DC has been buzzing about the Van Gogh Immersive Experience ever since it opened. I’ve heard great things about it both from friends who went for a Moms’ Afternoon out and other friends who had gone with kids. My curiosity got the better of me, so I packed up the kids and went to see the exhibit for myself.
What to Expect
The Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit lived up to the hype and is stunning! There were also many more aspects than I expected. The beginning of the exhibit contains a lot of information about Van Gogh’s past.
Then it’s time to look at replicas of several Van Gogh’s most famous paintings and learn about where he drew inspiration from sunflower fields to a small bedroom in a yellow house. My children especially liked looking at the different versions of paintings Van Gogh made of the same subject with different degrees of variation.
That was an interesting look into the artistic process and a good reminder that even the best artists experiment and don’t do their best work on their first try. There are also a couple of 3-D renditions of some of Van Gough’s paintings.
While you can’t enter any of these, they make good selfie stops!
The Immersive Room
The highlight of the exhibit by far is the immersive room. Plan on spending a lot of time here! In this room, images from Van Gogh’s paintings are projected all over the room – all four walls and the floor.
Images change from sunflowers where petals blow across the floor to Starry Night and more.
There are chairs and beanbags throughout the room but not enough for everyone! We spent some time gazing at the images from the floor which was fine.
The Arts & Crafts Room
After that, visitors enter the arts and crafts room. Here, children (and adults!) can choose to color in outlines of a number of Van Gough’s paintings or create their own masterpiece from scratch. The paintings are then projected onto a wall for display – and more photo ops!
The VR Experience
The next, and final room, is a VR experience. Here, put on an Oculus and learn more about Van Gough’s life and paintings by doing things like “walking” the streets and fields he did while creating some of his most famous paintings.
This does cost extra if you did not already purchase a VIP ticket but we highly recommend it!
Fun for The Whole Family
I visited with four children ranging in ages from six to twelve. They all enjoyed the exhibit! We also saw both younger children and teens who seemed to be having a good time.
How Much Does It Cost?
There are several ticket options included a family pack for two adults and two children. Ticket prices vary based on day of the week, time and package but start at $36.00 for adults and $19.90 for children.
There is a family pass available which starts at $23 depending on the day and time of your reservation. This pass includes 2 adults and 2 children.
There is free entry for children under 4 years old.
The VR experience is $5.00 more per person with standard access. VIP access includes VR plus a small gift from the gift shop and lanyard.
Attendance is limited so we highly recommend buying tickets in advance, although you may get lucky with same-day availability.
You can purchase tickets here.
Good to Know Before You Go
- There is only one bathroom located towards the entrance so plan accordingly! However, the building is not all that big so you are never very far.
- There are no baby changing facilities available
- The exhibit is stroller friendly.
- There is a large parking lot with free parking. The exhibit is also a six-minute walk from the Rhode Island Avenue metro station/
- There are no strobe lights during this experience.
- There is no food or drink available for purchase so bring your own or visit one of the local vendors nearby.
Most visitors spend between an hour and an hour and a half, but this can vary a lot! We spent about two hours doing all of the activities. This makes a really fun outing for the family!
The exhibit runs through January and tickets would make a great holiday gift!
Written and photographed by Jamie Davis Smith