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Art classes for kids in New York City

Up-and-coming Picassos can express themselves through everything from painting to stop-motion animation at these fine arts classes.

Photograph Courtesy of Children's Museum of the Arts
Art Birthday Party at Children's Museum of the Arts

Little ones love new creative projects (and making a mess), so we thought it best to round up the coolest art classes for kids! After all, whether they're the next great painter to hang in the Museum of Modern Art or just messing around, art is simply good for the soul. When they're done with their masterpieces and just can't sit still another minute, be sure to check out NYC's coolest indoor activities and NYC play spaces to burn off some energy!

RECOMMENDED: 60 things to do with kids in NYC this winter

Art classes for kids in New York City

ArtsCetera

Tiny tykes master music and art basics in these parent-child programs. Arfie's Art and Play classes use movement, books and music activities to help kids make collaborative and solo masterpieces. Art Playgroup readies toddlers for preschool using the same blend of artsy activities, but with a gradual transition from free play to structured group time (Free trial class for new families, $25 drop-in). Ages 1½ to 4.

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Carroll Gardens

Bird River Studios

After searching (in vain) for the right arts programs for their three daughters, Tennessee-based artists Trevis and Sigrid Orr decided to open their own studio/gallery/class space in Williamsburg. Kids' workshops cover everything from ceramic sculpture to fashion sketching + illustration to a robotics lab. All ages.

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Williamsburg

Bronx River Art Center

This nonprofit specializes in ceramics, drawing and painting. The center even has a cartooning class, where kids learn to construct a story and ink their own comic books or graphic novels, and a program for advanced students working on building portfolios (application required). Ages 7 and up.

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The Bronx

Brooklyn Craft Farm

Not ready to commit to a series of classes? Sign up your child for these one-off crafting sessions, where participants create projects such as robot trash cans made from recyclables, appliqued tote bags, T-shirts and keychains. Ages 4 and up.

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Gowanus

Brooklyn Design Lab

While class titles change throughout the year at this Park Slope venue, your child will always get plenty of personal attention (classes typically have about six to eight students) and a creative outlet. Kids explore the design process with hands-on projects, such as comic books, bubble-wrap prints and putty sculptures. At the end of each session they display their work for their families in a final exhibition. Ages 1½ to 11.

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Park Slope

Children's Museum of the Arts

Kids can explore the art world at a museum designed just for them. The 10,000-square-foot institution has more than enough room to house its 2,000-piece collection of international children's art, including a huge center gallery to display it in. Artists lead workshops in classrooms, studios or the media lab—which boasts a sound station, clay bar and video-making equipment. CMA's WEE Arts Program ($395 per semester) fosters artistic expression in kids as young as 10 months old, while the Art Colony day camps ($595 per week) engage kids ages 6 to 15 in disciplines like drawing and sculpture. Kids can work their bodies as well as their minds on the museum's second floor, where they'll find interactive art displays and a ball pit.

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Downtown

Guggenheim Museum

If your child dreams of seeing his artwork on display, send him to the Gugg. In winter, tweens (ages 11–13) can enjoy an after school video production class ($200 for 5 Tuesdays) or a game design workshop (ages 11–14), while kids ages 8–11 will love midwinter break camp (Feb 16–20, $500). Ages 8 to 14.

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Upper East Side

HiArt!

The always ambitious, always high-energy classes at Hi Art! introduce kids to art in ways that some programs assume they aren't ready for (such as trips to city galleries and being subjects in indie documentaries). On offer in the studio are manga, opera, photography and more, plus a special program for girls in which students create their own stories and comics. Ages 4 to 15.

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Chelsea

Knitty City Classes

Knitters of all levels gather for this spot's kids club program, where beginners learn the basics and more-advanced kids delve into crocheting and felting. Students work on such creations as leg and arm warmers, iPod cases and scarves. Ages 7 and up.

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Upper West Side

Loop of the Loom

This pattern-free, improv-based hand-weaving program welcomes weavers of all skill levels to create art without fear of messing up. After a quick loom tutorial, even youngsters who have no prior experience can start forming one-of-a-kind tapestries, clothing and accessories. Kids who aren't ready to commit to 18 classes can take a mini session (one to four classes), where they'll zero in on one final product, such as a hat, scarf or shrug. Ages 5 to 14.

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Upper East Side

Supermud Pottery Studio

Elementary school students can choose their own hand-building and wheel-throwing projects to complete under the supervision of experienced instructors. Younger kids get their hands dirty by pushing, pinching, rolling, squishing and all-out playing with clay. Ages 8 to 12.

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Upper West Side

Textile Arts Center, Park Slope

This Park Slope craft hub offers kids an introduction to weaving, screen printing, felting, block printing, pattern reading, sewing and dyeing. Over the course of the semester, students make one-of-a-kind garments, bags and other housewares to take home and show off to their families. Ages 5 and up.

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Gowanus

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