How to Make a Gallery Visit Fun for Kids

It’s no secret that many kids find the idea of traipsing around an art gallery or a museum for an afternoon boring. Kids will often let you know about this within five minutes of arriving, as they start dragging their feet, loudly complaining, and refusing to look at anything you point out to them. However, there are lots of studies that show that taking kids to these public spaces can help them develop greater general knowledge and an interest in history, the arts, and the humanities. It’s also a nice thing for you to do, as opposed to making your hundredth trip to the park that month. So check out these tips on how to encourage kids to enjoy a trip to a museum or art gallery, so you can all visit together as a family.

Use the Cafe or the Shop

Maybe you know your kid will do anything for an extra creamy hot chocolate, or perhaps they’re motivated by the chance to buy shiny new stationary? There’s no problem with promising them a trip to the gallery shop or cafe, once you’ve spent a set amount of time looking around at the art. It’s important to make this set amount of time clear to your kid, as this should limit them asking how much longer you’re going to look at the art, and the idea of the shop or cafe post-gallery gives them a sense of something to work towards.

Find Some Kid Friendly Art

It’s not surprising that many kids find the idea of staring at still-life paintings done by Dutch masters a little tedious. It can help to find some kid-friendly art that will engage and entertain them. Whether this is a modernist video installation, some bright and cartoonish pop art, or some interesting sculptures, your child is more likely to tolerate a visit to the gallery if they can engage with the art.

Create a Tick List

Do a little research on the gallery and the art on display before you go, and then create a tick list so your kid can tick off the items and objects they’ve spotted. Whether it’s a red dress in a painting by Descartes or a bright blue vase in the center of the gallery, this list will make the gallery visit feel more fun, and as the items get ticked off it will also help them recognize that you aren’t going to be in there all day.