Taking small children to indoor art museums can be risky.
For one, little kids like to run, jump, play, explore and touch — and these behaviors are generally not art-museum appropriate.
Unless — you take the kids to an outdoor art museum, on an expansive plot of lush green hillsides and tree-filled woods and lakes with bubbling fountains. In other words: Pyramid Hill.
Pyramid Hill is an outdoor museum comprised of monumental pieces of sculpture in an environment of meadows, forests and gardens. Pyramid Hill originated in 1987 when local art-lover Harry T. Wilks purchased 40 acres of land just outside of Hamilton. He desired to build his home there, and before it was finished in 1992, he’d added several adjoining plots of land. While he received several offers from developers wishing to build on his lush, green land, Wilks instead created a non-profit to which he donated the land, with the intention of building a sculpture park. He began visiting sculptors and purchased several pieces to place in the newly formed park, which opened to the public in 1996.
Pyramid Hill is a delightful mix of old and new, with an Ancient Sculpture Museum which houses a collection of Greek, Roman, Etruscan and Egyptian sculptures, as well as some 60 modern outdoor sculptures — and these pieces are colorful and massive and awe-inspiring.
Pyramid Hill spans 300 acres, and there are trails and roads so patrons can explore by foot, car and even “art carts” (jazzed up golf carts)! We got a map from the Visitor Center and set off on foot. Here are some of the highlights, along with my little art critics’ comments.
The Fourth Obelisk by Tom Gibbs
Triumph by Michael Tearney
Shhh by Chakaia Booker
Julian: “It says ‘shhh,’ Harvey.”
The Age of Stone by Jon Isherwood
Julian: “I like running through this one.”
Paul by Martin Gantman
Mary: “This seat is broken.”
The Web by Brian Monaghan
Julian: “I think a crane helped make this.”
Falline Flora by Don Creech
Still Life by Ed Benevente
Julian: “There’s a chain on this.”
Untitled by John Leon
Julian: “Who is this guy?”
The Bench by Tony Rosenthal
Dragonfly Dome by Voss Finn
Mary: “There’s dragonflies, mommy! This is my favorite.”
We had so much fun — and we only saw about a third of the outdoor sculptures at Pyramid Hill. With the changing leaves and cooler temperatures, now is the perfect time to explore Pyramid Hill for yourself!
Pyramid Hill is located at 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., State Route 128, Hamilton, OH 45013. From April – October, the outdoor park is open Mon – Fri: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sat – Sun: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. From November – March, the outdoor park is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is $8/adult, $3/children 6-12 and free for kids under 5.