80. Traveling with Children: The Getty Center

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Should you visit the Getty Center with a small child? Maybe. My memories of the Getty Center had been of peaceful, cool days strolling through the galleries and enjoying the gardens at a slow, meandering pace. Of course, that was nine years ago, before parenthood. We finally went back, this time with a three-year-old boy in tow. When he was a baby and toddler, we lived in Houston and could usually manage an hour or so of calm when we visited the Museum of Fine Arts or the Menil. He’d even point out artwork that he liked (Van Gogh’s self-portrait was a favorite), staring intensely at it or comparing it to farm animals. We should have realized those days are over when we visited Hearst Castle last year, but we tried again. We tried to view the illuminated manuscripts, but his intentionally loud statements about poop forced us to leave the gallery in embarrassment. He wasn’t impressed with the gardens, either. We thought he would have plenty of room to get out and run, but he didn’t want to leave the stroller. We promised him fountains, but they had all been turned off due to the drought. He did like a few things, though: the tram ride up from the parking area, the children’s band that was playing on the lawn, and the yogurt parfait and handmade potato chips in the cafeteria!

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