Housed in the castlelike brick mansion of a wealthy, early-twentieth-century Boston businessman, the DeCordova Museum is dedicated to promoting appreciation of contemporary art by American artists, particularly those working in the New England area. An ambitious schedule of exhibitions attracts a large, loyal audience.
Outdoors on the museum’s beautiful grounds, the Sculpture Park features permanent and temporary sculptures, some of which are musical and most of which will intrigue the kids. Art in the Park is held in the outdoor amphitheater the second Sunday in June; it includes one hundred juried artists selling their work, concerts, and hands-on children’s art activities.
Check the museum for a schedule of events. The DeCordova Museum also offers family education programming called I Wonder, geared for children 6 to 12 and their families.
The tours of the DeCordova Museum are Sunday, Thursday, and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. for the Sculpture Park May through
October. The Sculpture Park welcomes pets and picnicking.
The cafe is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Before visiting the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, I would have guessed that it was not a place my kids would enjoy. Moments after we arrived and began exploring I realized how wrong I was.
THE SCULPTURE PARK
We visited the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum while the Museum portion was actually closed in preparation for a new exhibit.
When you arrive, there is a nice welcoming center with clean washrooms and a few cool things for kids to check out and play with.
Once you begin exploring outside, it is really neat to see how your kids look at the sculptures. The sculptures range from very modern to cool pop art pieces and a few interactive ones your kids can play with.
Will had some very surprising insight on some of the pieces and kids under 4 will seriously just get a kick running around the beautiful grounds.
The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum offers a number of tours around the outdoor sculpture garden and I would seriously suggest taking one. The guides are great with kids and guests of all ages and know a lot about the pieces. We thought one piece was an empty glass cylinder until our guide pointed out how it distorted cars that drove past it. Looking at the piece, we saw a Mercedes sedan turn into a car delightfully smaller than a mini cooper.
To explore the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the fee is $10 per adult with children under 12 getting to explore for free. I love the idea that families can spend an entire afternoon enjoying the park only having spent $20. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum also offers free admission on the first Wednesday of every month.
PICNIC AND PLAY
My recommendation for exploring deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is to pack and picnic and plan to just let your kids play. The gardens are gorgeous and there is plenty of space to sit, explore and just be a family. I loved watching Will approach the sculptures and giving him a few minutes to figure out what he saw before asking questions. It was fun to compare what we thought of the art and an enjoyable way to spend a sunny afternoon.
I really enjoyed our time at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and would seriously recommend it for kids of all ages. I would plan to spend a little more time onsite next time as there were many pieces of art and lots to see. I would recommend bringing a stroller for younger children as there is a fair bit of walking if you want to see all the different pieces.
This review is based on a complimentary visit to deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. I received no other compensation and these opinions are entirely my own.
My teen aged boys got fresh air and a cultural experience all at once. I was surprised at the extensive collection. There is a small restaurant which is convenient. Go on a good weather day and enjoy the scenery. We were taken there by a relative who takes art classes there. I had never heard of the museum but it's special. I loved all the different types of sculptures.
The DeCordova Musuem is a fun and engaging place to introduce children to art! I love the Sculpture Park. The Museum has made its entire grounds open to invited artists to be inspired by and locate their sculptures. I really enjoy wandering around and being surprised by the discovery of yet another sculpture piece that I had not noticed before. It always makes me wonder how many I have missed during my multiple visits to the museum. It is a wonderful place to have a picnic and have the kids run around since all the outdoor sculptures can be touched and even climbed on in some cases. The indoor museum has multiple rotating themed exhibits, with quite a range from vernacular art to contemporary works of specifc artists. There are also art classes for children and adults in various media.