*Or, my girls go crafting and I hope for the best
What do you get when you put a preschooler and a kindergartener in an amazing crafting place with a gazillion fun options and tell them to pick JUST ONE to do?
I held my breath because I wasn’t sure, either.
But the answer for me, thankfully, was two hours of happy, content kids. And it wasn’t due to blind luck or the stars being aligned or me downing a glass of wine to calm my nerves before we walked in.
My kids’ contentment was due to great activities and a very attentive, helpful staff. And I actually got to have some fun, too. Score!
BEADS, CAKES, SOAPS, OH MY!
Back when Make Meaning in Dedham, MA, emailed me and asked if I’d like to visit and do a complimentary activity during their opening week, I was hesitant. Because my kids are not always the easiest to take places.
I had visions of Grace painting her body instead of her project and Anne freaking out when her perfectionist little self made a unfixable “mistake.”
But I took a deep breath, told Make Meaning I’d be thrilled to go, and hoped for the best.
So on a rainy Monday, we made a mad dash from my car, inelegantly stumbled into Make Meaning, and were happily welcomed by colorful sights and smiling faces. The place is really something to see. It’s airy, bright, and filled with beautiful things everywhere you look.
You can choose to create and customize soaps, candles, or jewelry. Paint pottery. Design glassware. Or even decorate a cake. And that’s just what is there now – Make Meaning switches around what’s offered so return visitors always have something new to discover.
Anne chose to make a necklace and Grace chose the cake decorating. I was psyched because Anne is old enough to handle stringing beads, which meant I could focus on Grace and her cake experiment. The results?
We had a great time. Really wonderful. I totally recommend checking out Make Meaning – but there are a few things that you do need to know before you go. I am Honest Mom, after all, so I’m laying it all out for you – the good and the perhaps-could-be-improved-upon.
Here’s what was completely awesome about Make Meaning:
- Huge variety of high-quality activities to choose from
- Crafts that fit different budgets – you can make a cute cupcake soap for $8 or two for $15, do one of several activities in the $20-$24 range, or decorate a cake for $28
- Attentive staff who helped me manage my girls and their projects in a very unobtrusive way
- Clean, beautiful, open atmosphere – lots of space to sit and craft
- Many snack options, including organic milk and juice boxes
- The crafts had many optional (read: extra cost) add-ons, but even if you didn’t use any of the add-ons, you got plenty to work with
And here’s the other stuff:
- Make Meaning is a membership-based destination. If you do not buy a membership (until Sept. 1, 2012, an individual membership is $26 and a family membership is $119), you pay a studio fee of $12 per person. Honestly, I’d like to see that studio fee cut in half to allow people like me, who don’t live right nearby, to visit more often without buying a membership.
- I would like to see more lower-cost craft options. The cute little cupcake soaps are $8 each, which is definitely reasonable. But jewelry starts at $16 for a bracelet, a glass-art pendant is $24, and mosaic candles start at $20. Make Meaning does brand itself as a “world-class entertainment destination” and lots of celebrities go to the NYC locations. But … Dedham, Mass. isn’t NYC. A couple more lower-cost options would be nice.
- My kids loved eating the cake. Hubs and I … well, we thought it could use more flavor. It was moist and had a great texture, but both the cake and frosting inside were bland.
Do I recommend checking out Make Meaning? Absolutely. I think especially grade-school children through adults will love it and get a lot out of it. And if you live anywhere near Dedham and think you may go more than a couple times a year, I recommend getting the family membership – which includes your whole family – grandparents, aunts, and babysitters/nannys.
Make Meaning is now open at Legacy Place in Dedham, Massachusetts. To learn more and to make reservations (recommended – especially on a bad-weather day), visit www.makemeaning.com.
If you visit Make Meaning, please let me know – I’d love to hear what you think!