Museum of Contemporary Art
It's no secret that Chicago is home to some of the
most highly respected art museums in the world, but it can be
intimidating to darken the doors of such august institutions with
diaper bags, juice boxes and hyperactive kids in tow.
Thankfully, the Museum of
Contemporary Art aims to be as family-friendly as possible,
offering a monthly Family Day program. Family Day, held the second
Saturday of each month, introduces families to "the artists of our
time" with hands-on activities and interactions with artists and
"We equip families with methods to discover personal
connections to contemporary art," says Elena Goetz, manager of
youth and family programs at the museum. "Contemporary art is for
Family Days revolve around a theme. February's program,
called "I Heart Art," simply celebrates a love of art and the
Each program includes four different aspects: Studios,
three to four art-making projects (generally not a prefabricated
project); a Scavenger Hunt that gets families exploring all
different corners of the museum through visual clues; the Tot Spot,
a quiet snack and reading room where families can take a break; and
Find the Artist, in-gallery experiences an artist facilitates
games, discussions or other interactive experiences.
"Each family customizes the day for what they need. We
have all kinds of families who come," Goetz says.
She says the focus is on families spending time together
and the programs are appropriate for all ages. And, since the
themes change monthly, they've seen families return over and over
"The emphasis is on facilitating that making, talking and
looking together as a family, and we use art as a catalyst to do
so," Goetz says. "We're making sure that family programs are not
watered-down contemporary art experiences."
If you're still worried about lugging around your diaper
bag, juice boxes and hyper kids, the museum even offers a stroller
valet, so you can leave your extra wheels at the door.
And that, we can agree, is a true masterpiece.
Elizabeth Diffin is the senior editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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