Come explore huge sculptures in the outside sculpture garden, see a mummy or a suit of armor for a horse! You will find old tea sets, fun paintings and colorful art - there's lots of fun kid's activities and things to explore at the Nelson-Atkins Museum.
Before Your Visit:
- Talk to your kids about what they want to see - here's some ideas:
- Go on a shape hunt using artwork. Ask your child to choose their favorite shape, and then look for that shape in pieces of artwork (paintings, sculptures, etc.)
- When visiting a museum, ask your child to pick a common object (such as flowers, cars, books) and see how many pieces of art you view includes this object.
- Stop at the main desk and ask if they have a current scavenger hunt available for any of the exhibit halls.
- Wear comfortable shoes & bring a sweater/sweatshirt (sometimes the museum is cool).
- Request tickets if you're planning to visit a special exhibit.
- Check the calendar for any tours or events you may want to attend.
- Use manners but have fun - yes, your preschooler might want to run in the garden or may ask a question that makes you blush, but that's no reason to stay home!
Explore the Nelson-Atkins:
The museum has a lot to offer and kids will enjoy exploring various types of art. Here are some highlights that young children will enjoy:
- Sculpture park - take a walk outside and see some of the fun sculptures. This is a great idea after viewing some of the indoor exhibits.
- Ask your kids which sculpture they like best.
- Tell your kids the name of a sculpture and ask them why they think the artist chose that name.
- The museum has a great online guide to the sculpture park.
- There's also a special Kids Audio tour that your children can listen to - you can dowload the audio tour or stop by the information desk and check out a mp3 player.
- Egyptian art - visit the mummy! Learn a little about ancient Egypt and see some hieroglyphics.
- Medieval suits of armor - Kids will find the armor for both horse and man very interesting - the horses armor weighs 98 pounds. There are also some great stained glass windows and other items in the European gallery area.
- Prints, Paintings & Photography - there are so many prints, paintings and photographs throughout the museum. Let your kids decide what interests them - maybe landscapes, or paintings that include young children. After all, art is about what is attractive to each person.
- Modern Art pieces - The contemporary art galleries have some very interesting pieces of art - sculptures, paintings, etc. - kids will be drawn to explore.
- Family Activity weekends - the museum offers some great family activities that highlight art from different galleries. Check out the events calendar to see what's coming next.
- Rozzelle Court - where else can a kid have lunch on china plates with milk in a wine glass! Stop for a snack or lunch during your visit - they have nice options for adults and kids alike. It's also a beautiful space - kids will like the second story overlook and high ceiling.
Read some fun books about art from our "What to See at a Museum" booklist.
Check out other great artwork in Kansas City:
- Make your own art at Kaleidoscope.
- See some amazing sculptures and paintings at the Kemper Museum (look for their Family Scavenger Hunt days).
- Tour the Nerman Museum at the JCCC campus.
All images have been obtained with permission from the Nelson-Atkins online press room.
View Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in a larger map