NBMAA – New Britain Museum of American Art

My daughter and I visited the New Britain Museum of American Art earlier this year for the first time and we wanted to share our experience and findings with you.

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After making a purchase at the gift shop of a pretend camera and heart shaped shades we embarked on a tour of the museum. How cool are the benches here?

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Sofia needed a moment to take this artwork in.

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We received a special tour from the marketing director, since it was our first time there.

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Some exhibits were interactive – and Sofia took advantage of this one.

After visiting the NBMAA I learned:

It’s for kids too:

1. The ArtLab is open during *regular museum hours. Drop in and discover new and exciting ways to explore art, science, math and literature. Geared towards young audiences, the ArtLab interprets key areas of the permanent collection and special exhibitions through a multimedia approach to engage a broad range of visitors’ learning styles. All ArtLab activities are designed to be durable, low maintenance, and highly accessible so that visitors easily understand their purpose and use in order to bridge age, language and experience barriers.

2. Children can pick up a free copy of The Art Elements – a family fun gallery guide where children can explore the exhibits in search of animals throughout the museum.

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3. The museum offers as array of educational classes for children and teens including but not limited to playdates for new moms and curious toddlers as well as outings for homeschooled children.

They host monthly happenings:

1. The first Thursday of every month, Open Mic Night invites poets, musicians, comedians and performers to make our galleries your stage as you share your work in this mutually supportive community. Open Mic Night is included with general admission, and will be hosted by local artist the Poet Amin. Sign-ups will begin at 5:45pm and performances will start at 6pm and continue until 8pm. Each open mic slot is 10 minutes. Participants are required to bring any necessary equipment.

2. Held monthly, each First Friday offers a dose of something fresh and exciting for your Friday night out. With the galleries as your backdrop, First Friday gives partygoers the opportunity to dance to local musicians, taste food and drink from some of the area’s best vendors, participate in engaging activities, and shop handmade goods from an array of Makers Market vendors. No matter the month, every First Friday will provide a new experience. Chat with friends while listening to a variety of music in club-style seating near the dance area. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available for $5 at two cash bars located throughout the galleries. Admission includes entrance to our galleries and special exhibitions, complimentary light hors d’oeuvres, soda and water.

3. Several times a year the museum hosts a Museum After Dark night. This is a perfect window of opportunity for a parents time out; our version of the PTO.

Sometimes it’s free to get in:

1. Children under 12 are always free.

2. Saturday admission from 10am to 12pm is free due to support from the American Savings Foundation.

3. Click here to see if your local library has a free museum admission pass (up to a group of 4). Please note: additional fees may apply to some optional events and activities.

4. First full weekend admission is free for Bank of America cardholders due their Museums on Us® Program.

*Museum Hours: Monday – Wednesday, Friday, Sunday: 11am – 5pm, Thursday: 11am – 8pm and Saturday: 10am – 5pm.

The gift shop sells some unique finds:

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And one cannot forget to mention the coolest surreal security guard, make sure you don’t miss him on the way in.

Disclaimer: Complimentary admission was extended to us for our visit to the museum this day – nothing was expected in return.

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