Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Misadventures in Los Angeles: Arty Pants

Levitated Mass LACMA

As you all know, I've never been a huge fan of anything in LA except the weather, but last Thursday night I happened to be the Hubster's Plus One to an event where Mayor Garcetti spoke.  I'm as interested in politics as my son is in cleaning his room, but the Mayor is incredibly charismatic and passionate about Los Angeles.  He spoke with fervor about the growing art scene, the restaurants and the architecture, and I totally drank the Kool-aid.  I found myself nodding along, thinking, "yes! Los Angles is incredible!  It's amazing here!  It just gets better every day!  Why would anyone want to live anywhere else?!"

I suspect that my enthusiasm for LA was fueled mostly by the open bar and not being with my kids, but in all honestly it's not completely terrible here.  Yes, the traffic sucks, and there are potholes that could swallow up the Little Lady, but overall life here is pretty good.  I've met wonderful people, and there are some pretty great places to take the kids that don't happen to be amusement parks of strip malls.

LACMA is one of our regular destinations for kid-friendly fun.  I know that when you have little kids a museum is not always the first thing that comes to mind, but LACMA is definitely the exception to the rule.  Even if you don't step foot into any of the actual buildings, the grounds surrounding the museum are an excellent place for your kids to run around and tire themselves out.

Kids art LACMA
We're long time fans of the Boone Gallery, obviously.
There's a special room just for kids, where they can paint for free.  Called The Boone Children's Gallery, it's tucked inside the Korean Art Galleries but it's this magical place where there are nice, young volunteers who set your kid up with paints and paper and they can paint to their heart's content.  Which means that you can actually sit down and enjoy a minute of peace and quiet.  They also have story time on Mondays and Fridays at 2pm, and assuming that you have one of those kids who actually sit still for the length of an entire book, this too can be a relaxing time for Mommy. It's dark and cool inside the gallery where they do story time, so try not to fall asleep sitting up.  

Levitate Mass at LACMA
Levitated Mass.  I'm not sure, exactly, how a giant rock is considered art, but it's a cool thing to see, and your kids will wear themselves out running back and forth along the length of the walkway underneath it.  Anything that tires my kids out is a win in my book. 

LACMA with kids Noodles at LACMA
The noodles.  Hours of fun can be had dashing through the plastic yellow noodles.  There's a coffee shop located just across the plaza from the noodles, so if you go with a friend someone can keep a loose eye on the kids while Mommy gets her caffeine fix.  There are also chairs and tables in the plaza so you and your Mommy friends can bitch about preschools while your kids amuse themselves.

Metropolis II

Metropolis II.  Basically, this is a miniature city that takes up an entire gallery in the museum, with cars and trains running through it.  The cars don't run all the time - only during specific times on certain days of the week - but it's definitely worth seeing when it's operating.  My one disclaimer, however, is that it's really hard for little kids to understand that they can't touch the cars.  They want to duck under the ropes and play with the sculpture, and it's not exactly the most relaxing thing to have the guards constantly yelling at your kid to stop touching the ropes/sculpture/whatever.  I think Metropolis is really more for older kids who understand the concept of "not touching" and "art piece".

Oh, and did I mention that LACMA offers FREE membership for your kids?  Free. Gratis. No cost.  Zero sheckles.  From birth until age 17, your kids get in free, and as their guardian you get free admission too.  If that alone doesn't convince you to pack up your offspring and get some of the "cutting edge art and culture" that Mayor Garcetti is so pumped about, then I don't understand you at all.  Heck, it costs at least $10 just to go to one of those indoor playgrounds, and at LACMA your kid can get the same germs for free!  Plus you can totally write in your preschool applications that you take your kid to the museum all the time; the Admissions people never have to know that your "cultural outings" consisted of Junior eating snacks and running around a giant rock.  

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