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Home » Blog » Free Films for Children and Teens Highlight International Tales, Poetry, and More, this Winter at the National Gallery of Art

Free Films for Children and Teens Highlight International Tales, Poetry, and More, this Winter at the National Gallery of Art

Film still from The Gruffalo (Max Lang and Jakob Schuh, 2009, 30 minutes), to be shown as part of the Monster Mash film program for children and teens at the National Gallery of Art, Saturday, February 4, and Sunday, February 5.

Washington, DC—This winter the National Gallery of Art celebrates the New Year with a wide selection of family programs, including the ever-popular Film Program for Children and Teens.

In January young visitors can follow the story of Princess Bluerose in Magic Silver, set deep in the Norwegian mountains. In February the Gallery presents Monster Mash, a program of animated shorts featuring an array of gentle beasts and fuzzy creatures. March brings a screening of the award-winning documentary Louder Than a Bomb, which chronicles Chicago-area teens as they prepare for the largest youth poetry slam in the world. Also in March, the Gallery presents the environmentally focused films Chandani: The Daughter of the Elephant Whisperer and The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical, as part of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.

The film program aims to present a broad range of recently produced films, selected for their appeal to youth and adult audiences, and at the same time to foster an understanding of film as an art form. Age recommendations are intended to guide parents in selecting emotionally and intellectually stimulating films for their children.
In addition to enjoying films, families may explore the collection together using the children’s audio and video tour. Designed especially for children ages seven to twelve, the tour highlights fifty masterpieces on display in the West Building’s Main Floor galleries. Also available online, the children’s video tour encourages children to engage with these renowned paintings both at the museum and at home.

With an ongoing schedule of free family-friendly activities and shopping—including family workshops, special family weekends, family concerts, storytelling programs, guided conversations, teen studios, exhibition discovery guides, the Children’s Shop, ice-skating in the Sculpture Garden, and casual dining in the Cascade Café—visitors of all ages may enjoy the Gallery’s many offerings.

For more information about family programming, visit

Film Program for Children and Teens

All film programs are shown in the East Building Auditorium. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups are welcome. Food and drink are not permitted. Programs are free and subject to change without notice. For up-to-date information on the current month’s films, please call (202) 789-3030. Feature films are in English, unless otherwise noted.
Magic Silver
Saturday, January 7, 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, January 8, 11:30 a.m.
Ages 7 and up
This film follows Princess Bluerose, a gnome living deep in the Norwegian mountains, as she sets out on a remarkable journey to save the world from unending darkness (Katarina Launing and Roar Uthaug, Norway, 2009, 84 minutes). In Norwegian with English subtitles.
Monster Mash
Saturday, February 4, 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, February 5, 11:30 a.m.
Ages 5 and up
This series of animated shorts features fun-loving monsters of all shapes and sizes. The program includes The Gruffalo (Max Lang and Jakob Schuh, 2009, 30 minutes), an adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are (Weston Woods Studios, 1988), Mike’s New Car (Pixar Animation Studios, Pete Docter and Roger Gould, 2002), Hair Raising Hare (Warner Bros., Chuck Jones, 1946), End of a Scarer (Chris O’Hara, 2007), and The Silence Beneath the Bark (Joanna Lurie, 2010). Approximately 60 minutes.
Louder Than a Bomb
Saturday, March 10, 2:00 p.m.
 Ages 13 and up
. This award-winning documentary chronicles the stories of four teams of teenagers as they prepare for and compete in the 2008 “Louder Than a Bomb” competition, the world’s largest youth poetry slam. The film captures the ways in which writing shapes the teenagers’ world, and vice versa. As the students work together and share their personal stories, they discover how to transform their experiences and emotions into expressive rhymes (Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, United States, 2010, 99 minutes). Presented in collaboration with Intersections: A New America Arts Festival. A performance by the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team will precede the screening.
Chandani: The Daughter of the Elephant Whisperer
Saturdays, March 17 and 24, 10:30 a.m.
Ages 11 and up
This film follows a young girl’s quest to become a mahout (elephant whisperer) in Sri Lanka, a profession that has traditionally been reserved for men. A documentary with a strong emotional core, Chandani perceptively explores the constraints of traditional gender roles. In English and Sinhala with English subtitles. (Arne Birkenstock, Germany/Sri Lanka, 2010, 86 minutes) Presented in collaboration with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.
The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical 
Sundays, March 18 and 25, 11:30 a.m.
Ages 9 and up
.  For one emotional night, a group of children living in a slum in Mumbai, India, get a chance to experience a different world as they perform Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music with a classical orchestra, fostering hopes that it could change their lives (Sarah McCarthy, United Kingdom/India, 2010, 64 minutes). Presented in collaboration with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.

Family Concert
Sunday, February 5, 1:00 p.m.
West Building Main Floor, West Garden Court
 Ages 7 and up
 Asteria (Sylvia Rhyne, soprano, and Eric Redlinger, tenor and lute) brings to life the songs of medieval Burgundy, transporting listeners back to the age of chivalry. Eric and Sylvia will demonstrate their instruments, sing songs, and talk about what it was like in the medieval world of knights, ladies, troubadours, and kings. Approximately 45 minutes. 
Free of charge

Children’s Audio Tour: West Building Highlights
Acoustiguide Desk, West Building Main Floor, Rotunda 
Explore fifty paintings in the West Building with an audio tour designed especially for children ages seven to twelve. To reserve audio tours for groups of ten or more), call (202) 842-6592.
The National Gallery of Art Children’s Audio Tour is made possible through the generous support of the MSST Foundation.
Free of charge

Children’s Video Tour: West Building Highlights
The video tour allows children to explore works of art on display in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art through an online tour featuring fifty videos. Find the Children’s Video Tour at

Family Guides: Italian, Dutch, and American Art at the National Gallery of Art
Gallery Information Desks
Designed for families with children ages six and up, each free family booklet includes activities to guide visitors’ exploration of the Gallery’s Italian, Dutch, and American collections and questions to encourage group discussions. Also available to download at 
The guides are made possible through the generous support of the MSST Foundation.

NGAkids Online
An entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history, NGAkids online ( offers a variety of art-making tools, games, and narratives suitable for children of all ages.

The Children’s Shop
The Children’s Shop on the Concourse offers an array of art-inspired items for children, including books, games and puzzles, toys, artists’ supplies, and DVDs. To browse a small selection online, visit

Cascade Café
East Building, Concourse
Monday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. 
The Cascade Café offers an affordable selection of soups, salads, specialty entrees, wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, and desserts. For those with limited time, prepackaged lunch boxes containing a sandwich, chips, cookie, and a beverage may be ordered in advance. For information about boxed lunches and group lunch vouchers, call (202) 712-7458.

Espresso & Gelato Bar
East Building Concourse
Monday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m
Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
A full espresso bar on the East Building Concourse offers 19 flavors of house-made gelato and a selection of fresh sandwiches, salads, pastries, and desserts.

Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
Monday–Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Friday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.
Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. 
Weather permitting 
7th Street and Constitution Ave NW
Visitors of all ages may view magnificent sculpture while skating in the open air and enjoying music from the state-of-the-art sound system. For admission and rental prices, visit

General Information
The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (202) 842-6176, or visit the Gallery’s Web site at Follow the Gallery on Facebook at and on Twitter at 

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor’s back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.