"The ICA is one of the most family-friendly, kid-friendly,
down-to-earth museums in Boston." —Boston Globe
The ICA offers a number of ways for kids and adults to explore the creative process together.
Here you'll find tips for visiting the museum as a family and ideas for getting the most out of your visit. Remember, children 17 and under are always free at the ICA!
WHAT TO DO
See what exhibitions will be on view during your visit.
A list of current and upcoming exhibitions is available here.
Visit the Poss Family Mediatheque on the 4th floor.
Here you can find more information about the artworks in the ICA's exhibitions and collection and the people who made them. Browse photos, videos, interviews, and much more.
Books and Looks
Staff-led readings of picture books relate to the art on view and are accompanied by looking activities. Readings take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 11AM and 2PM in our galleries. Ask the Visitor Assistants for themes and specific location. Please note: times may vary on Play Date Saturdays or during holiday times.
Choose one or more picture books available in the Poss Family Mediatheque to read together while visiting the museum. Selected to complement exhibitions, highlight the creative process and/or gain insight into architecture, books are best for children ages 3-8
ICA Kids Gallery Games
Pick up a bag of gallery games especially for kids ages 4-8 (with adult support) from our Front Desk staff before you visit the 4th floor galleries.
Do your kids like to draw? Ask the Front Desk staff for sketching supplies to use during your museum visit. Only # 2 pencils are permitted in our galleries, no color pencils, markers or pens—but you can step outside to our Grandstand during the warmer months if you bring color pencils, pens or markers.
Join us for Play Dates! Held on the last Saturday of each month, Play Dates offer a full day of activities for families--including hands-on art-making, performance, family gallery tours, films, and more. On these days, admission is free for families (up to two adults per family with children 12 and under). Play Dates may include films, performances, art-making activities, gallery tours, and more. All activities are designed for children and adults to do together. No prior registration is necessary, but families are encouraged to arrive early to take full advantage of the day's events.
See the schedule of upcoming Play Dates
Talk about appropriate museum behavior with your children:
Explain to them that they are not allowed to touch the art (unless museum signage indicates otherwise). This is to protect the objects from being damaged and also because our fingers have natural oils that can leave harmful prints on artworks. Contemporary art uses a wide variety of media, which may include staining, toxic, and/or sharp materials.
Instead, encourage your child to think about how it was made and imagine what it feels like.
Remind children never to run inside the museum and to always stay with an adult.
We don't want kids to get hurt or bump into the art by accident! If you have a child under age five, please hold his or her hand when in the galleries.
Please use your regular voice inside the museum.
We love to hear conversation in the galleries; talk with inside voices please.
If a member of the ICA staff asks you or your child to move farther away from a work of art,
please respect the request. It is the job of ICA Security guards and visitor assistants to protect you and the art. You can still look closely while maintaining a safe distance.
Baby changing stations are located in both the women's and men's restrooms on the first and fourth floors.
Strollers are permitted throughout the ICA. For safety, please do not leave strollers unattended.
Children are welcome in the Water Café. Outside food and drinks are not permitted in the museum. Please note: meals are made individually to order in the Water Café—plan ahead for some wait time as necessary.
Play Dates are sponsored by Vivien and Alan Hassenfeld and the Hassenfeld Family Foundation, and Holly and David Bruce.