Hangout with kids in Lagos: Nike Art Gallery

This is the second post in the series for www.hangoutnigeria.com on things to do with kids in Nigeria.

Location:

In Lagos:

Nike Art Gallery,
No. 2, Elegushi Road,
3rd Roundabout, Epe Expressway,
Ikate Cross Road, Lekki Phase 1 Peninsula,
Lekki Lagos, NIGERIA.
Telephones:
+234 80 340 96656
+234 80 330 36969
+234 1 270 5964
+234 1 270 5965

  In Abuja:

Nike Art Gallery & Workshops,
Kilometre 7.5 Abuja International Airport Road,
Piwoyi Village, Abuja FCT, NIGERIA.
Telephone: +234 80 23131067

*Location information is from http://nikeart.com

Entry Fees: Free

Programs and facilities: I was quite excited to see that they had art classes for children and adults but when I called to inquire, I was told the classes were currently suspended due to a shortage of Art teachers. They do offer birthday packages and programs for visiting schools.

There is a shop where you can buy fabric, jewelry and artwork

Age Range: Infant – Adult

While an art gallery might not seem like the place to hangout with kids, it is. There are many benefits of introducing children to art early including self-expression, creativity, problem solving, sensory exploration etc. Taking children to an art gallery allows them to practice observation, self-control (can’t touch the art work), and appreciation . More than all of that, I believe Art is a human ned that is good for the spirit. Even little babies are drawn to beautiful art work.

This specific gallery is great because of the beautiful story it tells about our country’s history and culture. Thanks to cable television and global imports, a lot of children know little or nothing about our history or culture. The guides provide information and facts about the the art on request.

The other good thing about an Art Gallery is that both you and the child(ren) are able to enjoy the experience.

Our Experience: If you frequently travel the Lekki-Epe expressway, you’ve probably see and wondered about the tall engraved white building with a red roof that says Nike Art. I know I did. I finally decided to check it out. We visited the Nike Art gallery when my son was 10 months old. I wasn’t sure if he would enjoy it but I really wanted to check it out. Well, he really enjoyed it and was more engaged than I expected! He walked around and stopped to take a better look at the things that interested him.

Everything from the gate, the landscaping and the entrance of the gallery is a wonderful visual and sensory experience. There were sculptures in the courtyard that first caught his attention. We then walked into the beautiful open gallery. From the entrance you can see all the floors and the artwork hanging on the different levels. It was quite breath-taking.

Looking at a picture of the founder, Nike
Looking at a picture of the founder, Nike

We went on a very hot Lagos day and walking inside was like walking into an oasis. It was so cool (temperature and otherwise) and beautiful.

The ladies who welcomed us at the front desk were very nice and courteous. We did not meet the owner Nike, but have heard that she is very welcoming and that meeting her is a wonderful experience. Maybe next time.

What would I like to look at?
What would I like to look at? It’s a very big gallery with 4 stories and a lot of space. He was just starting to walk around this time and enjoyed the space and opportunity to practice
"Wow!"
I was surprised by how engaged he was.

I think Nike gallery is especially great for children because it is spacious, the pictures and art are hung at different levels with a lot at the child’s level so they can actually enjoy them.

Those look familiar
Those look familiar!

There were a lot of realistic, three-dimensional, and mixed media artworks. These seemed to be the ones that attracted him the most. There’s definitely something for everyone to enjoy.

Hi!
Hi!

We didn’t make it past the first floor the first time we went but have been back to check out the second floor. We plan to go back and see the other floors soon.

Rating: We had a great experience and I will definitely be back many times.  I highly recommend this place as an educational and calm hangout spot for children of all ages. I give it 4 hangout Nigeria stars. The one star penalty is for my disappointment about the classes. I do hope they come back soon!

If and when you do decide to go, check out these tips for making museum trips fun for children. They apply to art galleries too.

Have you been to Nike Art Gallery before? What was your experience? If you do check it out, let us know what you think.

Live a Good Life!

p.s. If you’re thinking of what to do this weekend, check out the Fountain of Life Family fair and marketplace. There will be rides and other activities and marketplace with vendors of all kinds of things. Nduoma will be there! We have a table at the market place and will have some toys and children’s activities available for purchase. Do say hi if you stop by.

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