Monday, August 9, 2010

Backyard Adventures: 100 Acres at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

I'm not the type of parent that creates too many lofty goals for her kids. I figure I'll do my best to be a good mom, and cross my fingers my little arrow turns out ok. But one thing I do hope to do is expose him to some interesting cultural experiences. Even if he's too little to appreciate it at 15 months, at least we are getting into the habit of making it a priority. The challenge at our arrow's age is what types of activities are appropriate and fun for him (and us!)

A few weeks ago, on yet another hot and sticky Saturday morning, we had our answer: off we went to the Indianapolis Museum of Art's new 100 Acres outdoor arts park. You know you're having a good time when you forget about 90 degree temperatures and 90% humidity. If you've been looking for a way to introduce the arts to your kids in a fun, welcoming environment, put this on your to-do list.


We were greeted in the parking area by this wacky, colorful sculpture--the craziest basketball court you've ever seen. My b-ball playing husband loved it! If you have a bit of a drive to get to the IMA like we do, this is a great spot for kids to burn some energy off.


See the white dome out in the pond? A few interns have been living there all summer. Can you imagine?!

We ended our visit with a walk through this sculpture. It's meant to be contemplative area. Walk through that tunnel and up some stairs, and you enter a stark courtyard where we really did stop and reflect.

A few tips if you visit with kids:

1) Park in the area specifically designated for 100 Acres, just west of the museum on 38th Street. If you're using a stroller, this will allow you access to the park without having to navigate stairs.

2) And while I'm on the topic of strollers, bring a jogging one if you have it. Most of the paths are gravel. If you have a smaller baby, I would recommend using a sling or carrier.

3) As you walk toward the park from the parking area, look for the box with maps. The maps have really well-done descriptions of each piece of art and will give you a much better appreciation for what you're seeing.

4) There is a public restroom/rest station just past most of the sculptures. This would be a good spot to eat a quick lunch if its blazing hot when you visit. Although there is plenty of shade in the woods off the canal too.

5) If you have time, visit the museum too. It's free!

What are some ways you provide your kids with fun cultural experiences? I'd love to get some suggestions!