It was cousins’ day at the High Museum of Art on a recent Friday.
Brighton and Kirra Loveridge, 8 and 6, and their cousin Abel Fitzgerald, 5, inspected the artwork and checked out puppets made by children’s book illustrator Ashley Bryan, and filled out a scavenger hunt report on the exhibit. (“Do you see a dog? Do you see a frog?”)
“She’s a natural musician,” nodded Jonna Loveridge of Hawaii, with a rueful smile toward one of her daughters who whistled while she worked.
Not to worry. This is not your grandfather’s High Museum, and the peaceful atmosphere here is likely to include youthful giggles and even a few tunes on the “puckolo.”
The High Museum is working steadily to encourage all ages to attend this Midtown temple of art, with family activities, exhibits that appeal to youthful eyes, and installations, such as the “Merry Go Zoo,” that are just flat-out fun.
The 70 pieces in the Ashley Bryan exhibit serve as an example of this approach.
Bryan is one of several children’s book authors who have been featured at the museum. Last year, the museum presented the artwork of Eric Carle of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” fame.
Previous to Carle, the High mounted an exhibit of drawings by Mo Willems called “Seriously Silly: The Art & Whimsy of Mo Willems.”
The idea is to recruit a younger audience and to recognize that all art is not in galleries and museums, but that some of the most endearing creations are on the shelves of the preschool library.
Loveridge was visiting her sister, Megan Fitzgerald of Marietta, and they decided to take their children to the museum. The kids, Fitzgerald said later, “had a great time exploring.”
The Bryan exhibit is just one of the things you can do with your kids at the High. Here are four more things. Bonus: A few of them are free.
‘Merry Go Zoo’
Sifly Piazza, in the courtyard of the High, has become a fun zone, with installations that give kids a chance to shake their sillies out and give grown-ups a chance to relax their vigilance.
The newest art objects in the piazza are towering unearthly creatures of digital smoothness — a chicken, a rabbit and a monkey — that are also merry-go-rounds. Children can push them and swing along. Access is free, and parents can sip an iced latte from in-house coffee bar Octane, and enjoy the show.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday, the museum hosts art workshops, story time and other activities for toddlers. Every other Thursday also includes a “Toddler Tour,” an interactive gallery tour designed for toddlers and their caregivers.
On July 13, Toddler Thursday features Gregory “Mr. Imagination” Warmack. On July 20, children can hear a reading of the story “So Many Stars” by Andy Warhol, and then go see Warhol’s screen-prints inside.
Toddler Thursdays are free with museum admission.
On the second Sunday of each month, the museum is free for all visitors from noon to 5 p.m., and there is special family-friendly programming from 1 to 4 p.m. The events on Aug. 13 will include an introduction to ceramics and jewelry making.
July 30 brings a variety of family activities staged in the Sifly Piazza. They are accessible without charge, and are entertaining for a variety of ages.
The theme that day is “Warhol, Wigs, and Wiggles,” pegged to the new exhibit of 250 prints and other items from the prolific Andy Warhol. The activities will include family-style yoga, an interactive children’s book and an art-making workshop.
The activity on the outdoor piazza is free. Admission is required to enter the museum and see the Warhol exhibit.
HIGH MUSEUM OF ART
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays; noon-5 p.m. Sundays. $14.50, ages 6 and above; free for children 5 and younger and members. 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-733-4444, www.high.org.