Start art appreciation early with your little one by discovering or rediscovering one of the many gems in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Art Museum. The museum offers interactive(!) baby art tours, designed specifically to engage and spark baby’s interest. A themed tour is offered once-a- month, providing new and intriguing exhibits and experiences. The tours are designed for ages 0-2 and offered at no cost. Here is what to expect when your Picasso-to-be takes a baby art tour:
Before Your Tour
Baby will have the best views of the masterpieces on display from the comfort of a carrier. This puts them at eye level with the art and allows for easier engagement. Strollers are allowed, but not recommend since it limits views. Find a reliable carrier and wear comfy shoes as the tour will last anywhere from 30-45 minutes. Diaper bags are allowed, but they will be searched upon arrival. The tour congregates in the main hallway off the lobby. There are couches and chairs in the hallway with a baby-friendly restroom located in the Great Hall. There are three tour times; 11 am, 1 pm and 2 pm. Reservations are recommend.
In the event that appreciating all that art is hungry work, never fear, the museum offers plenty of places where baby can enjoy a meal. If you are the one in need of sustenance, we highly recommend visiting the Terrace Cafe, located inside the museum. They have a good selection of tasty fare, and the option to eat alfresco! We stop here often before our tours – it is always accommodating to the littlest guests. Reservations are recommended, especially if you have baby in tow.
During the Tour
The tour is guided by phenomenal staff who are incredibly knowledgeable about the works of art and how babies perceive them. Sara has been our tour guide since we started attending the tours and she is truly a delight. The different perspectives and things to identify bring new meaning to the artwork not only to baby, but to me. The tours are very interactive allowing baby to feel new textures, hear different sounds and see a variety of color schemes and contrasts. There is an elevator that is a baby favorite, but to know the secret of what makes it so special you will have to find out on your own.
Throughout the tour you will get the opportunity to roam exhibits and explore different objects. Your guide will direct you on what might attract babies attention and how to integrate it into a learning experience. Pointing out familiar animals, shapes and body parts helps grasp baby’s attention. Another positive component of the baby tours is that you get to meet and interact with others on the tour. It is a great opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones.
The tour often concludes at the Rosenthal Education Center (REC) for a unique, hands on experience to make art with your baby. The REC is equipped with hand sanitizer, wipes and high chairs to able to meet baby’s needs. There are endless possibilities to make homemade masterpieces and group works of art. Your guide will have the stations ready and give instructions on the project of the month. The tour ends once your babe has completed their masterpiece. Families have the option to explore more of the museum, play in the REC or venture home for a nap.
Rosenthal Education Center
I recommend visiting the Rosenthal Education Center prior to your tour. This interactive space is designed for children of all ages to have hands-on experience with art and cultures. While most of the arts and crafts are designed for children a little older, they do have blocks, books and opportunities to create works of art with your baby. The current theme is the Art of Asia, in which children create terracotta warriors to place in the museum terracotta army display. Baby art tours will frequently end at the Rosenthal Education Center to create a work of art centered around the theme. A few examples are stamping with veggies, hand painting and bubble wrap painting.
Explore and interacting with art as a family is a priority at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Be sure to join them for other programs like Wee Wednesdays and their Family First Saturdays.
Learn more about the programs offered at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Here are more fun and unique ideas for baby outings in Cincinnati.
Thank you to the Cincinnati Art Museum for sponsoring this wonderful post. All opinions and reviews are from my personal experience.