MLK 50 | The Fight for Civil Rights Continues

Civil rights has been in the headlines a lot lately.  Whether it’s poverty, justice, education, decent housing, the quest for civil and human rights continues today.

This April 4th commemorates the 50th  anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  How will you discuss this historic event with your kids, family and neighbors?  To assist us and further these discussions, take advantage of a new city treasure, the Center for Civil and Human Rights.  

civil human rights Atlanta

Mark your calendar as you can live the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with your family at the interactive exhibitions of the Center for Civil and Human Rights on April 4th from 9am through 7:30pm.  Everyone receives free admission on that day too, thanks to the generous support of FedEx.  

civil human rights government
Center for Civil and Human Rights


The whole family will enjoy activities built around civil rights such as the Live the Legacy Photo Booth, an art exhibit showcasing SCAD art pieces, theatrical performances of Dr. King’s famous “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech and much more.

Wherever you are, listen for the Global Bell Ringing at 7:01 PM on Wednesday, April 4th.  Join people around the world to commemorate the official moment of the commemoration of Dr. King’s assassination.

civil human rights Atlanta
Human Rights Activists from all around the world

To keep this momentum alive, read the pledge for a call to peace and action.

No Justice, No peace;
Know Justice, Know Peace”
is our rallying cry.

With humility and kindness, we will come together with one another and build a community of peace and goodwill for all humankind.  This is what we need to teach our children in order to make the world a better place.

You can find the Center for Civil and Human Rights at 100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30313 as part of Atlanta’s beautiful Centennial Park.  All photos are mine as this post is not sponsored in any way.













Why You Should Make Camp Plans Now

But it’s barely April you’re saying! Why should I look at summer camps near me now? Your kids will be home for the summer before you know it, asking what are we doing next?   Do yourself and them a favor, flip to your family summer calendar, and plug your kids in a fun and innovative summer camp, thanks to MODA, Museum of Design Atlanta.

Always forward thinking, MODA believes kids make great designers! They see through fresh eyes, love wacky ideas and are brave enough to think anything in this world is possible. campMODA teaches kids to use design thinking in combination with STEAM (science, technology, engineering,art/design, and math) skills to solve problems and address real-world challenges.  Believe me, these camps fill up quickly.  You’ll learn so much from them too.

summer kids calendar camp near me
campMODA from May 28 – July 23

Do you have budding engineer or computer game coder?  What about your teen activist?  There’s a spot for everyone.  Join one of MODA’s week-long full-day or half-day camps for kids and teens
(Pre-K through 11th grade) at one of four locations​: MODA’s Midtown home,
Georgia Tech College of Design, First Presbyterian Preschool and The Lovett School
in Buckhead/Vinings. Full-day camps (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are $495 per week, and
half-day camps (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) are $250 per week. MODA members receive
10 percent discount.

summer camp kid calendar near me
Each campMODA ​2018 session features one of these innovative themes: Designing
with LEGO Robotics; Adventures in Blockly; Designing and Coding with Minecraft;
Craftivism; LEGO Robotics for Filmmakers; Architectural Design with Minecraft;
Circuits and Robots; Playground Engineering and Career-Building Design Studio
Field Trips. ​Reserve your spot to ensure placement in the camps of your choice.

summer camp kid calendar
Robotics, science, design and more

Registration for all camps is available at:

Have you looked at a family membership?  Not only can you save on summer camp, you’ll have access to adult lectures, classes and exhibits, perfect for family field trips and date nights.










Have You Been to…?

You know we love art.  Love art, think art, talk art, see art and make art.  Last week we had the pleasure of experiencing an original exhibit at the Museum of Design Atlanta.  Perfect date night on a cold evening.

Have you visited Atlanta’s Museum of Design Atlanta ? Yes? Great! Have you seen the current exhibit, Text Me: How We Live in Language? No? You need to experience it!

First, what is this museum? MODA believes that design is a creative process that can solve problems, transform lives, and make the world a better place. The museum’s exhibitions and programs exemplify this belief. Located within the Midtown Arts Corridor since 2011, MODA is the only museum in the Southeast devoted exclusively to the study and celebration of all things design.

Now, let’s get the details on Text Me: How We Live in Language which is an original exhibition curated by internationally renowned designer, writer, podcaster and brand strategist Debbie Millman.  Over 60 designers and artists explore typography’s power and pervasiveness across every aspect of our lives.  Through interactive, immersive experiences, Text Me showcases many of the ways we use typography to document every aspect of our existence.

Elle Luna painting The Crossroads of Should and Must mural
Photo by Andria Lavine

There are site-unique murals, controversial pairings of words and things, all made to make us THINK.

MODA Hall Photo by Susan Sanders
MODA Hall Photo by Susan Sanders

You move from room to room in the house.  Text is everywhere.

MODA Photo by Susan Sanders  Sofa from Switch Modern

Date night solved!  Take your honey to this thought-provoking exhibit soon as it ends on Feb. 4th.  Get tickets here, and support this amazing Atlanta treasure of art and design.

Helpful Hint:  Check out MODA’s kids and adult camps and classes too. It’s never too early to plan your spring break and summer family fun.





Museum Monday: Whitney Museum

Recently, Jill went to NYC to visit she and Steve’s oldest daughter, Molly, who lives and works in the city with her husband. While there, the duo visited the Whitney Museum, which is now located in an amazing new building (designed by Renzo Piano) in the Meatpacking District, at the start of the High Line.
Whitney Museum
Whitney Museum

Some of the highlights of the museum/their visit…

  • It’s not too big, not too small – an ideal size to feel as if you can take the time to enjoy everything, while still making a bit of a special trip.
  • The museum features American art, along with public exhibits that will change out. While there, Jill and Molly enjoyed Laura Poitras’ “Astro Noise.”


  • There are lovely outdoor spaces, where you can experience the neighborhood, which includes One World Trade and the Empire State buildings.
  • Fantastic for families for all of the above, plus food is available within the museum with several food cart options right outside on the street.


  • It’s very accessible for all – including those who use wheelchairs or strollers.
  • There are plenty of very pleasant and knowledgeable staff members circulating throughout the Whitney Museum, who are happy to answer any questions.
  • The pair’s favorite viewings included all the Edward Hopper works, George Bellows and the Calder Circus!

If you’re planning a vacation to the Big Apple, or are fortunate enough to reside there, but haven’t yet been to the new Whitney Museum, we highly recommend planning a visit – enjoy!!

Museum Monday: Rodin Museum

C’mon on kids – let’s go to a museum!

The Rodin Museum, an ideal place to visit when looking into family-friendly Paris attractions…


Yes, believe it or not, this classical museum was a wonderful stop for the whole McKenzie clan during previous visits to France.


It’s located in a neighborhood, in a beautiful mansion, that was actually a home, which was lived in and donated for the purpose of being a museum. This allows you to really picture how one lived back when the home was first built.


The Rodin Museum also features some lovely gardens, which provide a perfect place for kids to skip around and let off some steam, in the midst of what may be a busy, whirlwind vacation.

Carter McKenzie enjoying the Rodin Museum on a family vacation to Paris.

It’s also not as fussy as a traditional museum, and the featured artwork is really easy to discuss with family and will encourage the kids to expand their cultural horizons and will hopefully work to inspire them to become even greater art appreciators!


Here’s a bit on the history of the Rodin Museum in the 18th century:

The mansion that now houses the Musée Rodin was built in the Rue de Varenne, Paris, between 1727 and 1737, for the wealthy financier Abraham Peyrenc de Moras (1686-1732). The project, eventually overseen by Jean Aubert, Architect to the King, is a shining example of the rocaille architecture that was fashionable at this time. Constructed on the outer limits of Paris, it was both a town house and a country residence. Abraham Peyrenc de Moras died in 1732, before his new home, notably the interior decoration on the first floor, was completed.


In 1736, his widow rented out the mansion to the Duchess of Maine. While the new tenant did little to modify the exterior of the building, rather more alterations were made to the interior layout. When the duchess died in 1753, Peyrenc de Moras’s widow sold the estate to Louis-Antoine de Gontaut-Biron (1700-88), the future Marshal Biron. The changes he made mainly involved the grounds, which had been since then one of the most beautiful and best-known gardens in Paris. While respecting the typical layout of a French classical garden and the species planted by the original owner Abraham Peyrenc de Moras, Biron had added new features. He doubled the size of the ornamental garden, had a circular pool dug and made part of the grounds into an English-style garden. Peyrenc de Moras’s kitchen garden survived, but was moved to a different part of the estate. The appearance of the gardens during this period is well known, notably thanks to the descriptions and engravings of them published between 1776 and 1778. Marshal Biron leaved the mansion the name by which it is still known today, the Hôtel Biron.

For an expanded history, please visit this page on the Rodin Museum website.


For some other tips on making the most of your family-friendly Paris vacation, check out this “Paris for Kids” Travel Guide from the New York Times.

And if you find yourself in Paris soon, or are planning a visit in the future, be sure to add the Rodin Museum to your list of must-see places; and check out their future exhibitions – we promise you won’t be disappointed!

Museum Monday: Atlanta’s Inaugural Museum Week

Exciting news for our local blog readers… This Saturday marks the start of Atlanta’s first ever Museum Week! And we say, it’s about time!!!


There are so many wonderful places to visit in and around our very fine city, and a week-long celebration, including discounts to many of our favorite haunts may be just what some folks need to leave their neighborhood and check out some of Atlanta’s most culturally diverse activities.

36 of our favorite institutions are participating in Atlanta’s Inaugural Museum Week, including:

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center


Atlanta botanical gardens
Atlanta Botanical Garden


download (1)
Booth Western Art Museum


Georgia Aquarium


Fernbank, Dinosaurs-L
Fernbank Natural History Museum & Science Center

And so many more wonderful places are a part of Atlanta Museum Week! To see the full list, and learn more, click here.

Hopefully, we’ll be seeing you at the museum next week!


Museum Monday: Morris Museum of Art

A little over two short hours from our city is a fantastic, small museum, situated in Augusta, Georgia. The Morris Museum of Art has actually been listed as one of 30 “Must-See Art Museums” by The Art Career Project, and despite its small size, this museum packs a punch!


Here’s a bit of info on The Morris from the fine folks at The Art Career Project:

morris Museum of Art logo

One of the smallest museums on this list, the Morris Museum makes up for its lack of size by being the first and best collection of art and artists from the American South. The museum opened to the public in 1992 and has already amassed an unrivaled collection of art ranging from the Civil War period to more contemporary works. If you are from the South or just a fan of its rich culture and complicated history, this museum will be a fun trip.

Three to see:


The Infantryman by William Gaul

The watercolor of a lonely soldier lighting his cigarette is exactly the type of art that is the Morris’ forte. There is plenty of skill evident in the work, but it derives its importance from the story it tells about life as a soldier during the Civil War and the portrait it paints of the men who fought.


Southern Landscape by Benny Andrews

Andrews grew up in rural Georgia and liked to paint what he knew, which, in this case, is a minimalist portrayal of what life was like for black family making their living in the rural south.  The details are purposefully blurred and the background intricacies are scarce, but you still get a colorful glimpse at a slice of the everyday life for black farmers.


Hoover and the Flood by John Steuart Curry

Originally created for a magazine, this action-packed oil painting depicts the 1927 flood of the Mississippi River in all of its tragic glory. You can see President Hoover and the news crew following him on the right but what will really catch your eye is the obvious anguish that is starkly shown throughout the photo, making it one of the more dramatic works in their collection.

In addition to these three must-see images in The Morris’ permanent collection, they have some really exciting exhibits currently on display. Including…

art by john mellencamp

sculpture by brian dettmer

civil war drawings

So, are you ready to play a day away to Augusta and visit The Morris?!? We sure are – nothing’s quite as inspirational as a visit to an art museum!

Museum Monday: ‘Wild Things’ Exhibition at The Breman Museum – And a Special Discount!

Like many parents out there, one of our favorite books to read to our children when they were younger was Where the Wild Things Are… So, when we heard there’s an exhibit featuring works by ‘Wild Things’ author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak, at The Breman Museum here in Atlanta, we had to share!

wild things 2205x875ff

From The Breman Museum’s website:

For over fifty years Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are has delighted and captivated readers both young and old. This exhibition celebrates Sendak’s life and work by showcasing his most famous pieces through preliminary sketches, finished artwork, and interactive displays. All of this is told through the words of Sendak himself, intimately connecting artist to art.

The exhibition aims at promoting an appreciation of the creative genius of Maurice Sendak and his art by highlighting the importance of early childhood reading as it relates to language development and literacy.


The exhibition also emphasizes art as an important and effective tool for children and adults alike in coping with stressful situations that arise in every day life.

Sendak_Where The Wild Things Are _ Max's Boat

New sections of the exhibition have been developed through partnerships with both the Atlanta Speech School’s Rollins Center for Language and Literacy and the Georgia Art Therapy Association.


The Where the Wild Things Are exhibit is taking place now through July 5, 2015, so make plans to go in the new year!

Here’s a bit about “being a kid,” in Maurice Sendak’s words:

We’re also excited to offer our readers a special discount to The Breman Museum, in celebration of the Maurice Sendak exhibit…

SAVE $4 Off the Purchase Price of a Second Ticket with The Purchase of an Adult Ticket. This offer is good through March 31st.
To redeem this offer visit the Breman Museum and purchase One Adult Ticket at the admission desk, Mention the code phrase  The Breman Museum Loves Bbloggers” to save $4 off a second ticket (Children-Adult)
One ticket per family per ,  not valid with other promotional offers.
download (1)

How many of you parents out there can still quote your favorite lines from this classic tale?

Museum Monday – Guggengheim Bilbao

If you don’t know the Guggengheim Bilbao museum by name, you’ll certainly recognize it for its fabulously unique architecture!


Located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain, the Guggengheim Bilbao museum was designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry.

A few years back Steve and Jill took Mimi and Carter to Spain on vacation and to give them an opportunity to experience the Guggengheim Bilbao museum firsthand.


One of Steve’s favorite artists, Anselm Kiefer, has an amazing collection on exhibit at the Guggengheim Bilbao museum, and it was wonderful to see so much of it, all in one place.

Mimi and Carter enjoyed the Richard Serra exhibit, “The Matter of Time,” most, as they were able to walk through it and look for details, as opposed to just standing and looking at a painting in one place. Not only did this open the door to great museum conversation, they were also able to stretch their legs a bit.

Jeffrey KoonsIf you ever get the chance to visit Bilbao, Spain, be sure to add the Guggenheim to your list of must-do’s when there! And be sure to make time to take in all the outside exhibits by masters such as Louise Bourgeois and Jeffery Koons, as well as that renowned architecture!

And don’t forget to try some authentic Basque cuisine – it’s not to be missed!

Museum Monday – Carsten Holler Retrospective at the New Museum

Not your average museum experience, the Carsten Holler retrospective at the New Museum in New York City, circa early 2012, was unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before.

And an experience indeed it was. Holler’s installations, shared together at the New Museum, were collectively entitled ‘Experience,’ and focused on creating a perception altering environment. Museum goers – Steve included (along with his daughter Molly, and son-in-law, Jim) – were “immersed in various situations where one or more of their senses were confused, reduced or heightened.”

Here’s a shot of Steve and Jim enjoying one of Holler’s installations at the New Museum:

Image 1

In addition to this unique take on a favorite carnival ride, there was an adult-sized slide, giving people an opportunity to seamlessly slip from the 4th floor of the museum to the 2nd… Molly and Jim even took part in an immersion take installation, which Holler calls ‘Psycho Tank,’ where participants are submerged in body-temperature salt water, creating the feeling of floating through nothingness.

This visit to New York City was made even more memorable, thanks in great part to this fantastic exhibit at the New Museum, and having the opportunity to experience it with family.

Please share – would you be daring enough to take part in the immersion tank experience?!?