LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the house to the largest collection of art in the west.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Though it may not be the most obvious place to bring your toddler or young children for a day trip, it was the best thing I ever did. Not only was I completely inspired by experiencing the artwork, the kids absolutely loved it. Creativity flowed from both the outdoor space and indoor exhibits.
Every first Tuesday of the month, LACMA offers a free day for all their regular exhibits. All you have to do is show up at the ticket office and you’ll be given free passes for the day. Parking at the nearby lot across the street was only $10, but you can opt to park at metered parking on the streets. Along the parking lot on Tuesday around 1:30pm, many burger food trucks are parked for the afternoon lunch crowd. (Wished I hadn’t fed the kids before arriving, so for those who love food, it’s fun to try some new food truck)
What my kids loved about LACMA?
1. The large spaghetti structure– it was definitely hours of fun walking and running through the long strands of noodles. Art can be so much fun and it was interesting how each child interacted with the piece
Bundling the noodles and letting it go
Taking a strand of noodle one by one
Walking, running, jumping into the noodle forest
Thoughtfully positioning yourself for a photo
2. Boone Children’s Gallery– spent 45 minutes painting and drawing. We were given a tray with paint and paint brush, with unlimited supply of paper. It was a free time to be creative and draw what comes to mind.
- Eman – he draw spikes because he saw a dragon wall painting and thought that he needed to draw something to defend himself
- Felix- he drew comic characters and painted an egg (which I loved)
- Me- I did a portrait of the 2 kids and a flower (it’s been a while since I’ve painted)
3. Metropolis II– the structure was inspired by LA’s city scape as the set and 1,100 hot wheel cars race on the tracks. NOTE: hot wheels run only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so unfortunately the kids didn’t get to see the cars going. But I’m sure it was a sight to see.
What I loved about LACMA?
- Being able to share my love of art to the kids was a highlight. I would read them the description of the art pieces and my 11 year old would be fascinated by the piece. What a joy to share what inspires me most.
- The Hands– see photo. You have to go see it, because it’s hard to explain. The artist believed that if there is an artist in a studio then what he creates is art. He used simple verbal instructions and told his hands to make combinations of his thumb and other fingers. The top and bottom set of hands both belong to the artist. The projector would play the hand acting on the verbal instructions of the artist. There are 2 speakers on 2 upper corners of the room giving different sets of instructions for the hands. If you were to sit and watch the video presentation on the screen, it’s interesting to see the rudimentary functions of the hands and it’s interaction with both the verbal instructions and the auditory recognition of the spoken words. Again, hard to explain, you have to go see. The kids and I loved it!
- Smoke– a large structure in the Ahmanson Building. It’s a piece that illustrates an organic and raw state.
- Chris Burden’s Urban Light, an installation of vintage street lamps. They are fully functional and lights up in the evening.
BEFORE you leave the museum, if you have children under 17 of age, you can pick up a form to sign them up for the ARTS for NexGen at LACMA. This program is exclusively for children and allows both your child and an accompanying adult to visit LACMA for free for the permanent collection and some special exhibitions. You can also print out the form at http://www.lacma.org/sites/default/files/NewEnglishNexGenForm_0.pdf
I would recommend spending a whole day at LACMA. There is so much to see and it’s great to take your time to work on creating a piece of art and also time for explaining to your children what they are seeing. Please go to the website and check out all the information about upcoming events and new installations at the museum. I already signed up for NexGen, so I am looking forward to spending more time at LACMA in the near future.