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Family Day: A Walk in the Garden

Sat, December 9th, 2023 at 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Kids and their grown-ups are invited for a day of free family fun at the museum!

NOMA is celebrating twenty years of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden as a place of respite, learning, and joy. Explore the garden with guided walks, storytime, face painting, and play areas. Enjoy a musical performance by the Roots of Music Marching Crusaders and get creative with art-making activities inspired by your natural surroundings.

We’re taking inspiration from the Besthoff Sculpture Garden’s picturesque landscape featuring nearly 100 works across 12 acres. Adjacent to the museum, the Besthoff Sculpture Garden is situated within a landscape of existing pines, magnolias, and live oaks surrounding two lagoons. Read More

Admission and programming are free for families. Advanced registration is encouraged. In case of rain or extreme cold, festivities will be moved inside. 

Register Now

This program is supported by The Howard Foundation.

Family Day Highlights

The Marching Crusaders by the Roots of Music

1:30 pm–2:00 pm starts behind NOMA at the intersection of Roosevelt Mall and Collins Diboll Circle

Listen to music from The Marching Crusaders, the Roots of Music after-school marching band program for children ages 9–14,  as you explore the garden. The parade will finish with a performance at the Besthoff Sculpture Garden’s amphitheater.

DJ Kuti

10 am–1:30 pm on the North Lawn in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden 

Family-friendly music to dance and groove to while enjoying the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. 

Face Painting with Faerie Formations by Princess Camerian 

10:00 am–2:00 pm on the South Lawn in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Add an extra touch of enchantment to Family Day with bright butterflies, whimsical unicorns, or a spray of flowers painted by a fairy princess who sees the wonders of nature as the greatest inspiration

Storytime in the Garden

10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 12:30 pm in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden Amphitheater

10:30 am: Let’s Go Outside!, by Ekaterina Trukhan (0–3 years) 

11:30 am: Lola Plants a Garden, by Anna McQuinn (3–6 years)

12:30 pm: The Magical Garden of Claude Monet, by Laurence Anholt (6–9 years)

Join us for stories inspired by the outdoors and finding joy in nature. Read by NOMA’s storyteller Ms. Linda in the amphitheater. Each session is 10–20 minutes.

Art-Making Activity: Nature-Inspired Crafts

10 am–2 pm at South Lawn in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Join us at NOMA’s art-making tent for nature-inspired crafts, including making your own sensory bag. 

Family Garden Walk: Bear with Us, Mirror Labyrinth, and Mississippi Meanders

11 am and 12 pm in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

A close look at Frank Gehry’s Bear With Us, Jeppe Hein’s Mirror Labyrinth Besthoff Sculpture Garden, and Elyn Zimmerman’s Mississippi Meanders, family-friendly artworks reflecting in nature.  Each session is 20–30 minutes. 

Frank Gehry (Canadian, b. 1929), Bear With Us, 2014. Stainless Steel. Gift of Sydney and Walda Besthoff, 2019.3. 

Jeppe Hein (Danish, b. 1974), Mirror Labyrinth Besthoff Sculpture Garden, 2017. Steel and mirror. Museum purchase with funds provided by Sydney and Walda Besthoff, 2019.4. Installation funded by Hancock Whitney.

Elyn Zimmerman (American, b. 1945), Mississippi Meanders, 2019. Laminated tempered glass, steel and aluminum supports. Gift of Sydney and Walda Besthoff, 2019.7. Installation funded by Donna Perret Rosen and Benjamin M. Rosen.

Krewe des Fleurs:

10 am–1:30 pm on North Lawn in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Meet larger-than-life, wiggling flowers! Grab a family photo or dance with the magical moving garden of Krewe des Fleurs. Krewe des Fleurs is a NOLA-based costume and performance collective, with each “Fleur” bringing their own artistic vision to life.

Play Area at the Amphitheater 

10 am–1:30 pm in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden Amphitheater

Enjoy the sunshine and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden between storytimes in the free play area. The amphitheater play station will feature hula hoops, jump ropes, and bubbles (while supplies last) available for sharing.

Food from Southerns Food Truck and Café NOMA

10 am–2 pm on Enrique Alférez Drive 

The best fried chicken sandwich in all of New Orleans available for purchase. Showcasing chicken in all its splendor, and highlighting New Orleans cuisine. Southerns Food Truck parked on Enrique Alférez Drive. 

Café NOMA by Ralph Brennan features a delicious array of artisanal flatbreads, sandwiches, salads and veggie bowls alongside an artful assortment of freshly baked breads and sweets inside a show-stopping pastry case. Entrance to Café NOMA on Enrique Alférez Drive.

10 am–2 pm on the North Lawn in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Look for Café NOMA’s tent in the garden for a selection of family-friendly snacks and a variety of drinks.


The Roots of Music

The Roots of Music believes music has the power to transform lives. This program empowers the youth of New Orleans through music education, academic support, and mentorship, while preserving and promoting the unique musical and cultural heritage of our city. The Roots of Music programs teach music history and theory, instrumental instruction, ensemble performance preparation, and studio production. Across three programs, the Roots of Music serves youth ages 5–18 from low-income households and provides students with hot meals and transportation to reduce common barriers to participation.

The Marching Crusaders is an after-school marching band program for children ages 9–14. Young scholars are offered a variety of resources through the program, including academic tutoring, music classes, and performance opportunities. The Marching Crusaders march in Mardi Gras parades throughout New Orleans and perform at various events throughout the rest of the year. This program utilizes music to keep children safe at the most vulnerable times of day and helps them become happy and healthy members of their community. Five days a week, 12 months a year, the program delivers over 2,500 hours of music education and other academic tutoring, over 30,400 nutritious hot meals, 1,400 bus journeys, and supplies over 150 instruments for student use.

Princess Camerian

Princess Camerian participates in the creative process in every possible way, infusing everything with her own personal magic. Camerian has been doing face and body painting for birthday parties, parades, festivals, concerts, schools, bachelorette parties, sporting events, fundraisers, and various other occasions in the city of New Orleans and around southeastern Louisiana for over 15 years. For every chance she gets, Camerian sprinkles beauty and happiness out into the world!

Krewe des Fleurs

Krewe des Fleurs was founded in 2014 by Laura Dean-Shapiro, born out of a desire to marry the love of Mardi Gras and New Orleans culture with a more sustainable Mardi Gras. Concerned by the tremendous amounts of waste left behind on parade routes, Laura dreamed of a krewe that brought to life the float flowers that she loved so much while leaving no waste behind. Now entering its 10th season, Krewe des Fleurs is a costume collaborative that welcomes female-identifying “Fleurs” to bring their own artistic visions to life. Each year the krewe debuts a new varietal as its costume. While the prototype is designed by a professional artist, each Fleur builds and decorates her own costume from the ground up, assisted by her fellow Fleurs. The krewe proudly distributes handmade throws made of recycled materials, as well as wooden nickels and “seeds as beads” packets, holding true to its promise of no plastic waste. This year’s varietal will be debuted on Twelfth Night at Armstrong Park, and the krewe’s Carnival season parades will include Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Iris, and Orpheus. Environmental sustainability remains at the center of all that we do.

DJ Kuti

Kuti is a DJ, producer, and graphic designer from New Orleans. To Kuti, music is communal, and the people, connections, and visuals fuel the groove while she, as the curator, drives the ship. She is also 1/2 of the production duo, Khromethesia. Influenced by OG dance music, Afrodiasporic rhythms and soul, take a stroll with her through all-time funk faves, classic boogie, and global ear candy.

Education and outreach initiatives at NOMA are supported in part by The Gayle and Tom Benson Foundation; the Lois and Lloyd Hawkins Jr. Foundation; The Helis Foundation; The City of New Orleans; First Horizon; Janice Parmelee and Bill Hammack; Sara and David Kelso; Patrick F. Taylor Foundation; The RosaMary Foundation; The Azby Fund; the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency; The Collins C. Diboll Private Foundation; Burkenroad Foundation; Marian Dreux Van Horn Education Endowment; the Howard Foundation; Karen and Henry Coaxum; The Bruce J. Heim Foundation; and Laitram.



Sat, December 9th, 2023
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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