Roaming Roanoke: Taubman Museum

Before we get started, here’s a quick refresher. My name is Angela, and our family moved here from out-of-state a year and a half ago. Roaming Roanoke follows our experiences visiting kid-friendly places in the region!

Our blogging destination this week is The Taubman Museum of Art!

I had noticed The Taubman Museum of Art every time I had driven by it since we moved here. The glass building in downtown Roanoke is cool to see, and I always wanted to visit. When I saw it was re-opening on July 3rd, I decided to go! Plus, the art museum is indoors with air-conditioning, which is perfect during these HOT or rainy summer days! Even better, admission is FREE!

An art museum may seem like too formal of a place for three kids age five and under, but it definitely was not! In fact, the staff did whatever they could to ensure my kids enjoyed the museum.  My five-year-old and four-year-old loved looking at the paintings and sculptures (I did say, “don’t get too close” several times). My son described it as “amazing art” when we left. 

The museum has several exhibits on display right now. Two are connected to the late Dorothy Gillespie of Roanoke. It was interesting to learn about her and her connection to Roanoke. In another exhibit, the Judith Leiber Pop-Inspired Handbags, my four-year-old daughter enjoyed looking at the “sparkly purses” (her words). 

The Art Venture room, where children can play and create their own art, is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. The staff members said my kids would enjoy it, so we hope to return when it is safe for Art Venture to re-open. In the meantime, they’re handing out art kits to take home…more on that later.

My kids also loved going onto the lookout on the third floor! It was fun to see some of Roanoke’s iconic landmarks from a high level!

The Taubman Museum of Art is open on Fridays and Saturdays 10:00-5:00 and Sundays 12:00-5:00. Admission is FREE thanks to AEP!  Masks are required for ages 10 and up. Capacity is limited to a few people at a time in each room. Arrows line the floors to keep everyone moving in the same direction and maintain social distancing. Hand sanitizer stations are set-up in several places. 

The museum is very stroller-friendly. My one-year-old stayed in the stroller the whole time. The bathrooms are open in the museum. There is an attached coffee shop for food but it happened to be closed when we were there. There are plenty of downtown restaurants nearby. 

There is no museum parking lot, so parking is wherever you can park in downtown Roanoke. You can plan on walking at least a little bit to the museum’s entry. 

The museum has take-home art kits for kids while Art Venture is closed.  There is no charge for these but a donation of any kind is requested. We got two kits – a bell and a ladybug. They were easy to put together at home and fun for the whole family to do! My kids are still playing with them days later!

Now it is on to the next place! If you have suggestions for places for us to visit, let me know! 

Angela Evans

Angela Evans is a former tv reporter turned stay-at-home mom. She and her husband Cody have three children. They moved to Virginia in 2018. When she’s not Roaming Roanoke, she is probably drinking sweet tea, reading a book or dancing.
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