4 Hands-On Places Where Kids Can Get Creative

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Baby it’s sooo cold outside—if the playroom walls are closing in and you feel like you’re stuck in a Frozen time-warp, head out to the great indoors where kids can get out of their “I’m so bored” rut and seriously get their hands dirty (hello no clean up!). Read on for 4 out-of-the-box, interactive experiences, so kids can have a ball and you can relax—knowing you won’t have to orchestrate art projects or pick up glitter off the carpet.  

featured image via Riverside Art Studio

Psst! Don’t forget to hashtag #NJMOM and tag @njmom and your little cuties could be featured in our next photo round-up. 

Here are 4 interactive experience studios to visit in NJ:

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Our Open Studio is a unique destination where artists & makers can drop in to create whatever they have in mind that day. Use our materials to build, design, think-up and create. You are free to work on your own, in groups, and ask our facilitators any questions you have. We are here to provide a hand, invitation to create or creative prompt if needed. Come by today from 11-4pm to join us. Just drop-in, no reservation needed 😃 . . . . . #thingstodoinnj #artinnj #processdrivenart #openendedart #nutleynj #nutleyarts #nutley #nutleyneighbors #shoplocal #makersgonamake #makerkids #artteachersofinstagram #makerspacekids #artstudioforkids #newjerseyart #njartstudio #essexcountynj #essexcountycreates

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Re-Deme Studio in Nutley

Worried that all those art supplies your littles are using are littering our planet? At this cool spot, your worries can be put to rest. The art studio uses clean upcycled and repurposed materials to unleash inner creativity, allowing your kids to think, express and reflect to create lasting masterpieces. Once a month, Re-Deme hosts a free, drop-in open studio session where children of all ages can find something fun to create and explore, like comic book art and jewelry making at their own pace (local artists are on-hand to advise and help out the creative process). While they’re creating, you’re fueling up at the coffee bar and getting in some me-time, perusing the on-site gallery featuring exhibits by local artists (a win-win situation for all).
354 Passaic Avenue 
Nutley, NJ
By Appointment Only, Open Studio is free but requires purchase of a materials kit.

Bowfish Studios in Ocean City

OK, so if your imagination box at home is running low, and you’ve got a bunch of wanna-be mermaids, unicorns, pirates or superheroes on your hands, then this place is for your character-obsessed kids. Make an appointment by booking a package online, then Imagination Stylists will get to it: They’ll transform regular littles into fairies, dragons and other fantastical creatures with the works (think makeup, glitter, costumes and even hair styling). After they’ve emerged with their new identities, make sure to snap plenty of photos for the ‘gram, and then head home to play—makeup lasts for up to 12 hours, just in time for bed. 
956 Asbury Avenue
Ocean City, NJ
By Appointment Only, transformation packages start at $30.

Riverside Art Studio in Point Pleasant Beach

Dealing with rainbow colored spaghetti and sparkly slime is just too messy to think about, so when your kids want to do those Pinterest-type projects and you don’t want a hefty clean-up, head to this art studio that encourages sensory art and exploration. Their open studio sessions will let your kids literally paint on papered walls and floors. Or be a regular and sign-up for their classes, where they’ll touch and create with lots of cool materials, like shaving cream, dyed rock salt, toy figurines or water beads. Older kids can delve into the artistic process with more advanced technique workshops that cover genres, like sculpture, still life, landscape and portraiture, and hone their skills at drawing, painting, printmaking and crafting.
529B Bay Ave
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Find the studio’s schedule of classes and events here.

Lil Giggles Play Cafe in Englishtown

Finally, an indoor playground you don’t have to worry about the clock or scheduling around nap time—we’re talking open play 7 days a week and, on most holidays too. Yup, this is a place where your kids will actually play with the toys (because any toy that’s not your own is just that much more fun). Littles can cook up play treats in the kitchen or lay some new tracks on the train table. Got some bigs with you? They’ll be happy shooting hoops at the arcade-style basketball or scoring goals with a round of air hockey. While they’re all keeping busy and making new friends, you can hang back at the cafe, enjoying some quiet time and a much-needed cup of coffee. Be sure to check out their classes and events that happen monthly, like Messy Art and Ceramics. 
455 Route 9 South
Englishtown, NJ
Monday-Sunday 9AM – 6PM


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