children making art

Hirshhorn Announces Kids Winter Programs and Relaunch of Storytime
The Hirshhorn Museum offers a full schedule of free, art-making activities for children, starting Jan. 11

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has announced a full slate of free art-making programs for kids that explore the theme of transformation. From Art Cart to Maker Mornings to the return of Storytime after a three-year hiatus, the Hirshhorn provides hands-on activities that connect the youngest artists and caregivers with modern and contemporary art in playful ways, with each creative prompt inspired by pieces in the museum’s permanent collection.

Young visitors are always encouraged to pick up a golf pencil and any of two free Hirshhorn Kids guides from the welcome desk. These include the Kids Guide to Put It This Way and the Kids Guide to Mark Bradford’s Pickett’s Charge, which offer news ways of questioning, drawing, and writing about artwork.

To find Hirshhorn Kids resources, visit

Program Descriptions


Wednesdays; 10–11am

After a three-year hiatus, Storytime is returning. Join museum educators on Wednesday mornings for an hour-long introduction to an artwork paired with a read-aloud and a collective art-making activity aimed at artists ages eight and under. Nursing caregivers are welcome. Storytime is free; registration is not required.

If there are access services or accommodations that can make your experience more inclusive (e.g., ASL interpretation) please contact Hirshhorn Education at 1-2 week’s advance notice is recommended but not required.


Thursdays; 10am–Noon

Artists ages 12 and under are invited to drop-in and engage with a hands-on art-making activity during their visit. Each week’s Art Cart rolls out a theme inspired by an artwork on view and an activity to complete at the Museum, as well as at-home art-making challenges.

The Art Cart is free; registration is not required.


Monthly, select Saturdays; 10am–1pm

Children (ages 12 and under) take over the museum on select Saturdays. Artists of all ages are encouraged to experience modern and contemporary art at interactive and hands-on maker stations, kids tours and more, focused on this year’s theme: Be Transformed. Activities take place throughout the Museum and Sculpture Garden, weather permitting. Please check the calendar of events.

Maker Morning is free; registration is not required.



Jan. 11; 10–11am

Explore the coldest season with a read-aloud of The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, take a closer look at Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Two Circles (2018), and collaborative winter-inspired art making and play.

ART CART: Welcome Winter

Jan. 12; 10am–Noon

Young artists will look closely at Hiroshi Sugimoto’s tables—made from the roots of a seven-hundred-year-old nutmeg tree!—in our lobby, and make their own tree-shaped, wearable art.


Jan. 14; 10am–1pm

Celebrate all the things that make us special. Give compliments to a friend at the “affirmation station;” explore portraiture on view with our partners from the National Portrait Gallery; and create a positivity postcard inspired by the Guerrilla Girls, whose work is on view in Put It This Way: (Re)Visions of the Hirshhorn Collection.

STORYTIME: Martin’s Big Words

Jan. 19; 10–11am

Art communicates. What do you want to say? Kids will explore the power of words and images by observing Barbara Kruger’s Belief+Doubt (2012); reading aloud Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport; and practicing using large text, images, and symbols to explore fairness, love, and our own power in making the world a better place.

ART CART: Conversation Collage

Jan. 19; 10am–Noon

Young artists will take a close look at Kruger’s work, Belief+Doubt (2012), then make their own collages using paper, string, and more.

STORYTIME: Illustration Station

Jan. 25; 10–11am

Enjoy a reading of Aaron Slater, Illustrator by Andrea Beaty, and take a close look at the collage Annette (1964), by Niki de Saint Phalle, to practice expressing what makes someone unique by creating self-portraits that celebrate individuality.

 ART CART: Portrait Play

Jan. 26; 10am–Noon

Young artists will explore Niki de Saint Phalle’s work Annette (1964) and make their own self-portraits to illustrate what makes them special.

MAKER MORNING: Art from Your Heart

Feb. 11; 10am–1pm

Make something for your valentine with educator-led activities such as writing love letters inspired by artist Barbara Kruger, and layering magnet texts to create poetry inspired by Mark Bradford’s Pickett’s Charge (2017).


Mar. 11; 10am–1pm

Prepare for springtime by “digging” in a felt garden, exploring a nature library, making wearable nature-art, and playing with organic shapes.

About the Hirshhorn

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the national museum of modern and contemporary art and a leading voice for 21st-century art and culture. Part of the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn is located prominently on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Its holdings encompass one of the most important collections of postwar American and European art in the world. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs on the art of our time—free to all. The Hirshhorn Museum and the Sculpture Garden are open daily, 10 am–5:30 pm. For more information, visit Follow the Museum on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

Image: Children making art. Courtesy of the Hirshhorn. Photo by Kate Warren.