How do you encourage your little one’s creativity without turning your home into a maker’s lab? Take a family field-trip to a local art studio! Not only do the talented folks behind these creative meccas know how to inspire your mini-Monet’s imagination, but by venturing out of the craft closet and into an art studio you get to enjoy watching the process without worrying about the clean-up! Scroll on for 10 must-visit local art studios your resident artist will love to explore.
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
'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
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
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
If your kiddo is destined to be the next big DIY superstar, venture out to Mint Studio. The beautifully designed space has something for everyone, offering a wide range of programs for different age groups. Preschool kiddos can start their day off right with Mint Mornings, which are designed for pint-sized artists ages 3-5 years-old. These daily classes start at 9 a.m. and offer a wide range of topics like sensory play, art, music, story time and more. Older kids (age 5-18) can get their after-school art fix from 3-5 p.m. in the Kids Space Studio with cool classes like kids yoga and art, calligraphy and music and maker's space. They're also a go-to destination for parties and celebrations. Take a peek at their idea boards or call to speak directly to an event planner.
5965 Village Way, Unit 105
San Diego, Ca 92130
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
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
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
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
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.
Where do you take your kids to get creative? Share in the comments below!
––Aimee Della Bitta