Family Activities

20-21 Visual Arts Centre is a family focused venue. We offer exhibitions, free workshops, activities and events which are suitable for children and young people of all ages, and our gallery café dishes up a great children’s menu.
Drop in art and craft activities inspired by our exhibitions run every Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm in the gallery, and are suitable for all.
These activities are free but any donations towards the cost of materials are gratefully received.
20-21 Visual Arts Centre is one of the 750 organisations across the UK who have pledged to meet the Family Arts Standards, a UK-wide recognised quality-mark demonstrating excellence in family provision.
For more information about our family-focused events and activities, please read on.

ARTivity Table

ARTivity Table, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre

Why not drop-in and make the most of our free activity table, where we have a range of “ARTivities” for youngsters to enjoy. Inspired by our exciting exhibition programme, our artivities change on a regular basis, so there is always something new for your kids to try their hand at!

This summer’s ARTivities:

sphinx sculpture by Ian Kirkpatrick

Ian Kirkpatrick’s Sphinx sculpture has been steadily gathering contributions from visitors. We had a great time with Ian when he joined us for a mini residency at the start of the school holidays and invited us to help him cover his new sculpture with colourful art. Over the weeks everyone visiting the ARTivity table has been invited to add to its decoration. If you’ve added to the sculpture, maybe you can see your artwork in the picture. The gaps are getting smaller, but there’s still spaces to cover. Colour one of Ian’s designs or come up with your own.

14-17 August 2019

ice cream cone craft

We’re in a summery mood over the next few days at the ARTivity table (despite the weather outside) and so have come up with this delicious looking ice cream make for you to try. Make and decorate your own ice cream cone, and don’t forget to add a flake!

17-23 August 2019

mermaid ARTivity craft activity

Ian Kirkpatrick’s Mythomania exhibition provides the inspiration again for this week as we invite you to have a go at making this cute mermaid. The myth of the mermaid has existed through history, and it’s been said that the stories may have originated from sightings of manatees and similar aquatic mammals. Hopefully no-one would mistake our mermaid for a manatee!

21-27 August

Human Machines think stick

Johnny White and Amanda Wray’s Human Machines exhibition is our starting point for this activity. Give our patented Think Stick a spin to decide what you’re really thinking at any time!

24-30 August

American Eagle craft activity

Ian Kirkpatrick’s Quest for Fire sculpture looks stunning as part of his Mythomania exhibition in our Linear and Link galleries. His eagle is a reference to the myth of Prometheus, but the eagle is also associated with many nations’ identity. The eagle in this week’s ARTivity is very definitely American! Come and join us at our free activity table to make this red, white and blue wall hanging.

Our free activity table is open 10:00am to 4:00pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays.

ARTivities Extra
Gallery Assistant Helena with girl, ARTivities EXTRA Workshops, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre

ARTivities EXTRA is our series of workshops for families.  Led by visiting artists or one of our experienced gallery assistants, these sessions are fun for all ages!  Book your place by visiting the gallery or online by visiting our Eventbrite page.



sand dough modelling

Sand Dough Workshop

Saturday 31 August 10.30am-12.30pm or 1.30-3.30pm £4.00 (booking required)

Join Mandy Keating for this fun family workshop. Learn how to make your own sand dough and create a handprint or other sculpture to take away and keep. Bake it in the oven at home or leave it to dry naturally and you will have a permanent memento of the sun, sea and beach in your home! Book on in advance to drop-in during either of the time slots, allowing up to an hour to do the activity. Suitable for families.

Note for parents/carers of younger children: This is a family workshop and we positively encourage parents/carers to participate and support their children. However, if you want to make your own piece alongside your child you will need to book the appropriate number of places, as this ensures that the artist brings enough supplies with them.

Booking on to this workshop in advance is essential. Either call into the gallery in advance, or book online through Eventbrite. Please contact 01724 297070 if you have any enquiries.

Other family workshops coming up include…

  • LEGO® Stop Motion Animation with Jonathan Rolph on Saturday 12 October 10.30am-3.30pm  £15.00

Stick and Splodge

Two girls in a ball pit, Stick and Splodge, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre

These sessions are full of creative fun for the under-fives. We offer painting and crafts, sand and water play, puzzles, puppets and much more! Stick and Splodge sessions are just £1 per child and run from 10.30am to 12noon every Thursday morning, including during school holidays . There’s no need to book – just drop in.

For more information, please call 01724 297070 or email

Family Arts Standards logo

If you have enjoyed our free Fundays and events please support us by making a donation.
To find out about all the events and activities that are taking place at 20-21 please visit our What’s on pages.
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