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Community art space in South Philly rolls out quirky programming for local kids

Josh Middleton

Story time with drag queens, mermaid-tail sewing classes and build-your-own teepee workshops: Those are just some of the creative kids’ programs at Lume Creative Learning Studios, a community arts center that opened this summer on East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly.

Pronounced “loom,” the business is the brainchild of former Philadelphia art teacher and mother of two, Lauren Parker, who says she wanted to open a spot that mirrors the zaniness and diversity of the neighborhood and provides local families a forward-thinking art space that stands out.

“We have a Lume mood that we’re trying to accomplish when coming up with programming,” she says. “Is it quirky? Is it relatable? Will it fit in our neighborhood? Our goal is to be a good part of this community.”

lume philadelphia
Drag queen storytime

Lume is reaching out to moms and pops in the area this fall through an after-school arts program complete with pickup at schools within walking distance of the shop. Parker says the program will be literature-based, with activities inspired by books she picks up from the local library every week. “We’ll also make room for homework time, reading and art making,” she says.

No kids in the house? You can still get in on the fun with a series of adult programming most Tuesdays through Fridays. Some of the grownup activities include book clubs, BYOB craft nights such as a Dirty Embroidery Workshop and yoga for tired moms. Of course, you’re also welcome to swing by for drag queen story time, because who wouldn’t want to do that?

Looking for more things to do in Philadelphia with kids? Check our guide to the best family-friendly events and attractions.

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