The Phillips Collection

1600 21st Street NW Washington DC

America's First Museum of Modern Art

VISITING WITH YOUR FAMILY

Tips for Your Visit


Look for the Family Icon 
Find kid-friendly areas in the museum.


Stroller Parking
Optional stroller parking is available at the discretion of Philips Collection staff in the designated areas adjacent to the museum’s coat check. Spaces are unreserved and dependent on availability. The Phillips Collection is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 


VISIT THE NEW FAMILY GALLERY 
Explore artworks displayed at children’s eye-level through conversation prompts that are posted right on the walls. Relax on our family-friendly furniture and read a book from our children’s book nook.


join us for family programs

Family PLaydates 
Guided by a professional art educator, explore a gallery through engaging, hands-on activities. Designed for families with children ages 4 to 8. First Saturday of each month, 10:30-11 am, included with museum admission. 

CREATIVITY WORKSHOP 
Spark you creativity at our art-making stations. The Family Creativity Workshop is an art materials “petting zoo” for the whole family! Designed for families with children ages 2 to 8. First Saturday of each month, 10:30 am-12:30 pm.
Purchase tickets for the December 7 Creativity Workshop  
Purchase tickets for the January 4 Creativity Workshop

museum stories
Explore one work of art and connect it to the Phillips's collection and history. Get inspired and create an artwork to take home. Designed for families with children ages 8-12. Third Thursday of each month, 2-3 pm, included with museum admission.


FOLLOW THE DISCOVERY PACK FAMILY GUIDE 
The child-size, artful treasure hunt explores family-favorite artworks such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party. The Discovery Pack provides engaging in-gallery activities and is strategically limited to four paintings to prevent museum fatigue. Please note that not all artwork featured in the Discovery Pack will be on view during your visit. 

Download the Discovery Pack


Heads up
Before your visit, browse the collection online or use the "see artworks currently on view" feature on the collection page to discover which of your favorite paintings are on view. To prepare children for their visit and build anticipation, show them pictures of a few paintings they will see at the museum. When you arrive, make a game of searching for these paintings, asking: How is the original different from the online image? What surprises you?


CHECK OUT OUR ENGAGEMENT STATIONS 
These hands-on, kid-friendly activities in the galleries complement our special exhibitions.


SAFETY FIRST
Remind children to not touch the works of art. Natural oils on our hands can damage them.  Please stay two feet away from the art.


the art of conversation with children!
To engage your children in thoughtful conversations about art, try these prompts: 

LOOK closely. What shapes can you find in the paintings?

IMAGINE you could step into a painting. Use your 5 senses to explore.

SHARE your favorite painting in this gallery. How do the colors make you feel?


Take a Break
Take a break in the Community Exhibition galleries (Sant Building, Lower Level 2), shop, café, or courtyard. 


Get Comfortable
Feel free to sit on the furniture or on the floor to engage with the artworks. Strollers are welcome in the museum. You may check items in our complimentary coat check. Changing tables are in the restrooms on Sant Building Lower Levels 1 and 2 and House Floor 2L. Museum staff can help with directions.


JAZZ N’ FAMILIES FUN DAYS
A free, fun family event on the first weekend in June, Jazz 'n' Families Fun Days offers live jazz music in the Music Room and galleries, an instrument petting zoo, art-making activities, and more. 

PUT YOURSELF IN THE PAINTING
Encourage children to use their imaginations to pretend they are standing in a painting. Ask questions: What do you notice first? What might you smell?  What is the weather like?  If you could touch, what textures would you feel?  How might the mood change if the artist used different colors?


GO ON A SCAVENGER HUNT
Choose a few postcards at the shop for your children to use in the galleries. If  the works are not on view, you can hunt for similar colors, lines, shapes, and themes.


BE SPECIFIC
To engage young children in art exploration, invite them to find certain subjects, shapes, lines, and colors in the works of art.They might like to look for their favorite animal, kind of food, type of weather. Ask them what is happening in the painting. Is there a story? What might come next?


LESS IS MORE
When visiting with younger children, plan to see only four or five artworks. Choose art that children can connect to. Invite your child to look for shapes, colors, and lines and to imagine a story in the artwork. 

CONNECT ONLINE
Encourage teens to get involved with The Phillips Collection via social media—we're active on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and YouTube. The Phillips’s highly visual Experiment Station blog features a wide variety of behind-the-scenes Phillips voices.


LOOK FOR RELATED WORKS OF ART
Ask teens about some things they are studying at school, then research artworks at The Phillips Collection before your visit to find art that relates to what they are studying. Art can provide context for other times and places; it may also educate us in a different way from formal school learning.


BRING FRIENDS
If your teenager is uncomfortable in the museum setting, have them bring a friend or two when you make the trip. 


BECOME THE ARTIST
Bring pads of paper and pencils and sketch different paintings or details from paintings. Sketching with regular, no.2 pencils is allowed anywhere in the museum, except for special exhibition spaces.