Have you ever been to an art museum with your family and felt intimidated or unsure of how to spark your kid’s interest?  Art museums are filled with beautiful, sometimes strange and often priceless works of art. What if we told you that Newfields, formerly the Indianapolis Museum of Art, had developed an AWESOME program to turn your kids into art connoisseurs?

Wee Wonders at Newfields Indianapolis Art Museum

The Wee Wonders program will let imagination be the guide as children sing songs, go on art hunts, read stories and create works of art under the guidance of the teaching artist. The program is designed for children ages 2-5 along with their grown-up (younger siblings are welcome at a reduced fee).  What makes the wee Wonders program really great is that it makes the museum feel accessible and fun for little ones.

How Do I Register for Wee Wonders?

Registration opens in June for the July-September cycle.  You can register online at https://discovernewfields.org/Checkout?eid=22476.  These classes tend to fill up quickly so its best to register as early as possible.  The next registration opens on June 4 at 10:00 AM.

Here is the annual registration cycle:

  • Register in June for July-September classes
  • Register in September for October-December classes
  • Register in December for January-March classes
  • Register in March for April-May classes

How Much Does a Wee Wonders Class Cost?

  • Members (children 2-5) $10
  • General Public (children 2-5) $14
  • Children under 2 (0-23 months) $2
  • Grown-Ups FREE
  • Children with an Access Pass $2

What is a typical wee Wonders class like?

Families meet in the main lobby of the museum (Efroymson Entrance) and check in with museum staff.  Kids are given an apron and a name tag. Once everyone in the class has arrived, the staff members will lead the group to the Star Studio.  Once inside the studio, each kid gets to choose a small stuffed animal to carry with them during the class. (Pro-Tip: Not only are the animals so cute, because duh, it’s an art museum, but they help keep those little hands occupied so they are less likely to touch the art).

Museum staff and the teaching artist gather the group for circle time. After everyone has had a chance to make introductions, the teaching artist will introduce the theme for the class. Kids and their grown-ups sing a song and get ready to go on an art hunt. The teaching artist shows the kids 3 different art works throughout the museum then leads them on an art hunt to find the works.  During the hunt, kids get to ask and answer questions about the works then read a story related to the theme. Staff remind kids that the art is like hot lava and that they shouldn’t touch it. A security staffer tags along with the group to protect the art just in case kids get a little too curious.

The wee Wonders staff have a real knack for choosing fun stories with beautiful artwork. Take notes, you will want to add these books to your at-home collection.  After the art hunt, kids head back to Star Studio to create their own works of art. The teaching artist shows the kids an example of the work they will complete, but kids are encouraged to personalize their art and follow their own inspiration. After class, kids and families can play in the ultra cool Star Studio for as long as they like.

What is Star Studio at Newfields?

Star Studio lets kids create and interact with art in really fun and unusual ways.  There is a large art table in the middle of the studio filled with interesting materials like colored wire, puff balls, paper, colored pencils, hole punches, etc. Kids are invited to create and make art however they want.  One of the walls of the studio is covered with art from kids and adults that have visited Star Studio. Some of the drawings on the wall are seriously good, so prepare to be inspired. Kids can hang their art or take it home.  There is a large light table that has colored blocks and magna tiles. The back corner of the room has idea books that prompt kids to utilize the wall of costumes to dress up as famous artists. They can use the interactive display to take pictures of themselves in costume to compare it to the original work.  

A recent addition to Star Studio is the interactive screen that asks kids to pose like the artwork. Different pieces of art flash across the screen while kids try to mimic the pose of the work. The screen senses if the pose is right and provides guidance if kids need help. The perennial favorite of Star Studio is the life-sized Lite Brite.  This piece of Star Studio is so fun that even grown-ups can’t help but make their own designs.

Things to Know About Wee Wonders

  • This is not a drop off class and parents are active participants in class.
  • The museum encourages families to limit one grownup per family as the classroom can only accommodate a certain number of families.  
  • This class begins before the museum is open to the public for the day.
  • There is a FREE underground parking lot with direct access to the museum.  This is the ideal place to park as it keeps your car cool in the summer, dry in the rain, and warm in the winter.  
  • The museum is stroller friendly as there are elevators and large doorways throughout.  However, keep in mind that much of the artwork throughout the museum is out in the open so drive carefully!
  • Visitors are asked to wear bookbags on the front of their bodies.  This practice helps protect the art so people don’t accidently back into something with their bookbags.
  • Participants are eligible for a full refund if they cancel within 24 hours of the class.   
  • Register today, classes fill up quickly!