Theme: Myths and Magic

Inspired by the magical and mythical art on view, make your own art, enjoy performances, go on a family art walk, and listen to children’s stories. Enjoy free drop-in activities all week long, supported by the Cogan Family Foundation.

All ages and abilities welcome; children must be accompanied by an adult. No registration required. Free admission for kids all week. (Kids 6 and under always get free admission to the MFA, and kids 7 to 17 are free during non-school hours. See Visiting with Kids for more information.)


Programs

Family Art Walk

Every 15 minutes from 10:15 am–Noon, Meet at Sharf Visitor Center

Join MFA guides to explore magical and mythical artwork. Tours are 30 minutes. Fun for all ages!

ASL Interpreted
Wednesday 10:15 am

Story Hour

10:30 am and 12:30 pm, Gallery 171

Drop by to hear spellbinding children’s stories. Stay for one story or for the whole hour.

ASL Interpreted
Wednesday 12:30 pm

Pots On Wheels (POW!) Only available on Tuesday, April 17th

10 am–2:30 pm, Huntington Avenue Lawn

Join Pots On Wheels (POW!) for a tour of their mobile gallery and meet some of the young artists from Boston whose work is currently on view in the truck. Get your hands into clay with the “Cup Project.” Try the pottery wheel and hand-building with clay. Decorate a cup with a myth of your own, or one inspired by ancient works in the MFA’s collection. Take your pottery home, or add it to POW!’s ongoing community cup exchange.

Mythical Performances: Mythmasters

Tuesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 19
11:30 am and 1:30 pm, Alfond Auditorium

Using music, magic, puppets, mime, and lots of audience participation, Mythmasters brings to life the fun and foibles of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece. An entertaining delight for all ages, Mythmasters was created by David Zucker and Richard McElvain and stars Doran Hamm and Matt Tibbs. 30–40 minutes

Mythical Performances: Mystic Paper Beasts

Wednesday, April 18 and Friday, April 20
11:30 am and 1:30 pm, Alfond Auditorium

Join us on a special journey with Mystic Paper Beasts. Artistic director Marya Ursin uses masks, puppets, movement, and sound to perform the Hindu tale of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god. 30–40 minutes

ASL Interpreted
Wednesday 11:30 am

Art-Making Activities

Making Magic

10 am–4 pm (to 8 pm on Wednesday), Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion, Room 159

Walk over to Gallery 110 to look at Relief of a Winged Genius (883–859 BC). Notice this protective being’s bracelets and one-handed sword. If you were a magical being, what special tool or jewelry would you like to have? Walk over to Room 159 to create your own magical sword, wand, or bracelet.

Shape-Shifting

10 am–4 pm (to 8 pm on Wednesday), Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion, Room 160

Have you ever read a story about a magician who has the power to change shape, from a human to an animal? Look closely at the woodcut by M. C. Escher, Metamorphosis II, in Gallery 155. Notice how the different animals shift shapes. Can you see how the lizard changes into a square or diamond? Learn how to draw a shape that magically changes into an animal.

Fantascope Disks

10 am–4 pm (to 8 pm on Wednesday), Gallery 268

Visit the first room in “Phantasmagoria.” Take a look at the three circles; they are called fantascopes or magic disks. The disc spins and, if you look through the moving slits at the images reflected in a mirror, they look a little like the cartoons we have today. Walk upstairs to Gallery 268 to make your own fantascope.

Please note some material in “Phantasmagoria” may be scary for very young children.

Athena and the Owl

10 am–4 pm (to 8 pm on Wednesday), Gallery 113

Make a trip to Gallery 113 and take a look at the two oil flasks located side by side. One has the goddess Athena on it, and one has an owl on it. Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom who is said to hold an owl that helps her see what is hidden. If you were a goddess or a god, who would you like to be your animal companion? Draw yourself as a goddess or god with your own magical animal.


Always Available

Art Connections Activity Cards

Sharf Visitor Center

Pick up an Art Connections Activity Card and explore horses, birds, bugs, and other themes throughout the Museum. Recommended for all ages. Available in English and Spanish.

Made possible by Arthur R. Hilsinger And Barbara J. Janson.

A Guide to Family Fun at the MFA

Sharf Visitor Center

Pick up one of our free pocket-sized informational guides on visiting and exploring the Museum with kids. Includes tips, gallery games, and ideas for looking at and discussing art together. Available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

MFA Guide: Kids’ Tour

Available at any ticket desk and Sharf Visitor Center
Members $5; nonmembers $6; kids 17 and under $4; free for visitors who are Deaf or blind.

The Kids’ mobile tour introduces young visitors ages 6 to 10 to the Art of the Americas collections. The galleries are brought to life with the help of three quirky characters: Lucia, a high school reporter; Steve, an adventurous 10-year-old; and Malone, an art detective. Together they help kids look at art in new, creative ways.

MFA Guide: Art of the Americas content is made possible through the generous support of the John W. Henry Family Foundation; Art of Ancient Greece and Rome content is made possible through the generous support of the Barrington Foundation, Inc.; and Musical Instruments content is generously provided by the MFA Visiting Committee for Musical Instruments and the David L. Fishman Fund.


Accessibility

The MFA is committed to accessibility for all visitors. For information, visit Accessibility, e-mail access@mfa.org, or call 617-267-9300 or 617-369-3188 (TTY). Wheelchairs and walkers are available at all entrances, first come, first served.


Sponsors

Cogan Family Foundation Vacation Week Adventures supported by the Cogan Family Foundation.