Want to instill in your children a lifelong love of the arts? A visit to the Norton Simon Museum, where enjoyment is not confined to the sophisticated sensibilities of adulthood, is a good start. About 1000 pieces of Norton Simon’s renowned private art collection are displayed here, so it’s a virtual certainty that your family won’t run out of pieces to consider. Enter the bright, airy space and let your kids take the lead in wandering among the different galleries, asking them to point out familiar works from artists they’ve learned about in school. They’ll fall over themselves to show off their grown-up knowledge of masters like Van Gogh and Picasso. Watch their faces when they see Rembrandt’s self portrait in the flesh—and not in a book—for the first time. You might just see the joyous flicker of enlightenment. Mexican painter Diego Rivera’s Blue Boy With the Banana and Flower Vendor (Girl With Lilies) might be particularly relatable for the kids, further establishing a connection to the art. By the time you’re taking in the outdoor sculpture collection, your kids will be experts themselves, reading artist info off the plaques and schooling you on its history. Try to visit between the hours of noon and 2pm, when the sun casts an ethereal light on a stone Buddha sculpture juxtaposed against a verdant backdrop: a fittingly sublime moment to end an afternoon of artistic exploration.

Norton Simon Museum

411 W Colorado Blvd Pasadena CA 91105

(626) 449-6840

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