Wow your kids with some art at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s new exhibit Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” (through May 14). This is the first exhibition to explore the evolution of the celebrated Japanese artist’s immersive, kaleidoscopic Infinity Mirror Rooms, in conjunction with a selection of her other key works, some never before seen in the U.S. Visitors will have the unprecedented opportunity to discover six of Kusama’s captivating endless mirrored rooms, as well as large-scale paintings, whimsical installations and sculptures.

kusama_infinity_mirrored_room_love_foreverPhoto: Cathy Carver

If you haven’t introduced your kids to a visual arts museum yet, this is the perfect exhibit to make that introduction. The Hirshhorn is not a colossal museum like the National Gallery of Art. It’s manageable and the kids will be so stimulated visually, they won’t even think twice about being in a museum. Bonus: One of the amazing advantages of living in D.C. is that most of the Smithsonian Museums are free, and the Hirshhorn is no exception. 

dots_obsession-love_transformed_into_dots_installationPhoto: Cathy Carver

Pink and Black Polka-Dotted Balloon Room
Kusama created a series of installations incorporating polka-dotted balloons. You’ll walk into a room where pink balloons with black polka dots hang from the ceiling lying on the floor…the inflatable objects are everywhere! You can even enter a mirrored balloon dome or gaze inside another. 

pumkinsPhoto: Ota Fine Arts

Pumpkins in Springtime
Kusama has a major thing for pumpkins! You can see her mammoth Pumpkin on the Hirshhorn Plaza even before setting foot inside the museum. Once inside, step into one of the six infinity rooms entitled, “All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins”. You’ll walk into a universe of glowing pumpkins reminiscent of fantastical fables. Kusama’s family had a seed harvesting farm and she discovered pumpkins as a child. For her, they represent a source of radiant energy. Let your kids experience their energy. They will love it!

screenshot-2017-02-26-at-12-23-09-amPhoto: Aimee Pringle

Create Art in “The Obliteration Room”
When you enter the museum, each visitor will be given multicolored polka dot stickers. You’ll conclude your Kusama experience in “The Obliteration Room”. The room is an all-white replica of a traditional familial setting…think IKEA display living room. Let your little artists roam free in the obliteration room and stick their colored dots WHEREVER THEY WANT. Their mini creation becomes part of the art that will eventually envelop the entire space in effervescent color. How cool is that?!!

It’s the Perfect Outing for All Ages
The great thing about this exhibit is that people of all ages will love it. You can take grandparents, toddlers, kids and teens. It’s sometimes hard to find fun activities for younger kids and teenagers to enjoy but this one hits the jackpot! Tweens/Teens will love the technology and colors, and that social media use is encouraged throughout. Take selfies, post, repeat! Kusama hung out with the likes of Andy Warhol so babyboomers will enjoy reading her experiences throughout the decades. It’s a win-win for all!

Things to Know:

  • While visiting the Hirshhorn is free, you will need to get timed passes in order to enter the Kusama exhibit.
  • You get one minute in each room and up to three people can go inside at one time.
  • Some of the rooms do have flashing lights. If you have family members with sensory sensitivities, you may want to check out the rooms beforehand.
  • Family Day is Sunday, April 30 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The Hirshhorn and Smithsonian Gardens will team up for a day of family friendly activities inspired by “Orchids: A Moment” and “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors.”

Have you been to the Hirshhorn with kids? Tell us about the visit in the comments below. 

-Guiomar Ochoa