Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Museum Tour

I moved to Israel almost 15 years ago, and I have continually complained that I don't get to enjoy many of the cultural offerings of Jerusalem.  I made up for it this Pessach vacation, and sampled many museums which I had never entered before.  As a connoisseur of the plethora of museums in Manhattan, I offer my humble reviews:

1.  The Botanical Gardens is literally down the street from my apartment, and though they had the option of art projects for children, I think it is better suited for Raphaela when she has more stamina to walk on her own.  And when the ducks and turtles re-appear at the pond.

2.  Certain wings of the Renewed Israel Museum feel more like a modern airport than a museum, and compared to my artistic home base (The Met in New York), they lack many of the classic paintings and sculptures I have come to expect from a first-class institution.  As well, I found the stroller access difficult at certain points.  We enjoyed walking around the modern sculpture garden, and I would return without Raphaela to see the Archaeology Wing.

Best room in the entire Children's Wing:  a reproduction of the great green room from Goodnight Moon.

3.  The Bible Lands Museum not only had the best Pessach projects for children, but the exhibits are well organized and cohesive, and give a real picture of the Ancient Middle East.  I can't believe I have never gone there before.

4.   As a science geek, the idea of the Bloomfield Science Museum (at the Givat Ram campus) has always intrigued me, and several of my friends said that there would be Raphaela-appropriate activities.  Again, in comparison to the exceptional Boston Science Museum, some of the exhibits felt weak, and I could see Raphaela enjoying some of the more technical and physics-related interactive activities as she gets older;  I am not buying a membership there yet.

5.  The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo remains my most favorite and most worthwhile membership at this stage of Raphaela's life and emotional/intellectual development.  Bonus, it has amazing picnic areas which are much more available during the non-holiday.

For tomorrow's glorious field trip, we will be food shopping, and perhaps have a picnic lunch at the park down the street.

1 comment:

Commenter Abbi said...

I got married at the Bible Lands Museum and have never actually been in it!

I get very peeved when I go to the Israel Museum, especially the children's wing. I find it simply very child unfriendly. They had an exhibit about water with some of the works on the floor, inadequately roped off and not meant to be touched. Huh? It seems like the curator has absolutely no clue how to educate children about art. Very annoying. And I totally understand about stroller unfriendliness.