I started this blog with the idea in mind that I would write about all the fun things there are to do with little kids in New York City. I then promptly entered a pregnancy- and winter-induced hibernation and didn’t leave a 3-block-radius for weeks and weeks. Luckily my mom came to town last week to facilitate and inspire a field trip I’d been wanting to undertake for ages: the Children’s Museum of the Arts, in Soho.
The name is misleading – it’s not exactly a museum, but more of a big huge free-form art class. Harper was in heaven, wandering from one station to another: Chalkboard table! Huge crayons! Flubber! Self-portraits! Paints! And glory be, kiddie scissors, which she talked about for a long time afterwards. Lovely, friendly art teachers were on hand to help with paints and runny noses, and miraculously, every mess was whisked away the instant our backs were turned. Downstairs is a huge ball crawl. Yes, huge balls. Ha ha. No but really. Fun. And oversized blocks, for kids into that kind of thing. Harper was more interested in the news that a little boy was getting his diaper changed, for some reason, but I’m sure some kids would love the big blocks. Okay, I’ll say it: little brothers, waiting for their big sisters to finish their careful crafts. Not to be too sexist or anything.
I have this weird affliction brought on from being turned away from one too many overcrowded storytimes and classes, so that whenever we go somewhere that’s actually not crowded I assume it’s closed, cancelled, or the victim of some horrific bedbug scourge everyone but me knows about. Once I was assured that everything was okay, I was tickled that there were only a couple other kids meandering about (do people with kids actually live in Soho anyway?) and no stampedes of monstrous 4-year-olds to flatten Harper. I’m sure this was a fluke but it was nice nonetheless. And other than a hairy moment when Harper almost murdered a little girl who dared to come near the paint pens, a lovely outing. We were there for HOURS, and Harper would have stayed for more if I hadn’t noticed the Dan Rather-like bags under her napless eyes.
I would definitely recommend a visit for anyone with little kids – and it did seem skewed towards the younger set – and hope to someday check out their classes and so on. At $10 a person, it’s not an everyday kind of place, but the price isn’t so horrible when you think about all the art supplies your little one will whip through, PLUS the fact that this place provides after school arts programming in a world where arts are being cut from schools. If I were stronger, or the MTA suddenly sprung for elevators at every subway stop, I’m sure I would come here more often. Maybe when baby brother is ready to be dragged along…
Below, some bad iPhone pictures: