ArtWithKids1Taking children to modern art museums for their own good, or their mother’s, can work out happily. With forethought.

I hadn’t figured out the steps when I invited two South Georgia teenage granddaughters in 2006 to experience Manhattan with me. They rushed through all six levels of MoMA in record time.

Perhaps they didn’t embrace my passion for modern art since I’m the married-in grandmother; we don’t say the step word often in my big blended family.

More likely, being so happy to be going there again myself, I didn’t build in savvy preparation. After all, I’d grown up in New Jersey enjoying Manhattan museums.

Museum of Modern Art 2012 visit I was ready. Jump-starting my focus was the inaugural Family Travel Conference of print journalists and bloggers.

Helps to have a focus when traveling. Steps to narrow the choices.


Henri Matisse painted “The Piano Lesson” in 1916; lots of families with children can relate today.

This MoMA visit I sought out art with kids in the paintings or sculpture. Or subjects kids already knew they liked.

My purpose each time, of course, was expanding their ideas of liking. Simply didn’t succeed the first visit with teens because I didn’t prepare as well.


Paul Gauguin is the artist for this 1888 “Still Life with Three Puppies” also seen as illustration in children’s books. Finding it at MoMA is a fine family activity.

Stroll the floors together with a purpose to find art with kids. Or, pick up the MoMA small brochure titled Kids.

Consider using the museum audio tour on #99 primarily on floors 3, 4 and 5. Best for ages five through 12.

Take a pencil and notepad; maybe some of the family will sketch a bit. Treasured painting in my home is a Rembrandt, well sort of, painted by a wannabe artist in an Amsterdam art museum, in front of the original.


Shopping not mandatory on family art travel trips, but the MoMA fine crafts stores offer inspiring design concepts. Great books too.

Play “I Spy.” Most everybody does that at home; lovely game in a museum. With kids or solo.

Next door and across the street have possibilities too on a Museum of Modern Art with kids holiday.

That’s because of the book and fine craft stores. Shopping is never mandatory on my bucket list, but these MoMA for-sale items are exquisite.

Should stroll through at the very least.

Top photo: Perhaps they are a family but sculptor Katharina Fritsch calls these bronze, copper and stainless steel people “Group of Figures” in the MoMA courtyard.