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.
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.)
The stroller brigade awaits departure.
Ben Shahn’s The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti.
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.
A view from the eighth floor.
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.”
Lee Krasner’s The Seasons. (More kid friendliness: You can listen to the kid’s audio tour segment on this piece, here.)
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?)
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.