Introduction to the fine arts at a young age enlightens a child’s mind. Such exposure encourages children’s love of cultural experiences that will enrich their lives. Fortunately, there are several fine museums where children are afforded such enrichment. Moreover, when their parents introduce them to the aesthetic pleasure of art, children often enjoy themselves from the start. Here are some museums that offer children interesting and exciting experiences:

 The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute has the second most extensive collection of Impressionists’ paintings globally. Many of these are soft, colorful scenes that appeal to children. Other exhibits such as the Touch Gallery are fun, too. Designed originally for visually impaired patrons, the gallery has become a place where children can learn about scale, form, and texture through touch and sight. There is also a Saturday program during the school year in which children examine a picture book that has artwork found in the galleries and engage in an art project.

Dayton Art Institute

This museum has many engaging activities for children in the family gallery and the Experiencenter, a rumpus room where children can view and engage in activities, such as donning clothes similar to those in paintings.

De Young Fine Arts Museums

This San Francisco museum offers audio family tours for regular and special exhibits. It also provides interactive multimedia exhibits, theatrical performances, story-readings and after-school art classes.

Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum

In the museum’s EdTech Gallery, there is an “educational Hub” where children can look through art books while relaxing on comfortable sofas. Those who join Theo’s Roost Club and have engaged in five activities receive invitations to exhibit their artwork in Joslyn’s online gallery.

Winterthur Museum & Country Estate

Henry DuPont’s naturalistic garden covers 60 acres. A three-acre children’s area, the “Enchanted Woods,” has delightful animal sculptures.

Dallas Museum of Art

This museum provides family activities on the third Friday of each month from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. Accompanied by the museum’s mascot, bedtime stories are read by a storyteller and performances in the galleries. The program, “Passports Around the World,” provides children blue passports that are stamped when they locate an object from a list of items to find in the museum. It also sponsors a “Go Van Gogh” program. This outreach visits Dallas elementary schools, where interactive slide programs and art activities are offered.

Peabody Essex Museum

Supporting an extensive Asian collection, this museum interests parents while offering activities for children such as “Japanese Dolls Day” and an “Origami Airplane Contest.” There is also a 2000-square-foot Art & Nature Center with hands-on areas for elementary school groups and families. These engaging areas highlight connections between nature and art that support the museum’s natural history collections.