I’ve wanted to take my train-obsessed son back to one of our favorite LA museums, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), to see Metropolis ever since it went on display last year. We found several YouTube videos of the cars, trolleys and trains rapidly speeding through an insanely huge layout, and he watches them again and again.
I promised myself we’d return to LACMA during his Christmas break. And they have free admission after 3 pm on M, T, TH and FRI…perfect! We went last Friday.
Wow, this LA museum has changed in recent years. They seem to have amped up security, which is a good thing. Except they constantly (and quite rudely) rode my friend and I to watch our children, as if we weren’t already. That said, there are three areas for small children to enjoy (I’d estimate ages 1-6). Many exhibits have an extra charge, but everything listed below is included with general admission, which is free on certain days. They also offer storytimes and reasonably priced art classes for children.
Boone Children’s Gallery – No longer is the Boone Children’s Gallery a warehouse of art supplies and construction play—but instead a much smaller art room where children paint and draw. What they lack in space is made up in staffing. They open the door for you upon arrival, greet your child and set them up with art supplies. Easy. After about an hour, my sons had a dozen paintings to give as greeting cards. A nice touch, the staff opened the door for us as we exited.
The Noodles – Call it noodles, spaghetti, or snakes, this display entices everyone to stroll through these hanging vines. My kids enjoyed twisting and hiding in them. No rough play though; we saw a boy crash into a baby girl who knocked her head on concrete (after a few tears and comfort, she was okay).
Metropolis II – Zoom, zoom, zoom! Watch thousands of wheels—HO scale trains, trolleys and cars (Lightening McQueen, anyone?)—from eye level. Or climb the stairs for an impressive view of the entire exhibit. My son could’ve stayed here all day, except my 3-year-old was restless so we had to leave sooner than desired. I owe Noah a trip back, just the two of us, so he can really enjoy it. Plus, we need pictures!
Metropolis II has limited run times: Fri: 11:30–12:30 pm; 1:30–2:30 pm; 3:30–4:30 pm; 5:30–6:30 pm
S/Su: 10:30 am–11:30 am; 12:30–1:30 pm; 2:30–3:30 pm; 4:30–5:30 pm
Like other LA museums, there’s much more for adults and older children to enjoy. I hope to return to LACMA (without children) and see the Stanley Kubrick exhibit. Check out their website