Tips for Families
The Katonah Museum of Art is a fun, creative, welcoming and educational place to visit with your family and friends. The small size of the Museum makes it ideal for a first visit to a museum and because the exhibitions change seasonally it is a great place to return to often.
BEFORE YOUR VISIT
- What is your family interested in? Involve your family in the planning of your visit.
- Visiting a new space can be exciting — and tiring. Choose a time of day that is best for your children and their energy levels. In nice weather plan to take a break in our Sculpture Garden.
- Talk about good museum behavior. The most important rule is not to touch the art. The touch of a finger can damage art and leave dirt and oil behind. Discuss what indoor voice and behavior is like.
- The Katonah Museum of Art’s Social Story helps prepare children and their families for their visit to the Museum – great for visitors with children on the autism spectrum, first-time visitors, and anyone who wants to prepare for being in a new environment. You can download it at the bottom of the current Learning Center exhibition page.
- The KMA has two all gender accessible restrooms, one which has a diaper changing table.
- Wheelchair and gallery stools are available. Please inquire at the front desk.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
- The Learning Center installation and exhibition changes with each main exhibition. This is your space for hands-on, creative exploration.
- Pick up a newsletter, brochure, or flyer at our Admissions Desk in the atrium.
- In nice weather you can hang out, create and relax in the beautiful Sculpture Garden. Bring a snack to enjoy at a table under the tall Norwegian Spruce trees.
- Our Guest Services team 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, but no flash is permitted. We encourage you to share your photos on your social networks and tag #KatonahMuseum.
- 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. 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?”
- 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 Learning Center, galleries, atrium, 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 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.
Follow the KMA on Instagram and Facebook and sign up for our weekly e-newsletter so you are the first to know about our special on-site family programs like Family Days, Community Fridays, and special artist workshops. Enjoy creative art activities to do at home inspired by KMA’s exhibitions.