Schools are out of session in mid-February; however, between the cold weather and venues and businesses that are closed due to the pandemic, it can be difficult to keep kids occupied during this time. Luckily, the arts are available no matter the time of year. Here are six organizations providing in-person and/or virtual arts activities to keep little ones busy and creative during their vacation week.
1. Pelham Art Center (in person)
Pelham Art Center offers two winter youth camps for students, both led by artist Donna Ross, on February 16-19. In “Eric Carle Creations,” kids will explore colors, shapes and textures to create colorful paper sculptures inspired by artist and author Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar). In “Acrylic Painting,” students will learn about basic color theory through “observational still life exercises and abstract mark-making.”
2. Westchester Children’s Museum (in person)
Westchester Children’s Museum’s Saturday workshops will focus on all-ages activities that are best suited for ages 4-6. On February 13, “Cupid’s Color Lab” is a half-chemistry/half-art workshop that introduces the technique of paper marbling to create Valentine’s Day cards. On February 20, students will discover the 1970s by creating their own lava lamp sensory bottle before a 3themed dance party.
3. Rye Arts Center (virtual and in person)
Rye Arts Center has three week-long workshops planned for February break, from February 15-19. In-person workshops include “Drawing, Painting and More,” during which kids will discover a new artistic medium each day, and “Ceramics Week,” for students who want to learn to work with clay. A virtual workshop, “Miniature Fun Model-Making 101,” teaches the art of miniatures, from conceptualizing to creating their models.
4. Blue Door Art Center (virtual)
Blue Door Art Center will present a special Zoom series for midwinter break: “Travel Around the World in 3 Days” on February 15, 17 and 19. Artist Zafiro Acevedo will lead children to create art forms from around the world: Native American dream-catchers, Brazilian carnival masks and Chinese lanterns for the new Lunar Year. Additional Zoom activities include a love-themed workshop on February 13 and an activity that demonstrates sponge-painting Cherry Blossom trees on February 20.
5. Nowodworski Foundation (virtual)
Nowodworski Foundation’s “Yonkers Community Quilt” is a community project that showcases the diversity of the city of Yonkers. All are welcome to participate in these collaborative art-making workshops, including children. Participants will use basic art supplies like crayons, markers and paints to create their own portion of the quilt. Zoom sessions take place throughout February; sessions during winter break are Feb 17, 20 and 21.
6. ArtsWestchester (virtual)
Two of ArtsWestchester’s programs went virtual to help keep creativity alive during the pandemic: ArtsMobile, for children; and Teen Tuesdays & Thursdays, for teens. The result is an expansive digital library of arts activities that is updated weekly. During February break, kids and teens can create works of art for their Valentines, including a heart collage and an upcycled flower and vase.
A version of this article first appeared in the February issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNewsis distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.