Field Trip to the Art Museum

This week is Spring Break for my kids and for this art class as well.  To see the class calendar click here.  Since I will not be posting art projects this week I encourage you to visit an art museum, prepare for your art exhibition night and catch up on any unfinished artwork.  I will be posting some fun things this week such as my favorite art exhibition night ideas!  My little art class that meets once a week went on a field trip to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts last week.  Some of their siblings came too; we ended up with 10 kids!  I was a little nervous bringing so many young kids to the museum because I knew it would be difficult for them to follow the museum directions: no touching, no running and use your inside voices.  I have to say that I was BLOWN AWAY by how well behaved they were!  It was a dream trip to the museum..... they followed directions, they were attentive and interested, they were inspired by some of the paintings and they had FUN!

Here are some of my tips for a successful trip to an art museum:

*Ask a docent to welcome the kids to the museum and go over the museum's rules.  I find they take the rules more seriously and are pretty excited to meet someone that works at the museum.
*Go to the museum in advance and pick out a few pieces of art that would really fascinate the kids.  Sit them on the floor in front of those pieces and tell them why they are so interesting.  Ask them questions about the art.
*Give each child a color that they should look for in the museum.  I chose a color that the child was wearing so they could easily remember.
*Either take pictures of a few pieces of art in advance (if allowed) or buy cards of some of the art in the museum to use as an "I spy" game when walking around the museum.
*Keep the information about the art simple.....  as an Art History major that is a tough one for me.  I chose to point out the elements that we have been studying in the class: colors, shapes, lines and textures.  Since they were being so good and seemed interested in the art I told them more about the art then I was expecting.  Which was nice.
*Art museums are not quite as fun for kids as children's museums where they can run around and touch everything so I find the best way to make it fun is to invite friends.
*You might be surprised at how kid friendly most art museums are.  The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is not only free for children 6 and under but they provide backpacks full of hands on learning that applies to the artwork they currently have on display.  Right now they have about 5 different types of backpacks you can borrow for free that have books, toys, coloring activities, and more.  Each backpack goes with different sections of the museum.  I LOVE using the backpacks every time we visit the museum.  UMFA also gives each child something to take home with instructions for art projects that apply to the current exhibitions.  The kids were thrilled that they were able to take home their own package of Model Magic Clay.  I am so impressed every time we go there.
*Bring a treat to eat outside the museum after you are done!

I was so thrilled that my friends Melynda and Jen could come to the museum with me, it was fun being there with them.

The kids loved this horse made out of wood.  One little boy asked, "Is is dead?"  Cracked me up!

Jenny, a docent, was so nice to meet with the kids and welcome them to the museum and tell them about the museum rules.  She was
 sweet to sit right down on the floor with them.

The kids were so good they all deserved a treat at the end!

Tomorrow I will be posting some pictures of my little class making art at my house during
 the last few weeks.  I sure love these kids.  Check back later this week for lots of 
inspiration to help you prepare for your art exhibition night!


  1. Wonderful tips, Dani, Thank you!! We've visited a couple art museums already during the past month and plan on going to another one this week! I'm sure your ideas will make this outing even more fun! THANK YOU!!

  2. Awesome! I too am close to the Salt Lake Valley so I think this is going to be a must this spring!! Thank you for all the insights on kids free and backpacks. I'm going to start planning our (my) first trip to an art museum.
    Thank you!

  3. I'm so sad to say I've never been to the UMFA! You've inspired me to go! This summer field trip for sure! :)

  4. What a cute bunch!!! We went to SF MOMA this weekend with our little art class. The kids had a great time.