Learn from the masters

•Art Institute of Chicago 
111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
(312) 443-0849

•Museum of Contemporary Art 
220 E. Chicago Ave.Chicago 
(312) 280-2660

Encourage your child’s inner Picasso or Kahlo this spring by checking out the creative classes and workshops offered at Chicago’s world-class art museums: The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art. By taking part in a hands-on class, children will come to better appreciate museum visits and you’ll have a chance to check out the latest exhibits.

Start with a stop at the Art Institute’s Kraft Education Center to take part in the Artist’s Studio program: On Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year and select Thursdays and Fridays from June to August, families can work together on a take-home art project related to special exhibitions and items in the museum’s collection. No advance registration is required and, best of all, the program is free.

The younger set, age 3-5 (accompanied by an adult), will enjoy the Little Studio program: Each month a new topic is explored via art-making activities. Again no advance registration is required. Drop in from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on select Saturdays and Sundays for this free program. Kids age 6 and up (with an adult), will appreciate the Drawing in the Galleries program, which combines looking at art in the galleries with drawing activities. Trained art educators will present basic drawing materials and techniques to help kids develop both artistic and observational skills. Advance registration is required, so e-mail familyprograms@artic.edu or call (312) 857-7161 to reserve a spot.

The Museum of Contemporary Art also offers fantastic family programs. Every second Saturday of the month, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., the MCA invites families to learn about modern art through hands-on art activities, scavenger hunts and Look‘n’ Learn stations. Admission is free for families with kids 12 and under and activities are appropriate for all ages. Don’t miss Spring Greening Family Day, April 11 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., where kids will create projects while exploring green practices via art. On May 9, Big Idea Family Day will celebrate ingenuity: collaborate on a community-based mural project and learn how to make public art in your own neighborhood.

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