Free Bay Area Drop-In Arts & Crafts

You don’t have to spend a lot for your child to have opportunities to get creative. Here are places in the Bay Area to make arts and crafts at no charge.
Bay Area-wide
Home Depot – Many stores offer Saturday morning workshops. Recent activities have included making a gingerbread ornament and building a custom military helicopter. All participants receive a building kit, apron and pin. Stores are in Colma, San Mateo, Daly City, San Carlos, San Leandro, Oakland, Hayward, Emeryville, Union City, East Palo Alto, Newark, San Rafael, San Ramon, Fremont, Sunnyvale, Pleasanton and Hercules. 
Lakeshore Learning Center – This educational products store offers craft activities for kids ages 3 and up every Saturday. Check the website for a list of projects. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Stores are in San Leandro, Walnut Creek and San Jose.  
Public Libraries – Libraries all over the Bay Area regularly offer opportunities to get creative with arts and crafts. Sometimes, this is incorporated into regularly scheduled story times; other times, they are stand-alone events. Check the calendar on the website for your local library to see what events are scheduled. 
East Bay
Bayfair Center Storytime – This program includes a craft, story, singing and educational activities. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Tuesdays. 1555 E. 14th St., San Leandro. 510-357-6000. 
Richmond Art Center – Check the website for free family-friendly art activities. 2540 Barrett Ave. 510-620-6772. 
Sundays at Hageman Ranch – This is open the last Sunday of every month except July and December for kids’ crafts and games, a petting zoo and more. 1-4 p.m. 455 Olivina Ave., Livermore.  
First Fridays, San Mateo County History Museum – Preschool children and their caregivers can come for an hour of crafting, exploring and storytelling. 11 a.m. 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. 650-299-0104. 
The Reading Bug – This children’s bookstore offers stories and crafts for ages 3 and up on select days. Check the calendar. 785 Laurel St., San Carlos. 650-591-0100. 
Second Sunday Drop-in Studio, Stanford’s Cantor Art Center – Experiment with art materials and new techniques. All ages and ability levels are invited. 11a.m.-4 p.m. 328 Lomita Drive at Museum Way, Palo Alto. 650-723-4177. . 
San Francisco
Family Art Making at de Young Museum – Visit the drop-in family art-making tables to explore a theme related to art in the permanent collection or gallery exhibitions. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. Museum admission is required for certain gallery activities. Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. 415-750-3600. 
Presidio National Park – Check the website to learn about drop-in arts and crafts sessions for families on the weekends. Presidio Officers Club, 50 Moraga Ave. 415-561-4323. 
Silicon Valley
Mommy & Me and Daddies Too Kids Club at Santana Row – Check the website for free crafts and other activities. 377 Santana Row, San Jose. 408-551-4611. 

Lisa Renner is a calendar editor at Bay Area Parent.



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