The Getty Museum has a spectacular set-up for families. From an Art Detective game, to hands-on art experiences, children of all ages will find something for them. To see all that is available, go to http://www.getty.edu./visit/groups/families.html.
Art Meets Architecture As a designer by trade I love museums and great architecture. I want my kids to know and love these things too but I was not sure they old enough to enjoy or appreciate the experience. I took my 7 and 9 year. The Getty is a great combo of enrichment and kid-friendly activities. The museum is meant to be enjoyed inside and out which makes it perfect for young kids. Parking: First up, parking. The parking structure actually goes down into the ground instead of up into the sky and my kids loved this. We traveled deeper and deeper into the earth imagining we were mining. I don't know why but this was just fun. Parking is $15 but the museum is free. Tram: The monorail-esque tram winds up the hillside from the parking structure to the museum offering breathtaking views of downtown Los Angeles and the 405. Exhibits: The docents are friendly and well-informed. I was easily able to find times for both docent lead and self lead tours via headset rentals. We came armed with sketchpads and pencils and were offered a complimentary bag to carry our supplies. Many thanks to the kind gift shop employees. The museum is split into several buildings with different eras of art in each. We were able to sit in front of our favorite pieces and sketch and talk quietly. Walking outside to get from building to building provided a great break for my kids. Family building: The family area offers hands on exhibits that allow kids to interact with replicas of the art. My boy enjoyed creating his own Hockney using mirrors. Architecture Tour: Not to be missed if your kids can handle 45 minutes of a docent talking. My 9 year old loved it. We learned all about the buildings and the architect and the setting that holds the famous art. The Getty is as much about the inside as the out and we still talk about what we learned on this tour. Gardens: The gardens are an experience on their own. Children can wander the paths of native vegetation or roll down the big grass hill. While screaming is not encouraged it is definitely an area where kids can move around and make some noise. Dining: The Getty offers many options to rest and refuel. The cafeteria style Terrace Café overlooks the Pacific Ocean. There are several food carts in the courtyards that offer everything from a coke and chips to a bowl of soup. For fine dining visit the main restaurant. The food is expensive and not too kid friendly, but the service and views are amazing. Overall, the combination of indoor and outdoor created a fantastic entree into museum love for my California crew.