Pennsylvania Art Museums
From giant paper mache dinosaurs at the Crayola Factory (pictured above) to museums that focus on particular artists' collections, there's much to see at art museums outside the city limits.
Allentown Art Museum
31 N. Fifth St., Allentown, PA
Head to Art Ways, the interactive family gallery, where kids do not just look at art — but also touch art and create their own projects. All ages can leave their mark at the Museum through a community sculpture project, “Yours, Mine & Ours,” through May 30. A current exhibit, The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and Design, is geared for adults, but mark your calendars for a related family event on April 18. The Spring Festival celebrates living green with stories, songs and kid-friendly presentations.
Tour Tip: Family Time for families with kids ages 6 & up every first Saturday of the month introduces kids to works from the permanent collection through discussions and hands-on discovery.
Cost Cutter: Admission is free on Sundays. The Museum also offers free drop-in art workshops for families on Sunday afternoons.
$3-$6 admission, ages 5 & younger free. 610-432-4333, www.allentownartmuseum.org
The Barnes Foundation
300 North Latch’s Lane, Merion, PA
Reservations are required to tour this museum, which showcases a premier collection of late 19th and early 20th century European paintings, including works by Cézanne, Rousseau, van Gogh, Picasso & Monet. The Foundation is also located on a 12-acre arboretum that features diverse and rare plants. Guided tours of the gardens begin again for the 2010 season in April. Construction is underway for The Barnes’ move to Center City in 2012, when the Foundation will neighbor the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
$15 admission, ages 2 & younger free. Open Thurs.-Sun. 610-667-0290, www.barnesfoundation.org
Brandywine River Museum
Rte. 1, Chadds Ford, PA
Originally a 19th century gristmill, the Museum houses the works of American artists with a special emphasis on the art of the Brandywine region & the Wyeth family. Original illustrations from award-winning children’s stories are on view during Drawing from a Story: Illustrations by Selected Caldecott Medal Winners, March 20-May 23. Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), Robert McCloskey (Make Way for Ducklings) & David Wiesner (Three Little Pigs) are among the illustrators featured. The latter will visit the Museum on April 11. A Children’s Day is also planned for April 1.
Tour Tips: Pick up a museum discovery game sheet. Kids’ audio tours also available. Read-Aloud Tours for ages 3-6 feature storytime and a related art project, March 4 & 11.
Cost Cutter: Free admission on Sunday mornings in March, 9:30am-12noon. Also, kids who read Caldecott Medal-winning books can earn a free admission ticket to the Museum anytime. Visit the Museum website for details.
$6-$10 admission, free for ages 5 & younger. Audio tours, $3. 610-388-2700, www.brandywinemuseum.org
Win tickets to the Brandywine River Museum through MetroKids! Click here to enter.
The Crayola Factory
Two Rivers Landing, 30 Centre Square, Easton, PA
Painting with melted crayon wax and drawing on glass walls are just a few of the art activities at this hands-on museum, designed for ages 2-12. Through May, the Factory’s theme is Dynamic Dinosaurs. Check out gigantic paper mache dinos on display, then make your own prehistoric-inspired project.
Fun Fact: The World’s Largest Crayon in the Crayola Store measures 15 ft. long and weights 1,500 lbs.
Cost Cutter: Admission on First Friday Family Fun Nights (March 5, April 2 & May 7) is $6.
$9.75 admission. 610-515-8000, www.crayolafactory.com
James A. Michener Art Museum
138 S. Pine St., Doylestown, PA
The Museum is dedicated to preserving & highlighting the art of Bucks County & Pennsylvania. See unique book structures by Hedi Kyle in the exhibit Transforming the Ordinary, through March 28, and explore folklore through puppetry & sculptures in Contemporary Folklore, through June 13. In April, the Museum premieres Icons of Costume: Hollywood’s Golden Era & Beyond. Movie & TV fashions on display will include Dorothy’s gingham dress from The Wizard of Oz and the heart-shaped necklace from Titanic. The Museum offers several art classes & programs for kids & teens year-round.
Tour Tips: At the Museum, visit the Family Education Center for books, games and ideas for discussion. Preview art and download family guides and kids’ activities ahead of time from http://kids.michenerartmuseum.org and www.michenermuseum.org/children/questions
Fun Fact: The Museum building was originally the Bucks County Prison, built in 1884.
Cost Cutter: On Sun., March 28, enjoy a Doylestown Museums Free For All. Admission is free to the Michener Museum, Fonthill Museum, Mercer Museum and Moravian Pottery & Tile Works.
$5-$10 admission, ages 5 & younger free. 215-340-9800, www.michenermuseum.org
Wharton Esherick Museum
1520 Horseshoe Trail, west of Valley Forge Park, Malvern, PA
The home and studio of local artist, sculptor and furniture maker Wharton Esherick remain in tact. On a guided tour that lasts about an hour, you’ll walk through the rooms Esherick lived in, climb his distinctive wooden spiral staircase, and see more than 200 objects, drawings and paintings.
Fun Fact: A blue rocking horse in the Museum once stood outside the Hedgerow Theatre in Media, PA.
$6-$12 admission. Reservations required for tours. 610-644-5822, www.whartonesherickmuseum.org