Family Friendly Art Institute of Chicago

4/12/2017 8:39:03 AM
Family Friendly Art Institute of Chicago - KidTrail Pick
The Art Institute of Chicago has a striking presence on Michigan Avenue with its two lion statues flanking the Institute’s main entrance. It is a part of Chicago history and stands today as one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Its vast collection of art encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression from cultures around the world and contains more than 300,000 works of art in 11 curatorial departments. It is also very family friendly welcoming families with kids of all ages to its museums.  The following are some ways your family can enjoy the Institute.

Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603
artic.com

Kids Under 18 are Free
First and foremost, all kids under the age of 14 have free admission daily! Museums can be expensive and this lessens the financial burden to add a little bit of culture to your family activities. We love this!

Free Thursday Evenings
General admission is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. throughout the year.

Artist's Studio 
Drop in anytime at the Artist’s Studio, must be accompanied by an adult.  The Artist’s Studio in the Ryan Learning Center is open daily from 10:30 AM to 5 PM. Kiddos can work as a family on an art project that you can take home. Activities are thematically linked to artwork in the museum’s collection and special exhibitions. Admission to the Ryan Learning Center is always free, so come as often as you like!

Workshops for Kids
The Art Institute offers workshops for a small fee to engage kiddos of all ages in art and culture. Workshop sign-up begins the first of the month prior to the month of the program. Refer to the family programs calendar at the following link for a schedule of available workshops/programs:


Artful Play (Ages 3–5 with an adult)
Advance registration required
60 minutes

Artful play workshops offer a guided and joyful experience in the museum for preschool-aged children and their caregivers. Previously offered under the name Mini Masters, these programs are led by experienced museum educators and are developed based on quality early-learning standards for object- and museum-based learning. Workshop themes change regularly and include storytelling, guided gallery visits, dramatic play, and creative exploration of art materials.  

Find upcoming Artful Play (formerly Mini Masters) workshops.


Family Workshop (Ages 6–12 with an adult)

Advance registration required

Family workshops provide school-age children and their families with focused, age-appropriate experiences in the galleries and the studio. Workshop themes change regularly, and studio projects span a range of activities, from making suits of armor to painting in the Impressionist style to carving clay reliefs to printing with ink on fabric. Special exhibitions, including illustration, architecture, and photography, are often highlighted in these workshops.


Tween Workshop (Ages 9–12)
Advance registration required

Tween workshops combine gallery experiences with art making in the studio and are designed for tweens on their own, without an adult companion. Workshops often include technology-based activities and have featured photo collage, animation, and installation art.


Mini Tours
The museum is so large that it helps to get a sense of what exactly you want to see and learn and about.  So, make sure to pick up a free family mini-tours, self-guides, and gallery games in the Family Room of the Ryan Learning Center. Check out our complete list of mini-tours here:


Upcoming Special Events

Family Festival: Colors and Shapes
Saturday, April 8
Drop in 10:30-3:00

Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica created geometric paintings and interactive installations that invite art viewers to participate in the work. Enter into his creative and colorful world with the exhibition Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium. You’re invited to experience the museum in new and surprising ways through collaborative installations, exploratory art making, and interactive programs that involve the whole family.


Family Festival: Let’s Move! 
Saturday, May 20
Drop in 10:30‒3:00

This Family Festival is dedicated to fast-paced artists who just can’t sit still. Inspired by the exhibition Go, which explores how artists capture the buzz of activity and silence of stillness, this event will get you moving with art making and gallery activities for all ages.

22nd Annual Kaleidoscope Family Day
Saturday, July 22
Drop in 10:30‒3:00

Bring the whole family to the Art Institute for this annual free day of discovery, creativity, and fun. Visit the galleries, make connections, and release your creative energies. Explore art making and activity stations designed for all ages led by museum staff and cultural partners around the city. 

Photo Credit: The Art Institute of Chicago

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