Invention, creativity, and participation are on the menu!

Looking for a new, fun, and educational experience for the whole family? Benicia has a full menu of great ideas and activities to keep your kids engaged and smiling this spring.

Benicia Mini Maker Faire
In celebration of the maker movement, curious people from all over will gather to show off what they’ve discovered at the third annual Benicia Mini Maker Faire held Sunday, April 2 at Benicia Middle School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Set those creative minds loose in a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. There will be several hands-on activities in addition to some amazing exhibits with a must-touch policy.

For example, artist and educator Gregory Gavin cultivates a social and creative environment for all ages through the properties of moving water. Check out his sculpture featuring an elevated waterway designed for water play, as well as a method for teaching art, science, architecture, and even civics.

If your family is into crime shows, they’ll enjoy this one. Gene Cooper will be demonstrating how new forensics technology is changing the way crimes are solved. Learn how it works, compare results, and enter to win prizes.

Tickets are required, so be sure to get them in advance online and save 30%. At the door tickets are $15 for adults, $9 for kids ages 5-17, or $45 for the whole family. For more information on the Mini Maker Movement and the Mini Maker Faire, and early-bird tickets, visit benicia.makerfaire.com.

Art Classes for Kids
Kids love making things with their hands, and what better way to channel those creative ideas than with fun art classes after school or during break. Artcentric Pottery Painting offers great kids classes in pottery, painting, glass fusing, and mosaics. And they charge a flat studio fee per visit, so you can stay as long as you need to design the perfect craft. There are additional fees, so check out the website at artcentricbenicia.info for more information.

Creativity Unleashed Ceramics Pottery and Canvas Studio also has great all-inclusive classes starting at $11.95 per person. Get your hands dirty during creativity with ceramics, canvas, mosaics, glass fusing, clay working and more. Join a class, host a party, or sign up for one of their camp sessions. All the fees and dates are available online at creativityunleashedceramics.com.

Brickspace Lego Learning Center is the perfect place to encourage curious minds in a fun environment designed around playing with Legos. This magical space is a great spot for birthday parties, drop-in play, or more structured programs where kids learn engineering concepts using Lego sets as a tool. Parents will love the impact of tactile learning, while children get to see their plastic block creations come to life. Check out their website for more information at brickspacebenicia.net.

Another great place to take the kids for an art extravaganza is Once Upon A Canvas. Learn to paint as a group, work with clay, draw, or make a craft of your own design. Once Upon A Canvas offers instruction and parties for kids of all ages. The best part about this art adventure is that you don’t have to bring anything. All materials are provided and included in the price. Check out their schedule for more information at onceuponacanvasbenicia.com.

For the next generation of artists, Arts Benicia has an incredible after-school program to give students the chance to explore art and develop new interests in a fun and supportive environment. Taught by experienced teaching artists, the classes provide practice problem solving, encourage young artists to think creatively, and provide the structure and tools to develop artistic talent. There are several ways to get involved. For more information, visit artsbenicia.org.

Benicia is bursting with art and activities year-round. Follow us on Facebook to keep up on all the latest news about upcoming events and activities. For a complete list of art studios and classes, please go to visitbenicia.org.