Play with your Art at Shadow Monsters, Museum of Fine Arts Houston!

Shadow Monsters at Museum of Fine Arts Houston 61
Again this summer, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston has a great interactive installation… It’s Shadow Monsters!

Kids (and adults!) create their own shadows with this high-tech version of shadow-puppets. The art uses vision-recognition software to augment your gestures with sound and animation.

This exhibit is free with admission… and is included in the free admission day every Thursday.

Be sure to check this out before September 20, 2015… and share your pictures with #ShadowMonsters!

Shadow Monsters at Museum of Fine Arts Houston 6

Crawl Through Your Art at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – Twelve Windows

Twelve Windows Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Thursday is free museum day… and that includes The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. If you prefer to crawl through your art, secret spy style, check out Twelve Windows.

It’s not big, but it’s a fun way to experience art with the kids. Go on free museum Thursday so you can just do this (right inside the Law building), or stay to explore more of the museum.

Learn more about the exhibit HERE.

Free Admission for Active-Duty Military Personnel and their Families to 6 Houston Museums, Memorial Day – Labor Day

Cullen Sculpture Garden at Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Six Houston Museums will participate as part of Blue Star Museums, a program offering free admission to all active-duty military personnel and their families. A collaboration among the Department of Defense, Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and more than 2,000 museums across the United States, the Blue Star Museums initiative runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

These include:

  • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
  • Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
  • Dunham Bible Museum
  • Holocaust Museum Houston
  • The Menil Collection
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum in Galveston is also participating.

Some of these museums are free every day to everyone, but I’m especially excited about the Museum of Fine Arts and the Offshore Drilling Rig Museum!

To see all participating Texas museums, and to learn more, go HERE!


Bayou Bend Detective Days – Things to Do in Houston Summer 2013

Address:  Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Memorial Drive at Westcott Street, Houston, Texas 77007

Cost:   Detective Days Admission is $5 for adults, free for kids 12 and under

Appropriate Age:  Any Age

Mikey Magnifying GlassBayou Bend is the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s house museum for American decorative arts and paintings.  The house is the former home of Houston civic leader and philanthropist Ima Hogg and is on 14 acres of gardens in the River Oaks neighborhood.

All summer long, young adventurers can participate in scavenger hunts through the garden.  This self-guided hunt includes plants, trees, sculpture and architecture.  Every detective receives an Investigator’s Kit and a bottle of water.
Detective Days are intended for ages 6 and up, but younger kids can still participate.  Scavenger Hunts are Tuesday through Sunday and no reservation is needed.
BridgeMy kids and I love scavenger hunts, so we are very excited to participate in Detective Days this summer.  Our good friends Alex, Zoe (6) and Mikey (4), checked it out this week and here is their report!
According to Alex, Detective Days was a blast.  First you cross a “shaky bridge” to meet a guide who will give the kids their kits. She was worried that Mikey (4) would not get a kit because he was not 6, but there was no problem at all.
And off they went.  It was completely self-guided.  Part of the kit was a list of trees to find (with clues), a magnifying glass, pencil and bottle of cold water.   There are benches which you can rest on and lots of shady paths.
The whole thing took about an hour. At the end they got a certificate, which was pretty exciting for the kids.
Be sure to wear comfy shoes, sunscreen and bug spray.  You will also want to pack a backpack with extra water and maybe an energy bar or two!
Alex highly recommends the adventure.  Go right when it opens at 10:00am or in the late afternoon to avoid some of the Houston heat.
Bayou Bend is at the light of Memorial and Westcott to the left, if your heading west on Memorial. You will have to stop at the first building to get stickers then drive down to where the tour begins.
Have fun and tell us about your adventure!

Sunday Family Zone at Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Every Sunday afternoon, 1pm – 4pm, it’s Family Time at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Each Sunday there are signs in the main lobbies with details on where to go. You can read, sketch or investigate a work of art.

One of BigKidSmallCity’s best friends went today and is raving about the experience.  Senia created the self portrait shown here.  In addition to the long luxurious hair, beautiful eyelashes and high heels, I couldn’t help but notice the ears.

Just this morning I saw Senia and dropped off some new ear rings for her sister.  This drove Senia to lock herself in the bathroom because she does not have pierced ears (because she has the worst parents in the entire world).  And although I take full credit for this episode, I’d like to also point out that MFAH gave her the outlet to express herself.  Clearly, she sees herself as a girl with pierced ears.

My 4 year old friend and I are now on speaking terms again, so I am calling the MFAH Family Zone a huge success.  Does your little one have something they want to express?  If so (or if you want to find out), visit MFAH on Sunday afternoons.

General admission to MFAH is $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-18 and seniors, and free for children 5 and under.  Members are free.

Museum of Fine Arts Houston


Address: 1001 Bissonnet Houston, Texas 77005

Monday 10 am – 5 pm (Law Building only)
Tuesday–Wednesday 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday 10 am – 9 pm (FREE Admission)
Friday–Saturday 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday 12:15 – 7 pm

Closed Monday, except Monday holidays.
Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Adult: $7.00
Senior/Youth: $3.50
MFAH Member:  Free

Admission on Thursday is free

Free parking is available in the street-level lot directly across from the Law Building at 1001 Bissonnet Street.  The MFAH Parking Garage is also available for:
$6 all day with proof of museum admission
$3 for MFAH Members at the Patron level & above

Appropriate Age: Any age.


Our Review: The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) is huge. The Beck and Law buildings have a total of 300,000 square feet of exhibition space. It has room for a lot of people to spend a lot of days exploring the halls. If you spend all day, check out the Cafe Express in the Beck Building.  In addition to these halls, the MFAH includes The Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, Glassell School of Art, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens and Rienzi.

I took my 4 year old, 2 year old and newborn for free admission Thursday at 2:00 while school was in session. We were able to easily park for free in the lot across from the Law building. We walked over to the Beck building and were pleased to find that we did not have crowds to fight.

Strollers are allowed, and for the most part, the museum staff was happy to see the kids in gallerias. We had some staff members making a big deal over the cute kids, and we had some watching us very closely… maybe envisioning statues crashing  domino style if we made a wrong move.


My kids toured around for 5 minutes before asking to go to the dinosaur museum. I convinced them to ride the elevator upstairs. Here we found European Art with people, animals and things my kids could better enjoy. We spent another 20 minutes here before heading out.


After our visit I learned of Family Packs. These include activities, looking games and books and can be rented for free during the museum visit and are free at the Membership Services desk in the lobby of both buildings. I plan to take my 4 year old back to try this activity. I also plan to go HERE before our next visit to download more looking activities.  I think he will better enjoy the visit with a better tour guide.


Overall, the MFAH was not a huge hit, but I do think it has a lot to offer. The Family Packs are sure to make the tour a better experience. Also, the CALENDAR is full of special family events that the kids will like.  We also plan to watch the special EXHIBITS to see what captures our interest.

I suggest that you take your kids to MFAH, just go better prepared. At least for us, we can wondering aimlessly through the Houston Museum of Natural Science, but we need a better plan for The Museum of Fine Arts Houston.