As a life-long art-lover and former elementary art teacher, I try to take every opportunity to teach my daughter about art. Some of this is through art projects at home, but I really love to take her out to see “real” art in person. Dallas is such a great place to learn about art! We have the largest Arts District in the nation so why not take advantage of that?
Above picture taken at Trinity Groves of a mural done by Shepard Fairey for the Dallas Contemporary
This may seem like a no-brainer but did you know the DMA has a kids area? They have activities and areas to cater to everyone from babies to toddlers to older kids to the young at heart. The kids area is great if you have a spirited child who you’re not sure will keep their hands off the art. If you are confident in your child’s ability to respect the no hands rule they have Art To Go bags for activities to do in the galleries. The DMA is one of my favorite places in Dallas with or without kids and I recommend it to anyone who asks. Bonus? If you’re a member you can utilize the parking garage to your advantage! We go when the garage opens at 10, hang out at Klyde Warren Park for an hour then head to the museum to cool off. Admission to general exhibits is free!
After you explore the DMA, head across the street to the Crow Collection for an Asian Art Immersion. The first Saturday of every month is Adventure Asia where they have different activities set up for families to learn and enjoy together. They also offer a family yoga class during Adventure Asia where kids as young as 2 can join in the flexible fun!
The Nasher is also in the little Arts District complex and is another favorite of ours. Every first Saturday of the month is free for everyone thanks to Target. First Saturdays include free admission from 10 am-5pm and family activities from 10am-2pm. I recommend you go early because it does tend to get pretty crowded! Each month has a theme and activities associated with the theme. They offer art activities, artist demonstrations, yoga in the garden, and more. They also offer a Summer Architecture Workshop for high school students that I kind of want to sneak into…
While the three places I’ve already mentioned may already be on your radar, the Dallas Contemporary may not. I, myself, hadn’t been until earlier this year when I made it a point to take my daughter to see the JR Inside Out Project. This museum is always free and always has new exhibits. Since it’s a non-collecting museum there is always something new and exciting to see. I will say, this is probably more interesting for older kids and teens. They offer lesson plans for high schoolers on their site and during the summer they have a workshop for teens called DC Teens: Street Art Camp which sounds awesome. If you’re with a school (or maybe a group of homeschoolers?) They offer a program called Taking It To The Streets which includes both a hands-on aspect and an interactive tour of the museum.
Ok, ok, yes, this is a mall. I debated putting this in here because on the one hand, it’s FULL of GREAT art. But on the other, it’s kind of sensory overload. Here are my pluses for including Northpark in my list: They have a list of all the art and where to find it. If you want extra credit you can look up the art pieces before you go and tell your littles about them. The art pieces are from a range of styles so you can find something for everyone. Right now, our favorites are the Color Equations because we can talk about color mixing, the “blocks” as my daughter calls them (20 Elements by Joel Shapiro), and the Large Leaping Hare. Honestly we only go to Northpark during the week when the mall just opens so it’s not too crowded, and there is food, Bookmarks Library and froyo there so it’s hard to go wrong.
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