Family trips to MOCA Cleveland are great ways to connect to art and one another. Here are some prompts and suggestions to help make your family visit a fun and memorable experience:

VISIT OUR WEBSITE. MOCA Cleveland offers a variety of opportunities for families to enjoy the museum. Return to this site before your visit to learn about pre- and post-visit activities, family exhibition guides, the MOCA ArtSquad, artist-focused videos and podcasts, and other visitor services that you can take advantage of during your visit. Also, visit the exhibition pages to learn more about the art on view and the program pages to learn about upcoming family events.

TALK TOGETHER BEFORE ARRIVING. At home or in transit, talk about what kinds of things you might expect from “today’s art,” which is one way to characterize “contemporary art.” Consider how the art might look different than other types of art you have seen elsewhere or made at home. Make predictions about what kinds of materials, forms, colors, or subject matter you might encounter.

BE OUR GUEST. Upon your arrival, friendly Visitor Services staff will describe the building, explain what’s on each floor, and tell you about other amenities like the coat check and lockers for your belongings, easily accessed restrooms on floors 1 and 3, and the museum store for post-visit memorabilia and high-design products. Grab a museum map or review one of the LCD monitors for news and updates.

THE ART CHANGES, THE BUILDING STAYS THE SAME. In order to present the most current trends in art and culture, MOCA Cleveland does not have a collection. Instead, the Museum presents a rotating series of art exhibitions in a dramatic new home. While you may not see the same artwork on each visit, you can count on the building to provide consistent moments of intrigue and amazement. Consider what components of the building represent new art. While you’re moving through the space, consider terms like geometry, mirror, and transparency, and find examples of each. Photograph your reflection in the exterior and take a picture in an unusual spot on the monumental staircase.

THERE ARE A FEW SIMPLE RULES. MOCA Cleveland borrows all of the art it shows from artists, collectors, galleries, or other museums.  We ask that you look closely, but do not touch an artwork unless otherwise noted by the museum. Contemporary art can be anywhere, so we ask that you walk, not run. When taking notes or doing an art activity in the galleries, always use pencils. Ask the Visitor Services representative, a guard, or a volunteer before taking photographs of artworks. The monumental staircase has amazing views, but respect your fellow museum patrons by not throwing anything over the side.

MAKE PERSONAL CONNECTIONS. Today’s art reflects our world. While you are looking at the artworks, identify recognizable materials, art-making processes, and subject matter. Consider what aspects of an artwork are unfamiliar and why. During your visit, have each member of the group find at least one artwork that reminds them of something personally significant or intriguing. Compare your selections to better understand your individual interests.

SPEND THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TIME ON YOU. Don’t feel pressure to spend an entire day here. The Museum is intimately scaled. Even thirty minutes can be rewarding. Be sensitive to saturated senses and don’t feel obligated to devote the same amount of time to each exhibition or artwork. Tailor your trip to your interests and focus on the objects, ideas, and spaces that appeal most to you.

MAKE MOCA CLEVELAND YOUR OWN. Think of each visit as an adventure, an opportunity to explore and investigate new ideas and new creative expressions. Be prepared to see things that are unusual or unexpected. Talk and laugh out loud, use the family-friendly resources, and ask each other and Museum staff questions if you want more information. Have fun.