Mini Culture Vultures At The Louvre Abu Dhabi
With grandparents in town keen to take the kids along with us to The Louvre, Abu Dhabi, we decided to brave the museum en masse and make a family day of it. My fears that the whole thing would be totally lost on my three or that they’d somehow disgrace themselves started on the journey as they sniggered that we were going to ‘the loo’ all the way. But actually, my mini museum goers did pretty well and even learned a thing or two. Thinking of heading to The Louvre, mama? Here are a few tips to help make the experience fun for you all!
Get There Early & Buy Your Tickets Online Beforehand
The Louvre, Abu Dhabi, opens at 10am (apart from Monday’s when it’s closed) so make sure to get there early to avoid the crowds. You can also purchase your tickets online in advance to make the process smoother (under 13’s are free of charge – yippeee!).
Prepare For Some Art Appreciation
Before heading to the museum we chatted about different forms of art and some of the pieces they would see plus tried to teach the kids about different techniques used by the artists – Jackson Pollock’s ‘pouring’ or ‘dripping’ paint (which they loved and want to try at home – help me!) and Van Gogh’s use of thick oil paint. We also talked about art being very subjective – about how one of them might love something and another not, about how art takes all sorts of forms from photography to painting to sculpture and more. And some of it stuck as they were excited to see some of the pieces we prepared for! Similarly, ask them to share what they don’t like about the pieces too and get them to describe why (even if sometimes the answer is just ‘because it’s yuk’).
Don’t Take It Too Seriously
This one’s easy when there are little people in tow who see things from such a different perspective. Ok so they had a giggle about statues wearing fig leaves and came up with hilarious names for some of the pieces they saw (I don’t think there’s actually a sculpture named ‘chicken head’) but hey, if that’s what inspired them and kept them interested I didn’t mind!
Take Snacks/Food With You
The museum does have a cafe but the choice really wasn’t great and the queue huge! It’s ok if you want a coffee but I would take sandwiches and snacks for the kids – it was a struggle finding something they liked. The sandwiches are enormous and geared more towards adults – the tuna mayo (for example) came with bits of onion and ‘green stuff’ mixed in. There’s also a formal dining restaurant but that’s one to avoid with small people in tow.
Let Them Take Their Own Pictures
Let go of the control freak in you and give them your phone or a camera to take snaps with! Getting them to imitate some of the sculptures/poses before they photographed each other was a particularly popular exercise…
Head To The Children’s Museum Section
While the rest of the museum is pretty strict about kids touching stuff (and I don’t just mean the pieces – which is clearly not ok – but even the glass surrounding certain exhibits or the ropes in front of paintings), at the children’s museum section touching and interaction is very much encouraged. The inaugural exhibition we saw ‘Travelling Shapes and Colours’ included original works such as a stone vase dating from 1000 to 500 BCE and an oil painting by Paul Klee, all displayed at a child’s eye-level and accompanied by interactive displays designed to encourage young visitors to get busy exploring as they learn.
My kids loved coloring in a picture of a vase, rearranging colored magnets on a wall and hiding in a tent complete with indoor ‘campfire’ and twinkling lights.
Run Around Outdoors
Kids will be kids – and while the museum doesn’t allow for much running about, there’s a lovely big lawn area outside on which we played tag and catch and burnt off some steam after our time indoors. Definitely worth doing before the drive home.
Have you been to The Louvre, Abu Dhabi, yet? Share your tips too and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org