Before You Visit
A trip to The Hyde Collection is a family-friendly experience. If the idea of visiting an historic house and art museum with children seems overwhelming, we hope the following tips will ease your mind and make for a great family outing.
Click here for more information. Before You Visit- For Kids!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are there fun things for my children to do in Hyde House?
Absolutely. When you arrive, ask to borrow one of our “Family Kits” at the Program Desk in our lobby. These kits include kid-oriented exploration tools and are filled with stimulating questions, discovery ideas, and other items to spark conversations about art. Use them any way you wish. You can spend time talking with your child while exploring, or use the kit's contents for short activities your child can do alone. Take the kits with you into Hyde House and sit on the floor or on a bench to decide how you wish to use them. We only ask that you keep track of all the items inside to ensure that our next young visitor has all the pieces needed for each adventure.
Is there anything for younger children to do at The Hyde?
Yes. Some activities in our Family Kits are appropriate for younger visitors and The Hyde also offers a Discovery Guide for use with young children. Of particular interest to even very young children is our interactive family space called The Artist’s Studio on the lower level of the Education Wing of the Museum. This space encourages art-making, reading, and dress-up. On specific days there are also art programs for children and families.
Kids will be kids. How can I keep my children quiet in the Museum?
We at The Hyde want our family visitors to feel welcome whenever they are here. We encourage children to speak freely in the Museum and to ask questions and share their ideas. Children of all ages visit The Hyde throughout the year. We simply suggest you have your children speak at a level that is comfortable for you.
What happens if my child touches something?
To protect the art and furnishings throughout the Museum, no one is allowed to touch items on exhibit anywhere in the Museum. We ask that you explain to your children that not even the adults are allowed to touch because that is the best way to keep the items safe. If a work of art is touched, you may be reminded by a guard, museum staff member, or volunteer that touching is not allowed. It is part of their jobs to ensure that the items are protected.
Is there a place for us to have lunch or snacks?
In warmer weather, there are picnic tables in front of the Museum buildings and a Butterfly Garden with a fountain in back of Hyde House. Either place is great for a packed lunch or snacks. Food is not allowed in other parts of the Museum so that the artwork is protected.
What can I bring into the Museum?
Our security policy does not allow any large bags, backpacks, diaper bags, etc. into the Museum. We suggest you leave these kinds of items in your car. Once inside at the Admission Desk, our security guard will visually check any smaller bags and purses.
For the safety of the art and furniture, we restrict food, gum, and drinks from all areas except the foyer. For the same reason, large bags are also restricted to the foyer. Items such as diaper bags and back-packs can be stowed in our coat closet in the foyer area. Strollers are permitted in many areas of the Museum, but some of the rooms in historic Hyde House are smaller and can be challenging to maneuver safely with a stroller. You may also temporarily store your stroller in the coat closet. The Hyde’s temporary exhibition galleries are larger and can accommodate strollers very easily.
Can I park close enough to easily manage the children and strollers?
If you have more than one young child or a child in a stroller, you may want to park facing west on Warren Street in front of The Hyde Collection complex. Parking on the street is also an option. This choice will also allow you to have the children exit the car onto the sidewalk area, away from traffic.
Are pets allowed?
Service animals are welcome but need to wear their service identification jacket or vest.
Pets and non-service animals are not permitted in the Museum. If on Museum grounds, please keep on a leash and clean up after your pet.
What if I have more questions?
Please call our Education Department with any additional questions you might have. June Leary, curator of education, may be reached at 518-792-1761, ext. 327 or via email.
Credit: Library in Hyde House. Photo by Michael Fredericks