Santa normally has his elves, but this year he needs the help of your troop. Ample assistance is required in making ornaments, top secret gifts, cookies, and gingerbread houses this season. Fit for any kid, crafty or not-so-much, here are seven workshops gearing-up for peak production. But hurry–spaces are filling-up in a flurry!

girl-holiday-craftsPhoto: James Emery via flickr

Ceramic Crafts at Color Me Mine
Lil’ Picassos can create a host of ceramic take-homes at the Color Me Mine location in Rockville, Md. The “Paint with Santa” workshop includes a story time, and painting a plate and an ornament. Share a cookie, hot cocoa, and photo with him! Got a babe on your hands? Bring ‘em to the “Oh Baby Twinkle Toes Workshop” where friendly staff will transfer hand- or foot- prints onto a plate, then decorate it into a Christmas tree or Menorah. Got independent elves? Drop them off at “Holiday Kids Night Out” where they’ll enjoy pizza and holiday craft making. No parental units allowed!

When: Various dates
Cost: Oh Baby Twinkle Toes Workshop ($30, Dec. 4, 6 p.m.–7:30 p.m.), Holiday Kids Night Out ($40, Dec. 18, 6:30 p.m.–9 p.m.), Paint with Santa ($45, Dec. 19, 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m.)

33 Maryland Ave., Suite 350 (Rockville, Md)
301-251-2010
Online: rockville.colormemine.com

Paper Ornaments at Brentwood Arts Exchange
Whether folding, cutting or gluing, take your paper-loving puppets to the Brentwood Arts Exchange. Be inspired by other artists! All materials will be provided on the house. But, if you’ve got special paper or mementos, feel free to bring them and incorporate into your creations.

When: Dec. 5, 2 pm-4 pm
Cost: Free

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3901 Rhode Island Ave. (Brentwood, Md)
301-277-2863
Online: arts.pgparks.com

Glass, Gingerbread, Painting, and Woodworking at VisArts
More dexterous elves (ages 7+), can come try their hands at making fused glass ornaments or learning basic woodworking skills. Glass ornaments make gorgeous baubles, sure to adorn your tree for many years to come. Got a carpenter in your crew? Let ‘em loose making wooden ornaments. They’ll add an extra woodsy smell to your already adorned home. Got a sweet tooth? Check out the gingerbread house workshop (ages 6+), where you’ll receive an already-assembled house to decorate to your heart’s content. All icing and candies supplied! For tiny tots (ages 2+), attend the “Juice & Canvas” workshop where pint-sized Rembrandts will get a partially sketched canvas to fill-in with paints.

When: Various dates
Cost: Ages 7+: Fused Glass Holiday Ornaments ($20 for first ornament, $7.50 for each additional ornament, Dec. 2, 12, 13, and 15), Festive Wooden Ornaments/Garland ($65 for 5 ornaments or one garland, Dec. 6, 12 p.m.–4 p.m.), Festive Wooden Reindeers ($65, Dec. 20, 12 p.m.–4 p.m.); Ages 6+: Gingerbread House ($20, Dec. 5, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. & 20, 12 p.m.–2 p.m., 3 p.m.–5 p.m.); Ages 5+: Juice & Canvas ($20, Dec. 1 & 15, 4 p.m.–6 p.m.)

155 Gibbs St., 3rd floor (Rockville, Md)
301-315-8200
Online: visartsatrockville.org

Christmas Cookie Exchange at Workhouse Arts Center
Your cute chef will get to make a TON of cookies at this workshop. From sugar cookies to snowflake cookies, the toughest decision will be whether to keep them all for themselves or give them away as presents. Bake and take (away) that morning, but learn skills to last for many holidays to come.

When: Dec. 12, 10 am-12 pm
Cost: $35 + $5 for fresh ingredients

9518 Workhouse Way (Lorton, Va)
703-584-2900
Online: workhousearts.org

Kids Club at Michaels
With locations throughout the D.C. metro, find your nearest Michaels for a last-minute session (at just $2 a pop). Though, feel free to register to reserve your spot! Crafts include clothespin Santa (or snowman or reindeer), Perla Santa coasters, and sparking snowflakes. Parental units can shop while the kiddos craft or be their helpful helper.

When: Various dates
Cost: Ages 3+, $2, check website for dates/times

Various locations
Online: michaels.com

(Secret) Gift Mania at Arlington Arts Center
Want to receive a super-secret gift from your pseudo-Santa? The mini-artists will be working with mixed media, learning about print-making, and incorporating a “found object” in their piece de resistance! They’ll even be wrapped before the adults come back to pick up the crafters! There are actually two separate events, for the younger (4-6 years) and older gift-givers (7-10 years). They’ll be sure to leave with a masterpiece fit to adorn the walls of your home.

When: Dec. 12, 12:30 pm–3 pm
Cost: $50

3550 Wilson Blvd (Arlington, Va)
703-248-6800
Online: arlingtonartscenter.org

Nature Gifts and Holiday Crafts in Fairfax County Parks
Fairfax County Parks offers a unique opportunity for history buffs to learn about the WWII era, plant a seed for a victory garden, write a letter to a soldier, and make a 1940s-era ornament at the “Holidays on the Home Front” workshop. For nature lovers, sign up for the “Making Nature Gifts Workshop” where natural items will be provided for making gifts with the help of naturalists. They’ll also meet live animals, watch 16 mm movies, and see a puppet show. Still haven’t decided on a holiday card? Let the kiddos make them at the “Holiday Craft Party”, while everyone enjoys teas and cookies.

When: Various dates
Cost: Ages 8+: Holidays on the Home Front ($12/$14 resident, non-resident, Dec. 5, 2 p.m.–4 p.m.); Ages 5+: Making Nature Gifts Workshop ($15/$17, Dec. 6, 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.), Holiday Craft Party ($12/$14, Dec. 12, 1 p.m.–3 p.m.)

Various centers
Online: fairfaxcounty.gov

What’s the coolest gift your kid has ever made for you or another family member? Tell us in the comments section below. 

–Lisa Ng