Visit to the Columbus Museum of Art

I have a bit of a rowdy crowd on my hands. Playground and farm-type kids. But they surprise me every day with their curiosity and interests. So, I thought we would try something totally different today, given that the weather was pretty dreary and that EVERYONE has been talking about our newly-renovated Columbus Museum of Art.

Parking was much easier than I expected, and free. We got a little taste of the Museum with these pretty sculptures outside.

Inside, we waited in a short line to buy tickets ($14 for me, kids under 5 are free). If you have a Franklin Park or Ohio History Connection membership, you can use it at CMoA for a BOGO ticket deal. And off we went!

The new wing does not allow photos in most areas, but I wish I could show you the art inside. Larkyn was very curious about most of it and asked good questions about the materials and "What is that?" quite often. I was thankful for the markings on the floor to show her how close she could get. The lobby areas seemed to be a hit (?) and they loved looking at the city from the tall windows.

 Shoes on him last about 4 minutes.

Onward to the other half of the museum, which allowed more pictures. Our favorite area was the Glass exhibit.

I always like spending a few minutes in the courtyard with the Chihuly glass and the amazing light, but someone had to go potty. It happens. So, no photos there. Luckily, the bathrooms are a short elevator ride down to the lower level and are very nice. I suggest the Family restroom. There are changing tables, and also a family time room where you can nurse or just have some quiet time.

Next, we went to the best part: the Wonder Room.  This area reminded me of a forest and was staffed with kind, child-friendly employees who interacted with the kids and answered questions. At this point, a huge school group came in, and I watched for a while. They never got bored...they were engaged with the open-ended activities for the longest time. Impressive! My kids loved the tree house (pillows upstairs) and the building materials. There was also a dress-up area with costume pieces that are, again, open-ended.

I liked this table the best because I didn't have to worry about the kids falling off high stools. And Larkyn spent the entire time in the tree house, so I got lots of time with this little builder.

In the hallways surrounding the Wonder Room, there were several materials out for our use. It was funny to see adults playing with the same materials, having just as much fun as the kids. You could make your own comic book, add a piece to the Gingerbread house, play with Kinetic sand, and build with wooden pieces.

Have you heard the term Makerspace? It is big right now in the education world and in the art community as a whole. Put simply, giving people (not just kids) an area and the materials and letting them direct their own learning and product is the best practice. I can see that the new features to the CMoA are very Makerspace-ish.

At the end of our visit, I thought we could try out the new restaurant for lunch. Everything had gone so well.  The Schokko Art Cafe was so welcoming and bright. I was happy to see everything from Grab and Go items to delicious looking salmon and pastas. We grabbed several snack items and ordered a PB and J and soft pretzel. While waiting for our food, every disaster that could happen, did.  Between a head smash to the table and the screams that followed and two consecutive potty trips, I asked for a box and we were out of there.

For the few moments that I did get to enjoy in the cafe, it was gorgeous and my food was good. There wasn't really a great spot for the stroller and I didn't see high chairs...thus the head smash trying to reach the table from the stroller. If you have little ones, I'd suggest skipping a sit-down meal and maybe just getting a bakery item to go. Although their desserts sound amazing! Check out the menu here.

When the weather turns freezing, we plan to go back again and head straight to the Wonder Room. What do you think of the beautiful, new museum?

1 comment:

Nana said...

So sorry to miss the adventure today. Maybe next time you can pick me up and we'll go together. Great pictures! Sorry for the face planting!

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