February 2012 L.A. Museum Activities for Kids and Adults

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Sleepover at the Skirball, make Valentines at the Huntington, and celebrate Presidents Day at LACMA.  There are so many fun things to do at L.A museums this month! Here are my top picks for February for kids and adults. Don’t forget to check the complete listing of museum family activities at the end of the post.

My Picks for Kids:
Every Valentine’s Daydream of making charming homemade Valentines with my kids.  Inevitably, reality sets in, time runs out, and we end up buying last minute store bought cards. This year we have a chance to at least make a few homemade cards at the Huntington’s Be My Victorian Valentine (2/11).  In this workshop, children learn fun facts about Valentine’s Day and how to make old-fashioned Valentines. Other Valentine’s Day themed museum activities include Silk Road Stories about Love at the Pacific Asia Museum (2/4), a Love Bug Rock Art activity at the Kidspace (2/12),  and Birds of Love at the Norton Simon (2/18) — a family workshop inspired by the painting Happy Lovers (photo on right).

Presidents Day is Monday, February 20.  If  you have the day off, why not take the kids to LACMA’s Free Holiday Monday Presidents Day event (2/20). Festivities include bilingual tours, hands-on activities, and a live performances by Rhythm Child.  While you’re there, check-out Chris Burden’s new sculpture Metropolis II .  With over a thousand moving miniature cars and a dozen moving trains, it’s a smash hit with kids and adults.  Or celebrate Presidents Day (2/20) at the Autry and learn how American Presidents have contributed to the history of the West.  Don’t forget that the Huntington is open on Monday too — the Huntington’s Children’s Garden is always a favorite destination for our family.

Kids Workshops: Our whole family is looking forward to The Art Bug (2/25) workshop at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. This events brings together Cirque du Soleil‘s OVO performers and artist Karen Nakashima for a workshop about the fascinating life of insects. Other family workshops this month are the Craft and Folk Art Museum’s CraftLab Over and Under, Let’s Weave (2/11), the Hammer’s Time Travel – Blast Off! (2/12), and the Fowler’s Where in the World is? (2/26).

Is your child fascinated by all things mechanical?  Then he or she will enjoy the Deconstructing Appliances workshop at reDiscover on February 26 from 1-4 pm. Children get to take apart small appliances like VCR’s to discover how they work.  Not a museum, but definitely a creative haven, reDiscover reuses recycled materials to create fun and educational experiences for children. This event is also an open house to meet camp instructors for reDiscover’s summer program Tinkering School.

Skirball Sleepover: That’s right, you can actually sleep overnight at the Skirball in the ever popular Noah’s Ark (2/18-2/19).  They’ll be lots of fun activities, a tasty dinner, and a continental breakfast.  Plus, everyone will receive a pair of Toms shoes to decorate and bring home.  Toms will also give a pair of shoes to a child in need for each sleepover attendee who participates.

Black History Month:  The California African American Museum (CAAM) celebrates Black History Month on Sunday, February 5.  Education: Living our Legacy of Achievement is an all day event highlighting the importance of education in our history and for future generations.  They’ll be artist-led activities, live performances by local school children and professional jazz musicians, lots more and it’s free.

MOCA Teen Night: It’s time for MOCA’a Annual Teen Night take over of the museum.   Inspired by the current exhibition Under the Big Black Sun, MOCA invites high school students to an evening program of art, music and more (2/11). Participants receive a complimentary museum membership!

Family Festivals:  There are two big festivals this month celebrating rich cultural traditions.  There’s a Chinese New Year festival at the Huntington the first weekend in February (2/4-2/5).  My children loved the dragon dancers and martial arts demonstrations at the last one.  Families can also discover African Heritage in Latin America through art, dance and music at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA).  Complete with carnival mask and African instrument workshops, MOLAA’s Afro-Latino Festival (2/19) is an annual family event not to be missed.

Coming Up:  LACMA’s Spring Art Camp (April 2-6) for kids ages 6-9 and 10-13.  Register now if you’re interested because sessions sell-out quickly.

My Picks for Adults:
Opening Receptions: At the Fowler Museum this month, there’s an evening reception (2/25) for Order and Disorder: Alighiero Boetti by Afghan Women. This exhibition takes an in-depth look at Italian artist Alighiero Boetti’s collaboration with Afghan women to create incredible monumental embroidered pieces. They’ll be Becks beer and Italian wines to enjoy, and a live DJ spinning tunes from around the world. RSVP by February 16.

Adult Classes: Feel a creative urge to move beyond family photos?  Then how about trying LACMA’s Digital Photography class led by photographer-artist Loretta Ayeroff. Course consists of five Sunday afternoon classes beginning February 26.

Valentine’s Day/Nite Out:   We’re celebrating Valentine’s Day at LACMA this year. Why, you ask?  Well, my husband and I still haven’t gotten a chance to dine at the Museum’s Ray’s restaurant; and we’re anxious to see the new Ellsworth Kelly exhibition. So we’re going to do both on a Friday when the galleries are open until 9 pm.

You also might want to try this month’s Getty Center Art Circles tour (2/25) for an artful night out.  These engaging evening gallery tours focus on one object of art and include open-ended discussions led by a Getty educator.  Course fee includes a sandwich voucher.  Add a nice glass of wine to that at the museum cafe, and the Getty Center’s gorgeous city views, and you’re set.

Upcoming:  Parents of teens, or almost teens, make your reservations for the Skirball’s upcoming parenting seminar Teenagers: Wonder Years or Worry Years? (3/4). A remarkable group of experts will be speaking and leading workshops at the seminar, and there’ll be a panel of teens to add their unique perspectives on adolescence.

Leave a comment and let me know about your museum outings this month.  And if you like this calendar, be sure to subscribe (click above) and share it with your friends. Also, follow me on Twitter for event updates and tweets and about my museum adventures.

See you in the galleries!


Autry Museum
FAMILY FESTIVAL: Presidents Day Event
Monday, February, 20: 10 am -4 pm

Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM)
CraftLab WORKSHOP:  Over and Under, Let’s Weave
Saturday, February 11: Drop-in between 1:30-3:30. All Ages.

Getty Center Museum
FAMILY DRAWING: Artful Improvisation
Saturday, February 11: 3:30 pm.  Ages 7+

FAMILY DRAWING: Shapes and Grapes
Saturday, February 18: 3:30 pm. Ages 7+

Saturdays and Sundays: 2:00 and 2:30 pm. Ages 5+

KIDS iPod AUDIO GUIDE : Demons, Angels, and Monsters (see earlier post)
Offered daily (closed Mondays).  Free (through February 5, 2012). All ages.

KIDS ACTIVITY SPACE: The Family Room  (see earlier post)
A place for families to draw, build, read, and play together.
Daily (closed Mondays). Drop-in.

Getty Villa Museum
GALLERY TOUR ACTIVITY: Art Odyssey for Families 
Saturdays and Sundays: 2 pm.  Ages 5+

Daily (closed Tuesday). Drop-in.

Fowler Museum at UCLA
FAMILY MUSICAL ACTIVITY:Musica and the Chicano Movement
Sunday, February 12: 2–4 pm.  All ages

FAMILY WORKSHOPWhere in the World is?
Sunday, February 26: 1-4 pm, drop-in. All ages

Hammer Museum
FREE FAMILY FLICK: Jason and the Argonauts
Sunday, February 12: 11 am.  Ages 6+

KIDS WORKSHOP: Time Travel – Blast Off!
Sunday, February 12: 12 pm.  Ages 7-10

FAMILY FESTIVAL: Chinese New Year Festival
Saturday, February 4 and Sunday, February, 5: 10:30 am –4:30 pm

KIDS WORKSHOP: Be My Victorian Valentine
Saturday, February 11: 10 am-12:30 pm.  Ages 7-12. Registration required.

Kidspace Children’s Museum
KIDS WORKSHOP: Love Bug Rock Creatures
Sunday, February 12:  2:00 pm.  Registration required.

FAMILY WORKSHOP: California Cool
Sundays, February 5, 12, 19, 26: 12:30 pm

TARGET FREE HOLIDAY: Presidents Day Event
Monday, February 20: 12 pm

STORYTELLINGBoone’s Children’s Gallery
Mondays and Fridays: 2 pm

BOONE CHILDREN’S GALLERY: Korean painting activity studio (see earlier post)
Daily (closed Wednesdays), drop-in.  All ages.

Museum of Latin American Art (Molaa)
FREE FAMILY DAY:  Afro-Latino Festival
Sunday, February 19: 12-4 pm

Norton Simon Museum
STORYTELLING: Francisco De Goya (hear stories and make your own crown)
Sunday, February, 5 and February, 26: 2-3 pm.  Ages 4-8

FAMILY ART NIGHT:  Temple Guardians
Friday, February 10: 6:30-7:30 pm.  Ages 4-10

FAMILY DAY: Birds of Love
Saturday, February 18: 1-3 pm.  Ages 4-8

Pacific Asia Museum
STORYTELLING: Silk Road, Stories about Love
Saturday, February 4: 10:30 am. Fee $10 per family

Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA)
Family Day Workshop:  The Art Bug
Saturday, February 25, 1-3 pm. Admission $10, members free.

Skirball Cultural Center
FAMILY SLEEPOVER: Noah’s Ark Family Sleepover
February 18, 6:00 pm thru Sunday, February 19, 9:00 am. Ages 6+. Tickets available online.

FAMILY ART ACTIVITY: Drop-in Family Art Studio
Saturday, February 25 and  Sunday February, 26: drop-in, last entry at 4:30 pm. All ages.

Simulated archaeological dig.  Saturday-Sunday. All ages.

Daily (closed Monday). Special admission fee.


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