Sparkle glue, foam stickers, paint, rubber stamps, popsicle sticks, colored sand, beads, paper flowers, clay, string, and more await you at Craft Caboose, a young children’s art studio located at 105 East Argonne Drive in Kirkwood. Fueled by the imagination and enthusiasm of owner Sharon Crnko, Craft Caboose is a relaxing and fun place to create art projects such as necklaces, spin art, animal puppets, clay figurines, wreaths, hats, flower pots, sand art, bracelets, crowns, bird houses, and more. The studio fee is $6 per visit (you can stay as long as you like) and art projects cost $1 to $8 each. If your child is more free form, you can also just mess around with more basic items like paper, scissors, markers, crayons, and paint. Doing a more open ended project like that costs starts at $1.50 depending on how many plastic jewels or foam sticker animals your little one decides to stick on his/her paper. Craft Caboose also offers classes and birthday parties in addition to walk-in visits.
My four year old daughter and I have visited Craft Caboose two times this summer and have typically spent $10 during our visit and stayed for about an hour each time. They also have a play area filled with puzzles, plastic dinosaurs, cars, blocks, matching games, books, trains, magnetic builders, and musical instruments. This is an excellent way to spend some time with your child while your paint laden projects dry a bit.
The staff at Craft Caboose is incredibly warm, encouraging, and inviting. In addition to having a great deal of knowledge about child development and art, they seem to intuitively know if your child loves to be squishy in paint or needs multiple paper towels to wipe goopy fingers in between paint strokes!
Craft Caboose Hours
Note: Be sure to check their web site for scheduled closings for booked birthday parties.
Sunday: noon to 4 pm
Tuesday: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Wednesday: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Thursday: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Friday: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am to 5 pm
1. During the summer, Craft Caboose can get busy in the mornings. The space is quite small, so if your child functions better in more quiet settings, consider going around lunch time or in the early afternoon when some kids are napping.
2. Considering the cost of paying for studio time and art projects, Craft Caboose is probably best suited for three year olds and up.
3. Thinking about bringing your infants with you while your older child creates? The small and very clean bathroom does not have a changing table, so try to arrive with a clean diaper on your baby if you can.
4. Free parking is readily available on nearby streets and the Kirkwood Farmers’ Market is across the street on Argonne Drive if you want to have a nice picnic lunch after your Craft Caboose visit.
5. Don’t feel restricted by the set art projects (e.g. make a bracelet, animal puppet, wreath). In some ways, they are there to jump start your imagination or to reduce the endless art creation choices if you and your child don’t know where to begin. As I mentioned above, you can also create free form artworks with the studio’s ample supplies. Just ask for assistance.
6. Birthday parties at Craft Caboose start at $150 for 8 guests. These are becoming very popular so book well in advance for your special date.
7. We really like the puzzles, games, cars, and trains in the play area adjacent to the art studio tables. If you have the time, allow a half hour or so to enjoy this cozy spot.
8. Are you and your child a little frazzled today? A visit to Craft Caboose can be a nice quiet and not too expensive dose of art therapy. It’s always a beautiful thing to see a kid work out their frustrations or anxieties with markers, paint, crayons, clay, or pencils. Plus, a new setting can help clear your child’s head.
9. If you’ve been to Yucandu, a wonderful art studio in Webster Groves, please note that Craft Caboose caters more to the under six year old set. Yucandu has some gorgeous and truly unique options for decoupage projects and mosaics, but is more expensive than Craft Caboose and in general the projects require more dexterity and patience–perfect for older kids. I took my then three year old daughter to Yucandu last year and we were there for over two hours creating a small painted paper house. She had fun but she almost fell asleep while I was glazing and blow drying the piece!
10. Be sure to pick up your Craft Caboose Studio Pass on your visit. After four paid studio visits, you get a fifth studio visit free ($6 value).
Photos: Jennifer Lin