Art for Kids in Philly & The 'Burbs
Ceremonial Teahouse: Sunkaraku
Photo Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Artwork from different time periods, cultures and movements are paired in themed “ensembles.” Notable family faves: Room #11’s East Ensemble of imaginative shapes anchored by metal and iron pieces and Joan Miró’s Group of Women; Room #14’s North Ensemble of bird-themed works of art (count how many 2-D and 3-D birds you can find!); and Room #20’s South Ensemble, featuring the intricately carved, two-faced Yaure Mask.
Brush up on the past — and the presidents. Inspired by a traditional Chinese expression, the current exhibit Hao Luo: The Face of the City (through March 22) brings a tile mural featuring portraits of all 44 American presidents to the studio. How many can your brood recognize?
Calling all Minecrafters! Magic comes to the real world through the Peter Blume: Nature and Metamorphosis exhibit (through April 5), which features paintings and drawings — particularly The Rock — that kids may find share similar landscapes to Minecraft’s Netherworld. For those families not big on screen-time, The Artist’s Garden exhibit (through May 25) explores exciting textures, patterns and colors.
Meet a knight in shining (steel) armor: Horse Armor of Duke Ulrich of Wurttemberg, for use in the field features a steed and mounted knight standing ready for battle. Visit the Ceremonial Teahouse: Sunkaraku and experience a relaxing journey to Japan through architecture and atmosphere. And pose with Degas’ familiar Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, perfectly sized as a selfie prop for a mini-ballerina.
Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford
Right at the museum’s entrance, kids meet their likeness in the 10-foot-tall Boy with Hawk bronze sculpture that greets them. Search the grounds for more bronze sculptures (keep an eye open — and the camera ready! — for a cow, pig and rabbit); meet Den-Den, the subject of the full-sized, lifelike Portrait of a Pig; and rendezvous with pirates and other classic kid-lit characters in illustrations of Treasure Island, Kidnapped and Robin Hood.
Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham
How better to celebrate art with kids than to look at art by kids? From March 15-April 6, elementary, middle and high school students from regional schools put their creativity on display with more than 100 imaginative pieces of painting, collage and ceramics during the free Regional Children’s Art Show.
Community Arts Center, Wallingford
Art doesn’t just stay inside the walls at this center. Venture behind the venue to find a Rapunzel-reminiscent water tower that’ll make any kid feel like she’s in a fairy tale. Or find the “secret garden” in the side yard filled with mosaic creations — from art hanging in the tree to a special table with seats based on Constantin Brancusi’s The Kiss — as well as hidden mini-sculptures.
Darlington Arts Center, Garnet Valley
Before creating your own masterpiece, get inspired by artwork in the garden. Created by Totem Rhythms, a local Native American group, the Community Totem Pole is a particular kid-favorite. Through March 27, keep the kids’ natural interests in bloom with Frank DePietro’s Close to Nature, an exhibit that features bright, realist paintings focused on interesting color and shape from the Pennsylvania oil painter.
Main Line Art Center, Haverford
Year-round, all ages and abilities can visit the Sensory Garden. It’s filled with color and fragrance in warmer months, and winter is the perfect time to stop by its large mosaic bench to bird-watch and view the ceramic totem poles. From March 9-April 21, the Tweak of Nature exhibit brings new creatures to life through imaginative photo-based constructions, whimsical sculptures, large-scale paintings and on-site installations.
Michener Art Museum, Doylestown
You won’t be limited to the Family Education Center here. View sculptures of Native Americans, Shakespeare characters and sea goddesses, search for an eagle, giraffe and lamb, and count the faces of the moon in the sculpture garden. Explore the Delaware Water Gap in the gigantic Wooded Watershed mural. And take a break in the Japanese room, enjoying wooden butterflies, a sumi-e scroll painting and paper windows.
Wayne Art Center, Wayne
Don’t forget your picnic basket! Stroll through the Lily Foundation Children’s Garden, located at the entrance of the Radnor Walking Trail, and pay a visit to two of the center’s most unique pieces: animal sculptures created by a local chain-saw artist and carved from tree stumps. The owl is the older of the two, while the boar is the favorite of little ones who love to climb on his sturdy back.