When choosing an outing for my preschoolers, I tend to look for places that are used to the unpredictable nature of little ones. There are obviously many places in our city that cater to young visitors, but I’ve honestly been hesitant of places (like art museums) because, well… tantrums. That is, until I heard about the new Taft Jr. program at the Taft Museum of Art downtown. They’ve created the perfect solution to introducing young children to the museum environment, by making it kid friendly.
We were lucky enough to attend the museum’s first Taft Jr. event – Shape Up! The theme was shapes and the extremely friendly staff and volunteers had a wonderful hour planned. We were escorted through three “stations” – a craft room, a close-up encounter with real art, and story time where my two preschoolers were able to interact with the reader and learn more about shapes. I have to say – we have been to a lot of events – and I was incredibly impressed with Taft Jr.’s organization and set-up. From the email we received a day before, answering every question you may think of, to the flow of the event itself, it was very well done. And this was their first one!
The Taft Museum hopes Taft Jr. will “allow preschoolers to have fun learning about and making art with their favorite adults while absorbing good museum manners.” I’d say they’ve succeeded! I was happy to hear that they will be offering the Taft Jr. program the first Thursday of each month starting in September, so be sure to keep an eye out for that! In the meantime, the next Taft Jr. event is scheduled for Thursday, May 11th.
Aside from Taft Jr., I was pleasantly surprised at how kid friendly the museum is. We stayed for lunch at the Lindner Family Café and it was wonderful. The kids enjoyed grilled cheese and I was very close to asking for the recipes for everything on my plate. The staff (again) was so friendly and interactive with the kids. The café was full of adults eating lunch, but I really felt very comfortable having my kids there. I can’t wait to go back this summer and sit outside!
Another kid friendly option at the museum is 3rd Sunday Funday! On the third Sunday of each month, the museum welcomes families to come in from 1-4 p.m. for free activities – another perfect opportunity to introduce your children to a new environment. To read more about these events, visit their website here.
I don’t often use this word, but if I had to describe our time at the Taft Museum with one word, it would have to be: delightful. We immediately felt welcomed and comfortable; the kids loved the activities and I loved seeing them learn and connect with other adults and kids. The Taft Jr. program will definitely remain on our radar for the upcoming months!
A native Cincinnatian, Andrea has experienced life in all four corners of this city. After growing up on the west side, she headed north to attend Miami University, then moved east to Hyde Park and now lives in Northern Kentucky with her family.
When she’s not playing trains and doing the “hot dog dance” as a stay-at-home mom to her two toddlers, Andrea is busy writing for Cincinnati publications and brainstorming ideas for her next children’s book! With a newfound passion for fitness and overall health, she spends a lot of time at her family gym and loves to play outside.
Andrea worked in education for several years and has a special love for children’s literature. She loves showing her children all our city has to offer and enjoys sharing her finds with other parents. Her favorite spots include the Cincinnati Zoo (although she steers clear of the bird house), her local library and any playground.