The American Swedish Institute is family friendly! We offer families a fun and welcoming place to explore traditions, immigration, handcraft and art. Be sure to visit the Youth & Family section of our website for information about special programs and resources we offer for children, youth, and families.
Baby strollers are welcomed at the ASI with ample room in the NCC and on our grounds. Space is often tight in the historic Turnblad Mansion, and we recommend using an umbrella stroller or a front pack. The use of strollers may be restricted in special exhibition galleries due to certain loan restrictions and high visitor volume in these areas.
Visitors with infants will find baby changing stations in our public and family restrooms located on the 1st and 2nd floors of the NCC and the Lower Level of the Turnblad Mansion.
Food and drink are not permitted in the historic Turnblad Mansion or the Osher Gallery. FIKA, ASI's café, offers family friendly options, or pack a picnic and enjoy our outdoor garden spaces.
Youth Gallery and Guides
Be sure to ask at the admission desk where the current youth gallery is located. Our youth gallery encourages our youngest visitors to play, touch, read and learn! Additional youth gallery guides may be available and found in temporary exhibition galleries.
Not every house has a Tomte but the Turnblad Mansion certainly does! Write Tomte a note or ask him a question. His mailbox is located in the Turnblad Mansion's third floor turret.
Every week this summer (beginning Memorial Day weekend) you will find something new and surprising while exploring and playing in the outdoor spaces at ASI. Our outdoor play cart gives you the tools to encourage your family’s sense of wonder and enrich your museum visit. Explore the “high up places” using binoculars or the beauty of the flowers using a magnifying glass; dance with scarves, ribbons or hula hoops; build with tree blocks; or play a game of kubb on the lawn. The outdoor play cart changes every week—you might be surprised at what you find!
Tips to Help You Enjoy Your Visit
- Before leaving the house, prepare your children for the visit. Check out the exhibits and discover what there is to see and do at ASI.
- Talk about museum rules with your child. Explain that they are not allowed to touch the historic surfaces and art. This is to protect the 100 year old mansion and objects from natural oils on our fingers that can leave harmful (yet invisible) prints.
- You don't need to be quiet in the mansion and exhibits! We encourage talking, questions, and even the occasional song.
- Don't worry that you need to be an expert! Have fun looking at and talking about the mansion and exhibits—you'll be amazed at how sharing what you see with your children can enrich your family's experience.
- Keep young children engaged by counting, identifying shapes and colors, or naming animals, people, or objects.
- Make a game out of looking at artworks: What going on in this artwork? What do you see that makes you say that? Communicate opinions and thoughts. There are no wrong answers!