Visit the Parkway with the family on St. Patrick’s Day weekend

Many people see St. Patrick’s Day and the weekend before it an excuse to go drink in an Irish bar, get drunk, and…..well that’s pretty much it. But the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation have some family friendly activities planned during the day to keep you and your family busy (and away from those having a bit too much fun).

 The Philadelphia Museum of Art is hosting a Harry Potter themed Scavenger Hunt on March 16 beginning at 2pm. Search for themes and characters from the magical world in art hanging in the galleries, and enchanted objects from the Harry Potter series. (This scavenger hunt is not an addition to or variation of Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a bridge to wonderful works of art). Children ages 10 and up must be accompanied by an adult. The price for the scavenger hunt is $30 for children, $36 for adults (which includes admission to the museum). If you or a loved one is a Harry Potter fan, you don’t want to miss out. The Philadelphia Museum of Art also has an entire Sunday planned for you and your children full of family friendly activities. Beginning at 10:15am, there is an Early Bird Read and Look that meets in the West Lobby (recommended age group 3-5). Preschoolers and their parents can enjoy picture books and art projects in the galleries of the museum. (Tickets are free with admission, but you do need to reserve them when you enter the museum). From 11am to 2pm there is a Medieval Art Stop in the Great Stair Hall Balcony, where children who love history can learn the secrets behind making armor, stained glass, masonry, and painted panels. (Free with admission). There are also two family tours of the museum beginning at 11:30am. The Family Gallery Tour (recommended age group 6-10) covers the Modern Marvels of the museum, and the Tours for Tots (recommended age 3-5) is a moving tour of the museum, complete with arts and crafts, hands on activities, and designed for preschoolers and their families. Both tours meet in the West Lobby at the Family Cart, and you do need to reserve your free tickets when you enter the museum. And from 12pm to 3pm, families can meet in Gallery 169 for Drawing Together (all ages) to test out their drawing skills or just have some fun. Artists on hand will provide art supplies for you to doodle or create a masterpiece for the fridge.

The Barnes Foundation also has family friendly events on March 16th and 17th. Artsee Activities are fun arts and crafts sessions that will teach your children how to make friendship key bracelets, designing a bag, and assembling an “unlock the mystery” storybook. The Saturday, March 16th session is from 11am to 1pm, and the Sunday, March 17th session is from 1pm to 3pm. Tickets can be bought at the admissions desk. If you have time, take a stroll around the museum as well.

All in all, you can make a full weekend for the family with any of these activities. Get your kids interested in art and culture early, that appreciation lasts a lifetime.

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