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About family programs

​​​Discover the world of art and spark you and your little one’s imaginations. Explore the galleries, create your own masterpieces, play dress-up, and watch artists at work! With three locations, there are plenty of adventures to be had with your family at SAM.​​



Have questions about SAM Family Programs?
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Family & Community Festivals

Presented by

F​amily and Commun​ity Festivals are full of art-making activities, live music, storytelling, performances, and family-friendly art tours—all with the participation of SAM’s community partners. These all-day art celebrations are guaranteed to get your family inspired, moving, creating, and connecting with your community.

Family & Community Festivals

Family Festivals include live music and shadow puppetry, face painting, music demos and workshops, dance lessons, and more. Get inspired on a family-friendly tour of the galleries; then participate in several different daylong art-making activities that connect to major themes in SAM’s current special exhibition.

Family & Community Festivals

Bring your family and friends of all ages to Community Night Out! These festive art celebrations take place in the evening with activities and performances that appeal to a wide range of age groups, like dance workshops, performance art, My Favorite Things tours of the galleries, rapid-fire Pecha Kucha presentations, trivia, music demos, all-night art-making activities, a video response booth, DJs, and much more.

Free with museum admission.​​​​​​​

Sponsored by
RealNetworks Foundation

Supported by
Washington State Arts Commission​​

Coming Up Jul 23 2016Summer at SAM: Family Festival


Family Fun Workshops

Introduce your family to a variety of cultures and artistic traditions during a Family Fun Workshop. This art experience is designed to engage both kids and adults in two hours of learning and creating together.

Every workshop begins with a sketching tour of the galleries. With the guidance of a Teaching Artist and a wealth of provided art-making materials, just harness your imaginations to create a masterpiece inspired by your art adventure.

Family Fun Workshoppers have created portraits of important women in their lives, wearable art inspired by contemporary Japanese fashion, gold pendants, abstract dot paintings inspired by Australian Aboriginal art, and puppets!

Designed for kids ages 3–12 and their parents or guardians.

Support for Family Fun Workshops provided by the Thanksgiving Foundation. ​​​





Free First Saturday

Create art that connects with the world cultures featured in exhibitions​ at the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. Each Free First Saturday has an exciting new theme and drop-in workshops guided by teaching artists. Model traditional costumes, enjoy a special performance, watch a family-friendly movie, discover a new book, and embark on a sketching tour of the galleries.

Free First Saturday

At Free First Saturdays, families create delicate wire and bead Bodhi Trees, clay pots, colorful Rangoli Mats inspired by images from the Ramayana, personal treasure boxes, exquisite cherry blossom watercolor paintings, fun and functional kites, shadow puppets, and learn calligraphy.

First Free Saturday

Every fall, be on the lookout for a very special Diwali-themed Free First Saturday, featuring henna and a fashion show presented by SAM Partner Junior Asha. 

Every February, celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year with activities focused on the New Year’s zodiac animal. 

Come spring, don’t miss a special Japanese doll display in honor of Girls' Day!

Designed for kids ages 3–12 and their parents or guardians.

Free​ and open to the public!​​​​

Coming Up​




SAM Camp

Every summer, children entering grades 1–5 can experience three fun-filled weeks of inspiration and creativity at SAM. Campers will sharpen their art-making skills, unleash their imaginations, make new friends, and explore SAM’s galleries and outdoor spaces. Each week is packed with fresh and exciting activities and new experiences, so send campers to one week or all three! We guarantee they’ll expand their creativity and build great memories.

SAM Camp

Voyagers: Around the World and Back Again
July 11 – 15, 2016

Create mixed-media maps, masks, collages, paintings, and sculptures! Play every day in the green of Volunteer Park and travel around the world through SAM’s world-class collections at the Asian Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum.

Site visits include: Asian Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum.

SAM Camp

Time Travelers: Discover Art from the Present, Past, and Future
July 18 - 22, 2016

During week two SAM Camp focuses on the summer exhibitions, Graphic Masters and Mood Indigo: Textiles from Around the World. Campers will create mixed-media projects, prints, costumes and landscapes, drawing inspiration from historical and contemporary pieces throughout the collection.

In addition to gallery tours at the Seattle Art Museum and Asian Art Museum, outside exploration of Volunteer Park, and hands-on art making, campers will participate in an outdoor yoga workshop lead by an instructor from 8 Limbs Yoga!

SAM Camp

Earth Defenders: Saving the Planet
July 25 – 29, 2016

There’s no better place to learn about green art and environmentalism than the award-winning Olympic Sculpture Park and the Seattle Art Museum. Make superhero costumes from recycled materials, create trash sculptures, and learn from storytellers.

​​Site visits include: Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Art Museum.​​​​​​


Have questions about SAM Camp?
Email Us

REGISTER NOW Jul 11 – Fri 15 2016SAM Camp: Voyagers Jul 18 – Fri 22 2016SAM Camp: Time Travelers Jul 25 – Fri 29 2016SAM Camp: Earth Defenders


Chase Open Studio

​Seattle Art MuseumChase Open Studio

​On your way to the Chase Open Studio, climb the steps past Chinese marble soldiers and see the original Sammy the Camel from the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, now in his new home downtown. In the Open Studio, find everything you need to create your own piece of art inspired by major themes in Seattle Art Museum’s current special exhibition. Use the self-guided art-making activity to get started, then let your imagination soar.

Chase Open Studio is located along the grand staircase between the 1st Avenue and University Street entrance and 2nd Avenue.

Free and open to the public!

Knudsen Family Room

Seattle Art MuseumKnudsen Family Room

Tucked away in the third floor galleries, the Knudsen Family Room is a perfect spot for rest and play. Discover a new book, find your rhythm and jam on a drum, or channel your inner architect with blocks​. Head back into the galleries energized for more fresh art encounters.

Knudsen Family Room is located in the South Building on the third floor and is accessible to everyone who visits the galleries.

Education Room

Asian Art MuseumEducation Room

Take your newfound knowledge of Asian art and culture to the Himmelman Educational Resource Room, where you will find everything you need to get creative. Dress up in traditional Asian clothing, find a new book, put on a puppet show, color, cross-hatch and shade with colored pencils, and learn how to make an origami crane.

The Himmelman Educational Resource Room is located on the gallery level and is open to everyone who visits the Asian Art Museum galleries.

Family Play Area

Olympic Sculpture ParkFamily Play Area at Olympic Sculpture Park

Take a break from the sun (or rain), and come play in the PACCAR Pavilion. Relax in a beanbag chair, read a new book, do a puzzle, or create your own masterpiece. Leave ready to take in more monumental sculpture on another walk through the park.

The play area is located in the PACCAR Pavilion at the NE corner of the park.

Free and open to the public! ​​

​​IMAGES: Photo: Catherine Anstett.​ Photo: Robert Wade. Photo: Natali Wiseman. Photo: Jen Au. Photo: Robert Wade. Photo: Jen Au. Photo: Jen Au. Photo: Jen Au. Photo: Natali Wiseman. ​​Photo: Sasha Im. Photo: Sasha Im. Photo: Sasha Im. Photo: Sasha Im. Photo: Catherine Anstett. Photo: Catherine Anstett. Photo: Catherine Anstett. Photo: Catherine Anstett. ​