Unlike the zoo, playground in Tivoli park or Dragon Bridge, National Gallery of Slovenia doesn’t sound like something you’d want to do with kids. But as someone who has taken their kids to this family friendly place often, I am here to tell you that you should. Because it is a great way to learn more about Slovenia and help kids appreciate art. It can be fun and here’s how.
1. Prepare for the visit of the national Gallery of Slovenia
While the National Gallery of Slovenia is very family friendly, talk to your kids before visiting non-the less. Talk about the rules: no yelling, being respectful, no touching the paintings…
Here are more tips for taking your kids to a gallery or a museum.
But most of all, introduce them to a little green creature called Gal the Dwarf, who resides somewhere in the gallery and takes care of the paintings. There is a story of Gal created years ago to inspire kids to visit the gallery. You can read all about it in two picture books translated into English as well, Gal in the Gallery and Ghosty in the Gallery.
2. Start with Gal
My kids were so excited when they learned about the dwarf. No wonder that as soon as we arrived, we had to go straight to his unique room. Ask at the ticket office where you can find it and go spend at least an hour there. Also check if they have the interesting educational material in the room translated into different languages.
Even if they don’t, there are still many things the kids can try, where language is not a barrier.
And that’s actually how the gallery wants you to start the visit with kids. The room is created to inspire kids to learn more about the art and works on display throughout the gallery. It also allows them to be artists themselves.
Kids can read Gal’s picture books, solve puzzles of the paintings hanging in the gallery or explore the twenty-five boxes, each one covering one letter of the alphabet.
3. Pick your favorites
The gallery’s permanent collection is divided into sections according to historical periods and has almost 600 works by Slovenian and European artists. That is a lot. If you are visiting alone, maybe you can stay focused and interested in seeing it all. But with kids, less is usually more.
Pick your favorites, because you’ll be able to explain them to kids with more enthusiasm and answer their questions in more detail.
Mine are the Impressionists. That’s the part of the gallery we never miss. And if you are at a loss on which part to choose, I’d recommend this part and getting to know some of the most beloved Slovenian paintings from artists such as Rihard Jakopic, Ivan Grohar, Ivana Kobilica and Matej Sternen.
For more tips on making the visit to the National Gallery fun click here to the great Ljubljana blog and find more ideas to keep busy in the Slovenian capital…