A few months ago, I was scrolling through a discount site, looking for some ideas for a day date for Shadrach and me. I’m always on the look for fun, cheap things we can do besides dinner and a movie. In my search, I came across Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, and it intrigued me. So, I bought the Groupon with plans to go on a day date with Shadrach.
Well, this is Ohio and the weather had different plans whenever we tried to go on a date. So, we ended up making it a family day trip, and I have to say, I’m happy we did!
Our Groupon was only good until February 2018. So, I was desperate to make sure we used it as soon as possible because winter is not very kind to us. I kept a lookout for a mild, sunny, winter day and it just so happened that a few weeks ago, everything aligned and made it possible for us to enjoy a family day outside at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park.
What is Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park?
I bet you are wondering what exactly this place is. Well, it’s a 300 plus acre park located right outside Cincinnati, Ohio in a small town called Hamilton. There are around 60 huge, unique sculptures all over the grounds as well as a museum with real, ancient sculptures dating all the way back to 1550 B.C!
There is such a fascinating history of how and why this park was founded by a man named Harry T. Wilkes, which you can read more about here. Also, I highly suggest if you do get a chance to visit, stop by the founder’s room inside the museum, as it goes into more detail about the history of the park.
We left our house about 1 pm on Saturday afternoon and drove 1.5 hours to get there. So, it was close to 3 pm before we arrived, and the park closed at 5 pm. Which meant we didn’t have a whole lot of time to visit a 300+ acre park.
The first stop is at the office to pay and rent an ‘art cart’ if they are available.
Before we went, we researched and saw that they had these fun art carts, which is actually just a golf cart that you can drive around. Shadrach REALLY wanted to rent one, but with only 2 hours, we just didn’t feel it was worth the expense on this trip.
When all was said and done, it was easy to drive our car around, get out, look at all the sculptures in an area and then drive to the next section. The art cart allows you to drive on roads, made just for them, between the sculptures and I think if we ever go it to Pyramid Hill Park again, an art cart will definitely happen. ????
So, the park has two parts to it. The first one, which is the largest, is all the outdoor sculptures. There are around 60 of them spread out all over the 300+ acres. Given our time constraint, we only saw a handful of them.
All of the sculptures are unique. There are various sizes, colors, and shapes. It was fun asking Logan what he thought they looked like. It turned out to be a great way to get him interested in art. If I’m honest, it made me a little more interested in art myself. I was afraid it would be kind of like I saw one piece of art and I’ve seen them all, but it was not at all like that. They are each unique and different, which made it fun.
Ancient Sculpture Museum
The second part of the park is the Ancient Sculpture Museum. I made sure that we had time for the museum because Logan kept begging to see it. I think he thought it was going to be like all of the children’s museums we’ve visited, but it’s more like a grown-up museum, aka no touching.
That said, I thought it was very impressive. In our video, we mentioned that we weren’t sure if the sculptures were real or replicas, but after reading more on the website, I’ve discovered that they are all authentic and ancient! It was so amazing to see these sculptures up close and read about them. Granted, we didn’t do much reading with a four-year-old around, but we did make it through the whole thing.
There are two sections to the museum; the ancient sculptures and then a gallery of current artists work. Overall, the museum is worth a stop in. Just be sure to let your kiddos know that they can’t touch. We told Logan no touching and, yet he still reached out to touch a sculpture right in front of the lady working there! She was kind about it, but I felt horrible and was so glad he didn’t break anything because I’m pretty sure we can’t just replace an ancient sculpture!
Tip for Visiting Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park as a Family
If you are looking for a great place to have a family day, I highly recommend Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park. It’s an awesome place to get outdoors and introduce abstract art to your little ones! Here are few tips to help make your trip a great one!
- Make sure that the weather is going to be favorable before you go. While I’m sure some of you could make the best of it with the cold, or rainy weather, it is much more enjoyable when everyone is comfortable and not thinking about being wet or too cold.
- Pack a lunch and eat outside! This place is a great location to be outside and have a picnic!
- If it’s available and you can afford to, rent the art cart! I think it would be worth it! Especially since there are roads just for them all through the park.
- Make sure to visit the museum. It is worth the time. Just remember to remind your little ones not to touch the sculptures. They are open and easily accessible by small hands.
- When walking through the museum be sure to take a few minutes and stop into the founder’s library. The history of the park is explained in much more detail in this room than the website offers. Plus, there are chairs which would give little legs a chance to rest for a few minutes.
- Give yourself plenty of time to go through the whole park. While I don’t think you need the entire day to make it through the park, more than two hours is necessary. So maybe give yourself half a day or more. Take your time and enjoy it!
- There are all kinds of special events and children’s days held at the park throughout the year. So, check the calendar and consider visiting at those times. Just be aware that there is usually an extra cost involved.
- Check out Groupon or Living Social for discounted tickets! I’ve seen Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park tickets frequently on there. It’s one way to visit a little cheaper.
These are just a few tips and thoughts to help make your visit a little more enjoyable and to make sure that you experience the park to the fullest.
The Perfect Introduction to Art
I must admit that we tend to shy away from art museums and places like those because a) we just aren’t that into art and b) we have a four-year-old that feels the need to experience everything by touching it! I believe most art museums frown upon that, however, this place intrigued me.
We enjoy being outdoors exploring and I loved that there was a considerable portion of it outside. Plus, if the sculpture is outside, in my mind that means it’s probably not breakable, and I don’t need to worry about Logan destroying it. I’m glad we found Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, and it turned out to be the perfect place for a family day and to introduce Logan to art!
What about you? Do you and your family enjoy art museums? Do you have any tips for visiting them with little ones?
* Be on the lookout for a little about our visit to the Holiday Lights on the Hill at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park!