A gorgeous campus that is simply stunning in the Fall season, the Princeton University Art Museum is a must-visit.
On our Sundays, we like to do things together as a family. #OMalleySundayFunday when I remember to hashtag on Instagram. I try and let everyone take turns in deciding what we do, just like my parents did when my sister and I were kids, but sometimes I’m bossy and just take the lead.
Mostly because if I ask Maddie what she wants to do with our day, it vacillates between “let’s go shopping at Justice” and “let’s take a plane ride to Disney World.”
But on this particular outing, I showed Nick three places we could visit and he chose the Princeton University Art Museum.
Nestled in the picturesque downtown Princeton scene, the campus the museum is on, and the surrounding area, is beautiful, especially with the Fall foliage in its full splendor.
Just beautiful. We probably spent as much time wandering around the campus and the downtown shopping area as we did inside the museum.
The museum has all sorts of different exhibits going on, everything from American Art and Photography to European Art and more Contemporary pieces. Although we didn’t see everything, there are nearly 100,000 pieces of art in the museum, in a variety of mediums, and some of it dates back all the way to the 1750s.
The museum is self-guided, so you are free to go at your own pace, and if you’re visiting with kids, you can grab a Passport to Adventure at the front Information Desk and there are a bunch of different activities you can do with your child while you’re visiting. There are even several art sculptures scattered outside around the museum, and throughout the campus, and I think my favorite pieces were these pictured below (they were outside as well). They were commissioned specifically for the site and are made of glass and steel by artists Doug and Mike Starn. They measure eighteen feet tall and uses the centuries-old process of making stained glass, and fuses it with a more modern-day technique where colors are “digitally printed within the glass in multiple layers.” It was a magnificent piece to see, especially in the sunlight.
I wasn’t sure about the rules of photography inside the museum, and with several security guards milling around, I chose to just enjoy the art, so there’s just the one picture of the piece, and the outside glass piece above, at the top of this post. All the other pictures in this post are right on Princeton University’s property – the buildings there are just amazing.
If you’re in the area, or are looking for a fun day trip, do add the museum to your list. It’s open to the public, and has free admission, though donations are welcomed. There is a small gift shop within the museum, and you can spend some time downtown on Nassau Street at the many shops and restaurants when you’re done.
*I’ll be back on Wednesday to introduce you to a new favorite tomato sauce!
Hungry for more day trips or afternoon adventures?
A quirky adventure found us at the Harismus Cemetary in Jersey City one Sunday. Mostly to see the goats.
You can visit Thomas Edison’s estate, museum, and laboratory for a rich step back into his life and mind.
Head for the Jersey shore and Jenkinson’s Aquarium. It’s small, but packed with many sea creatures and knowledgeable and friendly staff.
If you have an avid rock collector or history buff in your family, visit the Sterling Hill Mining Museum.
Brookhollow’s Barnyard might have been the cutest farm we’ve visited so far.
The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms is a great step back in time.
The Nathan Cooper Gristmill in Chester is a well-kept secret and a fascinating look at a working mill.
For even more activity ideas in the tri-state area, visit this appropriately-themed Pinterest board.