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 is in February and 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.
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. My only niggle is that there’s a significant amount of time is spent waiting around (the sessions always seem to start 10 minutes behind as we wait for latecomers) and schlepping around the gallery, particularly if you have a pram and have to use lifts. This waiting and schlepping can be trying on the patience of little kids and means the actual doing part is only about 30 minutes long.
The next session of NGV Under 4s is Wednesday 14 June 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