Saturday, April 3, 2010

Nelson Musuem of Art

Location: 4525 Oak Street, KC MO


Hours: Wed, 10 a.m.—4 p.m.
Thurs, Fri, 10 a.m.—9 p.m.
Sat, 10 a.m.—5 p.m.
Sun, Noon—5 p.m.

Cost: Free. However, it does cost 5 bucks to park. Keep that in mind.

Age Appropriate: How brave are you, that is really the question you should be asking yourself.

The Nitty Gritty:
I'm not going to come on here and actually review any art. The reason being is that I have about as much knowledge of art as I do of jet engines, which is none. But I do like working comparisons of jet engines into my blogs so mission accomplished. But I will talk about the space and the experience for us. You can make a decision yourself about the art. But if someone reads this and actually understands contemporary art, please post a comment because I really don't get that shit.

As for the museum, we loved it. It's a good space and was a good time for the dads group and kids. You would think that a bunch of toddlers would get bored here but I don't think that was the case at all. They seemed a lot more engaged than I thought they would be. Visit the website to see the different collections that the museum has and also anything about the audio tours also offered. Although I would have loved to take the audio tour, I found it in our best interest to be on defcon Delta with 3 year olds running around 1000 year old priceless antiquities. But on the whole, they were really well behaved and again I think it is actually because they had some interest in what we were seeing.

We only had 2 instances of a "Oh My God" moment. The first was when one of little ones started banging his head against the glass enclosure. No biggie but it made a large sound. The next moment was when another of our 2 year olds attempted to climb up on a table that could honestly be described as priceless. Each time we were able to get things under control but you do have to be diligent. There are a lot of antique chairs on display and every kid loves chairs so we had to watch out for these.

The kids seemed to have the best time in the European and Greek art sections, which I can't really blame them. Who doesn't like suits of armor and giant horses. There is a carved lion and numerous other things of this nature that held our interest. However, our general rule was to never stop moving. To stop moving would invite little fingers to touch a Monet and that is not going to be good. If someone asks what color is on that Picasso, just say Grape Jelly and keep on walking. We kept prying fingers off the paintings (which I really did think were amazing) by telling the kids that they were "hot". This seemed to work and I'm proud to say that none of the art work was destroyed by our children, ages 2 to 4. KCDADS rock.

So in conclusion, this was a nice time that took about 2 hours as we never stopped in any one place longer than five minutes. The downside here is that we, and I mean the adults, didn't get to really appreciate alot of the art. This is normal when we go to museums but this is one that I would like to go back to without the kids to fully understand it all.

I also want to put a note in about the bathrooms. Although very clean and well kept, contained no changing table stations for dad. I know that I shouldn't expect it, but it does make our lives easier.

I do want to talk about the outside in this blog as well although we were not able to go there today. I have been to the front lawn in the past and have found that this is truly wonderful for the kids. There are sculpture gardens all along the gigantic lawn and plenty of area for the kids to run off some steam. And who can forget the giant shuttlecocks? In the spring and summer, this is a must see in Kansas City.

The final recommendation is to get off your kiester and go get some art, it's worth it.

Money Museum of Kansas City

Money Museum of KC Location: 1 Memorial Drive, KC MO

Cost: Free


Age Appropriate: All ages. From infant to adult. Bring em if you got em.


Grab the kids, it's time to go see some money.

The Money Museum inside the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is worth a trip. And it's free. I love free stuff, it makes the world better.

But there are some things you need to know: 1. You are going to need to have a picture I.D. to even get into the place. Why? Because it's real money friends. Millions and Millions. 2. You can't get out of the museum unless you are let out by a guard. They are serious about this. 3. No pics where they sort the money.

Other than that, it's good to go. Once you get into the museum they have special wooden lockers that you can put your backpacks and coats in. And they lock, you get the key, no money required to rent them. It's small things like this that make this a great place to go to.

The building itself is more of the granite over the top architecture which is really pretty cool to look at. The museum itself is set on the first floor of the building and if your kids get bored they can run around the massive entry hall.

The exhibits themselves are also well done. They spared no expense as if evident by the exhibit on what 10 million dollars looks like. It's right next to the bigger stacks of millions, you can't miss it. The Truman coin collection is also here which contains from every president, from Washington to Bush. The kids didn't like this part so much but it was great for the dads.

The museum layout is very free flowing. The majority of exhibits are in the center floor and you wander from one to the next in no particular order. There is a lot to see and read but having kids, we didn't get to read all of it. However, there are two things that I want to point out. The first is that they give you a chance to spot a counterfeit 20 dollar bill. I couldn't do it and if I wasn't told which one it was, I wouldn't have been able to find it.

Next, you and your kids get a chance to pick up an actual gold bar. Yup, that's real gold. It's behind glass so you actually don't get to grab it but there is a lever that you pull to get the idea of the weight of it. We spent a good 10 minutes cheering on all the kids to see if they could. They could by the way, mainly because they are being raised by their fathers and are tough and strong, just like their dads. It weighs 27 pounds and when we were there, it was worth right around 500,000 bucks. There is a digital ticker underneath the gold bar that lets you know how much it's worth according to current gold pricing. It was really pretty cool.

The next part of the museum, and probably the highlight, is the glass room where they count and destroy money. A lot of money. Literally, a ton of money. Behind very thick glass are about 5 people that are feeding money into a machine that either shreds it, or sends it back into circulation. Any counterfeits get sent to a person for closer inspection. They fill up these large boxes of money and then the robots come get them.

Yes, I said robots. This is why your kids will love this. Millions of dollars: Cool. A real gold bar you can try and lift: pretty cool. Robots carting stacks of millions back to a warehouse: Totally awesome. You look through a big glass window while these forklift robot things go get the money and motor on back to the warehouse. My son didn't want to leave them.

If anyone is wandering what to do on a cold day, this one is a good bet. You'll be there for about 45 minutes and it's worth the time.