeer.
We also liked seeing the famous George Washington portrait by Gilbert Stuart.
Lastly, we looked for t-shirts in the gift shop and visited the rooftop deck. It has marvelous views of the city and Central Park.
Tips for visiting this museum ~ I am going to do an entire post on New York City with our special needs family. However, I think I will share a few things that made this museum more enjoyable in this post.
- Take a few minutes to study the map and plot out your route.
- Make sure to plan to see something that is important to each member of your group.
- Accept from the start that you will see very little of the museum. It is better to enjoy a few great works of art than to try and do it all. It will just become a muddy memory of chaos.
- Take advantage of the benches and rest and look around.
- Read The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler before you go, so your kids can look for things that the runaway kids in the book saw when they decided to live in this museum.
- The fee to get in is a suggested donation. You do not need to pay $25 each. We paid about $5 each. To do this, you will have to get your tickets from a live ticket collector and tell them how much you want to donate. It really was painless.
- If you are on a budget like us, share sandwiches and a fruit salad in the cafeteria. They offer free water and cups. That is what we did. We treated lunch like a hearty snack. It is important to keep the kids fed so they can enjoy the experience, but you don't have to go broke on cafeteria food either.
- Have fun and take pictures of your kids next to art you want to teach them about later. It will make it come to life for them.
If your kids are not familiar with art museums ~ My kids have grown up in art museums since they were infants. I really did not need to go over the basic rules of enjoying an art museum while not getting in trouble with the guards. However, if you and your children are new to art museums, here are a few rules to make it a successful experience:
- Do not point at art. Guards may think you are going to accidentally touch it. Use your elbow to point and teach your kids to do the same.
- Teach kids to not touch or lean on walls. They may sit on the floor in most museums.
- Show kids what the benches look like in the museum you are visiting. They are usually the same throughout a given museum. (This will help prevent accidental sitting on "art".)
- Encourage slow walking and indoor voices.
- Keep at least one foot between you and the art. (My husband is breaking this rule in the picture above).
- Find out the rules for using cameras or cell phones. Follow them accordingly.
- Give your child a map or a few postcards of works of art that you are looking for. Making it into a treasure hunt always lengthens the time that the kids will be content.
- Use a stroller or make a mandatory hand holding policy for runners. I had two runners, and the stroller was a lifesaver even when they were older.
Most of all, keep the experience joyful and pleasant, even if you need to start with very short trips and work your way up.