*This post is part of our summer series on Great One-Day Road Trips!
Some families love to visit art museums together…. but honestly, that’s never been high on my summer hit list. I spend most of the time at a museum with my heart in my throat- chasing my kids around, begging them to “shush” and to not touch anything. But that’s not to say that I don’t want to teach my children about art and expression- I just want to do so in a more kid-friendly way. Which is why each summer we visit at least one fantastic outdoor sculpture gardens where they don’t have to whisper and are free to run around…. and while they still aren’t supposed to touch anything- I don’t need to worry that someone is going to put fingerprints on a priceless piece of artwork (for goodness sake- the sculptures are outside in the elements!).
What’s amazing is that these parks and gardens are everywhere- you just may never have heard of them! The International Directory of Sculpture Parks and Gardens provides a listing by state along with links to each attraction. Some are free, and may be housed on a corporate or a college campus, while others may charge for admission.
In my own “neighborhood”, there are two outdoor sculpture gardens that are located within a 2-hour drive of New York City that are awesome for families:
The Donald M. Kendall Pepsi Sculpture Garden
Located at the corporate headquarters for PepsiCo in Purchase, NY, this fantastic collection of artwork and beautiful gardens is free to the public. The Pepsi Co sculpture garden was created by Donald M. Kendall the former chief executive of the company in the 1970’s, it features 45 sculptures by some of the best-known artists of the 20th century, and is housed on 168 acres of gorgeous green lawns, ponds, trees, and gardens. (Note: the gardens are closed until mid-2015 while Pepsi renovates its corporate campus).
Storm King Art Center
Widely considered to be one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, Storm King Art Center is located in New Windsor, NY on 500 acres of beautiful landscaped fields, hills, and woodlands. What is most notable about the artwork on display here- is the gargantuan size of the sculptures. It totally captivates the kids and revs up their own imagination of what is possible. (Open Wednesdays-Sundays).
Inspire Creations of Their Own
Aside from taking tons of pictures, it can be fun to pack along some small sketch pads and pencils for the kids to draw what they are seeing, and you can also take along some modeling clay so the kids can make models of the sculptures.
Have you ever visited an outdoor sculpture garden with your family?