Monday, October 1, 2012
I've been wanting to visit the Visionary Art Museum for awhile, but held off due to kid-friendliness concerns (art and children don't always mix as well as hoped, or at least art and T, especially if it looks "touchable"). Anyways, we finally paid a visit and everyone was thoroughly entertained.
Upon crossing the threshold into the museum, we encountered a floormat made of old toothbrushes, which T couldn't stop staring at. Then we meandered downstairs, where the flatulence machine caused the kids to laugh loudly. Once we made it to the main exhibits, the 1000 pound braball amused us all, as did the sculpture made out of 100,000 toothpicks (yes, in case you're wondering, I typed that correctly - 100,000), the junk dinosaur, and styrofoam cup art. Everything glowed with creativity in a way that children can well appreciate (how many times have we made things out of household items? And to see such things in an actual museum - that's real magic). And let's not leave out the gift shop full of crazy - funky hats and knicknacks for all price ranges, it's hard to explain but almost impossible to leave without purchasing something.
The museum consists of three (yes, three!!) buildings and all are kid-worthy. The children especially loved the kinetic sculptures located behind glass (making them unbreakable) - just press a button and everything moves. T pressed the buttons again and again. Huge former Mardi Gras floats reside next to a sixties icon totem pole with Joplin, Lennon, and Hendrix peaking out. Finally, an outdoor sculpture garden contains an actual wooden "castle" where P wanted to hang out all afternoon.
Basically, this place is incredible. And inspiring - for all ages.
On the downside, while the exhibits themselves are sure to interest your children, the same "art museum" rules apply, so be prepared to yell (and enforce) "don't touch that" over and over again. Despite the fact that a wall of plastic protected the 100,000 toothpick sculpture, the fear of T accidentally knocking it down plagued me throughout our visit.
If you're interested, admission is $15.95 for adults and $9.95 for children over 6 (younger children are free). Click here for hours and more information. Lots of metered parking is located outside the entrance. Further, a restaurant is onsite, which looks delicious but not necessarily kid-friendly.
Turns out you're not allowed to take pictures in the museum, but I snapped a few before I learned the rules.
P could have stayed in the castle all day. And E's coolio hat was a museum gift store purchase.
The museum sits next to a LARGE hill, a playground resides at the top along with phenomenal views of Baltimore.