Make A Date With The MCA & Your Little One
Mums & Bubs
By: Marie Ashworth, ellaslist
You can’t have missed the striking Museum of Contemporary Art in its prime position on Sydney’s Circular Quay. It’s home to some of Australia’s most prized contemporary pieces and offers a constantly changing program of exhibitions. But have you considered this gallery as a destination for you and your little ones yet?
If not, it’s time to plan it in! The MCA is a fabulous outing for under 5s and offers a brilliant range of regular sessions for this younger age group.
I’ve been several times with my son and we both love it. I get to do something ‘grown up’; visiting a wonderful gallery in a stunning location and he has fun getting hands on with activities totally geared to his age group. Our favourite session when he was 2 years old was Art Play on Thursdays. He loved snuggling in on the cushions for storytime, then having the freedom to explore the dress ups and the multi-sensory Bella Room that was always a hit.
So, take a closer look at these wonderful MCA activities specifically designed for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
Art Appreciation With Bub
It’s so important to get out of the house, enjoy a change of scenery and interact with other mums when you have a young baby. The fabulous Art Baby program (0-12 months) is perfect for doing just that. Mums with babes in arms and in prams are welcomed on a guided tour of the museum, followed by a coffee in the amazing rooftop café. Your bub will enjoy the colour and movement on the tour and will love the post-tour multi-sensory play session on a specially-designed blanket by Liam Benson in the Creative Studios.
Recommended age: 0-12 months
Where: Meet in MCA Foyer
When: Thursdays, 10.30am – 12pm & 12.30 – 2pm
Cost: $25 per Adult/$20 MCA Members and Concessions. Babies are FREE.
Note: Bookings essential
Visit Art Baby for more info
Art Tours For Littlies
Art Safari is a journey through current exhibitions completely geared towards 3-5 year olds. Your MCA guide will have lots of games and stories up their sleeve to keep this ‘active’ age group engaged. At the end of the tour, there’s the chance to get messy in hands-on art making activities.
Recommended age: 3-5yrs
Where: Meet in the National Centre for Creative Learning, Level 3
When: Second Tuesday and last Friday of every month
Cost: $22 per Child/$17 MCA Members and Concessions; Parents & Carers FREE
Note: Bookings essential
Visit Art Safari for more info
Immerse Them In Art & Play
Wednesday is the favourite day of the week for many families. It’s the day for Art Play; fun, playful sessions designed to engage all the senses for the under 5s. Take your little ones along for a whole host of activities…rummage through the dress-up box, play with exhibition-related materials, explore the Bella Room, read along to a story or two then put your dance moves to the test during the music making session!
Recommended age: 0-5yrs
Where: Creative Studios, National Centre for Creative Learning
When: Every Wednesday 10am-12noon (except during school holidays)
Cost: Drop in, suggested $5 donation per family
Visit Art Play for more info
Support For Those Who Need It
For parents and carers of children with additional needs, the MCA has introduced The Bella Extension, a free service on any Artist Educator-led Kids and Families event, whether pre-booked or drop-in. This extra support aims to provide tailored support for children and young people with learning and support needs. Bella Extensions are available for all booked and drop-in Kids & Families programs. Please contact [email protected] to make a request.
Its central location in Circular Quay makes The MCA a doddle to get to. We recommend you opt for public transport – bus, train or ferry will take you close the museum and the journey will be a great part of the day for the kids. For further information on public transport phone 131 500 or visit www.131500.com.au. Car parking stations are within walking distance to the MCA, located at: Harrington St, The Rocks and Macquarie St (Sydney Opera House Car Park).
Where To Lunch?
You have to visit the MCA’s rooftop café – the views across the harbour towards the Opera House and Harbour Bridge are incredible! They welcome families and provide highchairs and baby changing facilities. Alternatively, pack a picnic and join other mums with young children in the gardens in front of the museum.