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The Best Seattle-Area Drop-in Summer Arts and Crafts

Photo: Gina Lee Kim/Flickr


Drop-in arts and crafts classes are a wonderful way for children to explore their creativity and dabble in different artistic mediums – sometimes with a masterful artist – all without having to make a big summer camp commitment or even making a reservation days in advance. And, someone else invents the projects, assembles the materials, and takes on the mess (high five, parents!).



Seattle Art Museum: After getting inspired by the exhibits in the art museum, stop by the Chase Open studio, where kids can make their own art based on the themes on display in the big gallery. Free with museum admission.

1300 1st Ave (206) 654-3100


Seattle Children's Museum: In the Imagination Studio, families can paint, create with clay, or design and build in the museum's recycled sculpture area. Each month, a new project is crafted from the theme of the month. When you arrive at the museum, pick up a free time-ticket for a session in the studio. 10 months to 10 years old; free with museum admission. Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. , Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10:05 a.m. to 4 p.m.

305 Harrison St (206) 441-1768


Gage Academy of Art: Gage’s youth program invites young artists to attend its Free Fridays with Teen Art Studios, an evening drop-in studio art program that provides quality art training to students of all skill-levels year-round a its Capitol Hill location (6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) , the South Park Community Center (7 p.m.  to  10 p.m.) or the Bellevue Arts Museum (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.). Various professional working artists visit each month to teach a specific art form. No registration is required and both art supplies and refreshments are provided. Teens ages 13 to 18; free.

Capitol Hill: 1501 10th Ave E (206) 323-4243 206.323.4243206.323.4243 206.323.4243
South Park Community Center: 8319 8th Ave S


Seattle ReCreative: This  non-profit organization’s mission is to expose kids to creative reuse and arts education. It hosts a "Paint Playground" from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, where tots ages 1 to 5 can alternate between both an art-making space and creative play area.  Purchase a six-class punch card for $60 or drop in for $12 a day ($6 if you have a sibling there too.)

8408 Greenwood Ave N (206) 297-1528



Bellevue Arts Museum: On Get Crafty Saturdays!, families work together on projects inspired by current exhibits.  Kids ages 4 to 10; $4 materials fee. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The Gage Academy of Art hosts Free Fridays at Teen Art Studios, a drop-in program for teens aged 13-18, where students explore new forms under the guidance of working professional artists. 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays.

510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue (425) 519-0770


KidsQuest Children's Museum: A few days a week, this museum hosts sessions for kids in its Art Studio. Play with Paint drop-in sessions take place 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. during the first and third Wednesdays of the month. On the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, it's time for Play with Clay. The Wednesday sessions are free with museum admission. The first and third Fridays of the month are Fired-up Fridays, in which kids can come in from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and make something out of clay that will be fired. Cost is $5 for the clay, $7 for firing and glazing.

1116 108th Ave NE, Bellevue (425) 637-8100



Kruckeberg Botanic Garden: Drop by this garden between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Fridays June 8 through August 31  for Garden Tots. Enjoy a simple plant activity, a themed garden exploration and a craft project, such as making root puppets, fern prints, seed pod boats and conifer gnomes. Kids ages 2 to 6; $10 per family or free for members.

20312 15th Ave NW, Shoreline (206) 546-1281


Imagine Children's Museum: Families can get creative in the Art Studio. On some days (check online), take part in Art Rocks! crafts, such as kite making, pirate hat creation, and art using watercolors. Kids 4 to 10; free with museum admission.

1502 Wall St, Everett (425) 258-1006, ext. 1000


Bainbridge Island

Kids Discovery Museum: Each week in this museum's Art Studio, explore a new medium or try your hand at a themed activity or new project. Activities are prepared by KiDiMu teachers and are self-guided; materials provided. The studio is open during most museum hours, but may be closed when the room is being used for a camp, birthday party, or other special event. Kids 18 months and older with a parent; free with museum admission.

301 Ravine Lane, Bainbridge Island (206) 855-4650



Tacoma Art Museum: The TAM Art Studio, open during museum hours, offers opportunities for kids of all ages to explore art concepts, materials, techniques and themes related to the exhibitions. The studio is a help yourself and clean-up-after-yourself affair. All ages; free with museum admission (children age 5 and under free).

1701 Pacific Ave, Tacoma (253) 272-4258



Hands On Children's Museum: A MakeSpace program, led by a museum artist-in-residence, takex place noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Families can design, tinker, experiment and create using all sorts of tools, which can range from electric scissors to screen presses to sewing machines. Kids 4 to 10; free with museum admission.

414 Jefferson St NE, Olympia (360) 956-0818






Editor's note: This updated article was originally published in June of 2014.

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