You’ve seen the photos in your Facebook feed: groups of smiling people holding nearly identical paintings. It’s the “Paint and Sip” phenomenon — friendly art outings with a side of Chardonnay or Shiraz — and the concept is descending on NYC in a major way. No less than four such spots have opened recently, and many are not only family-friendly, but offer classes specifically geared towards younger artists (and their parents), as well as birthday party options. Read on to learn how you and your tiny artist can get painting!
photo: Pinot’s Palette Park Slope via Facebook
The Paint and Sip Primer
Paint and sip spots are exactly what they sound like: places where you can hold a brush in one hand and a glass of wine (or whatever your beverage of choice is) in the other. Don’t worry if you’re nervous about bringing your child to a bar — the spots are more art studio than saloon. Rows of easels are set up facing an instructor, who walks you through the painting of that session, step by step. You can join a scheduled class with a predetermined painting, or book a private event for a chance to choose from hundreds of designs.
Costs range from about $30 to $60 per person, per session, and everything (except the drinks) is included. The location will provide paints, an easel, and an apron; you bring yourself and the kids, and your inner artists. Even without any previous artistic experience, you’ll be surprised at how great everyone’s art turns out. Who knew you were so creative?
photo: Painting with a Twist
Painting With a Twist
Painting With a Twist opened its doors on Cobble Hill’s busy Smith Street last month, and it’s a bright and inviting place to spend a few hours painting and relaxing. The space is relatively small, but cozy, and instructors and staff are super friendly. The recommended age is over 7, so leave the little ones at home for this one.
The Menu: Basic wine, beer, soda and small finger food is available, but you’re welcome to bring your own booze as well. No alcohol is allowed on family days, although 15 – 20 year olds are welcome to attend the regular painting sessions (sans drinking, of course!).
For the Kids: Family-friendly classes are often scheduled throughout the month here, but try to book with a friend because the singles and regular classes are more popular, and classes can be cancelled if a minimum number of participants isn’t met.
Parties: Choose from over 5,000 paintings for a two- or three-hour class, plus half an hour before and after the main event to mingle and relax. Space is small so groups are limited to 10. The space allows you to decorate, as well as bring your own food and drinks, or even hire a caterer.
Painting With a Twist
228 Smith St.
photo: Pinot’s Palette Dyker Heights via Facebook
A juggernaut of the paint and sip industry, Pinot’s Palette recently debuted two franchise locations in the city, both in Brooklyn. One, located on Park Slope’s 5th Avenue, is owned and operated by retired NYPD officer and Army vet Scott Drummond. In Dyker Heights, Tatiana Nicoli converted part of her store Boulevard Books and Café into a Pinot’s Palette studio.
Pinot’s Palette doesn’t designate special children’s days, simply because kids are always welcome, and many of the paintings offered here are kid-friendly. Keep in mind, though, that the evening paintings have an open bar and more difficult projects, so smaller children might get frustrated at the difficulty level. However, you and the kids can also stop by the Open Studio events, when the canvas is your, well, canvas; paint whatever you want on a 16×20 canvas (included in the price) or follow one of the self-guided paintings.
The Menu: Assorted drinks like coffee, wine, beer and soda can be purchased and consumed here, as well as some finger foods.
For the Kids: The Park Slope location holds afternoon sessions on weekends featuring kid-friendly works like the cute owl “Little Hootie Pie” or a colorful Sugar Skull, while in Dyker Heights, parents and kids work on “Mommy and Me” projects side by side.
Pinot’s Palette is also home to the “Little Brushes” program, during which children between 6 and 12 years of age are welcome to a fun, party-like atmosphere where they’re encouraged to play with colors and paints, make collages, and more.
Have a little girl scout in the family? Painting with Pinot’s Palette nets a badge for it. Check the locations for seasonal events as well — both Pinot’s Palettes are holding Halloween events such as pumpkin painting and parties in October.
Parties: Private parties can be booked for 10 to 15 people, for two- or three-hour sessions, bookended by half hour mingle periods. Not enough time? Pinot’s Palette lets you purchase more time to make the space your own. During children’s birthday parties, gather a party of 15 kids and the birthday child is free. Keep in mind: outside food is allowed, but outside drinks are not.
382 5th Ave.
7518 13th Ave.
Photo: courtesy Muse Paintbar and Eatery via Yelp.
For a larger, more vibrant painting environment, check out Muse Paintbar when it opens later in October. If you’re interested in the concept of sip and paints, but aren’t sure if you’re completely sold on it, be on the lookout for opening of Muse since the first few nights are likely to feature discounted rates.
The Menu: Muse doesn’t just have a bar, it has an entire kitchen, with platters, sandwiches and desserts for the entire family to enjoy.
For the Kids: Regularly-scheduled family nights feature kid-friendly paintings that little fingers can keep up with. Typically priced at $29 per person, the family day events are one of the cheaper options. Kid classes (and parties) are lead by instructors experienced with teaching children.
Parties: The loft-like space can accommodate up to 50 kids, making it ideal for a big birthday bash. Muse has pre-set times for private kids parties, but they also allow you to come in earlier to decorate. You can also bring your own drinks, food and cake — though the space will have kiddie finger food on offer.
Muse Paint Bar
329 Greenwich St.
Have you been to a paint and sip spot with the family? Tell us about it in the comments!