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!).
Downtown Parks: Various downtown-area parks are having drop-in visual art events over the summer. Some examples: Seattle Re-Creative will be having 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday morning craft workshops alternating between Westlake Park and Occidental Park through the summer. Check here for exactly where and when. Silver Kite Community Arts will also have Tuesday workshops alternating between Westlake and Occidental Parks, from noon to 2 p.m. Some of these are arts and crafts, while others are performing arts. Check the calendar here for exactly where and when. On Fridays in July and August from noon to 2 p.m., Freeway Park is hosting painting parties, creating kites for the park’s annual art-kite installation.Various locations downtown
Olympic Sculpture Park: Kids art and craft workshops are part of the fun at Summer at SAM 6 to 8 p.mThursdays July 11 through Aug. 22 at the Sculpture Park. Saturdays July 13 through Aug. 17 are Family Days, with art-making as part of the activities. Family friendly interactive open studio times run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on most Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 20.2901 Western Ave, (206) 654-3100
Kruckeberg Botanic Garden: Drop by this garden between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Fridays Junethrough August 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
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 First 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
South Park Community Center: 8319 Eighth Ave S
Seattle ReCreative: This nonprofit 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: 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 Paintdrop-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 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and make something out of clay that will be fired. Cost is $5 for the clay, $10 for firing and glazing.
1116 108th Ave NE, Bellevue 425-637-8100
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