Crystal Bridges Museum is the Perfect Girl’s Weekend Spot [+tips for taking kids]

This post is sponsored by 21C Museum Hotel in Bentonville, AR. All opinions are my own and as honest and true as a glass of sweet southern iced tea.

I am so happy to say I have finally checked Crystal Bridges Museum off of my Arkansas bucket list!
I have been dying to visit since it opened and it was worth every bit of built up anticipation!

[Mom Note]


Even though I was giddy to be on a kid free weekend I couldn’t help constantly thinking of what the kids would enjoy, or making notes about what to do or see when I come back with them. So sprinkled throughout this post, about my amazing time pretending to be a real life grownup, there will be some momma tips and thoughts.

You should probably also keep in mind that I’m filling you in on this exhibit and museum as someone who, at this stage in life, doesn’t know much about art outside of finger painted kid projects.


Color Field


The day we visited was the opening day for the new Color Field exhibit that runs through September 30th, 2019.
I had no idea what to expect but, you guys, I was amazed!
Anything colorful draws my attention and Color Field is definitely that!

The pieces are scattered around the museum but the bulk of them are in the North Forest, which is a beautiful and lush walk.

Several of the Color Field pieces are interactive.

[Mom Note] Don’t worry, the ones you can’t touch are clearly labeled!

The Color Field installation is great for taking pictures and GREAT for a momma who wants to relax and just let her kids see, touch, and enjoy! Especially the “Forms From Life” by TYPOE. These were so fun to explore!

One of my fave “touch me” pieces was this “Untitled” wind chime exhibit by Sam Falls. It was so fun and the kids would have loved it, and it has a wonderful message.

Also on the favorite list is “Negative Space” created by Odili Donald Odita specifically for this exhibition. It’s large and so fun to walk under. And makes for a great selfie!

[Mom Note]The sidewalks are wide and perfect for running off a little energy before heading inside where a kid would need to be a little more quiet. Also it’s Arkansas in the summer so I suggest heading to Crystal Bridges early, checking out the outside exhibits first, while it’s not so blazing hot, and then head inside to all the wonderful art in the ac!


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The permanent collection here is available to view year round, and because of a sponsorship by walmart there is no cost!

[Mom Note] Y’all hear that? A free way to keep your kids engaged for an afternoon! That’s a win!

I don’t think I realized just how big Crystal Bridges was until I got inside. There are galleries everywhere you look, and I had fun exploring each and every one! I can’t possible share everything with you, but I will share some of my favorites.

As stated above I am far from an expert on art.

What I am is an extremely emotional person. I found myself being moved to tears over several pieces.


One of those being this armor, by Do Ho Suh, made completely out of dog tags.


I come from a family with a lot of military history, so this making me tear up was no surprise.


One of my favorite things we did while at Crystal Bridges was this interactive exhibit.

I was able to make a little note for my kids and then hang it as a forever addition to the museum!
Since I was missing them desperately this was such a fun way to connect and include them, and they loved it!


It’s almost impossible to chose a favorite exhibit, but if I had to choose just one to get lost staring at is the Chihuly works at Crystal Bridges.
Talk about awe inspiring. Just one more thing that made me cry.
I have never been so amazed by anything ever, I felt like a kid.
These pieces are true magic.
These are in different places around the museum grounds and every new one we came upon was more beautiful than the last.



One of the things I noticed about Crystal Bridges was that there are so many different mediums represented.

What is art to one person isn’t art to the next, but every art lover will find their favorite section at this museum.

And my favorite medium?

Shopping!

No trip to a museum is complete without a stop for souvenirs, and I found some great discover your own geode kits to take home! Bribery y’all. It’s one of my tips on how to survive your first girl’s weekend! See all my tips here.


Forest Concert Series

After heading back to the hotel to change (perks of having a close hotel!) we came back to Crystal Bridges for the first of their Forest Concert Series.

We got parked easily and headed on the beautiful walk to the concert setup. The walk is in no way long but we were still thankful for a nice cool night!
First thing we saw walking up was a food and ice cream truck!
Y’all know food is my jam, but I was still reeling from the heartburn that tried to kill me AND dinner so I passed on the food truck and opted for a grown up ice pop.
Did you know they made ice cream bars with tequila?

Yeah me neither. It was spicy and delicious, and all ice pops are best shared with friends



How cute is my name twin Kristin? She has the best fashion feed! You can find more about her here.

We snagged some chairs (they have them scattered around for use by anyone) and enjoyed the show for a bit but then realized we could walk around and check out Color Field again!

I’m so glad we did, because there were some things I missed the first go round.
Also, I can’t say enough nice things about listening to live music while checking out an outdoor museum. 10/10 highly recommend.

[Mom Notes]
This place had the best bathrooms. If you’re traveling with kids you will appreciate that even more than I did being alone!

They also had a crafting area set up for the kids, there is plenty for a family to do!

Some things to consider if you plan a concert outing that I wished I had:

  • Bring chairs, they did have some available but I was envious of those who remembered their own. I saw one person in a hammock. Lord if that wouldn’t have been an amazing way to watch the show!
  • Bring bug spray! It’s Arkansas, in the summer, I can’t believe I forgot this one.


Buckyball


Unfortunately my hard partying, aka eating all the foods, caught up with me so we didn’t stay very long for the concert.

Before leaving we had to check out the Buckyball.


It’s located right at the entrance to Crystal Bridges so very easy to get to.
When researching for my trip this kept popping up and I added it to my must see list, and I’m so glad I did!
Even at dusk the lights were incredible, and the wooden chaise lounges they had surrounding it were to die for.
I could have laid in that comfy spot watching it forever.
Next time I plan to make a whole lot more time for doing just that!


[Mom Notes and Final Thoughts]

For anyone who gets a little intimidated in a new town or a momma with kids in tow,(raising my hand!) you’ll be happy to know that Crystal Bridges does an excellent job letting you know where you need to be. They had workers at every corner directing traffic and pointing you in the right direction. And plenty more people to ask any questions.

This museum was everything I hoped it would be, and it absolutely deserved it’s spot on my Arkansas Bucket List!

I am already planning my next trip to Bentonville and this will be on our itinerary!

Have any questions about visiting Crystal Bridges? Ask away in the comments.

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