Explore! with the Portrait Gallery

Small children run and play in the middle of a museum. Not a single person shushes them. Wondering what that’s about?

In Explore!, the National Portrait Gallery’s newest exhibit, children are encouraged to touch, try, and explore portraiture and the way we see ourselves. It’s a noisy environment, but one where kids can feel at home.

Activities in the exhibit include a corner where they can take a 5 second video that appears on an ever changing video display, blocks, felt, and magnets to make faces, and an area where they can trace silhouettes. Rugs are scattered on the floor with colored cushions. Colored walls finish off the cheery environment. There are even window alcoves with books for the shyer child.

Explore” is perfect spot for families visiting the National Portrait Gallery. Younger members tend to tire out quicker. It’s nice for moms to have a place to take them where they can get out some energy without feeling you are disturbing anyone. You are also allowed to nurse and bottle feed in the room, a plus for many moms.

Explore! Opens Saturday, January 28. It will be open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:30 am to 6:00 pm each week. The exhibit is for children 18 months to 8 years old, accompanied by an adult. Food and drink are not allowed, except for bottled water. The exhibit is in English and Spanish.

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