1.21.2015

LA Museum Scene: Museums Free-for-All





Cultural field trip alert! On Saturday, January 31, twenty-plus museums across LA County will offer free general admission to everyone. Now's your chance to visit Skirball Cultural Center, MOCA, LACMA, Pasadena Museum of California Art, SMMoA, USC Pacific Asia Museum, and many, many more for zip, zero, gratis!

So next Saturday, clear your schedule. No birthday parties for you! Because you have better plans, Southern California.

For more information on this year's Museums Free-for-All, head here.

12.23.2014

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!


One year ago, I was taking an official break from all things blogging. No posting. No Twitter. No Instagram. No Pinterest. (All inspired by this.) And this self-imposed detox helped me break some really bad habits for a while. (Although, I began to compulsively check my email.) One year later, those habits are back with vengeance. I check Instagram compulsively and yet, I hardly ever post. I read all the blogs, and it has been nothing but crickets here. I haven't looked at Twitter in months. Months! Sad really because once upon a time, Twitter gave me such glee. 

This fall, I started a new job (in administration) and signed up for college-level class. And it was all I could do to hang on. I stopped cooking and started buying Amy's again. I stopped looking for fun new exhibits to check out and stopped going to museums. Obviously, I stopped blogging too. I come from a long line of anxiety-prone people. Although my homework was minimal, I worried about it All. Week. Long. Lots of folks have talked about seasons in life. The past six months or so have not been a blogging season for me. Some day I'm hoping to wander back and post regularly again. In the meantime, I'll be cheering all of you on via Instagram, Pinterest, and such.

Cheers and Happy Christmas.

Love,
The Museum Scout

10.13.2014

Educator Open House Season in San Diego



Educator Open House Season is in full-swing here in San Diego. (Non-local friends, I'm sure your cities have something similar. You're just going to have to do a little research to find them.) But if you're teaching or administrator-ing in San Diego, I'm going to make it easy for you: There are three open houses coming up in the next three weeks and they are all free to attend. First up, Wednesday, October 15 at The San Diego Museum of Art; followed by Thursday, October 23 at the The New Children's Museum; and finally, Thursday, October 30 at Mingei International Museum.

Each of these events requires advanced registration. So if you'd like to go, make sure to RSVP at least a day ahead.


10.06.2014

Museum Passes at San Diego Public Library


One of the first things I do when I move to a new city is sign up for a library card.

I didn't grow up an avid reader, but I've grown into the role as I've gotten older. And my local public library helps make my reading hobby more sustainable.

Anyway, as a proud library card holder, I was thrilled to discover that SDPL's Central location downtown has family passes to several local museums (like this one and this one and this one) to "check out." 

That's genius.

For more information on SDPL's "Check It Out" Family Museum Pass program, head here.

9.29.2014

It's That Time of Year Again: Kids Free in October


It's that time of year again! Time for Kids Free in October in San Diego.

During the month of October, kids will receive free admission to participating museums all over San Diego County when an adult buys a ticket. This promotion will make visiting a museum much much much more manageable for families and that's why I'm talking about it this week.

(Climbing up onto my platform...)

Everyone knows that public schools have been a bit down on their luck lately. Not all schools, surely, but many of them. There simply isn't enough money to fund fun science experiments or pay for proper art teachers or buy enough soccer balls. Sure, we can all grumble about the state of public schooling and about the government or we can do something about it. Donating a little time or money or a few books or supplies to a local school will help. Concurrently, families can also start tapping into the arts and cultural opportunities available to us here in San Diego.

Here's how to start: Starting on Wednesday, for the next 31 days museums in San Diego County will be much more cost effective to visit. Adults can take up to two children per paid ticket to theNat and learn about dinosaurs first hand, then head to the library and a check out a book about something they saw. We can use this opportunity to peak kids' curiosity and show them that science isn't boring. And if dinosaurs aren't their thing, how about a family field trip to the Fleet Science Center. Or a trip to Mingei International Museum to learn about the art, history, and science of surf board design. 

No tests. No quizzes. Just exploring for the sake of exploring.

(Climbing down off my platform...)

There are over 30 museums, aquariums, zoos, gardens, and cultural organizations participating in this year's Kids Free in October promotion and this presents a truly awesome opportunity. We can go check out something we've never seen before. We can revisit an old favorite. Please, let's make time to do this. Schools can't shoulder the burden alone, which is why so many non-profits in San Diego County are here to help. We should take advantage of them.

I promise you, they like it.

Photo source.

9.22.2014

Family Mess Fest at The New Children's Museum



Annnnnnd I'm back!

Miss me?

Sorry for the unexpected hiatus. I spent the summer living it up and enjoying some wonderful cultural experiences. I just didn't blog about them. Selfish, I know. Also, I'm feeling the tide shifting here on The Museum Scout. I think it's time for me to take this blog in a slightly different direction. I will continue to post about exhibits and events (case in point below), but I'm hoping to incorporate some other interests, too.

This week I'm sticking to my roots and talking about Family Mess Fest at The New Children's Museum. But first, I'd like to tell you a little side story.

For three years I lead a Montessori-based classroom of 3, 4, and 5 year olds. It was a totally awesome, and a totally overwhelming experience. Preschool is this incredibly important time in a person's life. Kids that age pick up a lot. They continue developing their personalities and pick up both good and bad habits. They are, in short, little sponges. I will tell you that I am not the strictest-Montessorian, but I do believe that Montessori-based early childhood education can be beneficial. In fact, many of my most favorite people went to Montessori schools as kids.

As a preschool teacher, I developed my own philosophy about education and about my role as a teacher. One of the things that was important to me was giving my students the freedom to make a mess. It was okay to make a physical mess with art supplies and of your clothes and with blocks provided you stayed in the block corner. It was equally okay to commit a social faux pax on occasion and say something you shouldn't or do something you shouldn't do. Messes were okay in our room, provided that we also took part in cleaning them up and apologizing, when necessary.

(A little PSA: Please don't send your kids to preschool in their fanciest clothes if you prefer their outfits don't get messy. They will. And if they don't, it means that your kids aren't having nearly as much fun at school as they should have. At the end of the day, on a good day, we were covered in paint and probably food, too. That's just what happens when you're encouraged to prepare your own snack, play, paint, and consume two meals at school.)

Which leads me back to the event this weekend at NCM. This Family Mess Fest thing is right up my alley because it is an event where messes are not only encouraged, but celebrated. And when you give kids the chance to make a mess, brilliance often emerges.

So if you're around this Saturday and you aren't watching college football (Oh, Wolverines, please get your act together), please head to NCM and support this wonderful Museum and its equally wonderful event. The more folks who show up, the more it encourages the Museum to develop and host more family-friendly events.

For more information on Family Mess Fest at The New Children's Museum, head here.

Photo courtesy of The New Children's Museum.

8.07.2014

La Dolce Vita: Roman Holiday at SDMA


Nothing epitomizes Summer like a movie night under the stars. And when that movie is Roman Holiday and it's being shown in the sculpture garden at The San Diego Museum of Art, life is good. The show starts at 8:00pm on Monday, August 11. And from what I can tell, it will be one of the last of the season. So pack a picnic (suggestions here), get out there and celebrate Summer 2014 before it's too late.
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