Here are some of the most CHILDREN friendly galleries...
London is spoiled for choice when it comes to art, but how do you know whether a gallery is good for the family? For those who want to introduce kids to art in a fun and interesting way, Phillipa Ellis, author of Arts Aloud: Enjoying The Arts With Little People wrote a piece for the Londonist in which she has picked her favourite family-friendly galleries in the capital.
The Whitechapel Gallery has long played an important role in providing access to the arts with a specific focus on children and young people. As well as education and outreach projects, every summer the Children’s Commission challenges an artist to create new work to specifically engage with children aged four to 12.
A range of other family days and activity trails run quarterly, complementing major exhibitions. The Crib Notes sessions make it stand out from the crowd. Held in the hour before the gallery is open, this dedicated session for under 5s allows children to be guided around a major exhibition, usually by the curator, with no fear of spoiling the enjoyment of other patrons. Advanced booking essential.
WHERE 77 Whitechapel High St, Whitechapel
Tate Modern is a fantastic option for art-loving parents looking to combine a lovely day-out spotting boats and buskers on the South Bank, with introducing their children to modern art in a relaxed and inspiring environment.
For families with younger children, the Turbine Hall provides a welcome space for little ones to run among installation work from world-class artists, while school age children can spot iconic works from Picasso, Rothko and Salvador Dali in the free collections. For those seeking a more organised visit, there are various open studios and participatory activities for families.
Barbican Art Gallery
The ground floor is home to the magnificent Curve, a giant arc of a gallery, dedicated to bite-sized exhibitions of new or recently-produced work by contemporary artists. On the third floor, the main art gallery usually requires a longer commitment.
Set over two floors, and a considerable number of rooms, it is unlikely kids of any age will last the duration of a major exhibition but with such a unique variation of work featured, ranging from art, architecture, design and photography, there’s always a reason to bring them back.
The Young Barbican Scheme scheme gives children aged 14 to 25 discounted access to unmissable art and entertainment.
Camden Arts Centre
Families are invited to explore the exhibitions with a Family Activity Box throughout the week and during the artist led, drop in family workshop Make & Do on Sundays.
Family Takeovers take place during holiday periods with activities devised and led by artists, the Takeovers are free, fun and suitable for people of all ages. We also run courses for children in Ceramics and Mixed Media during school holidays. Our Garden is open all year. For more information, please contact:
WHERE Arkwright Rd, Hampstead
Launched in 2007, the Parasol unit Educational Events programme aims to encourage people to develop their interest in contemporary art through a variety of expansive activities.
Already immensely popular, the regular, artist-led, Sunday Family Workshops and Storytelling for Families offer creative afternoons of art activities for children and adults of all ages and levels of interest. Most of the events and workshops take place at the foundation’s gallery, but some may include a small excursion.
Outside, the garden overlooks a restored stretch of Regent's Canal (complete with a collection of shiny mirrored balls, a former Yayoi Kasuma installation).
WHERE Wharf Rd, Shoreditch
Children love portraits. And unlike other works of art that take some time to fathom out, a portrait has an immediate impact, especially with the younger viewer, making the National Portrait Gallery a lot of fun for families.
As a parent, be prepared to answer a lot of “Who’s that man?” questions, or “What did they do?”, but specifics aside, it serves as a reminder that here, versus most other galleries you’ll visit, the subjects are more important than the artists. With over 200,000 portraits in the collections of notable British men and women, it’s unlikely you’ll make it all the way around. However, a visit at the weekend or in school holidays provides workshops, activities and storytelling sessions as a welcome break.
WHERE St Martin's Pl. Trafalgar Square