Days boasting wintry or summery extremes are my favorite ones to go museum hopping. Inside the climate-controlled walls of the museum, I can last for hours when I might otherwise succumb to frost-bite or heat exhaustion or cabin fever. And watching the rain stream off the glass window at the Temple of Dendur yesterday, I was convinced we’d found the coziest spot in the city.
This past weekend, we did something that we don’t do nearly enough and made it a two-musuem weekend. On Saturday, we took advantage of a Christmas present from my mom and dad and made our way to the Matisse Cut-Outs at MoMA. And on Sunday we headed to the Met to see Madame Cézanne, Death Becomes Her, and to sneak a peek at the new Cubism exhibit. All Junebug approved. (Well, except for that last one, which did require a race-through and lots of lullaby humming.)
A few tips for wintery museum hopping:
1. Choose an exhibit or two. James and I used to do marathon museum visits, but with Junebug in tow, we’ve found that it’s more pleasant for everyone if we set our sights just a little bit more modestly and plan to really enjoy one or two exhibits instead of trying to see everything.
2. Bring your baby. The only caveat is that museum goers of grandparent age will be so distracted by the baby that they might very well wander from gallery to gallery missing all of the art and none of the gummy-smiled drool. If you go to two museums in as many days, you might find that you’re visiting with the same crew of delighted grandparents and everyone involved might just about faint from happiness.
3. Keep up the blood sugar. At the risk of sounding like a petulant 10-year-old, I’ll admit that I can get a little cranky when my blood sugar dips, so I like to plan museum trips for the hours right after lunch, and then to finish them off with a big slice of cake, or a sugary cappucino. Relatedly: Sneak into a quiet gallery with a bench for a little milk break. No one will be the wiser, except for the baby who will be 10,000 times more delightful all milked up.
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to last long at a museum with a baby, or, you know, with low blood sugar, here’s a partial list of museums in New York that offer reduced or free admission. Afterall, an hour at a museum on a wintry day is an hour spent out of the house, which is the point.
The Met – $25 suggested donation
MoMA – Free: Fridays, 4 pm – 8 pm
The American Museum of Natural History – $22 suggested donation
Cooper-Hewitt – Pay-What-You-Wish: Saturdays, 6 pm – 9 pm
The New Museum – Pay-What-You-Wish: Thursdays, 7 pm – 9 pm
The Guggenheim – Pay-What-You-Wish: Saturdays, 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm
More posts on shaking the wintertime blues, HERE.