Pipilotti Rist at the MCA: Can I Take the Kids?

Pipilotti Rist at the MCA with Kids…

It’s no secret how much my family and I love the Museum of Contemporary Art, but seriously you guys, they have outdone themselves with the current exhibition, Pipilotti Rist: Sip My Ocean. It’s grand. It’s immersive. It’s surprising. It’s walls and floors and ceilings of moving images. It’s whole rooms that sparkle.

If you’re an adult, and you like any of the things listed above, you’re going to love it. But, if you’re here on Artsplorers, I’m guessing what you really want to know is can we … should we  … bring the kids?

Yep. Yep you can. And, you should. 

I brought the Mini Artsplorer (4), along with baby sister in the pram. The baby slept through most of it, but Mini found a whole lot to like, particularly the fact that she could get involved. Throughout the exhibit, there are unexpected things to sit or lay on and watch video installations, like an oversized living room or a bed. She also had a keen eye for details, some of which I might have walked right past, like a peephole in the the floor or a repeated motif. I loved her observations.

While some of the themes are mature, a lot of the imagery, like water and space, is actually quite accessible for children. Keep an eye out for everyday objects used in unusual ways, as these sorts of things can really charm kids.

And, most of all, kids just love lights, especially ones that sparkle and change colors. Even the baby was captivated (after she got over the wholly understandable shock of waking up in a dark room with projections on the ceiling!).


If you’re going with kids, Sundays are a great day to go because the family space (just across the hall from the exhibition) is open for creative play with “Sundays With Pipilotti.” Kids – and adults, too – can channel their inner Pipilotti with light projection and mirror collage activities, which was a lot of fun after the exhibition.

A couple of things I’ll mention for those going to Sip My Ocean with younger children:

  • This is an adult exhibit, and there are adult images, particularly of the human body. Most of them floated right past my 4 year old, but at one point, I did find myself whispering, “a penis” in response to a full voiced “what’s that?!?”. I don’t think you should let that turn you off going, but just stand warned!
  • If you have a young one who is afraid of the dark, like mine is, be aware that they may need mum or dad to stick nearby or offer a hand in some sections.
  • I went with a pram, and I found it manageable to maneuver.
  • There is no in and out entry, so I’d suggest making sure the kids are fed and nappies changed before you go in. It will probably take you an hour or more.

So, Pipilotti Rist at the MCA with kids? Yes, yes, yes! Take the kids to Sip My Ocean, and enjoy seeing it sparkle through their eyes.


Full details about Pipilotti Rist: Sip My Ocean on the MCA website

Runs through February 18, 2018

Adults: $22 / Ages 12 – 18: $12 / Children under 12 are free