Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

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Located in Sydney’s Circular Quay, the Museum of Contemporary Art is Australia’s only museum dedicated to exhibiting, interpreting and collecting contemporary art from across Australia and internationally. With a continually changing program of exhibitions, there’s always something new to discover. Its location is superb and you’ll always see many mums with young children on the front lawn relaxing, enjoying the amazing harbour view, and watching the ferries go by.

BABIES: The museum is great to explore with very young babies, with lots of colourful and stimulating exhibitions on offer. The MCA runs the fabulous Art Baby program, where carers with bubs aged 0–12 months can enjoy a guided tour of the museum and some tummy time play. You can also drop into ARTPlay from 10am–12pm every Wednesday during school term, for dress ups, singing, art activities and stories. This program is perfect for kids 0–5 years.

TODDLERS & PRESCHOOLERS: There are plenty of quirky displays to keep the preschoolers amused. The ever-engaging Art Safari program helps small groups of art explorers aged 3­–5 years get up close to contemporary art through games, storytelling, puppetry and art making. ARTPlay offers another opportunity for kids 5 years and under, to be immersed in colour and texture as they discover a multi-sensory artwork they can touch! You can settle in and read a story together in the book corner, play some art games and join a singalong at music time.

SCHOOL KIDS: The MCA runs wonderful school holiday events and workshops throughout the year, including the week-long Contemporary Kids drop-in program for ages 4+. Free artist-designed SKETCH activity cards are available all year round. Pick yours up at the information desk.

ACCESS SUPPORT: The MCA provides free access support to all museum visitors with disability or access requirements. Available by request, this service can support you, your friends, family or learning group to attend any of the MCA’s exhibitions, programs, tours or events. 

Call 02 9245 2400 or email [email protected] to make a request.

BELLA FAMILY: The free Bella Family program is tailored to the interests and access needs of a family group with family members of any age with disability or access requirements. Visit current exhibitions, the Bella Room, and get hands-on with art-making activities in the creative studios. The whole family is invited to participate in this inclusive and collaborative experience of contemporary art.

Email [email protected] to make a booking.

ELLASLIST OPINION: The MCA is a great destination for the days when you need an activity that will make you feel like a grown up while still keeping the kids interested and entertained. The most relaxing way to enjoy the MCA is with a very young baby or school age child. Many of the artworks are tactile and very tempting for young hands so make sure your preschooler truly understands the look and don’t touch rule before a visit. There are plenty of exhibitions where they welcome young children to participate in the art so just keep an eye on upcoming events to make sure your museum visit coincides with an exhibition that suits your child’s age.

GETTING THERE: The MCA is close to all forms of public transport, including bus, train and ferry. For further information on public transport phone 131 500 or visit www.transportnsw.info. Car parking is available within walking distance, at Harrington St, The Rocks and Macquarie St (Sydney Opera House Car Park).

FACILITIES: The MCA Cafe offers a delicious lunch with a view, or you could pack a picnic and relax on the front lawn of the museum, overlooking the magnificent Sydney Harbour. Baby change facilities are available and there is full stroller accessibility.

READ: The MCA’s tips for looking at art for families of all ages.
 

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