If you’re traveling out west of Atlanta, don’t miss this great learning opportunity for your kiddos! This location is close to Red Top Mountain RV campsites within a 10-minute drive (6 miles) and Lake Allatoona campgrounds. You can make a day of it and cover the Booth Museum and the Etowah Indian Mounds.
The Booth Museum:
When I first heard that Cartersville, Georgia had a Western Art Museum, admittedly I sort of scoffed at the thought that cowboys and Native Americans could have artistic value. In my head, I had the stereotypical image of John Wayne or the Lone Ranger with his side-kick, Tonto and thought the entire museum would be the two sides at odds with each other. I also thought it would be a small collection. Boy, was I wrong on all accounts!
The Booth Museum is the only museum of its kind in the Southeast and is the second largest art museum in the state of Georgia (The HIGH in Atlanta is reportedly the largest). The Booth also houses the largest permanent exhibition space for Western American art in the country! The exhibits cover two levels and there are so many pieces of artwork, sculptures and artifacts that relate to Native Americans and America Cowboys that I lost count along the way. It also covers the Civil War era and has a Presidents exhibit as well as a children’s activity area on the lower level. There are eight galleries that are continually on display.
We like to visit on the first Thursday of each month because we can all get in free (now that I have twins that are teens that helps me a lot on the pocket book.) It typically takes us 2-3 hours to go thru the exhibits and the kids love finishing downstairs on the lower level at Sagebrush Ranch where they have interactive activities that include riding in a pretend stagecoach, saddling up on a pretend horse, playing dress up, or doing one of several learning games or puzzles.
And while you are there, you can share with your kids a quick physics lesson on how pulleys work to help lift heavy objects because The Booth has a beautiful glass elevator (pictured above) with real weights that lift and lower the elevator with ease and ever so quiet – one of only two of it’s kind in the country!
TIP: When you check in at the information desk, be sure to ask about getting a Saddlebag (shown above in pic) for your kiddos during your visit to the Museum. The Saddlebag is filled with learning-related activities to be done throughout the Museum to help get your child actively engaged with the art. When selecting a Saddlebag, children have the option of three themes: “Cowboy”, “Native American”, or “Presidents”. Saddlebags are FREE and can be checked out from the information desk on the main floor of the Museum.
WHAT KIDS CAN LEARN THRU THIS EXPERIENCE:
- Native American History thru art and artifacts
- American History thru art and artifacts
- Civil War depicted thru art (special collections)
- Western Expansion of Territories (2 real stage coaches!)
- Medals of Valor (in Presidents gallery)
- Presidents of the United States (read actual letters)
- Pop Culture Western Art
- Physics: Unique Elevator
We typically visit the Booth about 2-3 times a year to take advantage of new rotating exhibits and to dive deeper into our understanding. Every time we visit we all learn something new. I hope you take advantage of this great opportunity. Here are the details for planning your budget and outing…
Adults – $10
Seniors (65 and over) – $8
Active Military Personnel – Free (with ID)
Students – $7
Children 12 and under – Free*
*Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Be sure to check their website before you visit to see if there are any other restrictions as things change from the time of this posting. Membership is available for free admittance.
TIP: The first Thursday of every month has free admission between the hours of 4-8 pm for all ages. In addition, another free admission opportunity is available to Century Bank of Georgia members who can receive free admission to Booth Western Art Museum on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Thursday – 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
*Closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
A guided Highlights Tour is given everyday (Tuesday – Sunday) at 1:30 pm for all visitors to the Museum. This tour generally lasts about 60 minutes. A guided tour is also available for groups of 10 or more who make reservations prior to visiting the Museum.
If you’re looking for other Western art museums…in addition to The Booth Museum, there are 10 or 12 major Western art museums in the U.S. such as the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Center (formerly the Cowboy Hall of Fame) in Oklahoma City; The Gilcrease in Tulsa; the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming; the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, and several others. The only two in the East are the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis and the Rockwell Museum of Western Art in Corning, New York.
- Cartersville GA | Etowah Indian Mounds Part 2
- Cartersville GA | Tellus Science Museum Part 3 [coming soon]
- Acworth, GA | Cauble Park Part 4 [coming soon]
- Kennesaw, GA | KSU Museum of History and Holocaust Education Part 5 [coming soon]
- Acworth, GA | Pickett’s Mill Battlefield and Homestead Part 6 [coming soon]
- Acworth, GA | RV Campsite – Red Top Mountain [coming soon]
- See other trips you can take like this one. Search by State
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5 Kids and a RV recommendations are based on personal experience and do not represent the business or not-for-profit we feature. We share our experiences in an effort to inspire parents and caregivers to engage and explore with their children.
5 Kids and a RV: “Let’s go learn something today.”