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Tips for Families

Before Your Visit

  • What is your family interested in? Ask them what they want to see and do, then check our exhibitions and calendar. The Visit section and Amenities page provide information on hours, admission, dining, restrooms, and other important details. If you are going to visit us often as a family, consider a Brooklyn Museum Membership.
  • Visiting a new space can be exciting—and tiring. Use the floor directory to decide what to see in an hour or two. And choose a time of day that is best for your children and their energy levels. Limit your time in the galleries. Bring a sketchbook or paper and pencils so you and your children can sketch art objects or take notes. Choose three to four objects to see and then plan to take a break at our Café or visit the Museum Shop.
  • Talk about good museum behavior. The most important rule is not to touch the art or glass cases. The touch of a finger can damage art and leave dirt and oil behind. Discuss what indoor voice and behavior is like.

When You Arrive

  • Pick up a floor plan, brochures, or flyers at our Admissions Desk in the Rubin Lobby.
  • Our security staff are here to make sure the artwork and visitors are safe. Please be respectful if they ask you or your children to move back from the artwork.
  • Feel free to take pictures in our permanent collections, but no flash is permitted.
  • Be flexible. If your children get tired or restless, be ready to suggest other activities or a break.

What to Do in the Galleries

  • Keep visits short. Focus on a theme or a few objects and use activities like sketching, hunting for a shape or color, or “I Spy.” Aim for quality time with a few works of art instead of trying to see as much as possible. Make connections to everyday life by choosing art that relates to animals or places your children like.
  • Ask open-ended questions about the art, such as “What’s happening here?” or “What do you think will happen next?”
  • Ask compare-and-contrast questions, such as “How is this painting the same as (or different from) the last one?” or “How is this bedroom different from your bedroom?”
  • Refer to as many of the five senses as possible. For example, “What would it sound like if you were in the work of art? How would you move?”
  • Read the label. Labels can include the title, artist name, materials, and information written by the curator or quotes from people in the community.
  • Look around the galleries, elevators, lobby, etc., and ask your child how they differ from other places you have visited together.
  • Listen to and follow your family’s cues and interests. Share your ideas about the artwork as well.

After Your Family’s Visit

What does your family want to learn more about? What sparked their curiosity and imagination? Ask questions about your visit, such as “What was your favorite thing we did today?” or “What do you want to go back and do?” To do more exploring, check out our art programs for all ages as well as virtual activities to try at home.