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Art Hotspots in Philly & the 'Burbs


Art Museums

The Barnes Foundation, Phila.
On the Barnes’ packed slate of family-friendly programming: ARTime for preschoolers, ArtKids for grade and middle schoolers and all-inclusive ArtSee activities sync up themed crafts with exhibits and events. This month, celebrate Vincent van Gogh’s birthday. $$$$

Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford
Discover new techniques at the Sunday morning Family Workshops and introduce art to the preschool crew at the Thursday morning Read-Alouds, where tots listen to a story, tour the galleries and create their own masterpieces. $$$

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Phila.
Before heading to the free Family Arts Academy workshops (think finger puppets and mural-making), grab a Family Gallery Kids’ Guide that asks young museum-goers to compare one image to another, fill in thought bubbles for the people in the paintings and write poetry inspired by the exhibits. $$$; FREE Sun. admission through April 6, 2014

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Phila.
Explore the museum with audio and printed guides that encourage kids to sketch, doodle and create in the middle of the galleries. Get even more hands-on through family studio time, monthly celebrations, art classes, Tours for Tots and Night Owl and Early Bird Read and Look programs. $$$$; Pay What You Wish Wed. after 5pm and first Sun. of the month

Woodmere Art Museum, Phila.
Kids in the museum’s Community Program maintain and construct the Children’s Garden, a work of art itself. The family fun here lasts all year long, with seasonal activities like the Straw Maze that, in 2013, was Harry Potter-themed. $$; FREE Sun. admission


Art Centers

Prices vary on drop-in workshops and children’s classes.

Abington Art Center, Jenkintown
With “Eureka!” drop-in Sunday workshops, a Sculpture Park and a variety of youth and teen classes (painting, cartooning, ceramics, manga, photography), the center fulfills its aim to let students touch, feel, create and be part of the art.

Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham
Go to a real art opening on March 16: The Center’s Annual Family Fun Day debuts an exhibit of works by local students. That’s also when the studio spaces and galleries open for clay and painting activities, improv demos and live performances.

The Clay Studio, Phila.
Programs like Stories Come Alive, which pairs story time with a related art project, put clay art right into kids’ hands. That’s also the goal of the studio’s on-the-go Claymobile, which travels the area to enhance organization and school arts programs.

Community Arts Center, Wallingford
Art-instilling options include the yearlong Art Start Preschool or the afternoon Lucky Charms program. Kids can join the Children’s Committee or the Chester Community Murals Program to help with projects around the venue and neighborhood.

Darlington Arts Center, Garnet Valley
Classes and after-school programs delve into the full world of visual arts: drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture. Biannually, students and teaching artists exhibit their work in a gallery.

Fairmount + Queen Village Art Centers, Phila.
Reinvented kids, tween and family classes, camps, parties, playgroups and weekend open studios focus on drawing, painting, mixed media, pottery, fashion and jewelry. Not sure where to begin? Trial classes are available.

Main Line Art Center, Haverford
At the center’s “Make, Give & Take Family Workshops,” create two masterpieces — one to keep and another to donate to a hospitalized child in need of a little cheer. In addition, kids can learn mixed media, cartooning and painting; teens, metalwork, pottery and photography classes; and families, fiberwork, calligraphy and ceramics.

Portside Arts Center, Phila.
Kids from toddlers to teens get creative with classes like robot making, mosaics and stained glass. They can also see art come to life at the annual Lehigh Avenue Arts Festival (April 26), where they’ll witness The Philly Puff inflatable sculpture contest.

Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, Phila.
Free Saturday kids’ classes that offer concurrent parent workshops and a drop-in Teen Lounge program that features innovative techniques taught by professional artists make art fun, functional and accessible to all.

Sweet Mabel Folk Art & Fine Craft Gallery, Narberth
Found objects are the medium of choice at this colorful gallery. Whether at a birthday party or after-school class, families dig through a buffet of junk and recycled materials and transform the pieces into interesting, inventive works of art.

Wayne Art Center, Wayne
Family workshops, Paint Like the Masters series and children’s programs on cartooning, painting and ceramics are just a few of the available offerings. The annual Young at Art exhibition (through March 17) celebrates the talents of junior artists. 


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