We all know how much I love getting messy and making art with LJJ, right? If we’re not out collecting acorns for a wreath or leaves for some printmaking, odds are we’re painting at the kitchen table and sprinkling glitter all over something. Everything is just better when it’s handmade by little fingers. This is why when I was offered the opportunity to go check out the awesome art destination, Make Meaning, I was super psyched.
Make Meaning is a NYC-born art space with 2 locations in Manhattan (often frequented by celeb-tots like Suri Cruise. Swear.), one in Scottsdale, Arizona and one in Dedham, Massachusetts. I’ve been to those paint a ceramic statue places before and liked them well enough, and that’s pretty much what I expected as I parked my Prius at Legacy Place in Dedham.
As soon as I walked through the front door I realized I was so wrong. Make Meaning looks like Willie Wonka made an art studio. It’s a colorful craft explosion of the highest magnitude, and I was blown away.
Here’s a breakdown of the facts about Make Meaning:
- They have seven core art experiences you can work on: candles, soaps, glass (!!!!), jewelry, paper, ceramics and cake decorating. How AWESOME is that?! While your kids are loving every second of painting a ceramic dragon, you can make a gorgeous vase or candle for your home. I could have stayed for hours, which is pretty doable since they have snacks to sate the little ones in case they need to take a break.
- Make Meaning is membership based: $36 for one year for an individual, or $149 for up to a family of five. That membership includes the “sitting fee”, $25 towards a class, a $50 coupon towards a birthday party, a VIP pass to share with a friend and 10% off retail purchases. That leaves members with only the cost of the activity.
- If you’re not interested in the membership and just want to check it out, you can pay a daily sitting fee of $12 + the cost of the activity.
- They offer customizable classes for any age.
- A birthday party at Make Meaning includes a main event + a side-show, a custom birthday cake, pizza, drinks, the staff, free day passes for all the guests to leave with, and a ton of extras.
- Reservations are recommended to get a table on crowded days, but not required. They take walk-ins.
After a quick pit stop for some much-needed coffee, Lotte and I arrived at 10am and were greeted by a group of smiling faces at the front door. We took a quick tour of all the experiences and decided to start with some soap making. I have never made soap, have you? So random and cool. You can make more luxurious bars of scented soaps, bars with little surprises and toys hidden inside of them, or cupcake soaps. With guidance from the instructor, Lotte decided to make a scented kitty-cat cupcake soap. Adorable.
Enamored with the massive array of sparkling beads twinkling across the room, LJ decided to then make a necklace. After initially grabbing one massive handful of about a million pink, glittery beads in a fit of OH MY GOSH MUST HAVE SPARKLY THINGS, I was able to convince her to calmly choose a few different colors and styles and she happily sat threading them on one by one.
For our last art experience we decided to make a candle. By this point the place was hopping with activity and we got to see people rolling out fondant to decorate cakes, trying their hand at glassmaking and painting some bowls about to get fired in the kiln. It was just fantastic, and it didn’t hurt that they had a killer mix booming from the speakers. The second a Matt & Kim song came on Lotte shouted out, “OH, I LOVE THIS SONG!”, and my inner indie-pop lover beamed with pride.
All in all: we loooooved it at Make Meaning and we’re pumped to return to Legacy Place to make a whole bunch of holiday gifts for the grandparents. It isn’t cheap, but you have to realize that this isn’t just about gluing pom poms onto some construction paper and calling it a day: this is a high-end art-making experience. I mean, you’re decorating cakes and making gorgeous serving platters! It’s completely unique and extraordinary in the variety of supplies and mediums. Make Meaning is most definitely worth a visit. We look forward to getting our membership!
[Disclaimer: While I was given the opportunity to experience Make Meaning at no cost, I was in no way compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.]