Looking for the perfect place (other than your dining room table!) to let your budding Picasso unleash his/her creativity? We’ve found the best art studios for kids in the city. So let them go sprinkle that glitter and shine on with their unique expression at one of these artistic havens. Read on for where to take your kids to create their next masterpiece!

Artisans in the Atelier

You can't beat starting off a Saturday at an art class in the beautiful Artisans in the Atelier setting. Kids ages 1-5 will love using their "hands and hearts" to create their own original works of art in this serene, encouraging environment.

Classes are held on the first Saturday of the month from 10-11 a.m. for $30 per workshop. More info and register online here.

The Gillispie School Atelier
7380 Girard Ave.
San Diego, CA
online: gillispie.org/our-programs/art-classes-in-la-jolla


Lux Art Institute

Lux Art Institute is a hub of inspiration for budding artists. Kids art classes (which meet for four weeks consecutively) are taught by local artists who are experts at mediums ranging from portraiture to jewelry making. There's also a four-week Kids-in-Residence program through which kids ages 5-12 meet with the Institute's current artist-in-residence to learn about the style, technique and ideas behind their work. Be sure to register early for the Lux Art Institute's summer art camp, as spaces fill quickly.

1550 S. El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
Online: luxartinstitute.org

Pachis Art Studio For Kids

Founded on the belief that kids are born creative, Pachis Art Studio for Kids in Liberty Station tops our list for peaceful environments where kids can feel confident expressing themselves artistically. The instructors promote open-ended art creation and support imagination and freedom––which is why they don't offer samples or color by number activities in their classes. All projects are explained and techniques are shown at the beginning of the art project time. Kids are given ideas, resources and enough supplies for them to work on their project as they wish. Owner and founder Juliana Flores credits “creativity spaces” for helping kids think outside the “art box,” encouraging self-expression, building self-esteem, and even cultivating outstanding, creative individuals. From after school classes, to drop-in art studio sessions and camps there are a variety of ways you and your creative genius can experience art at Pachis.  

2820 Roosevelt Rd.
Building 201, Ste. 102
San Diego, CA 92106
Online: mypachis.com

photo: Paintbox Studio

Paintbox Studio

'Sew' cool! Winner of San Diego Magazine’s Best Art and Sew Class in San Diego, Paintbox Art Studio is a one-stop shop for a budding imagination. Founded by UCSD grad Jaimee Brant, classes include both art and sewing and teach concepts of specific historical art movement and various art techniques. Students are invited to display their art at a quarterly show where anyone can drop in, look around and enjoy the art and sewn works. Great for kindergartners and up. Camps run each summer, click here for more information.

1101 Washington Pl.
San Diego, CA 92103
Online: paintboxartstudio.com

Art Beat Studio

Teach your favorite creative minds to follow the beat of their own drum when it comes to artistic expression. Kristel Boe, owner of ArtBeat, believes having an artistic outlet helps people of all ages find happiness, so she designed her studio around an instructional based artistic experience with wiggle room for creativity & artistic exploration. Visit the studio for a Paint and Play class or book an art teacher to come to you for a special event or party. Either way, you're guaranteed an experience that will leave you and your little one with a full heart and an inspired imagination.

4873 Santa Cruz Ave.
San Diego, CA 92107
Online: artbeatsandiego.com

Bravo School of Art

Young artists will love the classes, workshops and camps offered at this Liberty Station art studio. Each class has under ten students, which means more assistance for each child. Here's just a hint of what kids can do: paint their sneakers, make a paper mache bowl, or go globe-trotting with fun activities such as stagecraft, shadow puppetry and Kabuki makeup. Check out Bravo's calendar for details on classes, days, times and prices.

2690 Historic Decatur Rd., Studio 206
San Diego, CA 92106
Online: bravoschoolofart.com


Drawn2Art is a creative haven where kids can achieve big accomplishments. The thoughtful curriculum is based on the idea that artistic skill is learned and can be cultivated in every child. Whether your child is interested in sculpting or cartooning, Drawn2Art has a class or workshop that will get their creative juices flowing. They also offer a free introductory class for new students.

13173-10 Black Mountain Village
San Diego, CA 92129
Online: Drawn2art.com


One of the better known art studios in San Diego county, Monart has earned its credible reputation by teaching kids how to draw since 1992. Monart is more than just a studio, it's a specialized drawing method based on the best-selling book, 'Drawing with Children' by Mona Brookes. The method focuses on teaching children how to draw realistically while helping them build confidence and develop skills. Check out their schedule and sign your kiddo up for a free trial class to get started on their art adventure. Monart also offers plenty of camps throughout the county.

2590 Truxtun Rd., Ste 204
San Diego, CA 92106
Online: monart.com

Art Adventure Studio

Kids classes at Art Adventure Studio are designed not only to teach kids the technique of fine art, but to offer them a calm environment to create and explore their artistic side. The studio's beautiful light, art benches, easels and music will help your sweet pea tap into his creativity. Kids are able to work one-on-one with an instructor in a small group setting, giving them the opportunity to learn at their own pace. They also get to explore a variety of mediums you may not have lying around the house, like charcoal, chalk pastel, oil pastels, watercolors, acrylics and oils.

605 Vista Way
Oceanside, CA 92054
Online: Artadventurestudio.com

A Colorful Universe

Art aficionados will happily report that local favorite, A Colorful Universe, is out of this world. The full walk-in art studio offers pottery painting, clay impressions and canvas painting for the whole family. With awesome daily specials like Two for Tuesdays, when two people paint for the price of one, or Sunday Fun Day, when the studio fee drops from $6 to $1, the art studio is not only an inspiring outing but an affordable one too. Have a little one who wants to give making their own pottery a whirl? A Colorful Universe offers an after school children's clay class that teaches new techniques and skills each week.

1523 San Elijo Rd. Suite 106
San Marcos, CA 92078
Online: acolorfuluniverse.com

Little Artists

With multiple locations throughout San Diego, Little Artists is earning a reputation as a go-to spot for art education. Kids who sign up for their program will develop a thorough understanding of basic drawing skills and techniques and then move on to watercolors, acrylics and oils. Most kids begin drawing from pictures that are broken down into simple steps. This prepares them for more challenging subject matters such as a photograph or still life. Little Artists teachers are qualified art educators who are trained in all drawing and painting media. Best suited for kids age 4 - teens.

Multiple locations
Online: mylittleartists.com

––Aimee Della Bitta & Beth Shea


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