Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation so art would be accessible by all. Today, the museum (the building itself is a work of art) contains more than 400 works by American artists that span the full scope of American art and history, all of which is arranged in chronological order. This is a fabulous museum and provides a great opportunity to introduce children to art. In fact, to keep children engaged, the museum offers a seasonal scavenger hunt for children to complete as they go through the galleries. Once completed, they can return their form to Guest Services for a prize.
But the inside galleries are just the beginning. Crystal Bridges contains 120 acres filled with more than 3 miles of trails just waiting for you to explore. Along the way, you’ll find a number of sculptures plus the Bachman-Wilson House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Biking is permitted on some trails, and picnicking is permitted throughout the grounds.
In addition, scheduled, free, drop-in tours take place throughout the day, and audio tours are available for either your smartphone or via an iPod available for check-out at Guest Services. Earbuds or headphones are required for audio tours. No outside food or drinks are permitted in the museum, but there is an onsite restaurant. Note: Even the most basic visit to Crystal Bridges requires at least two hours, so plan accordingly. You could easily spend an entire day here.
Open Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.