Check It Out

Check It Out Logo: Parent and Child reading a book in gallery

Going to an art museum with small children can be daunting and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Smithsonian Libraries and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Education departments have teamed up to create the Check It Out library + art pop-up program.


Age 0-10 visitors: On Saturdays, young museum visitors can stop by the Check It Out cart on their way into the Hirshhorn’s 3rd floor exhibition What Absence is Made Of and borrow a bag stocked with interactive materials and books designed to help them engage with the exhibits through a new, sensory perspective. There are three different kinds of Check It Out bags, each one with a children’s book, simple hands-on materials, and suggested artwork to visit. Carpet squares are left in front of each artwork to encourage sitting, careful looking, and really investing in the materials provided. If you and your child want to give modern art a try, go ahead and Check It Out, Saturdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm at the Hirshhorn!

High School students: The Check It Out cart is operated by Chaptour Guides who are ready to provide guiding questions, art suggestions, and other tips for a successful family outing. If you are a teen interested in being a Chaptour Guide, learn more HERE.

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