It’s one of the top art museums in the country and home to the only Leonardo di Vinci paining in the Western Hemisphere. But that’s not what’s going to get your kids excited about the National Gallery of Art … or is it? Why not turn your trip to this palatial museum into a fun treasure hunt? Now we’re talking cool!

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Here’s how it works: Let each person in your family choose their favorite artist (a little Google-ing will help with this part) and make it your mission to hunt down a painting by each of them. Consider Monet for your flower picker, Degas for your tiny dancer and Jackson Pollock for your mess-maker.

And while you’re hunting down those masterpieces, don’t miss these kid-friendly Gallery pit stops:

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Multiverse (or as many kids call it “that cool tunnel with the blinking lights”). It’s like those moving walkways in the airport, only 100 times cooler because you’re not carrying any luggage and you’re surrounded by more than 40,000 LED lights. Plus, the walkway has a bit of a trampoline-like feel to it, which makes it even more fun for little ones.


Cafeteria & Museum Shop.  An art treasure hunt is sure to make you hungry, and outside food isn’t allowed in the Gallery. Luckily, there are plenty of food options, strategically placed next to the Multiverse. Take a break and refuel with a quick coffee and gelato, while you plot your next move.

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Sculpture Garden. For a breath of fresh air, you can explore more than a dozen works of art on the six-acre garden outside the West Building. In the summer, you can dangle your toes in the giant fountain, while taking in a Jazz Concert; in winter the fountain doubles as an ice-skating rink, which stays open into the evening  hours.

6th and Constitution Ave. NW
Open Mon.-Sat., 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Sun., 11:00 am-6:00 pm

What’s your favorite masterpiece in the National Gallery of Art? Tell us in the Comments section below.

—Besa Pinchotti

Photos courtesy of Besa Pinchotti