You can only spend so much time at home before you begin to go stir-crazy. You’ve played with every Lego and watched too many episodes of Sesame Street. Enter these Chicago art studios for kids: a savior on rainy days or when you just feel like getting crafty. Everything is set-up for you and best of all, you don’t have to worry about making a mess in your own home.
2646 N Halsted
The Paintbrush has been around for 10 years, but in the last year moved from Lakeview to Lincoln Park. Classes here are all artist-based so children will learn about a famed artist before creating their own artwork inspired by the pro. While you can sign up for a weekly class or camp, the drop-in times are what really win me over. Just show up and let your kid hop from one art project to the next. A chalkboard wall, toys and puzzles are perfect for babies, while your toddler will love the various crafts, playfoam and easels all set to paint.
For older children, themed “kids night out” is one of the most popular Paintbrush attractions.
For instance, an upcoming Halloween night will feature pizza, a movie, and Halloween-inspired art projects.
Drop-in $10 to $15 depending on the day of week
2646 N. Halsted
Put the pedal to the metal at this pottery studio for kids ages 3 and up. Little ones will mold clay with cookie cutters, stamps and other fun tools while children ages 9 and up will learn to work on the wheel.
Located next door to The Paintbrush, children can create clay masterpieces during classes, workshops, or camps. It’s a wonderful way to introduce your children to a different art medium. Private lessons are also available.
1911 N Milwaukee
Located in Bucktown, Easel hosts a variety of unique classes from “claymation” to “story art.” Sign-up for an eight week session or pop in for a single class. The teachers have a passion for art and have great patience for little students. If classes aren’t your thing, Open Art allows your child to explore an array of art mediums in a less structured environment. This October, consider coming in for Halloween pumpkin carving night which includes all materials, dinner and a goodie bag. No need to worry about clean-up!
Open Art $15
Drop-in class $25 to $30 depending on the class
2059 W Belmont
Since 1999, Unicoi has been teaching children to use their own creativity to explore and learn in a safe, structured environment. Freestyle Family Art for children 18 months and up features various stations for kids to explore such as art, toys and books. Older kids will enjoy “Happy Hands Art Class” where they will use tactile materials like clay and oil pastels to draw and sculpt or “Young Artist Club” where they will learn to sketch and paint. Continue to check out the website for details about fun workshops like “make your own jump rope.” A Halloween party on October 24th will feature arts and crafts, a talent show, raffle, face painting, and Halloween treats.
Drop-in class starts at $18
3907 N Damen
Wishcraft Workshop has been in business since 2008 and more recently moved from Roscoe Village to a beautiful, spacious studio on Damen. Wishcraft focuses on esteem building classes to help students become creatively confident. An after-school art program, classes, camps, workshops and drop-in are all part of the fun. In addition to classic art classes, Wishcraft is particularly unique for their speciality creative courses like Sewing, Fashion, Science-Art, Creative Play, Music, Kitchen Math and more. Drop-in art “crafternoons” are available, as well. To get in the Halloween spirit, kids can design their own costume in the Sew Spooky workshops that run throughout October. Teen and adult classes are also offered.
Drop-in $25 and up