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art_galleriesVisitors to Ask Granny ( grandparents blog may have considered how best to make use of the longer days brought by the spring and summer months. If they have been asked to look after the grandchildren for a day or two, they will also have to consider how they can occupy their highly curious and active minds. There’s one activity that captures the imagination of both young and old and one which doesn’t even depend on good weather… visiting an art gallery.


Grandparents living in the United Kingdom are especially fortunate, as the country offers a welter of art galleries in every corner – north, south, east and west. Some may have admission charges, and others won’t – but if there’s one thing that can be assured, it’s that you probably won’t need to travel very far to find one. Most art galleries in the UK feature attractions and amenities that have nothing to do with the art. The shops that are attached to almost every one, for example, are a great source of gifts for grandchildren, from pencils and brushes to art DVDs and sketchbooks.


But of course, the main attraction for both generations will surely be the pieces on display, and there are some interesting temporary exhibitions showing this spring and summer for those living in or visiting the UK’s art galleries. Presently showing at Tate Modern in London, for example, is Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, which is the first full-scale retrospective of the popular pop artist in more than two decades. It will certainly interest any grandchild of yours who has ever buried their head in a comic book, and runs until 27th May. Any child under 12 can visit this or another Tate special exhibition for free if they are accompanied by an adult.


Tate does regularly change its main exhibition displays, so you don’t have to restrict yourself to the temporary exhibitions if you would like to see something new and interesting – even if you have visited the gallery before. At its best, there’s no question that art can positively impact on grandchildren’s and grandparents mental wellbeing, but some people have a taste for something a bit less new-fangled – like the many portraits spanning the centuries in the National Portrait Gallery, also in London. Other popular art galleries in the capital include Tate Britain and the National Gallery, the latter showing Western European painting spanning the 13th to 19th centuries.


However, no reader of the Ask Granny ( senior citizens online guide should neglect other parts of the UK, and the other galleries that may be closer to them. From Modern Art Oxford and Tate Liverpool to Manchester Art Gallery and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and many more besides, the UK regions have a real wealth of artistic spaces that are sure to inspire you and your grandchildren this spring and summer.