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The National Gallery can be the perfect holiday destination for you and your whole family. But where to start?

Whether you’re bringing your kids or your grandparents, art lovers or art learners, this guide can help you make the most of your visit.

Explore our holiday hub for our full array of programs, special offers, tips, and more.

1. Ice skate at the Sculpture Garden

Take a spin on the ice while taking in view of grand national museums and monuments. You’ll also see splendid large-scale sculptures from artists such as Alexander Calder, Louise Bourgeois, and Roy Lichtenstein. From skating lessons to special events, there’s plenty to enjoy at the ice rink.

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2. Go on a winter art scavenger hunt

From sumptuous feasts to chilly winter scenes and dashing ice skaters, there are many seasonal sights to find in our collection. Finish in the West Building Rotunda, where you’ll see a festive holiday flower display.  

Don’t miss other ways to celebrate the season in our Top Ten holiday guide

3. Make art with us

You don't have to just look at art. You can make your own creation! Visit our artmaking space in the East Building Atrium for self-guided activities inspired by our exhibition, The Land Carries Our Ancestors.

Or, stop by for First Saturday to make art, sketch, listen to a story in English and Spanish, and more. On December 2, join us in the Atrium to make holiday cards!

4. Make art at home

Practice sketching in our virtual after-school Sketchbook Club.

Or on your own time, young artists can explore our resources and videos. An Eye for Art introduces kids to great artists and guides them to make their own masterpieces. Designed for Pre-K students, Art Tales helps you talk about art with your little ones and includes reading recommendations in English and Spanish. Don’t miss the related video series!

Or experiment with recreating an artwork by Alma Thomas, Louise Bourgeois, or Berthe Morisot in our new D.I.Y. art series on YouTube.


5. Let us be your (audio) guide

We offer an audio guide just for kids—so don’t forget your headphones. Set your own pace: use your phone to explore as many stops as you like in any order you choose.

You can also tune in to our new audio guide for The Land Carries Our Ancestors, featuring artists in the exhibition talking about their work and experiences as Native Americans.

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6. Enjoy a seasonal treat 

Looking to share a family meal? Find freshly made soups, sandwiches, salads, pizza, and more at our five cafés. From November 22 through 25, you can even enjoy a Thanksgiving feast in the Cascade Café. On a cold day, warm up with hot cider or mulled wine from the Sculpture Garden’s Pavilion Café. Or treat yourself to seasonal gelato flavors like caramel apple and candy cane at our Espresso & Gelato Bar.  

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7. Use these tips for family visits

Bringing a stroller? The 6th Street entrance to the West Building and the 4th Street entrance to the East Building have ramps.  

Need a lactation room? You’ll find one just past the East Building Auditorium on the Concourse.  

Family restrooms are in the West Building on the Main Floor and in the East Building on the Concourse and Mezzanine. 

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November 10, 2022