WHY WE LOVE IT: The Getty Villa is the seaside extension of The Getty Museum in West Los Angeles and we'd be lying if we said we went there primarily to check out the ancient Greek and Roman art. Of course, that stuff is fab, but we were more motivated by the desire to see the ancient Roman villa-inspired estate that oil magnate J. Paul Getty built in the 1970s to hold his growing art collection. Also, the museum has views of the Pacific Ocean. Always a win.
But when we got there, we were delighted to see that The Getty Villa has a Family Forum, an interactive learning/play area where kids can "paint" on life-sized replicas of ancient vases using dry-erase markers, as well as sketch patterns on paper vases, learn about how vases are made, and even shadow-pose for vase that's projected on the wall. Even better, The Getty Villa has a bunch of tips for families on how to explore the museum with their children and what to talk about with them regarding the art they see. If you're bringing the kids to the Getty Villa, we highly recommend you read their family education tips here.
WHAT AGES: Really, this museum is great for any age, even that crazy toddler age since they can let loose in the gardens. #WheninRome. Strollers can be a little tricky as you wind down the hallways or through narrow garden paths but since The Getty Villa has several different parts to it, at different elevations, we suggest going without a stroller. Or at least, leave the double-wide in the car.
WHAT TO SEE: All of it, especially the gardens and the outdoor amphitheater. And of course, the Family Forum.
WHEN TO GO: Thanks to Los Angeles's rather consistent weather, any time of year is good to visit The Getty Villa. January and February may be cold and rainy but most other months are usually "72 and sunny."
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST: Timed-entry admission is free, but it does cost $15 to park.
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