This being Lev's last week of summer vacation before he starts kindergarten, I'm trying to go out with a bang. One of our favorite things to do is visit LACMA. Did you know they have the Nexgen program that allows kids to be accompanied by an adult through the museum for free. Two kids means a family can gain entrance gratis. Amazing right? EVen if you don't think your kids can handle walking through the exhibits without pawing the art, running, or yelling - the guards are pretty ferocious there, the LACMA grounds are really wonderful for kids.
The first thing my kids run to is the outdoor sculpture we call the spaghetti sculpture. I'm sure it has an actual title. They love running through, gathering, and stroking the hanging rubber cords. I like to grab a coffee at the Coffee & Milk Bar across the paviliion while I watch them run around.
Next up we paint at the Boone Children's gallery. Unlimited paper and paints for the kids to let the inspiration from the museum flow. There is soothing music and its a pleasant place to stop.
Right outside the Boone gallery is a fountain good for the kids to get the wiggles out and the museum gift shop for me to browse. Don't you find that all art museums have super well designed and inspiring shops? Look at those color blocked shelves and the blue stained concrete floor.
Walking through the Ahmanson building into what is actually the grand entrance, we like to run through the lamp posts of the Urban Light outdoor exhibit then chill out at the many tables of the Ray's and Stark bar. The kids have their own snacks and its nice to sit in the shade and people watch. Or order more substantial food if you like.
On our way out we like to wander past the Levitated Mass. It gets brutally hot in this area during the summer so we leave it to the tourists and don't stay too long.
The final stop for us is Pit 91, an excavation site that is part of the La Brea Tar Pits. Its a self guided viewing post to see the work that is being done to unearth fossils of saber toothed tigers, dire wolves, wild horses, and the like. The kids love seeing the sticky smelly tar an dthe fossils. I like the newly revamped look of the site. They did a great job modernizing the exhibits with contemporary graphics and color schemes. The tar pit is actually their favorite part.
At the end of the day, I came home with a few art books on sale at the gift shop for $5 each - photographs of the American West and paintings of Southern California. Besides the books and the coffee I bought, our entire visit and all teh activities mentioned were absolutely free. Amazing right? Gotta love LA.