The crafting guru that I am, I just had to check out the latest in paint-your-own stores. Nestled in the heart of the Upper West Side, Make Meaning is a new twist on an old crafting concept; people + crafts = hours of enjoyment. Not only do they offer painted pottery, but they include glass fusion, soap and candle making, jewelry making, and card/paper crafts. There is an entire area of the store dedicated to retail shopping as well as an in house cafe just in case you need a quick fix. The loft on the second floor boasts extra seating room for guests as well as the classroom and party room.
I started my trek into the city this morning with slight trepidation. I was nervous about the the parking situation, but in the end, I found parking, literally across the street from the store! For 2 hours it cost me $6 - for city parking I thought this was GREAT! With my 3 kids in tow we gleefully walked into the store. I was met by the nicest and most informative "ACE" (Arts and Crafts Expert) who showed me around the store and demonstrated the process of most of the projects. Of course my kids immediatly went to the painted pottery area. What is with kids and paint??? "Don't we paint enough at home???" I asked them. I was so jazzed and ready to do candle making, but no my kids wanted to to paint. GO FIGURE.
I have never seen them so engrossed in an activity before. OK, maybe when they are tuned into a show, but this was amazing! For 2 hours straight they were invested in their projects, it was awesome! Here are the draw backs though. First off, I really really wanted to do something too.... My fingers were just itching to craft, but because my kids were working with such delicate pieces I felt the need to be near them, especially my little one Zac. The other drawback is that it was very $$$$$. Not only are you paying for the craft which most are in the mid $20 range, there is an additional $12 studio fee per crafter. To break down the pricing for you, Zac painted a small hippo for $12. Miles painted a baseball bank for $24 which was also the same cost as my daughter Juli's heart box. So in total for the pottery pieces it equaled $68. To me, an avid crafter, these prices are very reasonable, however on top of these prices, there was an additional $12 per child who painted so in total it cost $104. YIKES! This was NOT a cheap activity, and if I had known that all my kids wanted to do was paint ceramics I would have found a place closer and cheaper, BUT I really really loved the store!
Personally I want to go back on a Tuesday night with friends or my hubby. They have 20% off for threesomes or moresomes :) The bar is open and it just looks like so much fun! I want to do the candle making and I still haven't given up hope that I will learn the art. They actually have an awesomely simple way of creating funky chunky candles. Put chunks of candles into a mold add candle toppings and then pour melted wax. Out comes a super awesome candle creation!
All in all, my kids had a great time and I would definitely go back again. but for now I think tomorrow we will hit Barnes and Noble. My 2 older ones will read while my Zac will play with the trains, and best of all I'll pick up the latest book in the Maze Runner Series. Oh, and I just found out that Turtleback Zoo is only $1 after 2pm on Tuesdays (shout out to Lisa) so I think I will be hitting that up too.