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A Cultural Treasure, a Stone's Throw Away in This Week's Great Escape

The Brooklyn Museum is artsy enough for the adults, and fascinating for the kids.

One of the great things about where we live is our proximity to New York, , and the thing about New York City is that it’s not just Manhattan. There are five boroughs to explore, if you’re so inclined, and I, of course, am so inclined.

I spent the first half of my childhood in Brooklyn, which is where my dad is from. As a result, I have fond memories of visiting places like The Brooklyn Museum, which I visited again this week, with my parents and my two daughters. (I know this column is supposed to be about things to do without your kids, but it is summer vacation.)

The museum houses some fantastic art exhibits, and is separated very logically by country and period.  My suggestion is to start at the top and work your way down. It’s not a huge museum, so it’s not overwhelming for kids, but it is very comprehensive, giving adults plenty to discover.

Some of my favorite memories of the museum include the period rooms, which are located on the fourth floor. Twenty two separate rooms, from a 17th century Brooklyn home to a 20th century study are faithfully reproduced, with actual pieces from the time periods represented. I was pleased to see that my children were interested in these rooms, as well, even though they have no understanding of time periods. It was fun to see different household tools and discuss ways people did things “back then” as opposed to how we do them now.

Another favorite, at least for my older daughter, was the Mummy Chamber, on the third floor. There are few things as interesting to a six year old, apparently, as mummified remains of ancient people.  The number of Egyptian artifacts in the museum is astounding, and it tickled Joey to no end, to think of the mummies using the tools inside the glass cases.

For older audiences, the Brooklyn Museum offers a vast array of art work. I could spend an entire day in the European Paintings room on the third floor. Unfortunately, when you visit a museum with kids in tow, you can’t always spend as much time as you’d like looking at paintings.

If wandering the museum ignites your appetite, the cafe, located on the first floor is a great place to grab a snack, or a small meal. Alternately, you can bring a picnic and enjoy the weather in the Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden, or the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion.

Photography is permitted in the museum, as long as you don’t use a flash, but it is not permitted for commercial use. So you’ll just have to take my word for most of this, until you go see for yourself. 

The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY. The phone number is 718-638-5000. Hours are Wednesday, 11am-6pm; Thursday and Friday, 11am-10pm; Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm. Note that the first Saturday of every month, except September, the hours are extended, 11am-11pm. 

General Admission is $10, with a discounted rate of $6 for students with a valid ID and adults aged 62 and above. Children 12 and under are free with an adult.  Members of the museum also receive free admission.  For more information about the museum, including parking, libraries, group tours, special exhibits and more, visit their website


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