Visiting the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures with Kids

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Is there anything better than watching your favorite movies? Immersing yourself in those unique stories that make you double over with laughter, blubber like a baby, shriek in terror, or think of the world in a whole new way? The brand-new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures celebrates everything we love about cinema. With a dynamic array of exhibitions, interactive experiences, screenings and programs, the museum not only features an extensive look at the history of movies, but also hopes to inspire the next generation of filmmakers. Every exhibit is captivating in its own right, but here are some must-sees that will definitely excite kids at LA's newest museum.

Kids Will Love These Exhibits at the Academy Museum

Joshua White via The Academy Museum Foundation

Temporary Exhibit: Hayao Miyazaki

The Hayao Miyazaki exhibition marks the first North American museum retrospective dedicated to this internationally beloved filmmaker whose animated movies have inspired all ages for over 50 years. The ethereal “Mother Tree” near the front of the exhibit instantly transports you into the magical mind of Miyazaki while "the retrospective incorporates all of Miyazaki’s animated feature films—like My Neighbor Totoro (1988) to the mystical, Academy Award®-winning Spirited Away (2001)—into a series of immersive environments that offer a journey both educational and experiential." The Hayao Miyazaki exhibition runs until Jun. 5, 2022.

Joshua White via The Academy Museum Foundation

The Pixar Toy Story 3D Zoetrope

A must-stop for anyone with kids in tow is The Pixar Toy Story 3D Zoetrope. This thrilling installation features 214 maquettes, bringing your favorite Toy Story characters to life. Don't be surprised if your littles beg to watch the vibrant display over and over as Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the rest of the gang whirl around, literally creating quite a show.

Joshua White via The Academy Museum Foundation

The Art of Moviemaking Gallery

Wizard of Oz fans will fall in love with The Art of Moviemaking Gallery where Judy Garland’s famous ruby red slippers are on display (this is the actual pair she clicked together at the end of the film to return home to Kansas). This stunning exhibit also does a deep dive into the backstory and the craft of making the Wizard of Oz, featuring other prominent wardrobe pieces from the movie including Dorothy’s checkered dresses and the Cowardly Lion’s mane.

Joshua White via The Academy Museum Foundation

The Encounters Gallery

The Encounters Gallery pays tribute to some of the most iconic characters in movie history. Parents and kiddos will undoubtedly geek out over getting to see R2-D2, C-3P0, E.T. and Okoye’s outfit from Black Panther up close, among other extra special items on display.

Joshua White via The Academy Museum Foundation

The Identity Gallery

In the Identity Gallery, the Academy honors talented costume designers, hairstylists, and make-up artists. Guests have a rare opportunity to learn more about these intricate art forms that help transform actors into dazzling characters.

Iwan Baan via The Academy Museum Foundation

Dolby Family Terrace

No visit to the museum would be complete without heading upstairs to the Dolby Family Terrace. This stunning glass dome features one of the best city views we’ve ever laid eyes upon–with completely unobstructed views of La La Land. So very meta.


Joshua White via The Academy Museum Foundation

Interactive Experiences & Programs for Kids

The Oscars Experience simulates a thrilling walk onto the Dolby stage to accept an Oscar. It costs a little extra and requires a separate ticket, but we think it’s well worth it. Children are welcome to participate, but kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Also, depending on their height, little ones may need an extra boost when accepting their Academy Award. A video captures your star-making moment and is then sent to your email to share with friends and family on social media.

Regarding future interactive experiences at the Academy Museum, Senior Director of Education and Public Engagement, Amy Homma says, “We will be offering programs where learners of all ages can feel connected to the art and history of film. Accessibility is at the heart of our efforts, and we want to make sure that little ones, caregivers, families, and folks of all abilities and interests have interactive ways to get connected to filmmaking.”

While the Academy Museum is starting small in to ensure best practices around their COVID-19 policies, Homma adds, “Our education studio is built to mirror a real working film artist’s studio and we will have plenty of interactive, skill-building workshops and classes in the future spanning all crafts, including production design, costume design and so much more.”

Iwan Baan via The Academy Museum Foundation

Family Matinees

Every Sat. at 11 a.m., the Academy Museum hosts family matinees that are rated G or PG, unless otherwise noted. Certain months will have themes, for example  Oct. features are focused on Halloween, while November will highlight Indigenous stories by Indigenous and Native filmmakers. Homma says, “Bernardo Rondeau, Senior Director of Film Programs, is so thoughtfully curating the line-up of family matinees. I especially love that he is programming from an international lens, crossing genres, and including films from all decades of film history. These are a great way to start introducing little ones to films that might even be new to us.”

Iwan Baan via The Academy Museum Foundation

Where to Eat at the Academy Museum

Fanny’s, named after Fanny Brice—the legendary movie, vaudeville, theater, and radio star portrayed by Barbra Streisand in her Oscar®-winning role in Funny Girl (1968)—is the Academy Museum’s restaurant and café and oozes old Hollywood vibes at every turn. With a lovely art deco bar and lounge, along with the restaurant and patio, Fanny’s serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. And during the day you can expect to find pastries and espresso for all those mid-morning and mid-afternoon pick-me-ups. In the coming months, they plan to expand their current menu to feature more kid-friendly offerings.

Matt Petit via The Academy Museum Foundation

Academy Museum Store

Before you head home for the day, pay a visit to the Academy Museum Store where an exclusive selection of movie merchandise and Academy Museum branded treasures are available for purchase. From Oscars memorabilia and t-shirts to movie books and toys, the shop is a great place to pick up a little something for yourself or maybe even a gift for the upcoming holiday season.

Tickets: Advanced timed tickets are required and must be booked online. Free general admission for guests aged 17 and under is provided by a grant in honor of Sid Ganis. Adults are $25, Seniors (aged 62 and up) are $19 and college students are $15. The Oscars Experience is an additional cost of $15 per person ages 13 and up.

Hours: Open 7 days per week, 365 days a year. Sun.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

COVID Policy: Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival is required for guests aged 12 and up. Masks are required in all public spaces throughout the museum.

Also Worth Noting: Photos are welcome throughout the museum except where noted. All large backpacks and large purses (anything above 15 x 12 x 4 in.) must be checked at the coat check in the lower lobby.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
6067 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles

—Jennifer O’Brien

Pro Tip: If the kids still have energy—they can always run around the grounds outside the museum and LACMA which is right next door.


feature image: Joshua White via The Academy Museum Foundation


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