Visiting Santa Fe: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum with kids

No trip while visiting Santa Fe would be complete without a stop at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum with kids. Located downtown, this most-visited museum in New Mexico showcases the work of one of the most influential modernist artists of all time, Georgia O’Keeffe. In the museum, families will see her quintessential works–the minimalist bone and colorful flower paintings associated most with the artist–but also learn about her life, see her early work and sketches, and view temporary exhibits.

okeeffe-museum-santa-fe

During my visit, I was lucky enough to experience a docent-led tour. These tours are available twice daily (at 10:30 am and 2:00 pm during the time of my visit) and are free to visitors. During the tour, which took about 1.5 hours, I gained an overview of O’Keeffe’s career, including her education, early work, and professional life. Details in her paintings were pointed out that I otherwise would have missed. I highly recommend the tour to adults.

The O’Keeffe Museum for kids:

The O’Keeffe is not a stuffy museum only for adults! The team here has taken great measures to make the museum kid-friendly, including activities to help kids engage with the exhibits, opportunities for kids to create their own artwork, and special family hours.

kids-programming-at-okeeffe-museum

  • Discovery Guides for kids: these guides help kids interact with the exhibits (use a packet to find prompts, answer questions, offer opinions).
  • Sketchbooks and pencils for kids: upon entering the museum (by the way, kids are free), children are offered their own sketchbook so they can nurture their own creative juices while exploring the the nine galleries.
  •  Ok to Go: this program is an opportunity for parents to create art with kids on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays from 10:30-12:30.
  • Saturday morning Family Program: the gallery opens an hour early for families (9:30-11:30 June 28, July 19, and Aug 2). This allows for kids to enjoy the galleries without having to be too quiet.

When you enter the museum, be sure to stop and watch the short (just over 10 minutes) film on O’Keeffe’s life to give you a good overview and prepare you for the exhibits. Kids will especially be interested in the photographs of O’Keeffe’s New Mexico homes and home life, and an exhibit depicting her studio. Until fall, the current temporary exhibit features side-by-side works from O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams, from their commissioned work in the Hawaiian Islands. It’s fascinating to see their different takes on the same region, given their love of ‘place’ as inspiration. Plan to spend at least one hour in the museum, or more if you plan to catch a docent talk.

Date last visited:

April 2014

Distance from the interstate:

Several minutes from I-25 in Sante Fe.

Admission:

$12 for adults ($6 for New Mexican residents) and FREE for kids 18 and under.

Hours of operation:

Open 10 am to 5 pm daily (and until 7 pm on Fridays).

Directions:

Take exit 282, St. Francis Drive, heading north toward Santa Fe. Follow St. Francis Drive for approximately five miles. Turn right onto Paseo de Peralta, then left at the next light, onto Guadalupe Street. After a few blocks turn right onto Johnson Street. The Museum will be on your left, at 217 Johnson Street.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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