Corning Museum of Glass: A Unique Family Friendly Experience

Have you ever thought about visiting the Corning Museum of Glass with Kids?  I’ve always wanted to but I wasn’t sure if it was kid friendly. We decided to give it a try and planned a last minute weekend getaway to Corning, NY that included a visit to the Corning Museum of Glass.

Disclosure: My family received a Sandblasting Class in exchange for my review.  My priority is to be honest and authentic with my valued readers. My opinion is always my own. Read more about my Disclosure Policy

We left Rochester early and arrived at the museum around 9:15 Saturday morning. Our Sandblasting class started at 10:00am in the studio and this gave us some time to park and learn the layout of the museum.

I always look at the map online before we arrive to get a good idea of exhibits and show times. With this information I make a flexible itinerary.

I list on my phone the times of shows I want to see and the exhibits that are a must do for my family. I also take a screen shot on my phone of the show times so it is easily accessible throughout our visit at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Planning Your Visit to The Corning Museum of Glass

Corning Museum of Glass
Map of Corning Museum of Glass

Corning Museum of Glass Hours

Corning Museum of Glass is open 9:00 am  to 5:00 pm September through May and until 8:00 pm in the summer months. It is open every day except New Years Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas.

Corning Museum of Glass Tickets

The weekend of our visit was their Holiday Open House. Admission was free!! Typically Corning Museum of Glass tickets are $18.00 for adults and free for kids 17 and under. The admission ticket is good for two consecutive days.  They have a bundle with the Rockwell Museum for $25.00 for adults. We visited the Rockwell Museum during our weekend and you can read about it here.

Corning Museum of Glass
Holiday tree at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Our Sandblasting class was in the studio.  This is in building 9.  If you enter through the front entrance you take the escalator downstairs, walk through the gift shop, and walk outside to the studio building.  I was a little nervous to walk through the gift shop. I have two very busy boys and I thought this could be a disaster.

Surprisingly we stuck to the middle and made it through without any issues.  The gift shop is amazing and worth a look.  The craftsmanship and talent is breath taking.  I loved the glass flowers. They were lined up in vases for you to “pick”. Everything was lit up for the holidays and the museum had a great atmosphere.

Corning Museum of Glass
Gift shop at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Corning Museum of Glass with Kids

Classes at Corning Glass Museum

Corning Museum of Glass classes offer many activities for all ages at the Studio. I highly recommend making reservations. This was a last minute trip for us and many classes were sold out.

We were able to make reservations for Sandblasting and the kids really enjoyed it. Some classes require the glass to cool overnight so plan accordingly or you can have your glass shipped.  Check with the class to see if shipping is included in the cost of the class.

We arrived at the Sandblasting class about 10 minutes early and were seated immediately.  The staff was super friendly and helpful, and explained the project to the kids.  There were many sticker choices like animals, cars, hearts, and shapes.

When they were finished putting the stickers on they lined up for the sandblasting machine. The studio has staff to do the sandblasting part and there are stools for the kids to stand on.  It was really cool to see how the glass transformed.

After it was done they wrap it up for you and your can take it home. It is a really fun activity and is great for all ages.

Corning Museum of Glass
Sandblasting class at Corning Museum of Glass.
Corning Museum of Glass

We arrived at the Studio a little early for our class.  After picking up our tickets at the desk we went to explore the Carder Gallery.  This was a really cool surprise.  They had scavenger hunt books for the kids to use.

Corning Museum Scavenger Hunt

My kids loved this! They walked around with their scavenger hunt book and pencil(provided) and learned about inspiration and art.  I was so impressed with this activity.  Teaching kids about art and inspiration is not always easy. The scavenger hunt made it fun and exciting.  My 4 year old, 6 year old, and 8 year old were all very entertained.

Corning Museum of Glass
Doing the scavenger hunt at the Corning Museum.
Corning Museum of Glass

After the class we were all hungry so we headed over to the cafe.  This is inside the main building.  We walked through the gift shop again!! My husband and I had already looked at the menu online and decided the best plan would be to order a pizza. I never really think of sharing at food courts but it saves a lot of money and everyone is happy.

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With that being said if you are looking for great food this is the place to be.  This is not a typical museum food court. They had a great variety of food from Asian to salads to sandwiches. The pizza was good but I watched a lot of plates of spaghetti pass by and they looked delicious!! The portions were huge and we could have easily shared two of them with our family of five.

On our second visit to the glass museum we tried the butternut squash salad and it was amazing!

Corning Museum of Glass
Dining area at the museum.

For the afternoon we planned to explore the museum and see the Glass Demos.

I read through the classes offered and the times before we arrived at the museum.  My youngest is 4 and I wanted to make sure he could sit through the classes.  Most classes were 15 minutes. The Hot Glass Demo was about 30.

The kids loved the glass breaking demo. I really liked the Hot Glass Demo but it was a lot of repetition because of the constant heating of the glass.  My 4 year old got a little tired during this. The great thing is you can easily sit in the back and sneak out if your little one gets antsy.

Corning Museum of Glass

I highly recommend making the demos part of your visit.  The staff that leads the classes are amazing.  They are engaging and answer any questions that people have. At the end of a few demos they even hand out a souvenir to a few lucky guests!!

Corning Museum of Glass

We had about an hour left to explore the museum.  We let the kids take the lead and explore the exhibits of glass throughout the museum.  I was a little concerned about this part.

Taking little kids to a glass museum sounds like a dangerous risk but it was very kid friendly.  All of the exhibits are enclosed or fenced in.  There was also another scavenger hunt in the Glass Collection Gallery.  This one was really hard!! I think we found 4 or 5 out of the 8.  We decided to save it for our next visit!

Tips for a Great Visit at Corning Museum of Glass 

  • Register for classes early.
  • Arrive early.
  • Check times for demos and familiarize yourself with the map.
  • Strollers are allowed.
  • Photography is allowed but no flashes.  Some artwork says “No Photo”.
  • Food is allowed in the cafe area only.  There are also picnic areas outside during the warmer months.

We really enjoyed our visit to the Corning Museum of Glass.  The holiday open house was a fun event that my family really enjoyed. Don’t worry too much about taking the kids.  The Museum does a fantastic job of making it very kid friendly.  We are looking forward to visiting again and can’t wait to take another glass making class.

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Thank you to the amazing people at the Corning Museum of Glass for having us.

corning museum of glass

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