Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Art museums are luring families with a variety of creative activities for kids and the MFA, Boston offers some of the best activities we’ve seen in all our travels. They have several very clever programs for families with children of all ages. We met with the Wilding family for our visit and together we checked out the museum’s ship display and also tried the Art Connections Cards. It was a blast!
For our TV show about family vacations, we were able to arrange a special tour with Benjamin Weiss who is Chair, Prints, Drawings and Photographs and the Leonard A Lauder Curator of Visual Culture. Mr. Weiss was so welcoming and he was a wealth of information! We started our tour seeing a collection of ship models. The attention to detail that was given to creating these models was amazing. We learned that the they were used to try and sell kings a real life sized version of a war ship. The better the model, the better the chance the ship builder had to get his ship sold. Fascinating!
Mr. Weiss also pulled open some large drawers containing all sorts of items related to the sea such as carved whale teeth. The carvings on the teeth were as intricate as the ship models we saw. We also looked at paintings of ships as well as a huge figurehead, which is a large carved wooden decoration found at the prow of a ship. The figurehead represented the spirit of the ship and was supposed to make the gods of the sea happy in order to ensure a safe voyage.
After our tour with Mr. Weiss, we had fun trying one of the activities offered for families at MFA, Boston…the Art Collections Cards. The cards lead us on an adventure around the museum finding all kinds of objects and paintings related to the subject we selected – dogs! Other topics included armory, barnyard animals and even chocolate. The activity was set up like a scavenger hunt and as we found each item on the card, we read more information about it. We had fun following the clues and finding the items throughout the museum. What we liked the most about using the cards was that it led us into rooms that we might not have ventured into on our own, so we saw a lot of different artwork.
We also borrowed some art materials from the front desk. The MFA, Boston encourages families to create art of their own by lending out sketchpads and pencils. On Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m., families can also drop in and sketch in the galleries with the guidance of a drawing instructor. The program is free and open to all ages. Other family activities include Art Carts, playdates, classes and workshops. We had a great time at MFA, Boston with all of the fun family friendly activities that were offered. If you are thinking about introducing your children to fine art while on your family vacation, you won’t go wrong at the Museum Fine Arts, Boston.
Some Additional Tips & Fun Facts:
• Kids 6 and under are always FREE
• Kids 7 to 17 are FREE during non-school hours (weekdays after 3 pm, weekends, and Boston public school holidays).
• MFA is a CityPASS location, offering deals on a variety of attractions in Boston
• Local artists from around New England offer FREE demonstrations, open to all ages
• MFA supports the Boston International Children’s Film Festival
• Catch a live music concert or performance art at MFA
• One day studio art classes (and other classes!) are available for teens, children and preschoolers
• Beyond the Spectrum is a specially designed program for children on the Autism Spectrum.
• Great tips for visiting the museum with kids including the MFA Guide, a mobile tour for kids of the Art of the Americas and Contemporary collections.