Our public library has family passes to local libraries that you can check out– for free! How cool is that? This past week, I checked out a pass for the Albany Institute of History and Art and took the Wee One, the Middl’n, and a family friend of ours (three boys, ranging in age from 4 to 13). You would think that might be a tough age spread for a museum trip, but the similarities between toddlers and teens is amazing. Their attention spans and interests coincide quite well.
We started by checking out some of the special exhibit on the second floor, “The Making of the Hudson River School.” I will confess, this is not my favorite style of art, but the boys did enjoy the landscapes and I can appreciate the skill required to make art like this, particularly the skies and clouds. I did a bit of a scavenger hunt with the Wee One and the paintings: can you find the brown bear in this landscape? Do you see the cows on the meadow? Which painting has a double rainbow in the sky?
Then we moved on to the third floor and the photography exhibit. There were some really great pieces on display, including a couple by two former photography professors of mine. If you are near Albany, NY, you should go just for the photography.
From there, we moved into the boys’ favorite room, the Ancient Egypt room. It is a small exhibit, but loaded with good finds, like lots of examples of shabti figures, scarab figurines, and canopic jars. Best of all, though, two mummies! The Wee One liked these so much, we bought a postcard of them (photography isn’t allowed in most of the museum).
It was a great trip, which we finished up with play time in the Children’s Room (hands-on activities, books, costumes to try on, and lots more). The trip went so well because we didn’t spend too much time in any one place and kept active (even by actively looking, like with the scavenger hunt).