Best-Kept Secrets of the Brooklyn Museum
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Photo by Jonathan Dorado
Head to the Luce Center on the fifth floor for American Art: Visible Storage Center, a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how museums work. This is where a large portion of the collection that is not currently on view resides, including more than 600 objects. A tour of the center offers a unique perspective into how the museum stores and preserves its artwork.
Here in the Visible Storage Center, kids can wonder at dozens of American artworks. “My favorite is the painting of George Washington, because it looks so real,” said 6-year-old Abbey who was visiting the museum for the first time with her parents. “We like to expose our kids to as much culture as possible,” said Abbey’s mom Lauren, an artist from Jacksonville, Florida. “The museum is a good place to get out and spend the day.”
The museum’s gift shop, located on the first floor, is a great source for locally made ware and interesting souvenirs to bring home for friends and families. Don’t miss this museum highlight on your way out.
Parents, Know Before You Go!
Make the most out of a first-time visit to the Brooklyn Museum by planning ahead! The museum has so much to offer, from sculptures to period rooms, to objects from all over the world, so visit the website’s collections, calendar, and education pages to learn more about the current and upcoming programs and exhibits, and what appeals to your family’s interests the most. Use a floor plan, available in the Rubin Lobby, to map out the spaces you want to explore. Family guides and special program calendars can also be found there.
The museum allows photography (no flash) in most areas for personal use. Sketching art objects using paper and pencils is also fine in most areas, as long as the work is behind glass.
You can find a free coat check located in the lobby next to the admission counter.
Visitors may use strollers throughout the building, or strollers may be stored at the Coat Check.
Food for the brain can be found in the galleries, but head to the Counter Café to fuel the tummy during a break from browsing. The Café offers casual lunch options like sandwiches, salads, and muffins. For a more refined dining experience (sans kids, perhaps), sit down at Saul, the museum’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
The museum is wheelchair accessible, and you can use the floor map to find wheelchair-accessible restrooms. Complimentary wheelchairs are available at the coat check.
Restrooms can be found on the first and third floors. All restrooms have baby-changing tables, and a family restroom is located adjacent to the lobby.
Parking is available at the back of the museum off Washington Avenue. Information on parking rates is available on aggmcparking.com.
The best part about visiting the Brooklyn Museum is you don’t have to go far to seek out more fun. Right next-door is Brooklyn’s famed botanical garden, a sweet-smelling way to relax with your kids when the sun is out. A short walk away is the impressive Central Public Library, in case the kids want to continue their cultural education—or just prop up with a good book. Also nearby is the monumental entrance to Prospect Park, home to yet another of Brooklyn’s top destinations: the Prospect Park Zoo.
Location: 200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Take the 2/3 train to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum
Prices: Prices are suggested and subject to change. General admission: $16; $10 students with valid ID and seniors ages 62 and older; free for youth ages 19 and younger. On Target First Saturdays, there’s a flat rate of $5 beginning at 5pm.
Hours: Wednesdays 11am-6pm; Thursday 11am-10pm; Friday-Sunday 11am-6pm. First Saturday of each month (except September) is Target First Saturdays, when the museum is open from 11am-11pm.
Birthday Parties: Members at the Partner level are eligible to book a birthday party for kids ages 4 and older. Birthday parties are customized for groups of up to 30 people (adults included) and include gallery activities and art-making led by a teaching artist. Cake and refreshments are also available. The cost is $400. Book in advance because availability is limited.
Guided Tours: Daily public tours are available free to museum guests with admission. Check the museum’s calendar for meeting times and locations.
School groups (K-12) can receive a guided tour of the galleries throughout the year. Tours are customizable; reserve in advance on the museum’s website.
For more information: 718-638-5000 or brooklynmuseum.org