Thank you to the Asian Art Museum for providing us with complimentary tickets to visit the new teamLab: Continuity exhibition. 510families contributors Julie and Julia met up with their six kids to experience the immersive art installation and are providing their unbiased review below. Spoiler alert – it’s awesome.
The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco has reopened and is offering a new, stunningly beautiful kid friendly exhibition called teamLab: Continuity, and it’s truly a must-see. The museum is easy to get to, either via BART or a 30 minute drive from Oakland, with convenient garage parking and a terrific playground across the street. Tickets are limited and the exhibition only runs through February 2022, so consider reserving your tickets soon.
teamLab: Continuity Exhibit for Kids
Visiting museums with young children isn’t always for the faint of heart. Happily, the teamLab: Continuity exhibition is not your usual museum experience and is very kid friendly. Julia and I visited teamLab: Continuity with our six kids (ages 3-10) on a recent Saturday morning for several hours and everyone had a truly wonderful time. The exhibition spans several dark gallery rooms, each illuminated with the most beautiful blooming floral artwork projected on the walls in a constantly moving wave of kinetic color and shapes. There’re also fluttering butterflies, galactic formations, soaring birds and more dynamic drawings evocative of an imaginative world of nature. It feels like being inside of a painting.
Pro Tip: Some of the rooms may feel disorienting if you’re prone to motion sickness, so just stay still and focus on one thing to steady yourself.
As soon as we entered the exhibit all the kids instantly started running around excitedly, touching the walls and screeching with elation. Not the typical museum reaction in our experience! And while we were asked to stop the children from running around, touching and interacting with the installation is certainly allowed. There are six or seven interconnected rooms with constantly moving digital artwork, audio and floral scents. While we did find it challenging to keep track of all the kids as they darted from room to room in the darkness, the exhibit is relatively well contained so we didn’t lose anyone.
Pro Tip: Dress everyone in bright clothing to better identify each other in the darkness. Make sure your kids take note of what color you’re wearing too so they can spot you as well.
teamLab: Sketch Ocean
After you’ve gotten your fill of all the flowers and butterflies (30-45min), you’ll want to head back towards the front of the museum to find the teamLab: Sketch Ocean exhibit. This place is awesome! Kids get to draw their own ocean creatures and have them projected and animated on the walls around them. Our kids sat and colored picture after picture, scanning and enjoying their handiwork swimming around them with unmitigated glee for quite a while.
Asian Art Museum for families
You won’t have to spend an arm and leg to get into the Asian Art Museum since kids under 12 are always free. If you have young children you might consider a Membership if you plan to visit often. All members enjoy, unlimited free admission, free tickets for all special exhibitions (including teamLab: Continuity), discounted parking at the UC Hastings Parking Garage, and more. They also have a special membership for kids (for an extra $50) called the Rhino Club. It’s inspired by Reina, the museum’s beloved Chinese bronze rhinoceros. Through activity guides, storytelling tours, and arts-and-crafts workshops, families will learn, play and make art together as a family. Rhino Club members receive:
- An Explorer’s Backpack filled with activity guides
- A Kid’s Passport, which gets stamped on each visit
- Invitations to Rhino Club programs
- One pass that admits two guests
- $35 is tax-deductible
The Bottom Line
If you’d like to visit a kid-friendly museum that’s not a children’s museum specifically, The Asian Art Museum is the place to go. Not only it is relatively easy to get to via car or public transportation, the museum also often has kid-friendly programming that’ll keep your kiddos engaged and entertained. It’s a great introductory museum if your rambunctious little ones aren’t quite ready for a don’t-touch-anything fine art museum. The current exhibits teamLab: Continuity and teamLab: Sketch Ocean are not to be missed, so make sure to check them out before they end in February 2022.
Plan your visit to The Asian Art Museum
Location: 200 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94102
Hours: Thursday: 1 pm–8 pm, Friday–Monday: 10 am–5 pm, Tuesday–Wednesday: Closed
Tickets: 12 and under FREE, $15 general admission, $20-$25 teamLab: Continuity (includes general admission). A limited number of walk-up tickets are available every hour. Timed tickets are required for teamLab: Continuity. Buy tickets in advance>> (The first Sunday of every month is free, though there is a $10 charge to see teamLab: Continuity.) Members are FREE
Stroller Friendly: Yes, though you may need to park your stroller at certain exhibits depending on how crowded it gets.
Food: The cafe is open (proof of vaccination is required for ages 12+). Menu includes fruit and cream sandwiches (yum!) and Boba Guys iced matcha latte and classic milk teas. Or bring your own and enjoy a meal at the Civic Center Playground across the street.
Playground: The super fun Helen Diller Civic Center Playground is literally across the street from the museum. Great for snack time, lunchtime, or just getting the wiggles out pre/post museum. The Civic Center Garage elevator is right next to it too.