Kids love to run, explore, and make a mess, and there is no better place for a hyper, mess-filled family outing than the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Rows of antique cast-iron streetlights, part of the iconic installation “Urban Light,” greet you as you step up to the ticket window at LACMA. Though there is plenty more to see, you and your kids will find it impossible to resist a game of hide-and-seek among the lampposts.
Tear them away from the game with a stroll through the sun-soaked surrounding 23-acre park. Watch as your kids marvel at the discovery that here, giant rocks are considered to be works of art. Supervise from the sidelines while they burn off some energy running underneath the suspended 340-ton granite boulder “Levitated Mass.” Before you head into the galleries, snap a holiday card-worthy shot of your little ones pretending to hold up the gigantic rock with their bare hands.
Your head spins while you decide where to begin in this museum, which comprises six buildings housing several impressive exhibits. Step into the world of modern art on the second floor of the Ahmanson Building, where even your toughest young art critics are impressed by the lofty galleries filled with bold colors and brazen brush strokes. Next, visit the Broad Contemporary Art building, where your kids tug at the bottom of your shirt and beg you for five more minutes at the miniature cars whizzing through the urban city model “Metropolis II.”
After marveling at masterpieces, the next stop is Boone Children’s Gallery, where you’ll get your hands dirty creating artwork of your own using the impressive offering of artist-grade tools and paint. Your kids aren’t the only ones allowed to have fun, though, as you roll up your sleeves and try your hand at some brush painting, too.
Top off your day of culture at LACMA by grabbing some farm-to-table cuisine at the museum’s cafe, Ray’s and Stark. As you look at each other as you sit at a table covered in paint streaks, you won’t be able to keep from busting out in laughter. As you head home, masterpieces in hand, take one last look at the dazzling display of the lampposts — they really shine when the sun goes down.
Photo by Elliot Harmon