The Nasher Art Gallery just off the campus of Duke University is an absolutely spectacular art gallery. When I visited only their permanent collection was open, but despite not getting to see everything, I was incredibly impressed. The permanent collection has an amazing assembly of art. Items from Greek and Roman times, portraits from the 1800s and even 'modern' art. The descriptions of items are clear and easy to read and there's some interactive pieces that might interest the kids.
If you're going to the Nasher, make a point of having a meal at the Cafe. The menu features local, organic products from local farms. The price range for food is a down right bargain when compared to most museum menu prices: Soups $4; Salads $6 - $8; Sandwiches $6; Plates $7 - $12; Sweets $4; Wine by the glass & carafe $5 - $10. More info is available at this http://www.nasher.duke.edu/museum_cafe.php#cafeinfo
And any visit to a museum wouldn't be complete without a stop at the gift store. The Nasher doesn't disapoint here either - I picked up a super cool purse and even a few Christmas gifts that were on sale.
Hours of the Nasher are as follows:
Monday – closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday – Noon to 5 p.m.
If you're in the Duke University area, check this place out!