Worth a visit – Atlanta High Museum of Art Toddler Thursdays

A member of Bloggermoms Mom Panel suggested writing about places that we think are ‘worth a visit’. I thought that was a wonderful idea, and I will kick it off with something in Atlanta I found interesting.

One of the wonderful opportunities staying at home has given me is being able to do things with the babe I could never have got done on the weekends.  Plus Atlanta is a very family friendly and toddler friendly city and there is a lot of stuff to do with your toddler during the week if you are ready to drive and spend some time and money. So if you happen to be visiting the city with your toddler or preschooler, try thisout

One of these I would say is definitely the toddler thursdays at the High Museum of Art. Most Thursdays the museum plans activities for toddlers accompanied by an adult. Usually, its centred around visiting an art exhibit – say Grecian urns – and then come to the toddler art area to do an artwork around it – such as building Grecian urn designs through a collage.

I like this idea, as though its an organized activity here at the High, any mom anywhere can do it with their kids.

But back to Atlanta – The High Museum is in midtown, and you can get parking at the Woodruff Arts Centre, though parking there is expensive. You can always take Marta and there is a station right there. 

Once you enter, the building and the sheer space around it is amazing – the architecture is my Renzo Piano. And I think the impact it has on kids is immediate. The space, the light, the high ceilings, the decor make them feel they are in a special place, different from our everyday lives. I for one love the light flooding every room, even the toddler area.

Usually we check out the exhibit recommended for the artwork (you can pick up a pamphlet at the counter). The kids are in awe of the huge statues and paintings on display. The babe liked the aforementioned urns, while his two year old friend loved the statues. Though the curators are not too keen on this, the kids love going up the curling ramp to the higher floors. The ramps run right next to a huge hall with a ceiling many floors high – as high as the museum itself. But even if you dont want to check out the exhibit with your rambunctious little one, you can just head right over to the toddler area as the kids will enjoy it anyway.

Our next stop is the ‘Greene Family Center’ which is a family area where kids can run free, vent some energy and engage in creative play with many props such as puppets, easels and markers, scarfs, tubes, baskets, sorting blocks, building blocks, a huge magnetic wall with colorful magnets in many shapes such as shovels and hangers to stick on it etc. Early mornings the place is calm but by 10: 30 its quite busy (The toddler Thursdays being at 11). Parents or nannies can catch a breather while the kids play.

Very often we play for an hour and then head down to the activity area (called Stent family wing I think). Sometimes we stop for lunch at the cafe. The cafe is nice – you should probably bring your kids lunch – and then buy your own, though you get muffins and stuff.

And then to the toddler room with the little tables covered with paper table cloths and toddler props all laid out according to the activity of the day. I have been maybe two or three times over the last year, and each time its been different. The urn collage I mentioned, pastels on colorful paper to mirror impressionists, cut and paste collages with different shapes, a fourth of july flag collage etc.

The attendants are nice but the adults have to take care. The kids get messy too – and thats often the point.

You can leave at the end of the day with precious artwork balanced precariously on your stroller or held gingerly to prevent stains from getting to your clothes, and feel that you had a wonderful morning with your child.

But you know, here its an ‘organized’ activity, but there is no reason moms can do it on their own in other parts of the world, with a museum visit or even one of those gorgeous stores in India where you see wonderful paintings. Its a matter of identifying something in the painting, mentioning it to your toddler and trying to have fun replicating.

Just imagine the wonderful museums in Hyderabad and the art opps they throw up!

So what do you think is worth a visit?

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3 Comments

  1. Josie

    I will have to try it.

  2. Sudha

    In uS they package everything nicely. In India we have to visit museums but they dont do any kids stuff. Maybe moms can start

  3. Pry

    Sounds interesting…it will be a worth a visit!!

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