The Getty Villa
The Getty Villa museum caters to the art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. The architecture and grounds of the Villa are a work of art in themselves and serve as a perfect complement to the artifacts within. The interactive children’s room is quite clever, and the boys went back multiple times during our visit. However, the overall cultural experience was above their age level.
The Getty Villa is beautiful, the artifacts are amazing, the plaques are educational and fascinating, but our boys needed to be older than three and seven. Shortly after arrival it became clear we needed to find something hands-on for the boys. The children’s room was very creative. They could marker on glazed Greek pottery, crayon-rub embellishments on personal works of art, or perform on the shadow screen. The screen was the favorite: The boys dawned a series of foam props and stand in front of a projector to join their shadow with images from Greek art being cast on a large silk screen.
The children’s room also had a scavenger hunt, which encouraged the older boy to see the rest of the museum. While museums are mostly just for looking, the boys did have fun reusing change from the water fountains, walking through the garden maze (it’s really just a path), and signing up provided J with a sketchpad and paints to create his own masterpiece while sitting in the gardens.
I chose this date for the Villa specifically to see the Legio VI Victrix Roman reenacters strike coins. It was an ongoing educational skit that explain the history of coins and the gradual evolution of craftsmanship. The boys were able to make their own mock-coins on foil.
So that’s what we DID do, what we didn’t do was bask in contemplative awe of the cultural aura of antiquity. The kids rushed us by things pretty fast and I didn’t get to spend near the amount of time I wanted reading and learning about the different pieces that fascinated me. The three-year-old in particular was just too young…but I knew I was pushing it when I booked the trip.
Tickets are free, but you need them for timed entry. It’s one ticket per car, not per person.
Food is expensive and a little too gourmet for our kids (it doesn’t look “normal” so they won’t eat it), but they also have $8 hot dogs and more standard kid food.