Like many parents, I’ve been looking for child-friendly, free things to do during the Christmas school holidays. Oh yes, and it has to be air-conditioned or at least have a cooling breeze. Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art fits the bill perfectly.
Gallery of Modern Art – Brisbane
GoMA is a great spot to take kids at the moment because the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art is on (until 14 April 2013). There’s plenty of hands-on activities for children.
It’s a good idea to head in early (10am week days & 9am weekends) before the queues, and go straight to the Kids’ APT area.
The two boys, aged 7 and 8, we went with enjoyed posing for photos in front of giant images from Kazakhstan. You can email the resulting photos to yourself. They also made animal animations using Farsi script. Again you can email these to yourself.
The Yellow/Blue room was filled with construction materials and young artists can exhibit their creations for other visitors to enjoy. (Then you can say, “Yes, my talented son/daughter has exhibited at GoMA.”)
The ceiling and walls of the Paramodel room are covered with model train tracks and snow-capped mountains. On the floor, children can make their own constructions using bright blue train tracks. Despite having plenty of train track materials at home, the boys we accompanied spent a very long time in this room, working with other children to create a complex network. Other people’s toys are always more interesting aren’t they. Fortunately there are a few comfy seats nearby.
Child Friendly Cafes
We took a break for early lunch at GoMA’s Cafe Bistro which has a lovely open grassy area, perfect for families. We’d brought some drinks and snacks for the kids which they had sitting on the lawn. We adults sat at an outdoor table and had a light lunch but the boys were still hungry after all of that construction, and shared a pizza from the kids’ menu. Also sharing the lawn is the new giant elephant sculpture. Another nice eatery nearby with an outdoor area is the Queensland Art Gallery’s QAG Cafe. It’s right next to the water mall and sculpture garden which the boys enjoyed exploring while we had a quiet coffee later in the day.
Apart from the children’s areas, there are plenty of artworks in the other areas which will interest young children.
Queensland Art Gallery
The exhibition continues at the Queensland Art Gallery which is one minute’s walk away. The boys liked the giant metallic snake skeleton hanging over the water mall.
We ended up spending over five hours in the galleries, but if you can handle more, between the two galleries is the State Library of Queensland which has even more school holiday activities. And yes, it’s air-conditioned.