Art appreciation doesn’t have to wait until your children can start creating their own masterpieces. Dallas offers several world-class art institutions and galleries with programming for babies. Even better, most opportunities are free or priced affordably. Read on for 3 places to cultivate art-loving babies in Dallas.
3 Art Outings for Babies & Toddlers in Dallas
The Dallas Museum of Art
The DMA offers monthly Art Babies classes for children 0–24 months old and their caregivers. Choose from the 10am, 11am, or noon session at the museum downtown. Each monthly class is $5 for museum members and $8 for general admission, and participants must register in advance.
A typical class begins with stories and songs related to a featured work of art. Then, there’s time for the babies to explore the related gallery before heading to the art studio for a special sensory playtime.
One of the main goals of the program is teaching your baby to associate visiting the DMA with happiness, so staff encourage the caregivers to let their babies lead the way in exploring the gallery. Staff are also always available in case you have questions or would like a photo with you and your baby. I’ve learned a lot about the museum’s collection through the introductions shared to each featured artwork.
Art Babies occurs on Mondays, when the museum is closed to the general public, so there’s no worries about babies disturbing the peace. We’ve been attending regularly since my baby was only a few months old. We also like to take advantage of the museum’s location to enjoy playtime and lunch in Klyde Warren Park before or after Art Babies.
2. The Dallas Contemporary
The Dallas Contemporary offers free stroller tours, typically on the last Wednesday of each month, for children ages 24 months and younger and their caregivers. The museum, located in the Design District, features ever-changing galleries with new works of art created exclusively for its space.
Stroller tours rotate through the current exhibitions, but visitors can also explore the rest of the galleries for free. This is another great learning opportunity for both adults and children as the curators who lead the tours are happy to answer as many questions as you have about the exhibit and the museum itself.
The stroller tour typically wraps up with a story time or hands-on activity in the gallery. Parking is easy because the tour occurs one hour before the museum opens to the general public, and the museum has its own large, free parking lot for visitors.
3. The Meadows Museum
The Meadows Museum on SMU’s campus is always free for children under 12 and offers free family activity bags to help guide your tour of the museum.
Parking is free for visitors at this hidden gem right in the heart of Dallas that features both classical and modern Spanish art, including rotating special exhibits.
The large scale of many of the paintings in the museum’s collection are great for babies, as well as pointing out the animals featured in some of the works. The wide spaces of the galleries are great for pushing baby in a stroller and stopping when certain works of art catch your baby’s eye.
Don’t miss the elevated outdoor sculpture garden and its wide, paved pathways just outside the main entrance. This section is free to visit and opens up right up onto SMU’s tree-lined campus. The pathways are very stroller friendly or can serve as an opportunity for a busy toddler to let out some energy.