Visiting with Kids
Planning on visiting with kids? Ensure that your kids have a great time at the Kimbell with some of the helpful tips below.
BEFORE YOUR VISIT
- Ask your children what they anticipate seeing when they visit the Kimbell, and create some interest before you arrive. Older children may name favorite artists or discuss the types of artworks they like to create.
- Find out about special exhibitions on view during your visit that may interest your family.
- Look into attending an upcoming Family Program.
- Visit the Kimbell’s permanent collection online to see which artworks will be on view when you visit.
- Talk about Museum rules with children. Explain why they are not allowed to touch or get too close to the artworks. This is to protect objects from the natural oils in our skin that can leave harmful prints.
- Read an age-appropriate book about visiting art museums. If planning to focus on a specific theme while visiting the Museum, read a related book.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL FAMILY VISIT
- Don’t try to see too much in one visit. Gauge your child’s interest, and keep them wanting more. Aim for thirty to sixty minutes, depending on your child’s age. Take breaks!
- Remind children that the Museum does not allow visitors to touch or get too close to an artwork. Parents may draw an imaginary line on the floor (at least two feet away from the wall) to help children remember where they should stand as they look. Parents are encouraged to hold their child’s hand to ensure artwork safety.
- Stop by the downstairs Information Desk, mention “Kimbell Kids,” and list one important Museum rule to receive a “Kimbell Kids” sticker.
- Ask to borrow picture-cards highlighting Kimbell masterpieces. Families will enjoy locating the artworks, reading fun facts, and using discussion questions to spark lively conversations. These laminated images are also handy for pointing out details without getting too close to the original artworks! Available at the downstairs Information Desk.
- Check out free audio tours with family-friendly stops. Older children (ages 7–12) will discover selected Kimbell masterpieces through a lively mix of narrators and sounds effects. Available at the downstairs Information Desk.
- Baby strollers are allowed in galleries unless the galleries are crowded; children must not push strollers. Backpacks, large bags, and other items may be stored at the downstairs Parcel Check.
- No food or drinks are permitted inside the Museum galleries.
- Pens and other coloring utensils are not permitted in the galleries. Pencils and sketchbooks are allowed, but we ask that parents carry them while moving through the galleries. While sketching, please do not hinder visitor traffic flow in the galleries.
- Ask questions as you are looking, such as: What do you notice first? What else do you see? What is going on in this picture? What makes you say that?
- Encourage careful looking. Ask children to describe their favorite details, name colors and shapes, or list the materials used by the artist. The more we look, the more we see!
- Design your visit around a theme, such as people, places, or objects. For early learners, locating animals, children, flowers, or other familiar objects can be a lot of fun. Older children may enjoy connections with their favorite books or interests.
- Look at the wall label and read the artwork title. Does the title match what you think the artwork is about?
- Use your imagination. Ask kids how it would feel to be inside the picture. What sounds or smells would they encounter? Encourage them to make up stories based on what they see. Ask them to imagine what just happened just before the picture, or what will happen next.
- Older children may enjoy designing their own tour for younger siblings, friends, or other family members. They would select a small group of artworks relating to a theme of their choosing, and then create a list of questions or clues for each one. They could invite others to follow this tour on their next Museum visit. (Please inquire about installation schedules in advance.)
- Take a minute to look at Museum architecture. How is this building different from others you have visited? Describe the materials and the shape of the ceiling. Where does natural light enter the space?
AFTER YOUR VISIT
- Visit the local library or Kimbell Museum Shop to find books about an artist or artwork your child especially enjoyed. Museum postcards are also nice souvenirs for children.
- Start your own collection at home. Collecting objects from around the house (buttons, dolls, rocks, cars, or leaves) inspires creativity and encourages children to consider ideas for arranging and display.
- Create your own art inspired by artworks viewed during your family’s Museum visit.
- Learn more by visiting the Museum’s permanent collection online.
- Tell us what you liked best! We invite children to send us a drawing of their favorite Kimbell artwork, along with a brief description and the artwork’s title. Be sure to include your name, age, and address—everyone who sends something to us will receive a Museum goodie. Mail to: Kimbell Kids c/o Education Department / Kimbell Art Museum / 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth, TX 76107