This winter arts camp will save you from kid overload this holiday

NLArts is open during that limbo week between Christmas and New Year’s.


Updated Dec. 8, 2018

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a weird time no matter what your situation, but it’s even tougher if you have little kids. There’s no school, many daycares are closed, caregivers and babysitters are off enjoying their own holiday and new gifts can only hold attention for so long.

Enter NLArts, which has been offering a mini winter day camp for nearly a decade now.

“Our programming runs when others don’t,” said NLArts executive director Natasha Mell-Taylor. “When other places close, we make sure the parents in the community have somewhere for their kids to go.”

Students at the day camp — who range from around 4 to 12 years in age — come from all over the city, not just Northern Liberties, Mell-Taylor said.

A visual artist and trained arts educator, she’s been running NLArts for two years now. The teachers she hires are all professional working artists, most of whom also have some kind of education training. The organization also runs summer sessions, and convenes camps on pseudo-holidays where parents might need caretaking help, like Presidents Day.

Warm weather projects have included painting a mural in Liberty Lands Park, silkscreening t-shirts, painting trash cans in the neighborhood and making colorful custom plateware for the annual NLArts gala dinner.

Planned activities for the holiday season include making hand sculptures in wax (hand-casting), photo painting with light and claymation.

The winter program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on those limbo weekdays when there’s a lull between celebrations. Sign up one kid for $45 per day (choose as many as you want) and add a sibling for $40 more. Aftercare, which extends the day through 5:30 p.m., is $7 additional.

Scholarships may also be available for families that need them, Mell-Taylor said.

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