Family Museum Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts

Read our family-friendly tips before visiting this art museum with your kids.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) was recently named the top art museum in the country by USA Today. Its collection contains more than 65,000 pieces, including Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industryand Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait.

Quick details about the Detroit Institute of Arts: 

Photo credit: Detroit Institute of Arts

  • Address: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, closed Monday
  • Cost: Free/residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, children 5 and under and members; $14/adults, $6/ages 6-17; $7/parking 

Tips for families when visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts

Photo credit: Detroit Institute of Arts

  • Discuss with your kids what exactly they will be seeing at the museum. You can check out plenty of art books from the library to show them different artists and pieces of artwork. That way when you’re showing them the art at the museum, they will think it’s cool that they already know about it.
  • Let your kids use your camera or phone to take their own pictures of the artwork. Make sure to turn the flash off though because the museum does not allow it.
  • Let your kids be the artist by bringing their own sketch pads, graphite pencils and kneaded erasers with them to sketch the art they see. All other art supplies are prohibited. Also, be sure to check out the drop-in art classes the DIA offers from noon-4 p.m. on Saturdays-Sundays.
  • Take a break if kids seem like they’re getting tired or overwhelmed. There’s no point in everyone being stressed out to finish the whole museum all at once. Take a seat in Kresge Court where there are beverages, small bites and Wi-Fi. You can also grab a quick bite at Café DIA, which is more of a cafeteria-style restaurant.
  • End the trip by browsing the DIA Shop to find some unique Detroit items.

Things to do near the Detroit Institute of Arts

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

  • If you would rather eat outside the museum, stop by HopCat for brunch or bar food. For the HopKittens, they have a Jr. Cheeseburger, Mac & Cheese, Kids Boneless Wings or a Cheese Quesadilla.
  • View the DIA’s permanent sculptures in Josephine F. Ford Sculpture Garden, which is on loan at the College of Creative Studies.
  • Head across the street to the Detroit Public Library – Main to see the beautiful stained-glass windows, arched ceilings and historic artwork. Check the website for story times happening when you visit.

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Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.

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