Family Friendly Artists Open Houses Events

The Artists Open Houses festival 2016 is now well under way but there’s still plenty of time left to explore the rich houses-cum-caverns displaying our local artistic tapestry. We have found some family friendly artists open house events which should be on your hit list to visit.

Now we don’t know about you but I’m always a little nervous taking the kids to some of the houses. It’s hard to enjoy everything our thriving art, design and craft scene has to offer while trying to avoid a glass/ floor/ smash incident.

Happily, the team at Artists Open Houses HQ have compiled a handy list of events which actually are family friendly, so you can let your creative inspiration run free together.

Screenshot 2016-05-19 06.28.42Also, headline sponsors ARCH-angels Architects are also running a DREAM HOME kids competition. The idea is designed to encourage children to explore the Artists Open Houses trails. Children are invited to take inspiration from specially selected houses across the trails and then design their own Dream Home. They can use any method, drawing, painting, model making or photography to bring their Dream Home to life, with entries welcomed from children aged between 4 and 16. They will be awarding a prize to the winners and runners up of two age categories.

Here are the family friendly highlights running throughout the festival till 29th May:

➢ Kate’s Pantry. Celebrated artist Kate Jenkins will be creating a knitted and crocheted installation of a kitchen pantry, filled with all the basic store-cupboard essentials, all made from wit and wool.

Cardigan Ltd Unit 5 Arundel Mews, 13-18 Arundel Place, Brighton

➢ The Big Forest Emporium

Mr Benjamin Rowling and Mr Michael Craven are two silly artist makers

in an Edwardian shop of delights; felt dogs and animals, wonderful finger puppets, and an unparalleled collection of narrative folk art dolls. For grown ups and well-behaved children!

56 Chester Terrace Brighton BN1 6GB

➢ My Brighton gARTen x Artfinder

In an exciting new collaboration, the My Brighton hotel works with Artfinder, the global marketplace for original art – transforming the hotel’s Mercury Room into a magical garden, populated with trees, plants and forest creatures by Sussex-based street artist, Hannah Adamaszek. Highlighting My Hotels’ commitment the environment, the venue will also host workshops and talks from Friends of the Earth as well as environment-themed family events.

17 Jubilee Street, Brighton, BN1 1GE

➢ The Grange Art Gallery

Along with a host of eclectic works of art from paintings, drawings and sculpture to textiles, photography and woodwork, The Grange Art Gallery, will also hold tea and fun children’s painting workshops on Sundays with anthropod arts in the Edward Lutyens designed garden.

The Green, Rottingdean, Brighton, BN2 7HA

➢ LittlePapa House

With a range of different artists joining them, LittlePapa’s first Open House has plenty for both kids and adults to enjoy, including felted animals and illustrations by Mia Underwood and miniature houses by Marcello Mirto. If adults want to browse in peace, there will also be organised workshops to keep the little ones occupied.

338 Queens Park Road, Brighton, BN2 9ZL


SEAS (Socially Engaged Arts Salon) Open House will be dedicated to issues of social justice and inequality and will include prints, drawings, agitprops, installations and short films, workshops and talks. Among the highlights are an agitprop workshop for children who would like to protest on any issue and express this protest creatively as well workshops for adults.

2 Steine Gardens, Brighton BN2 1WB

➢ 26 Tudor Close

Once a famous hotel visited by the likes of Clark Gable and Bette Davis, Tudor Close is the perfect setting to see puppet theatre and props created by Philip Alexander Sugg along with theatrical paintings, props, illustrations and cushions by Amanda Davidson and Orna Schneerson.

26 Tudor Close, Dean Court Road, Rottingdean, BN2 7DF

➢ Salon des Sources

A firm festival favourite, Halinka Frazer will be selling beautiful fairies here. Although not intended for play, these beautiful handmade figures make delightful gifts.

4 Chanctonbury Road Hove, BN3 6EL

➢ Patcham Community Centre

Patcham Arts is celebrating its third Artists Open Houses festival with regular faces and new artists showcasing works in a variety of media. There will be a workshop each weekend, including one by The Young Embroiderers which gives kids the opportunity to stitch and play.

Patcham Community Centre, Ladies Mile Road, Patcham, BN1 8TA

➢ 8 Bishops Road

Bishops Road is host to the vibrant, thought provoking works of artist and illustrator Ellis Sykes including her illustrated children’s book The Tale of Sarah Strange.

8 Bishops Road, Hove, BN3 6PQ

➢ Constructabilia

There’s plenty for all the family at this wheelchair friendly house in Portslade, including free art and craft workshops, hair braiding, live music, good food and more!

58 Lincoln Road, Portslade, BN41 1LL

➢ 99

Visit this Artists Open Houses regular and see Betty Bib’s unique fairies who are all waiting to be adopted by the right person! Each fairy comes in their own special box with an adoption certificate.

99 Ditchling Rise, Brighton, BN1 4QP

➢ YMCA Downslink Group

YMCA Downslink Group is a charity that has been serving the local community since 1919, supporting over 10,000 children, young people and families annually. For the Artists Open Houses festival, they have brought together a varied and family friendly collection works of spanning a broad range of media with contributions from young people, volunteers, staff and local artists associated with YMCA DownsLink Group, from across Sussex and Surrey.

Reed House, 47 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2BE

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About Claire Jones-Hughes

Founder and co-editor of, Claire has been blogging since 2009. She has posted on a variety of sites including The Argus, The Huffington Post and The Guardian's Comment Is Free. Known as The Contented Mummy on social media, she is dedicated to honest, unsponsored blogging so that parents can benefit from shared experience. Can also be found at - sharing her journey to health & wellness.

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