For Families

Girl with Parents

For Families

The Art & Nature Center closed July 8 for renovations. An interim space, the Pop-Up Art & Nature Center, opened July 14, 2012. The Art & Nature Center is scheduled to reopen fall 2013 with the special exhibition Artist–Animal Collaborations.

Where else can you fold an origami penguin, meet a live wolf and make your own finger puppets? At PEM, we’ve got plenty of ways for you to discover new adventures in art with your family and friends. Pick up a family-friendly Gallery Discovery Kit and search for animals or explore life at sea. Get swept up in the excitement of an Atrium Alive weekend festival and make new friends in our Book Buddies story time program. Come experience PEM — together.

Drop-in Art Activities

Saturdays and Sundays, 1-3 pm.
Pop-Up Art & Nature Center
Included with museum admission
Come create! Explore art, nature and more. Monthly schedule available in the Pop-Up Art & Nature Center.

Family-friendly Resources

Ships Ahoy!: Gallery Discovery Kit

Download this family-friendly Gallery Discovery Kit and explore life at sea. PDF Format.

Ships Ahoy!:Gallery Discovery Kit

Related events For families

Exploring Transformation
Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 1pm - 2:30pm
Reservations by May 6

Included with museum admission

Create, play, explore and think with your fingers! This session, held in conjunction with ArtWeek Boston, includes a mini-talk by artist Beth Galston in Branching Out: Trees as Art, a studio workshop transforming tree materials into sculpture led by Galston, and a special meet up with Patrick Dougherty who is constructing an outdoor sculpture at PEM with the help of area volunteers, starting May 7.


Polaroid Transfers
Studio Discoveries
Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 1pm - 3pm

Create Space

Learn how to transfer photos onto just about any surface alongside artist Michelle Rogers Pritzl.


Made possible by American Dental Partners

The First Drawing
Sunday, May 24, 2015 from 2pm - 3pm
Tickets available day of program

Who created the first drawings on cave walls? What do they tell us about the way people lived long ago? Find out as we read The First Drawing by Mordicai Gerstein, then learn some charcoal drawing techniques and help us decorate our own art cave!

American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood
Opening Day
Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 10am - 5pm

Included with museum admission

Thomas Hart Benton painted stories about American people and mined Hollywood for his signature style. Through music, film and conversations with the curators, discover how Benton played a leading role in 20th-century American art.



10 am-5 pm | Special Exhibition Galleries | Level 3



The Root Farmers
Noon-1:30 pm | Atrium

Enjoy traditional fiddle styles including Appalachian old-time, blues, bluegrass, Cajun, Irish and swing.



In Conversation with Curators of Art and Film  
2-3 pm | Morse Auditorium
Reservations by June 4

Join Austen Barron Bailly, The George Putnam Curator of American Art and exhibition lead curator, and film expert Matthew Bernstein as they explore the deep connection between Benton's art and Hollywood, as well as Bernstein's role as film curator for the exhibition. Bailly and Bernstein segue to an in-depth discussion of The Grapes of Wrath.



The Grapes of Wrath
3:30-6 pm | Morse Auditorium
Reservations by June 4

The Grapes of Wrath is director John Ford's classic adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel illustrated by Thomas Hart Benton. This film, starring Henry Fonda, captures the impact of the Great Depression on one representative family - the Joads. 1940, 129 minutes. Introduction by film expert Matthew Bernstein.


Made possible by The Lowell Institute