A Los Angeles Museum with Kids? Anything's Possible - My Family Travels
Getty Museum Campus
Getty Museum Gardens
Getty Museum

Here’s a museum that your kids will remember, and probably ask to return to. No kidding…

A recent visit with a restless 6-year-old convinced us that the very picturesque Getty Center of Los Angeles, California (310/440-7300; closed Monday), with its thoughtfully-designed Family Room and incredible bookstore, is just terrific for kids of all ages.

Getting to the Getty is easy – drive or take public transportation (Metro Rapid Line 761) to the main gate on Sepulveda Boulevard where you will board a silver tram for an exciting ride up to the hilltop galleries.  Entrance to the museum and all exhibits is free for the entire family; no tickets or reservations are required.  The parking fee is $15 until 5pm and free for evening hours on Saturdays.

Appreciate It With Kids

While the collection of art from the Middle Ages to the present is interesting, it is really the beauty of the campus that makes a visit here memorable.  Stunning architecture, peaceful gardens, breathtaking views, plazas and greenspace allow for exploration and relaxation.  Eat or snack al fresco on good food from the cafes or food carts at one of the landscaped promenades, or bring your own to enjoy in the picnic area. 

There are many ways to have a fun time with your kids, and all family materials and activities are free. Pick up a copy of “The Family Fun at the Getty” brochure from the Info Desk and Family Cart for suggestions. Activities include gamily-related gallery tours, storytelling and art detective adventures.  Additionally, the Family Room is full of hands-on art projects for all, and family festivals and garden concerts fill the event calendar.

For older kids and techies, check out the GettyGuide.  Accessed on computer stations and audio players throughout the museum, it offers in-depth explanations on specific works, and videos on art-making.  A GettyGuide audio player that focuses on over 300 works in the collection, is available in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Russian for $5.

Your favorite souvenir may be J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh’s charming “Going to the Getty,” a sweetly eccentric and informative book overview of the museum and its attractions, with great illustrations by the author and illustrator of the popular Mr. Lunch series of books.

As Seibold so eloquently comments: “Getty: once a man, now a center.”

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