What it is: One of the moms in our group found this place in Apex, and we were all feeling a little artsy last week, so we thought we would head down and check it out. Turns out that this part of Apex, on Hwy 55 is only about 15 minutes from where we are in S. Durham, so it was a great location for us.
Paint your Pot is a paint your own ceramics studio. You show up, pick out your piece of unpainted ceramic, select colors and brushes and other painting materials, and get to work. There's no time limit so you can paint for as short or long of a time as you want. Then, you leave the piece at the store where they glaze and fire it, and you pick up your finished work of art a few days later. You have to pay for the piece that you buy and a studio fee that is half the cost of your item.
We knew that our boys liked to paint, but we also knew that they wouldn't last long, so we wanted to pick out a piece they could paint quickly and cheaply. So, we selected a small ceramic tile (about coaster size). It was only a couple of dollars, so even with the studio fee it wasn't any more than your typical toddler outing. Then, we had some fun picking out the supplies and got to painting. We called ahead so they even had a back room reserved for us so we wouldn't disturb any other artists that were trying to concentrate on their work.
This was a fairly quick process...5 minutes to pick out materials, 5-10 minutes to paint, and the toddler attention span was done. However, they did enjoy their painting, and I'm sure as they get older they will get more and more involved with their pieces. To get a really cute result we let them paint away on the tile creating whatever they wanted. Then, we took a big stamp (I chose a train) and stamped it in black over top of the colors they had painted in the background. This made a really fun, cute coaster that they can keep or could be given as a gift. Hey, since toddlers are so quick with each tile, they could probably create a set of coasters in no time at all!
What we liked: We loved the fact that this gave the guys a chance to be artistic. As they get older it will be fun to head back and pick out more and more elaborate pieces for them to work on. We also liked that there was such a selection of pieces to work on ranging from really inexpensive to fairly pricey. They were nice and tolerant with our little guys even though they were probably younger than their typical patrons.
What we would change: The major drawback was how quick this was. We were definitely in and out quickly, so this would probably be best combined with another activity. (There's an inflatables activity center called Jump Zone in the same shopping center which might be a great combination, but we haven't checked it out yet.) In addition, it is pretty hands on for the parents which we loved. You definitely need to make sure your child isn't going to break any of the items that are within hands reach when they are picking something out. Then, the painting process requires assistance getting the paints out and actually doing the painting, but that's the fun part!
Website and other important information:
Address: 2755 Hwy. 55, Cary, NC, 27519
Phone Number: (919) 363-9333
Hours: Mon-Sat: 10am-9pm, Sunday: 1 pm-6pm
1. The paint next to a wall of art
2. The wall of pieces from which to choose your masterpiece