The American Swedish Institute offers 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 for children, youth, and families.
Strollers are welcome in the NCC and on ASI grounds though space is often tight in the historic Turnblad Mansion, The use of strollers may be restricted in special exhibition galleries due to loan restrictions and high visitor volume.
Family changing stations are available 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 meals, or pack a picnic and enjoy our outdoor garden spaces.
Family Gallery and Guides
Our family gallery encourages our youngest visitors to play, touch, read and learn! Family gallery locations and topics change with major ASI exhibits.
Write to Tomte
Not every house has a Tomte but the Turnblad Mansion does! Write Tomte a note or ask him a question. His mailbox is located in the Turnblad Mansion's third floor turret.
Every week in summer (beginning Memorial Day weekend) find something new and surprising while exploring and playing in the outdoor spaces at ASI. Our outdoor play cart gives ASI's youngest visitors the tools to encourage a sense of wonder and enrich their 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!