This article is part of a hosted stay. All writing and opinions are my own.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art had been on my bucket list for quite a while, and I was SO excited that it worked out to visit on our way home from the Berkshires last month. Located in Amherst, MA, the museum was just about a 1 hour drive from our hotel in Lenox, MA.
About the Eric Carle Museum
The museum is open from:
September through JuneTuesday – Friday* 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm *Open Monday through Friday during the Massachusetts February and April school vacation weeks. Hours in July and August Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Holiday Closures: Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for students, teachers, seniors and youth (ages 1-18) and $22 for a family (2 adults and 2 youth).
Exhibits and Activities
One of the boys’ favorite activities was the scavenger hunt. At ages 6 and 8, this was right up their alley, and they love to do scavenger hunts wherever we go! Children can search for Eric Carle pictures around the museum according to clues on their worksheets. When they successfully finish the scavenger hunt, they get a prize!
One of my favorite parts of the Eric Carle Museum is the Carle’s Reading Library. The kids sprinted to the library, and it took a lot of coaxing to get them out to explore the rest of the museum! Along with a HUGE selection of picture books (over 6,000!), there are regular story times for all ages. Many of the books have been donated by publishing companies, artists, authors and collectors. It was such a special place!
The Art Studio was AMAZING! I loved everything about it from the open airy feeling with all the windows to the fun way that the supplies were organized. Each week there is a different project, inspired by Eric Carle’s illustrations. The whole family decided to take part and transform shapes into animals using paper and rubbings from different textures.
There was a very kind woman in the studio who was quick to help locating supplies, getting set-up and providing creative inspiration. The boys loved her positive feedback when they were done with their creations!
Along with the permanent exhibit of Eric Carle’s illustration and works, there was a Robert McCloskey exhibit on display during our visit (Americana on Parade: The Art of Robert McCloskey). If you’re not familiar with McCloskey, he wrote and illustrated Make Way for Ducklings (a New England favorite!) about a mother duck and her ducklings as they roam the streets of downtown Boston. It was a truly wonderful exhibit that celebrated the 75th anniversary of this iconic picture book. The exhibit will be on display until October 23, 2016.
For all Ramona, Beezus, Henry Huggins, Ellen Tibbets, and Ralph S. Mouse fans; you will love the Louis Darling exhibit that marks Beverly Cleary’s 100th birthday. It was such a fun exhibit to peruse, full of sketches, finished illustrations and correspondence between Darling and Cleary. This exhibit will be on display through November 23, 2016.
Afternoon Ice Cream at Flayvors of Cook Farm
After a fun visit to the museum, and before heading home, we grabbed some homemade ice cream from Flayvors of Cook Farm. This working dairy farm makes some delicious ice cream (check out the Cookie Monster flavor!). The boys loved watching the cows while they snacked on their ice cream! You can also purchase raw milk and farm meats in their store.
If you have young children, I would HIGHLY recommend a visit to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The whole family had a wonderful visit, and I’m sure we will be back!