I have to tell you, looking at the pictures for this post makes me feel all warm and fuzzy . . . not just because this was a great time with my son, but specifically because I was having a really rough parenting week (season?) and this outing was a little bit of healing.  My son is 4 and since the arrival of his little brother on the scene, almost 2 years ago, every day is a competition for mom’s attention. But when he has my undivided attention, he is like a different child. We had such a sweet and special time doing this together. The other thing about little brother arriving on the scene is, though they are competitive with each other, they are also attached at the hip. I literally had to drag Jaden out of the house, crying, to do this.  I almost gave up, but my husband encouraged me to keep going. Sometimes for parents, our gratification is REALLY delayed, but shortly after getting to the museum, Jaden said to me, “This is a lot funner than crying!” THANK YOU. (Now remember that the next time I have to drag you out of the house to do something fun, for pete’s sake!)

I especially wanted to share this post this week in particular because this weekend is Family Day at the Pizzuti Collection and I wanted to encourage you to give it a try! Family Days happen the first Sunday of each month through December, 2016. [Updated June 22, 2016: Family Days now happens on the first Saturday of the month during Gallery Hop!] Admission is free, there are guided children’s tours, an art-themed scavenger hunt and your child gets a free sketchbook. AND the meters are free in Columbus on Sundays, so that makes this outing extra easy on the wallet!

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The hours on these special Sundays are 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. We didn’t get to the museum until 4:00 PM, but for a 4 year old, that was plenty of time. We didn’t make it for a guided tour, but that was probably okay for a 4 year old’s attention span as well! We picked up the booklet for the scavenger hunt, but didn’t do that either. (Boy, I’m really selling it here, aren’t I?) 😉 What WAS a hit was the sketchbook. I saw my little boy come alive as he pretended to be an artist and draw the things he saw in the museum. Don’t get me wrong, I think the tours and the scavenger hunt are a great idea for engaging older kids and you should definitely do them! For my son, this was an introduction to the art world, a chance for him to dip his toe in the water. And, in my book, it was a rousing success!

We walked around the 3 floors of the museum, looking at paintings, pictures and sculptures and then spent a good amount of time outside in the sculpture garden. Here’s a little taste of our time:

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Drawing in his sketchbook.

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Jaden really loved finding the surprising things built into the stone benches. A toilet flusher? Awesome! A light switch? Cool!

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And don’t forget to check out the statue of a man peeing . . . it might help with the last nudge over the potty training hill.

Obviously, the age of your child is going to determine what they get out of this experience. One thing I wanted to mention was that there is an exhibit referencing the shootings at Columbine High School and a few of the pieces have images of guns in them. My son did not notice this at all, so it never came up, but you may want to be prepared for that conversation, depending on the age of your kids.

After the museum, we walked over to Le Chocoholique for a little treat. We each picked out a chocolate that turned out to be pretty kid friendly: a chocolate covered Oreo and a chocolate covered Nutter Butter! Le Chocoholique serves all kinds of amazing chocolates (most of them a little more high brow than Oreos and Nutter Butters!), coffee and alcoholic drinks and other fancy desserts. On beautiful days like the day we went, the windows open to the street and it’s a great space for people watching!

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After eating our chocolates, on a last minute whim, we headed across the street to Blick Art Materials. I thought it would be a great opportunity to connect the dots between the art work and the supplies that artists use to make it. Unfortunately we arrived at literally the last minute and they were closing, but we walked through one aisle full of paint and paint brushes and I was still glad we did it. (Learn from my mistakes, though, and go a bit earlier!).

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Sunday would be a great afternoon for exploring the Short North! You could combine your trip to the museum with lunch or dinner. Some kid-friendly options for eating out in the area would be Melt Bar and Grilled, Fabian’s Chicago Style Pizza Place, or Stack City Burger Bar. You could also have dessert at Jeni’s or Whit’s. The museum is across the street from Goodale Park so you could take a walk around the park or head to the playground! For some more ideas, you can check out my post, Saturday Morning in the Short North!

Another option for continuing the art theme of this outing would be to print this map of the Short North Mural Series: Blank Spaces, and use it as a scavenger hunt for the murals that are on buildings all around the neighborhood.

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Let me know if you give this outing a try! I’d love to hear what your kids thought!

Know Before You Go:

Pizzuti Collection
632 North Park St., Columbus, OH 43215
614-280-4004

Le Chocoholique
601 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215
614-223-4009
Sunday – Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 9:30 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Friday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Blick Art Materials
612 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215
614-224-7708
Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Parking: as I mentioned, the meters are free on Sunday! You can try to find a spot in front of the museum on N. Park St. along Goodale Park, or on W. Goodale St., on the south end of Goodale Park. There is also The Joseph Garage right behind the museum at 33 W. Russell St. Check out this link for more parking options.

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ICYMI: Playdate in Uptown Westerville

Written by Julie Miller