Yes, this is one of the top art museums in the country – with amazing collections ranging from Impressionist/Post-impressionist paintings to Medieval art & Armour to the Period rooms. And, it houses my all-time favorite Van Gogh painting. Yet, we often come to the museum for reasons other than the art:
Yoga – (offered every Wednesday at 6:00 & 7:00 – Wednesday’s are pay-what-you-wish night). We love yoga at the museum. The teachers are great, the classes are free after admission (just pick up a ticket at the admissions desk September – May. They offer tickets beginning at 5:00 and they often run out), it’s a good workout, and you can’t beat the setting… in the sculpture garden overlooking the river in June-August:
and by the medieval cloister the rest of the year:
TIP: bring your own yoga mat or towel.
Arts & Crafts – All summer long, school holidays and many weekends, the museum provides materials for craft projects that relate to objects in the galleries. Generally geared for children (although they often offer adult projects during Wednesday and Friday late night programs), adults are more than welcome to participate. While our family’s art skills vary from pathetic (Kathy) to mediocre (Fred and Tobey) to excellent (Erick), we all have fun. They also offer great children’s art classes. These were actually our introduction to “museuming” with kids, and both kids took these for years from 5-13. Classes start in the galleries, then using a piece from the collection as inspiration the kids then create their own masterpieces back in the studio.￼
The museum also offers tours, cooking programs, theater, movies, lectures, teacher programs… make sure to check the daily schedule. We definitely get our money’s worth from our membership!
Field Trips: We always do at least one field trip to the museum every school year. History, literature, culture – it all relates to art. The museum offers a lot of ready-made programs, but they are also happy to customize. We’ve done trips on topics ranging from Women in Art to Mythological Allusions, to Art & Religion.