The Museum of Contemporary Art in the Rocks is a regular fixture on our outing agendas, particularly when their Sunday Family Fun Day series is on. Around once a month (usually the last Sunday of each month) the MCA hosts a special day for families on level three in the National Centre for Creative Learning.
We’ve been to three or four of these “fun days” now, and really enjoy the format that each one follows.
1. Sign in at the level three learning centre and hand over a $5 donation.
2. Collect a “sketch activity card” – each month a different card is created by the MCA Artist Educator to inspire kids to explore the permanent collection in the gallery downstairs. The theme of activity is mirrored in the activities set up back in the learning centre.
On our most recent visit, the theme was “signs and symbols”. We were sent to find symbols around the gallery, then report back upstairs for the next step.
3. Get hands messy with art and craft activities in the learning centre.
Friendly MCA staff set the room up with activities that are designed to be adult-led. Whole family participation is encouraged, making this activity session an enjoyable way for parents to connect with their kids.
The activities are always set up to enable kids of a wide range of ages and abilities to participate. The guide is ages 4-12: we have been attending since just before Cheese turned four, so have always been on the parent participation end – but I can see that with a child who is closer to 12 that parents wouldn’t need to be so hands on.
The learning centre is a fabulous space. Light and bright, with huge glass windows that look over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it’s a delightful way to spend a few hours with your child.
While a theme is encouraged, it’s not mandatory, so kids can really make whatever they want with the materials provided. On our most recent visit the theme was “signs and symbols” and there was an option to make your own encoded book, but Cheese preferred sticking tape on the window and creating a box that she covered in her own special symbols.
4. Outside the learning centre is an additional room for children that is always open as part of one of the museum’s main exhibitions. It often features activities for kids to create something like a drawing that is then projected onto a screen in the next room, which is set up with projectors.
On our recent visit, the room was set up like a movie set green screen, and kids could participate in a little movie magic, exploring how using various materials and signs would make them disappear on the large screen.
5. Eat! For a bit of a fancy meal, try GRACEMCA down on ground level (read about our delicious meal at GRAZEMCA here), or grab a more casual meal or snack on the level four Sculpture Terrace & Cafe (check out our experience dining at the MCA Sculpture Terrace & Cafe here)
Check out the MCA’s website for details on their next Sunday Family Fun Day.
Museum of Contemporary Art
140 George St,
The Rocks NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9245 2400
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!