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Art classes at Unicoi Art Studio
Art classes at Unicoi Art Studio

Art classes for kids

Your budding artists will love painting, sewing and wheel throwing at these art classes for kids

By Samantha Lande and Morgan Olsen
The world is a canvas to your mini Monets—the proof is in the colorful marks all over your walls and floors (and on tables at Chicago restaurants). It's time to channel that artistic energy into a less damaging direction by checking out one of these art classes for kids in Chicago. Whether you have a budding fashion designer who wants to learn sewing or a pint-sized Picasso whose paintings you think are worthy of Chicago museums (in your totally unbiased opinion), these art studios will help them get the creative juices flowing. Plus, many of these spots offer great birthday party ideas.

Art classes for kids

Color Wheel Studio

Kids Bucktown

Contemporary artist Donald Jackson opens his studio to teach kids about fine art and cognitive development. His classes are organized by color and corresponding age groups. For instance, "Red," ages 2–3, focuses on scribbling and tactile exploration, teaching kids about the basics of drawing and painting. In "Green," kids ages 5–6 will keep their own sketchbook and discuss their work. Classes start at $125 and can be four- or eight-week sessions.

Hyde Park Art Center
Photograph: Courtesy of Hyde Park Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center

Art Arts centers Kenwood

Serving little ones and teens, Hyde Park Art Center provides visual arts education to youth of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels. Sign up for courses devoted to comics, darkroom photography, drawing and ceramics. Classes are offered in five- or 10-week sessions and run $190 and up. Specialized summer camps are available for $395 and up, and financial aid is available. 

Photograph: Ian Spula

Old Town School of Folk Music

Things to do Cultural centers Lincoln Square

With a variety of classes using literature-based curriculum, Old Town School of Folk Music has something to offer kids as young as 2 and as old as 13. The little ones can learn the art of scribbling, while the pre-teens can dabble in drawing comics. Most classes are offered once per week for eight weeks and go for $160–$256. 

Easel Art Studio

Kids Classes and workshops Bucktown
This intimate Bucktown spot focuses on art for the small set from 11 months to 6 years old. Classes vary each session but include fun topics like mixed media, food art, sculpture and animal art. Classes generally cost $150–$200 for an eight-week session, and parents have the option to purchase a Class Pass ($220) to attend eight classes that fit with their schedules. 

Kids Clay Room

Kids Sheffield & DePaul

These ceramic classes are for kids who love to get messy—with a purpose, of course! Younger kids can explore clay through building their favorite stories, while older kids (9 and up) can try their hand at throwing at the wheel. Classes are on rolling admission and start at $120.

Screen printing class at Lillstreet Art Center
Photograph: Joe Tighe

Lillstreet Art Center

Art Arts centers Uptown

This giant artist-filled warehouse offers some pretty unique kids classes for ages 2 and up from creating stepping stones and bird baths to targeting motor development and social skills through all-encompassing courses. Individual workshops start at $30 while multi-week programs start at $155. 


The Paintbrush

Kids Sheffield & DePaul

The focus here is hands-on art but with music appreciation infused into every session. Classes are geared toward children ages 1–12 and include a 3D workshop, siblings class, sketching at the museum and more. Classes start at $265 and typically run for four, eight or 10 weeks each.  

Kids art classes at School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Photograph: Courtesy of School of the Art Institute of Chicago

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Things to do Schools and universities Loop

Where better for kids to learn about art than from a prestigious art school in conjunction with one of the best art museums in the country? The SAIC offers classes for kids ages 4–9 that are divided by age group and cover multiple art forms. Kids take frequent trips to the museum and create projects based on what they see there.


Unicoi Art Studio

Kids North Center

Creativity is key at this art studio. Younger kids can participate with a parent or caregiver in family art courses and a playdough play group. Morning and after-school classes are also available for the older set and include a variety of options for every interest. Session start at $75. 

The Wishcraft Workshop

Kids North Center

All of the classes offered here have a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) component, something many kids start learning in preschool. And just because it's learning doesn't mean it can't be exciting with classes like "Gotta Craft 'Em All," focusing on hand-sewn toys, "World Piece," all about storytelling, and "AltMath AltArt," where kids are encouraged to apply math in art. Parents can buy individual classes or purchase a five-visit drop-in card for $95. 


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