The blog for inspired travel with children

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Delightful Cephalopodic Playgrounds of Japan

I’m not sure I would plan an entire trip around playgrounds - especially a major trip to a faraway land like Japan.  However, it’s one of the first things I look into whenever we go anywhere - it’s just good to know where we can go blow off steam and run around if we need to.  

Japan looks to have some awfully neat playgrounds worth keeping an eye out for - and a surprising number of them incorporate one of my favorite cephalopods - the octopus!  The play structures, most of which were built by the Maeda Environmental Art Co., are common and are typically found in neighborhood parks - nothing spectacular about these sites.  But sometimes a little stop at a neighborhood playground is just what you need when you’re on the way to something more spectacular!

There's a lot to love about these structures. The organic, amorphous shapes are very conducive to sliding, climbing, and slithering.  The faces of some these creatures are alternately slightly scary, poignant, or goofy.  While clearly octopi, the structures do not demand that the nature of your play be aquatic - they're suggestive but open-ended.  For more examples (and there are many, many more), click here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Washington D.C.: Roy Lichtenstein at the National Gallery

Here's a big new art exhibit that may grab the kids' attention, and yours too - Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective just opened at the National Gallery in Washington D.C.

The paintings (the exhibit includes sculptures and drawings as well) are fun and thought-provoking - I'm fascinated by the Mirrors series and I think a child would be too!  Even if they're not usually excited by museums, Lichtenstein's work will likely get kids thinking about the possibilities of art, and how different ways of doing things (comics, big serious paintings) can relate to eachother.

The exhibit runs through January 13, 2013.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Upcoming LiveStream: Century of the Child from NYC MOMA

A while back I posted about the exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000.  The exhibit runs for a few more weeks, through November 5.

This Friday afternoon (U.S. Eastern Time), the Museum is hosting a symposium entitled The Child in the City of Play, which will be livestreamed. While not directly related to travel, the symposium will touch on themes that should be inspiring to travelers with children, including the intersection of Cities and Play.  I plan to listen to at least part of it - join me!