The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Te Eric Carle Museum, located in Amherst, MA, is a small, quaint experience. I would compare this museum to an art gallery experience. It’s one to try if you are looking for a quiet – yet fun-, indoor activity.

As you enter the museum, you’ll notice a very cool Volkswagen Bug, with a very familiar caterpillar painted directly onto the surface of the car!

As you pay for admission, don’t forget to ask about the short movie showing. If you are interested, you can catch a little film that will pertain to children’s books. After you are all set, at the front desk, visit the art room, for a free mini art lesson, and a chance to show off your art skills. In the art room, younger kids, or kids that don’t choose to participate, will find various activities to play, as they wait. Then, when you are ready, head over to the museum portion, and walk into the world of picture book art. As you are about to walk into the gallery, grab a sheet with a look and find a list. Older kids will enjoy finding everything, and crossing their items off the list! Eric Carle has a room all to himself, and there are two more galleries to view illustrations from other picture book artists. There is also a library, for you to sit in with your children, and enjoy a picture book, or two. A cafe offers an organic vending machine, and a table for you to enjoy a snack, or a packed lunch. On a warm day, you might want to take advantage of the picnic tables, located on the green, plush lawn. Before you head into the gift shop museum, take a few pictures in the “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” bench. Then, go explore the gift shop housing a wide variety of Eric Carle toys, and Eric Carle picture books of every type. There are also several other picture books, and gifts available for purchase.

Mom’s Review:

Even though this museum does not offer all of the bells, and whistles as the other children’s museums we have been to, it was still very enjoyable for us. It was a nice change, to have a simple museum that did not overwhelm us with so many activities. I also appreciated the fact that the kids could be exposed to an art gallery, yet on their level, with art they can recognize! I only took my 4 and 2-year-old. It was a nice experience for my four-year-old to have a one on one art lesson, with a very nice staff member. My daughter was very proud of her art work! My two year old loved pointing out all of the animal illustrations, and statues in the art room.

The gift shop is wonderful. I love to get books for the kids. They have a great selection of toys and books.

Positives:

  • Easy to Manage
  • Many illustrations in the gallery are recognizable to little children, so they can relate to the art
  • The staff is extremely friendly
  • Packed lunches are welcomed, and tables are provides
  • There is an art studio with opportunities to explore art
  • There is a storytime program
  • The museum is very clean and organized

Negatives:

  • Some might say it is too small, and not very exciting. I would prepare the kids, by telling them, you are going to an art gallery – so they can get a picture of what the museum is like. If you are expecting an art gallery experience, you won’t be disappointed.
  • My GPS took me through an undesirable neighborhood. Be sure to use the link provided below, and click on directions, and then click on printable directions to get the right exit!
  • I did not see any restaurants in close proximity to the museum. If you are interested in eating out, check with the museum staff, and they can point you in the right direction. 🙂

Favorite Season To Visit:

Winter – It’s a nice indoor experience.  Any will do, as it is all indoor.

Activities/Things To Do:

  • Storytime – Check out the museum link below, under programs and events to find story times.
  • Create something in the art room – Check out the museum link below, under programs and events to find current techniques being taught in the art room.
  • Short Film
  • Gallery of illustrations
  • Shop

 What To Pack:

  • Snack or Lunch is welcomed
  • Strollers are welcomed
  • Usual kid stuff
  • Camera/Video Camera

FYI:

  • The gift shop has a wonderful baby toy selection.
  • If you can’t make it to the museum gift shop, you can shop online. Just visit the link below.
  • Don’t forget the look and find the list in front of the art gallery.
  • The museum offers a discount on your AAA card!
  • **Use the museum directions along with your GPS, so you don’t exit too early as I did!
  • No flash photography in the galleries.

Kid’s Thoughts:

Ella – I loved making the different wavy lines, and scribbles. I love my painting.

Dad’s 2 Cents $$. What’s All of This Quality Time Going To Cost Me?:

  • Adults – $9 each
  • Under 18, a student, teacher, or senior – $6 each
  • Family Admission – 2 adults & 2 youth – $22.50
  • AAA gets 25% off, Military ID also gets a discount. Look at the link provided below, under admissions to see the many other ways to save $$.

More Pictures For A Better Visual:
go to https://www.kidfriendlythingstodo.com/?s=eric+carle+pictures&x=0&y=0

To Visit The Eric Carle Museum Of Picture Book Art Web Site:
go to http://www.carlemuseum.org/Home

~Melissa
KidFriendlyThingsToDo.Com – A site dedicated to giving you reviews on fun things to do with kids in CT, MA, and RI  – reviewed by mom, and kids. Providing fun activities, recipes, crafts, and ideas for the whole family!

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