I love a good creative space stocked with papers, paints, glue, and clay where I can let my kids get
sloppy artistic without worrying about cleaning up afterward. In the Berkeley/Oakland area, I’ve been impressed by the sheer number of hands-on art studios for kids and (sometimes) their parents.
Here are four local art spaces that I like for families and one that I still hope to visit:
1. Sticky Art Lab
Started by my friend Rachel, a preschool teacher and parent with a grand vision, Sticky has drop-in and drop-off programs for kids with different ages and interests. The shelves are filled with typical art supplies as well as scraps like boxes and bottle-caps ready for a new life. Located in Berkeley, visits are $8 per person. The price of classes and camps vary. Read more about Sticky Art Lab.
2. Brushstrokes Studio.
Jessica Williams runs Brushstrokes Art Studio as a premium paint-your-own pottery place with a few surprises. You might not know that they also offer camps, date nights, and ladies/moms’ nights (with wine!!) as well as a to-go program where you can host the party on your own turf. Visits typically include a studio fee and the price of the painted objects or mosaics. Fees are waived for the donation of canned goods on certain evenings. Read more about Brushstrokes Studio.
3. Le Petit Matisse.
Alameda art studio, Le Petit Matisse, was started for little ones age 1.5 to 10 by Eza. The format is mostly class-driven but there are occasional open studios as well. Drop-in Open Studio goes on for two hours and it costs $14. All materials are super duper non-toxic (like edible for my 8 month old!). Stop by and learn more about Le Petit Matisse.
The Museum of Chilren’s Art in Oakland is a much-loved art studio and playspace for children. A wonderful hands-on messy art studio with little aprons for kids age 18 months on up. Closed Monday and Tuesday. $8 per child (no charge for adults).
5. 4 Cats Art Studio.
This art studio in the Berkeley hills has a class structure and schedule that have proved challenging for me to fit into my life. I hope you have better luck and can report back. Here’s our write-up on 4 Cats based on the helpful franchise manager answering my questions.
Where do you like to go with kids to get inspired and messy with art?