Monday, April 28, 2008
The Getty Center/Museum has been around for quite sometime and we finally made it out for a great visit yesterday. I have wanted to visit for years, but something always came up. I woke up yesterday and decided that was it. We were going to visit the Getty and we did. It was scorching hot yesterday but the Getty's location perched above the city and with a great view of the Pacific Ocean provided an ideal setting. It felt at least ten degrees cooler than the rest of Southern California.
I was impressed from the moment we arrived at the Center. There were two very organized lines to lead us into the parking lot. Parking is $8.00 and the only thing that you will have to pay for when visiting the center. We found a spot and headed up to load the tram that would lead us to the museum. Here's a good tip if you don't want to bring a stroller, The Getty provides complimentary use of strollers on a first come, first serve basis. They are located at the Lower Tram Station or at the coat check desk in the Museum Entrance Hall. I noticed that there were quite a few around while we were waiting for the tram and thought I would pass the tip along. The tram was a major hit with the kiddos and was spacey enough to hold the kids in a double front/back stroller. The kids loved the museum from the very start.
The Center is truly breathtaking and there are some many exhibits to take in. While we were deciding what to check out first- the kids started the chant that makes all parents around the world stop dead in their tracks.. hungry.. mommy I'm hungry.. Since the kids were " starving" we decided to have lunch first. We had a fantastic lunch at the Grand Terrace Cafe. The food was unbelievably delicious but a little on the pricey side. The Cafe offers pizza, grilled cheese, and peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches that your kids will love. If you are on a budget or just want to have a picnic I would strongly suggest bringing a picnic basket and having a fun picnic with the family. You can enjoy your picnic on the lawn adjacent to the Central Garden or at any of the Getty Center's public seating areas. Picnic tables and lawns for lounging are located at the Lower Tram Station (T1). The picnic area is open every day until 30 minutes before the Museum closes. We will definitely be bringing a picnic lunch the next time that we visit.
After finishing up lunch we strolled through the museum's Central Garden. The Central Garden, created by renowned artist Robert Irwin, lies at the heart of the Getty Center. The garden is truly breathtakingly beautiful and although the kids loved seeing all of the beautiful flowers and admiring it's beauty I couldn't help but daydream of coming back for a wonderful date night with Daytrippingdad. It truly is a spectacular place. We wanted to take in all of the many exhibits but we were on a little bit of a time crunch and decided to spend a big chunk of our time at the Center's Family Room. The room is quite popular with families and there might be a little of a wait since only a certain number of people are allowed at a time. Here's the deal on the family room- your kids will LOVE it!! It's a great way to learn about art together and play together. You can make a mask or create a sculpture but to be honest my kids loved their bed display the most. It was a replica of a beautifully crafted french bed surrounded with children's art books and we had to literally tear them away from the exhibit. It's a must stop on your visit!!
There's a lot more for families to see and do together. The Family Fun at the Getty brochure, available at the Museum Information Desk and the Family Cart, offers ideas, tips, and clues to make your family's visit an adventure. All family materials and activities are free and most are offered in English and Spanish. You can also ask stop any of the staff (dressed in blue vests) and they will gladly answer your questions and provide useful tips. There are many programs at the center geared specifically for families. The Family Art Lab, Art Adventures for Families, Family Festivals, and Garden Concerts for Kids are just some of the special programs held throughout the year to engage the entire family. For more information, visit the Family Cart, the Museum Information Desk, or check the event calendar. There is also storytelling available on selected Sundays (January–May and October–December): 11:30 a.m. and 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m. Sign up at the Museum Information Desk the day of the program.
I have to be honest, I think the reason why we had not visited the Getty before was because the thought was a bit intimidating. I love taking the kids everywhere but for some reason I was afraid that a museum of art would be too much for them. I was way off base. The Getty provides a great experience for people of all ages and nationalities. It's a cultural wonderland and as we were riding the tram back to the parking lot I couldn't help but start planning our next visit. From now on it will be the first place I take when we have family and friends visiting fro out of town. I would also recommend it as a must visit for everyone in Southern California. If you've yet to experience the Center - run don't walk to The Getty. It truly is a national treasure.
The Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Opening Hours The Getty Center site and galleries are open:
10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday
10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Closed Monday and on January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving, and December 25.
Admission to the Getty Center is FREE—no tickets or reservations required for general admission. Parking is $8.
For additional information click here