There are so many free and almost free art activities you can do this summer in New York City hosted by museums and sketch groups. Discover an art adventure that is right for you and your family.
All these events you can do by yourself, with a friend or your artistic teen. Here are some of the best I found, and I am sure there are loads more!
Now, I am not talking about the ones where parents stand around checking their smart phones while their toddlers glue construction paper onto paper plates. These are more sophisticated classes and activities that you can do whether or not you bring artistic tweens. They will not be bored and neither will you. By the way, if you are planning a visit to New York, check out each of the museum websites to see what activities are going on when you are here so you can discover the perfect one for you.
1) Metropolitan Museum of Art "Sunday Studio"
|Learn how to do Chinese Calligraphy at|
the Metropolitan Museum of Art ( for free)!
on my calendar
On Sunday July 6th and July 20, 1:00–4:00 p.m. you can learn Brush and Water: Chinese Calligraphy All the Metropolitan Museum of Art "Sunday Studio" classes are held in conjunction with exhibits so you can draw inspiration from the gallery and then try your own artwork.
I have this Chinese Calligraphy class on my calendar. Although I am going away both weekends the class is being offered,but if I have any energy left at all, I may head down to the city to learn Chinese calligraphy.
Asian Art inspired by Japanese textiles, sketched at the Museum |
and completed in the studio. You can collect your own inspiring
Asian art for your home from imagekind
2) Met Museum "Drop in Drawing"Another "class" I have done at this museum is "Drop in Drawing" Usually, this is the first Friday of the month. Each month you meet in a different art gallery. When it is crowded they ask participants to rotate every thirty minutes but during quieter months you can stay the whole time.
There is a teaching artist to guide you ( if you wish) and all materials are provided including charcoal, paper, drawing board, stools and wipes for your hands when you are done. Docents circulate the gallery replacing your worn out pencils with freshly sharpened ones.
You are welcome to bring your own sketchbook, but they prefer you use their (safe in the museum) drawing materials. When I have done this, I have gone home and created artworks based on my sketches. You can see the African Art and Asian art I did during other Drop in Drawing events.
|African Art, fine art print - collect your own from Imagekind|
All ages are welcome to the drop in drawing but your teenager may prefer the parent free teen drawing events. (also free...who knew?) I used to take my daughter to "art treks" and other art activities which were all age appropriate and allowed me to explore the galleries on my own while she participated in interactive art history classes with her peers.
|Drop in Drawing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art|
marked my calendar!
The "Drop in Drawing" I have marked on my calender is Friday, August 1, 6:30–8:30 p.m. where you can draw decorative objects in gallery 554. ( ask any info desk and they will let you know where to go)
|The Deno's Fabulous Wonder Wheel, Coney Island|
how to join
4) Museum of Modern ArtThis is another favorite of my family until my daughter grew out of them and then got too busy following her own musical passions. To participate in the age appropriate family activity, you do have to register (although it is free) but there are also lots of drop in events as well.
Gallery Sessions are creative exploratory experiences facilitated by Museum educators that allow visitors a unique perspective on works in the galleries, art history, and the creative process. Groups meet in the galleries noted on the daily schedule. Gallery Sessions are free with Museum admission. No registration is required.
on my calendar
|Red Studio by Matisse|
According to Henri Matisse, “Modern Art is joy spread through Color.” Color, and its radical use, was fundamental to the artist’s practice. Come experience and understand Matisse’s employment of color, and look at works like Red Studio (1911) and Dance I (1909) in a whole new way.
|Lygia Clark, Caminhando, 1964 (Photograph: Beto Felicio)|
5) Museum of Art and Design
This design museum on the west side offers lots of studio classes that are either specific to teens or young adult friendly. Check out the Sunday Studio for drop in classes that $10 each! Like the other museums, the studio classes explore techniques on exhibit and give you a chance to try your hand at creating your own jewelry or other 3-D design. There were a lot of great studio classes, I am afraid I am travelling too many weekends to pick one, but I bet you will find one just right for you.
6) The Frick Museum
Several of my drawings from Sunday Sketch|
are still on the Frick museum website
Stools and materials provided. You may bring your museum approved own materials. The museum website says you are limited to paper 12x18" and dry media such as lead and graphite pencils. When I did this event in the past, I took my drawings home and added color in my studio. You can see what I did in this blog post.
on my calendar
Same drawing from above, but with pastels added |
in my studio. You collect your own botanical drawing or
any of the others I did that day at the Frick
I will be sharing my summer art adventures here on the blog
Looking forward to going and sharing these fun interactive art events with you. (are you subscribed to my blog via by Email / RSS / BlogLovin / NetworkedBlogs ??)
So, how are you getting your art on this summer?
mentioned in this blog post: @metmuseum @MuseumModernArt @MADMuseum @frickcollection