ArtLyst Has Compiled some cool things for kids to do this holiday. Many are Free or inexpensive
Most kids and their parents are preparing for the long Christmas break and as you know after the novelty of being off school ends, boredom sets in. ArtLyst has had a long trawl through affordable Christmas activities, all the way from tiny tots through to talented teens.
Top recommendations for seriously arty kids go to drop-in sessions run by the National Gallery, particularly Noel Paine’s Snow Colours workshop. We’d like to see more thoughtful workshops in this ilk… We also had a look at Christmas courses for young people run by art schools, but in line with the dark times of arts education, they were seriously expensive (grr!!!); we therefore love the well programmed Late Shift season at the National Portrait Gallery for budding young artists (and it’s entirely free). We’ve only listed the drawing activities, but we also heartily recommend the rest of the Late Shift season to fill up those December days with arty nourishment (while us grown ups are still recovering from our Christmas dinners!).
For younger children, most of the activities are free. In a few cases the galleries charge a small fee to cover materials, which we think is pretty alright, considering there’s no gluey glittery mess to clear up afterwards!
Whatever you choose to do with the kids, ArtLyst wishes you a handmade art filled Christmas, full of endless painterly mess and creative fun. Here are some creative suggestions to keep the little ones busy and active over the holiday.
1. Wallace Collection, Drop-In Art Workshop: Christmas Crackers! (Ages 5+)
Come along at anytime to make a fun cracker and belt out some carols with Emma Bryant and Edwina Mileham. Don’t forget to bring a cracking joke!
20 Dec, 2-4pm Free
2. National Gallery, Drop-In Art: Creatures in the Shadows (Ages 5-8)
Explore what lurks in the dark with artist Sarah Tombs – create your own shadow puppet and tell your own story about what happens next.
Education Centre Foyer 28 Dec, 11am–1pm/ 2–4pm Free
3. Wallace Collection, Winter Wonderland (Ages 7+)
Join artist Agnieszka Arabska and create your own decorative snowflake or star to decorate a wintery window. Get inspired by patterns, furniture, ceiling roses and chandeliers before using special paint, glitter and gold to transfer your design into a shimmering and ornamental sticker.
29 Dec, 10:30 – 12:30pm/2-4pm £7
4. National Gallery, Studio Workshop: Snow Colours (Ages 9-12)
Is white really white? Join painter Noel Paine to investigate the colour white and make your own linocut print inspired by the light, shadow and colours of snow scenes in the collection.
Education Centre Foyer 28 Dec, 11.15am–1.15pm/ 2.15–4.15pm Free
5. Somerset House, Drop-In Workshop: Festive Lanterns & the Pom Pom Club (families)
Light up the winter days by making festive paper lanterns and sparkly decorative pom-poms using recycled materials.
Learning Centre, Embankment level, South Building. 17 Dec, 11am-1pm & 2-4pm Free
6. Somerset House, Drop-In Workshop: Ice Palaces (families)
Be inspired by the beautiful skating rink to make a glittering miniature 3-D wintery scene complete with tiny skaters.
Learning Centre, Embankment level, South Building. 7 & 14 Jan, 11am-1pm & 2-4pm. Free
7. V&A, Make It: Glitter & Glow (families)
Make beautiful boxes to keep your secrets in.
Art Studio, Sackler Centre, 27 Dec-31 Dec, 10.30am–12.30pm/ 2–4pm £3 per child
8. Tate Modern, Drop-In Open Studios (families)
Visit Open Studio to experiment, play and create with ideas and materials before or after visiting the related artworks in the free collection displays.
Clore Learning Centre, 29 Dec – 1 Jan, 11am-6pm Free
9. Saatchi Gallery, Drop-In Christmas Cards Workshop (families)
Just for Christmas time the Education room at the Saatchi Gallery will become a print-making studio. Come make your own stamp and card, just draw into the foam surface and print.
Education Room, 18 Dec, 11am-4pm £3 per card
10. National Portrait Gallery, Late Shift: Artist drop in drawing sessions (16-adult)
Get creative and take inspiration from portraits in this artist-led drop-in drawing session (all materials provided).
See signage on the day for location, 16 Dec, 23 Dec, 30 Dec, 6 Jan 18.30-19.15/ 19.45-20.30 Free