The National Gallery of Victoria is a fantastic family-friendly destination and every month they run ‘NGV Under 4s‘, a specially developed program for kids 2-4 years where they get to discover the gallery through look and making activities with their parents/carers.
The theme changes every month and three 60 minute sessions at 10, 11:30 and 1pm are generally held on the second Wednesday of each month at NGV International.
Baby 2.0 and I have attended various sessions in 2017.
The first February session is based on the temporary painting exhibition Shut Up and Paint.
The session starts with an in-gallery visit where around 20 kids and their carers are asked to pick a colour swatch and then to spot the colour in the works around them.
Then we all troop off to the education centre on Level 1 where a painting session is set up. The kids match their colour swatch to a pot of paint and then start dabbing paint on the wall – right behind a (replica) Degas. It’s like a rainbow of cuteness!
So that everyone has a chance to take artwork home the kids then free paint on A4 sheets.
The session ends with a storytime while we wait for the paintings to dry. It’s Herve Tullet’s ‘Mix It Up’, a fantastically interactive picture book all about mixing colours. We also leave with a coupon for a free babycino with any tea/coffee purchase from the Gallery Kitchen.
The second time we visit we are inside the gallery’s ‘Love: Art of Emotion‘ exhibition where we read a book before making a musical bracelet and ending with a song.
Our next visit is in June and we’re inspired by one of the pieces in the temporary exhibition Creating the Contemporary Chair to create our own paper plate shark.
At $15 per child ($12 for NGV members) the NGV Under 4s sessions are a good value introduction to the world of art in a professional gallery. Note there can a bit of schlepping around the gallery, particularly if you have a pram and have to use lifts.
The next sessions of NGV Under 4s are Wednesday 19 July and Wednesday 9 August and bookings are essential.
- suitable for kids 2-4 years;
- Only children need a ticket ($15 per child), adults do not need a ticket;
- bookings essential; and
- includes a free babycino with any tea/coffee purchase from the Gallery Kitchen.
NGV Under 4s, National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne +61 3 8662 1555
Generally second Wednesday of the month, bookings required.
$15 child / $12 members, including free babycino with any tea/coffee purchase from Gallery Kitchen
Gallery open 10am–5pm daily