Last week, my two-and-a-half-year-old son met me at LACMA for lunch, and together we devised a quick summer kid’s tour. We’re out and about a lot, but this was certainly one of the most fun afternoons the two of us have had together in a long time.
Choi Jeong-Hwa’s HappyHappy. Our first stop. (This is the HappyHappy that is installed in the main entrance, not the HappyHappy installed closer to 6th Street, mentioned yesterday.) How could a little kid not like this installation? Shuffling through the colorful plastic was a riot for my boy and a great photo op for me. Be sure to bring your camera. (We would have hit the other part of the installation—but I donated some of my son’s old toys to the project a few weeks ago and didn’t want him to see his things and lose it. For those of you who have not already sent your child’s toys off to this project, I highly recommend it.)
Richard Serra’s Band and Sequence. Art that feels like a funhouse. Perfect for little ones. My boy was eager to see what was around every curve and (unfortunately) found that loud voices get big echoes inside the sculptures. When I dragged him out of Sequence, he pleaded, “No! More art!”—aside from “I love you,” perhaps the three most gratifying words my kid has ever said to me.
Chris Burden’s Urban Light. It’s a no-brainer. The gridded lights create a maze that my son and other little kids had fun zipping around in. Though frankly, I had as much fun in Urban Light, Band, Sequence, and HappyHappy as he did. Each were great immersive experiences that invited active participation rather than passive looking.
Lunch. Lastly, we headed up to the cafeteria where hotdogs, hamburgers, and pizza are served—there’s healthy stuff too—and dined outside on the plaza, capping our day off by throwing a couple of pennies in the nearby fountain. Great family time and a little culture all in about an hour.