I love art museums. I can spend hours walking galleries, revisiting favorite pieces, and dropping in on new exhibits. While art museums and gallery spaces make for great adult adventures, as a young one, being on your best behavior in a public space with works of art can be a stressful. Thankfully the Cincinnati Art Museum has always been a welcoming space for families to explore art and creativity by offering drop-in, family focused activities.
About two years ago, the Rosenthal Education Center at the Cincinnati Art Museum opened. Located on the first floor of the museum, the Rosenthal Education Center (REC) is a family focused studio space where kids of all ages can explore art through hands-on experience.
The REC offers a focused theme that rotates twice per year. Throughout the space are various themed stations, with a brief explanation of the idea explored, and a corresponding piece in the gallery where you can see works based on the station. It’s fantastic!
I appreciate how thoughtful the museum was in designing the REC to reach out to as many ages as possible. While both of our girls are older, and we no longer actively seek out adventures that can cater to both toddlers and older siblings, I enjoyed watching families lounge in the toddler space while another adult was able to take an older sibling to a nearby art station for something a little more age appropriate.
In addition to just being a really cool space, another benefit to starting your museum visit at the REC is that it gives the kids a chance to settle in a bit. You can play and learn, and then take that experience into the main galleries where can then relate what we experience and explored in the REC to the art in the galleries. It’s also a great opportunity to unwind a bit after a car ride and ‘reset’ the mood before venturing out into galleries.
The best part? This all totally and completely free of charge. Though donations are always welcome, there is no cost to park and no cost to enter the museum or the REC.
While there are still some paid exhibits, most of the museum’s collection is free to explore as well. The REC is another example of what makes the Cincinnati Art Museum such a jewel in this region!
Jonathon Karysn Paasch is husband to an intelligent, generous, and creative spouse, and father to two caring, smart, and funny girls.
A Cincinnati transplant, Jonathon and his family are avid weekend explorers, particularly drawn to the plethora of amazing outdoor activities available in the tri-state area.
With a passion for photography, Jonathon rarely misses an opportunity to document and share the Paasch family adventures.