Guggenheim with Kids

We rode our scooters across Central Park and landed at the steps of The Guggenheim. As soon as Oscar saw the building he said, "Oh! Mr. Popper's Penguins surfed down this place!" Whatever gets him interested . . .

Besides the fact that everyone 12 and under are free, The Guggenheim doesn't cater to kids. That's not to say my children didn't enjoy themselves. They found ways. They loved the free headsets and pressing the corresponding numbers that explained the art. The recordings bored them to tears, but they liked having a gadget anyway.

Photo from NYTimes

The first piece of art we saw as we entered the museum is Sphinxgrin Two, 2010 by John Chamberlain (shown above). One of my favorites in the gallery. I love that anyone can enjoy it since it's at the entrance. You don't even need a ticket to walk around and take a good look at it. I saw one mom bring pieces of tin foil for her children and they sat on the floor recreating the sculpture. Isn't that fabulous idea? I need to buy 1,000 feet of tin foil and go back and show that mom up. Then, then! I would be the best mom evvvvvvver.

As we walked up and up and around the museum, I explained the current exhibit: John Chamberlain Choices to my kids. I tried to get them excited about the sculptures made out of old car parts and airplanes. I tried to get them excited about the huge pieces of metal he smashed and molded as if it were paper. No reaction. Finally, when they saw the foam covered with parachutes that they could climb on, they were stoked. I hope somehow artist John Chamerlain could see my kids enjoying his art. He died last January.

When we finally got to the top of the museum, my kids poked their heads over the railings and looked all the way down to the bottom. What is it? 9 stories? 10? It was fascinating, but even as I write this, my hands are clammy and my heart is racing.  I know there is noway they could fall down, but my nerves get tested so easily.  Oscar wanted me to hold him so he could get a better view down. No!

Then we scootered home. But first stopped for ice cream in central park. Wonderful day!

*Before we left, we spent a bunch of time exploring Kabir Mohanty and Vikram Joglekar's In Memory on the top floor. I couldn't write a post about the Guggenheim and not mention this brilliant piece. See it at the museum or ask me about it the next time I see you. I was so interesting! Another piece of art that my kids could touch and truly interact. I would love to recreate it some how. 


  1. so cool... i can't wait until townes is old enough to go on some of these city adventures with me.

  2. Dying to take Noah to this exhibit. This is hands down my favorite museum in New York and we had a great time at the Maurizio Cattelan retrospective. Looks like a great day (scary heights notwithstanding!)

  3. We use foil for entertainment FAR more often than for baking. And never mind the Baskets of organic, well-chosen, socially responsible toys. Not for my two. Sigh. Oh well. At least they're happy.

  4. love that tin foil sculpture! and the ice-cream-even-though-it's-cold-out-decision!


  5. good question: they have a massive (free!) coat check. we checked in our jackets, backpacks, and scooters.

  6. Such a good day in my book! I'm craving ice cream now.

  7. What do you do with your scooters when you are in the museum?

  8. can't wait to go!! what sweet photos:)

  9. Can I have your life? Seriously! You're living the dream. Enjoy! <3

  10. foil sculpture? great idea!!! Why did this never occur to me!
    and of course, doing it in public would make you look SO COOL! :)

    New visitor- nice to meet you! :)

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