Best Spot to Leave Kids Nearly Unattended - 2007
James Turrell's Three Gems Sculpture
Created specifically for the northwest corner of the de Young Museum's Osher Sculpture Garden, Three Gems, is the first of several "skyspace's" by James Turrell. Though this glorified cement hole in the ground's artistic qualities are debatable, we can't overstate its role as a great place to keep kids distracted with minimal supervision. The sculpture is in essence a simplified walled maze. A main entrance corridor branches out into two pathways that meet in a circle, with an entranceway to the aforementioned light chamber on the opposite side. This means that adults can stand and chat at the entranceway while the kids run around in the interior. The stupa has acoustics that turn shouts and squeals into shuddering echoes. The kids have no escape but to return to the entrance, so adults can nearly ignore them as they sprint around hooting and hollering until they tire out, usually around 40 minutes. Hip art tip: Catch tourists inside making like they're in some sort of Buddhist meditation chamber. The kids' racket will drive them out within 90 seconds. Extra art points: For an additional 20-30 minutes of offspring distraction, create more family-friendly conceptual art by giving your own three gems Silly String inside the sculpture.