Congratulations Shawn E.–winner for the Family Five Pack to the Habsburgs Exhibit!
She’s turning 10, and we promised her a birthday party. A sleepover to be exact.
Can I just say it?
10!?! When did this happen?
Anyway, she was so excited for her sleepover that for the week leading up to her party, she woke up and would state the number of days until the big party.
I had told all the guests to come and dress up for Friday evening because we were going to celebrate Kyla’s birthday in royal fashion.
After dinner at Noodles and Company (is it weird I found it odd that the girls were enthusiastically ordering chicken noodle soup) and dessert at Pop Culture Frozen Yogurt, we took our seats in the royal carriage (aka the van) and headed to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts where we experienced the royal life of the Habsburgs.
Kyla and her three friends, A and E and L, were beyond excited. Walking through the MIA was no quiet feat in itself and with much shushing, we made our way through the galleries and to the featured exhibit.
On loan from Vienna, The Habsburgs walks visitors through the empire from the 1300’s until the time of World War I. The collection is huge.
- Suits of Armor
- Royal Crests
- Jousting Regalia
- Princess Carriage
- Royal Sleigh
- Coronation Pieces
There was so much to take in that it was lucky for us that A had taken a tour the week before with her homeschool group. She became our tour guide and told us all about the different pieces and lots of the history.
We learned the Habsburg’s method of maintaining the throne was by marrying within their own family which created many physical problems. (She didn’t use the word inbreeding, but try explaining that to 9 and 10 year olds without crossing seemingly necessary boundaries)
We learned from A that a crest with two heads meant it belonged to the king, and a crest with one head meant it belonged to the brother of the king.
We learned how royalty would collect people from their kingdom as objects to own, like a peasant girl with Werewolf Syndrome.
We learned that males were the only ones who could inherit the throne but Maria Theresa—the mother of Marie Antoinette—was able to assert her way onto the throne since she had no brothers.
When World War I happened, the Habsburg Empire fell, and the more modern form of government developed.
This exhibit is open to all ages. The MIA is very proud to provide art and history to everyone of any age. However, I think the best age is nine. My eight year old would have been fine, too, because she loves art and royalty. If you choose to bring younger children, you will want them in strollers or hands firmly held.
As it was, the attendants were visibly nervous when the girls would rush at a painting. At one point, Kyla marched over to a painting and jabbed her pointer finger at a specific detail. I inhaled sharply as her finger stopped ½ an inch short of the painting.
With a firm word and instruction, she removed her hand and backed away.
Another time the girls rushed at another painting excitedly and the attendant crossed the room in three huge strides to maintain the integrity of the paintings. Little did he know how respectful the girls actually are, but honestly, it made me a little nervous, too. Another stern word from me, and they retreated.
I knew it was time to move on when the girls started goofing off by pulling each other through the formal wear gallery.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts if free, but they have an exclusive changing exhibit that has a pricetag attached. The Habsburgs exhibit is $16-$20/ticket. The MIA offered us complimentary tickets to enjoy the exhibit and review it for you.
On our way out, we paused to dress up and take some pictures like the Habsburgs. We also peeked in at a couple of galleries—the Native American displays, art inspired by nature, some contemporary galleries, and a disco ball-illuminated room.
We had a great time. The MIA is a wonderful place to explore.
The MIA is offering a Family Five Pack giveaway to one of our Family Fun Twin Cities readers.
Flash GIVEAWAY! Today only! At 9:00 p.m. today, we will choose a winner and contact you via email.
How to Enter:
- Mandatory Entry—leave a comment of what you liked to dress up in as a kid.
- Extra Entries (to be done only after mandatory entry, leave a comment for each action)
- Follow us on Twitter
- Follow us on Instagram
- Follow us on Pinterest
- Like us on Facebook
The exhibit is open until May 10, but you need to use the Habsburg vouchers before April 26.