Mini Monets: 5 Great Chicago Art Activities for Kids

Easel Art Studio (Photo: Courtesy Easel Art Studio)

The thought of schlepping your child through some of the most coveted art collections in the world may not seem like a good idea at first, but Chicago encourages budding artists from an early age. From magnificent museums to creative classes, there is something for art lovers big and small. Here are five worth checking out:

  1. The Art Institute of Chicago. This can’t miss attraction for adults is actually the perfect introduction to fine art for the whole family. On the weekends, The Artist’s Studio inside the museum offers kids the chance to make their own art and meet guest artists. If you can plan ahead, special workshops — from photography to animation — are available for tots to teens. And as long as they are under 14, admission to the museum (including the Artist’s Studio) is free, making it an inexpensive venture as well.
  2. Easel Art Studio. Perhaps you have a petite Picasso on your hands who just can’t wait to create. The Bucktown neighborhood is home to a unique kids art studio that offers drop-in classes beyond crayons and finger paints. Jewelry making, architecture or oil painting, perhaps?
  3. Museum of Contemporary Art. Start ’em young — in this case before they can walk — as this modern art museum offers regularly scheduled and uber popular guided tours for moms and dads with strollers in tow. There are also varying themed family days throughout the year with projects and games to match.
  4. The Wishcraft Workshop. From art to crafts to sewing, this studio focuses not just on the project at hand but also fostering character, confidence and curiosity. Crafternoons are relaxed drop-in sessions with materials readily available, perfect for afternoons where the weather fairs less than favorable.
  5. Oz Park. Follow the yellow brick road to this “Wizard of Oz” themed park complete with life-sized sculptures of Dorothy, The Tin Man, The Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion. The “Emerald Garden” is a picturesque place to picnic amongst the flowers and the little ones will run for hours in “Dorothy’s Playlot” with plenty to climb on.