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Go Ask Mom

Duke's Nasher Museum of Art offers plenty for families this summer

Posted July 26, 2012
Updated July 31, 2012

A playground is about the last place I want to be when the temperature hits 90 degrees and above. And that's why my kids and I have been seeking out fun activities at indoor places across the Triangle lately.

If you haven't been to Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art in Durham, put it on your list. The museum is offering free crafts for all ages for the second summer. And it recently opened "The Uncertain Museum," a highly interactive exhibit that my kids loved. Inside The Uncertain Museum at Nasher Museum of Art at Duke Nasher art museum offers plenty for families this summer

"We want people to come in and make personal connections to the art," the museum's Wendy Livingston tells me.

I wrote earlier about the museum's summer make and take craft series. The activities, scheduled through Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays, are free and designed for all ages.

This week, a museum volunteer helped my kids make a Nasher memory book with paper and copies of pictures in the museum's collection.

My two-year-old was happy scribbling with marker and gluing a few of the pictures in her book. My seven-year-old glued each picture carefully in her book and then, on her own, decided to find each picture in the gallery and write down the title and artist. Of course, her younger sister was right there behind her, pencil in hand, "writing" down the information too. It was a great way to spend an hour or so.

Here's the rest of the schedule for the summer:

July 31 and August 2: Create your own shiny jewelry inspired by pieces from the “Containing Antiquity” exhibition.
August 7 and August 9: Use modeling clay to make your own animal figure similar to those on display in the exhibition “Containing Antiquity.”
August 14 and August 16: Create colorful collages inspired by the work of Romare Bearden.
August 21 and August 23: Combine “junk” from the Durham Scrap Exchange into your own John Chamberlain-inspired

Also at the Nasher this summer is "The Uncertain Museum," a piece by artist Olafur Eliasson. Visitors actually walk into this large, interactive installation. Inside, you'll see large glass discs hanging down. You can see your reflection in the mirrored glass, along with all kinds of shadows. Outside, other visitors can see changing shapes from the discs and your shadows. My kids - 7 and 2 - had a blast inside and out. So did a group of teenagers who were there when we were. Eliasson encourages people to take pictures of their experience. The piece is at the museum through Sept. 30.

Learn more about both the make and take series and "The Uncertain Museum" in my video interview with Livingston.

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday (it's free to all from 5 p.m .to 9 p.m.); and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $5 and free for kids 15 and under.

Mark your calendars: The museum's next free family day is noon to 4 p.m., Sept. 23.

Looking for other things to do with the kids? Check our database of park and playground reviews and list of posts on Triangle family destinations. Go Ask Mom features places to take kids every Friday.



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