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State art museum gears up for busy fall

It's already been a busy fall at the N.C. Museum of Art, which opened an Edvard Munch exhibit last month. But museum staff also continue to offer most of its popular programs for families.

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N.C. Museum of Art
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

It's already been a busy fall at the N.C. Museum of Art, which opened an Edvard Munch exhibit last month.

But museum staff also continues to offer most of its popular programs for families. Museum fans will notice one piece is missing. The museum will not offer a Saturday performance series for families this fall. Instead, the museum in west Raleigh will have family festivals in the fall, winter and spring.

Here's what's on the schedule:

  • What's in the Box, a program for preschoolers, is back after a hiatus this summer. This really is a great program for ages 3 to 5. It includes some discussion about a piece of art in the museum and activity. Kids are given a What's in the Box card and, on their own, can search the museum for the piece that was discussed. I have taken my younger daughter to this program and will do it again. It's really well done. The fee is $3 per person. It's offered on Thursdays twice a month at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. If you want to attend the 10:30 a.m. program, it's best to get there at 10 a.m. to make sure you get a spot. These have filled up in the past. The next one is Thursday. Click here for details.
  • Family Fun Saturdays also are on the calendar. These two-hour family art making programs happen twice a month and are designed for kids 5 to 11 and their families. The cost is $5 per person and include a gallery tour and studio workshop. The next one is scheduled for Oct. 27. Registration is required. Click here for more information.
  • And the museum's Fall Family Festival, called Octoberfeast, starts at 1 p.m., Oct. 21. It features an afternoon of art, food and community. There will be food trucks, a family-friendly food tour of the museum's permanent collection and a hands-on art making workshop where you can make your own edible art. Kids under 12 will get free admission to the museum's special exhibit, Still-Life Masterpieces: A Visual Feast from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Bring two nonperishable food items for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and receive a discounted ticket to the still life exhibit.

Let me add, that I'm always amazed when I run into a parent who hasn't taken their kids here. Admission is free to everything other than the special exhibits. I've taken both my children there from a very young age. My three-year-old points out the animals, babies and princesses. My seven-year-old now enjoys learning more about the different pieces. It's a quiet, peaceful place where kids can learn more about their world.

On weekends, the museum offers free family tours for families with kids ages 5 to 10 at 10:30 a.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Once you're finished inside, you can head out to the beautiful museum park and follow the trails to see some pretty amazing works of art and run off some energy. You'll find big grassy areas that are perfect for picnics.

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