The 10 Best Art Museums for Kids

4. De Young, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

  • Hosts two family tours led by docents or museum artists every Saturday and offers family audio tours geared to its permanent collections and special exhibitions
  • Has a children's Garden of Enchantment, which leads to the entrance of the museum's education gallery; it's dotted with adorable animal sculptures and features a pond
  • Distributes The Ghost of the De Young Museum, a fun comic-book guide for visitors, written and drawn by cartoonist Phil Frank


The interactive multimedia exhibit in the Kimball Education Gallery, which focuses on pre-Hispanic art, traditional African art, and 20th- century American painting. Kids can learn Mayan hieroglyphs or color an image of a Mayan stone.

Located in Golden Gate park, the De Young Museum's landmark new building, featuring a dramatic copper facade, is a work of art itself. And its substance even exceeds its style.

In addition to conveniences such as family bathrooms and a cafe featuring organic food, the museum offers kids activities such as after-school art classes, theater performances, and stories read by docents. More than 1,000 school classes are expected to visit the museum this year. Considered a national leader in art education, the De Young recently published Get Smart With Art, six curriculum guides in social studies, visual arts, and language arts for students in grades 4 to 8. It has also received a President's Council on Arts and the Humanities award for its Museum Ambassador program, which educates low-income high school students in art and trains them to teach school-age children.

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