out and about: the whitney museum of american art.

June 22, 2015

out and about: the whitney museum of american art | reading my tea leaves Franz Kline’s Mahoning (and our trusty stroller.)

The weekend before last, James and I woke up early (as usual) and made our way to the new Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking District with Faye. We’d been wanting to visit the museum since it opened in its new location at the beginning of May and when we received a pair of passes to check out one of their early morning before-hours stroller tours for the under-2 set and their parents, we hightailed it thataway.
out and about: the whitney museum of american art | reading my tea leaves The new museum was designed by Renzo Piano and sits in the sweet spot between The High Line and the Hudson River. In addition to its expansive indoor galleries, the new building boasts more than 13,000 square feet of outdoor terraces and exhibition space.

As someone who has worked in public programming professionally, I really appreciate the Whitney’s gesture to include families with (very) young children in programming at the museum. We’ve taken Faye along with us to shows at museums across the city, but having time to stroll without also worrying about a shushing an enthusiastic tiny art patron was such a treat. More than that, the tour itself was wonderful—an in-depth look at selected works from the current America Is Hard to See exhibit led by a museum fellow.

The stroller tours begin at 9:30 am and last for a full hour until the museum opens to general admission at 10:30 am. At $25 a ticket (in addition to regular admission), the stroller tours are not inexpensive—and it’s probably better to think of the experience as a semi-private tour than your average museum-going adventure—but they’re such a step in the right direction for family programming. Faye was among the oldest babies on the tour—it was filled with brand-new tiny guys and their surprisingly bright-eyed parents.

Once the museum opened and the crowds poured in, we strolled Faye out onto the terraces to take in the views of the city. We’re already planning a return trip. (For anyone hoping to up the cultural-ante on their next date night: the museum is open until 10:00 pm Thursday – Saturday.)
out and about: the whitney museum of american art | reading my tea leaves The stroller brigade awaits departure.
out and about: the whitney museum of american art | reading my tea leaves Ben Shahn’s The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti.
out and about: the whitney museum of american art | reading my tea leaves Our museum days are often planned last-minute to coincide with weather that would otherwise have us staying indoors. But if you’re able, I’d recommend planning your trip to the Whitney for a sunshine-y day. The terraces mean that you don’t feel hemmed in, and the views are spectacular. 
out and about: the whitney museum of american art | reading my tea leaves A view from the eighth floor.
out and about: the whitney museum of american art | reading my tea leaves Mary Heilmann’s Sunset installation on the largest outdoor exhibition space. Three cheers for art you can sit on, because as Heilmann says, “Museums are places to hang out.”
out and about: the whitney museum of american art | reading my tea leaves Lee Krasner’s The Seasons. (More kid friendliness: You can listen to the kid’s audio tour segment on this piece, here.)
out and about: the whitney museum of american art | reading my tea leaves The Studio Cafe on the eighth floor offers indoor and outdoor seating and a selection of soups, salads, and toasts. (For a complete date night you could plan to eat at Untitled, the new restaurant located on the ground floor. Can you tell I’m angling for a date?)
out and about: the whitney museum of american art | reading my tea leaves The view from below with The High Line in full bloom.

In case you’re in the neighborhood:
Whitney Museum of American Art
Directions and Visitor Information
Stroller Tour Info
Stroller Tour Tickets: $25/adult + Entrance Fee ($22/adult)

Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets from The Whitney for this visit. All opinions and enthusiasm, my own! Photo of me and those confetti chairs by James.


More adventures in and around New York City, right here.

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23 Comments

  • Reply Sally June 22, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    That last photo! So gorgeous.

  • Reply Polly Cat June 22, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Looks very lovely, the view is beautiful! I love the name "stroller brigade" too haha! x

    Polly Cat Contemplates

  • Reply Christine Amorose June 22, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Even though I'm not a mom, I love this idea!

    • Reply Erin June 22, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      It was so awesome to be in the museum before hours!

    • Reply admin June 22, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      It was so awesome to be in the museum before hours!

  • Reply My Little Bungalow June 22, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Lovely! I want to get on a plane right now and fly to NY to visit the Whitney. You didn't identify the painting the first photo, but it looks to me like a Franz Klein, one of my favorite artists. I love those orangy-red chairs in the cafe. They look great with the pale wood floors and light decor. What a great idea to have a before-hours stroller tour for parents with young children — I love that.
    Claudia

    • Reply Erin June 22, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Yes! Franz Kline!

    • Reply admin June 22, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Yes! Franz Kline!

  • Reply Karinny Cezar June 22, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Nice pictures, can't wait to visit the new location. I am also intrigued by the way you wore your scarf 🙂

  • Reply Vanessa June 22, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I've never understood the pressure to be quiet at museums. The art can't hear you. So much of the driving force behind art production and theory in the last 100 years has been about access, but we still treat viewing art in a museum like it's a funeral. I'm glad the Whitney is taking steps to include parents of littles, but I also hope for some changing attitudes about art spaces that don't make you feel like you have to restrict yourself to kids hours.

    • Reply Erin June 22, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Definitely true. Though I'd clarify that having a kid definitely hasn't/wouldn't stop us from visiting The Whitney or any museum during regular hours, either!

    • Reply Vanessa June 22, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      Good 🙂 I didn't mean to be snippy at you, just baffled at the people who shoot dirty looks at anyone who dares make noise above a whisper.

    • Reply admin June 22, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Definitely true. Though I'd clarify that having a kid definitely hasn't/wouldn't stop us from visiting The Whitney or any museum during regular hours, either!

    • Reply Erin June 23, 2015 at 1:06 am

      Ha! Agreed.

    • Reply admin June 23, 2015 at 1:06 am

      Ha! Agreed.

    • Reply Nancy Cavillones June 24, 2015 at 3:33 am

      I have to say, being able to push around your stroller without having to navigate a crowd is very nice, especially at a popular museum like The Whitney!

  • Reply Kim June 23, 2015 at 12:57 am

    I love your little black dress! Can you reveal where you got it? Thanks for the virtual tour 🙂

    • Reply Erin June 23, 2015 at 1:04 am

      You're welcome! The black dress is this one
      ! Same one I'm wearing in The High Line post a few back!

    • Reply admin June 23, 2015 at 1:04 am

      You're welcome! The black dress is this one
      ! Same one I'm wearing in The High Line post a few back!

  • Reply Nancy Cavillones June 24, 2015 at 3:32 am

    I used to do the stroller tours at the Clark Museum in the Berkshires. It was either free or very cheap, I can't remember. But if you're up that way, and the timing works, could be a fun thing to do! http://www.clarkart.edu/ImportedEvents/417-941

    Katonah Museum of Art, too! And closer for you. http://www.katonahmuseum.org/programs-and-events/strollertoursfall2011/

  • Reply Joanna Goddard June 25, 2015 at 1:00 am

    oh my gosh, i just learned about this today through a friend! so, so awesome. you guys look so cute, as always 🙂

    • Reply Erin June 25, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      It was really awesome! (We got compliments from the tour guide on our matching blues ;))

    • Reply admin June 25, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      It was really awesome! (We got compliments from the tour guide on our matching blues ;))

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