Free Family Fun Day

Free Family Fun Day is Back!

Monterey Museum of Art offers fun and creative activities for the whole family. 

Thank you to our Supporters!

A big thank you to our Free Family Fun Day Supporters: Harden Foundation, Rotary Club of Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Carmel Woman’s Club.


Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Color Duets

Award-winning Color Duets artist Erin Lee Gafill and her husband, artist and producer Tom Birmingham present a weeklong creative immersion. A celebration of creativity, connection, and family, these Free Family Fun Weeks are designed to awaken the inner artist in folks ages six and up, with a particular eye toward multi-generational connection, both near and far.





  • Mixed media or sturdy paper to draw on, approx. 11” x 14” 
  • Pencil or marker 
  • Acrylic paint, tempera, watercolor, marker, or ink 
  • Scissors and glue 
  • A ruler 
  • (Optional: paper towels, removable tape, old toothbrush)

Stripes Lesson Plan (PDF)(English)



  • Magazines, clippings, old postcards, and/or discarded paintings
  • Marker, pencil, pen, sharpie or crayon
  • Piece of paper
  • Paint (acrylic works best)
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue

Transformation Lesson Plan (PDF)(English)

Five Shapes


  • Colored paper 
  • Glue  
  • Optional: paint, paintbrushes, scissors

Five Shapes Lesson Plan (PDF)(English)



Cosmic Doodle

In this project you’ll make a beautiful pattern of bright colors after you’ve scribbled a line. Did you know that a line is a dot that went for a walk? Don’t take long on your doodle, just a few moments.

Pen or pencil
Markers, or Crayons or Paints (watercolor, tempera, acrylic, poster paint, gouache)
Cup of water
Paper towel
Watercolor or other sturdy paper

Cosmic Doodle Lesson Plan (PDF)(English)


Doodle cósmico

En este proyecto, creará un hermoso patrón de colores brillantes después de haber garabateado una línea. ¿Sabías que una línea es un punto que salió a caminar? No tardes mucho en hacer tu doodle, solo unos momentos.

Lapicero o lápiz
Marcadores, crayones o pinturas (acuarela, témpera, acrílico, pintura para carteles, gouache)
Cepillo de pintura
taza de agua
Toalla de papel
Acuarela u otro papel resistente

Doodle Cosmico Lesson Plan (PDF)(Espanol)

Magic Dot

It is fun to let the water do your work when you want to make something beautiful with watercolor paint. In this project you’ll see that watercolors move around a piece of wet paper all by themselves. It is best to use watercolor paper for this exercise, but, you can use another type of heavy, absorbent paper.

Watercolor paints
Small paint brush
Cup for water
A paper towel to clean your brush
Watercolor or other sturdy paper

Magic Dot Lesson Plan (PDF)(English)


Punto mágico

Es divertido dejar que el agua haga tu trabajo cuando quieres hacer algo hermoso con pintura de acuarela. En este proyecto, verás que las acuarelas se mueven solas alrededor de un papel húmedo. Es mejor usar papel de acuarela para este ejercicio, pero puede usar otro tipo de papel absorbente pesado.

Pinturas de acuarela
pincel pequeño
Taza de agua
Una toalla de papel para limpiar tu cepillo
Acuarela u otro papel resistente

Punto Magico Lesson Plan (PDF)(Espanol)

The Color Blue

Paints (watercolor, acrylic, tempera, or gouache)
Pen or pencil
Small paint brush
Mixing palette (a plastic plate will do)
Cup of water
Paper towel
Tissue paper 
Watercolor paper

The Color Blue Lesson Plan (PDF)(English)


El color azul

Pinturas (acuarelas, acrílicas, tempera o gouache)
Lapicero o lápiz
Pincel pequeño
Paleta de mezcla (un plato de plástico servirá)
taza de agua
Toalla de papel
Pañuelo de papel
Papel de acuarela

Color Azul Lesson Plan (PDF)(Espanol)

Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Dream Big With Art

Welcome to MMA’s  Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Dream Big with Art!

Virtual Free Family Fun Day is about dreaming big and thinking above and beyond. What do you dream about? To artists young and old, we encourage you to think outside the box, and use your creativity to achieve your dreams!


Bold and Bright Photo Frames

Califas Legacy Project artist Jaime Sanchez uses pattern and color to make vibrant and interesting works of art. Patterns are created by repeating shapes, doodles, lines, or color. For this project, you will use patterns and bold colors to create a frame for an image of someone you look up to.

Markers/Crayons/Colored Pencils
Black pen

Bold and Bright Lesson Plan (PDF)

Marcos de fotos llamativos y brillantes

El artista de Califas Legacy Project, Jaime Sánchez, usa patrones y colores para hacer obras de arte vibrantes e interesantes. Los patrones se crean repitiendo formas, garabatos, líneas o colores. Para este proyecto, usará patrones y colores llamativos para crear un marco para la imagen de alguien a quien admira.

Marcadores / Crayones / Lápices de colores
Lapicero negro

Plan de leccion: Marcos de fotos llamativos y brillantes (PDF)


The Triptych of Your Dreams 

A triptych is a work of art that is in three separate pieces, but meant to be appreciated all together. Angelica Muro, an artist from our current Califas Legacy Project exhibition uses this technique in her triptych Agricultural Workers in Gucci. Separating your art into pieces can sometimes help tell your story. What is something you dream about? For this project, imagine three dreams you have for your future!

2 pieces of Paper
Black Pen
Markers or watercolor

Triptych Lesson Plan (PDF)


El tríptico de tus sueños

Un tríptico es una obra de arte que está en tres piezas separadas, pero que debe apreciarse en conjunto. Angélica Muro, artista de nuestra exposición actual del Proyecto Legado de Califas, utiliza esta técnica en su tríptico Trabajadores agrícolas en Gucci. A veces, separar tu arte en pedazos puede ayudar a contar tu historia. ¿Qué es algo con lo que sueñas? Para este proyecto, ¡imagina tres sueños que tienes para tu futuro!

2 hojas de papel
Lápizero negro
Marcadores o acuarela

Plan de leccion: El tríptico de tus sueños (PDF)

Torn Paper Landscape

Francis McComas, California’s first Modernist painter, created his watercolor landscapes by using blocks of colors. For our landscapes, we will be using torn pieces of paper to represent shapes to create a color collage. To see more of Francis McComas’ work for inspiration, view our virtual exhibition.

Construction Paper, magazines

Torn Paper Lesson Plan

Paisaje de papel rasgado

Francis McComas, el primer pintor modernista de California, creó sus paisajes de acuarela utilizando bloques de colores. Para nuestros paisajes, utilizaremos trozos de papel para representar formas y crear un collage de colores. Para ver más del trabajo de Francis McComas en busca de inspiración, vea nuestra exposición virtual.

Papel de construcción, revistas

Plan de leccion: Paisaje de papel rasgado (PDF)

Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Mini Masterpieces

Welcome to MMA’s most festive Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Mini Masterpieces!

Make Mini Masterpieces inspired by Miniatures and our current exhibitions! These projects may be mini, but they’re sure to be a huge hit. Making art together is a great way to spend time as a family, and these projects make great gifts too!


Mini Vision Boards

The New Year is right around the corner; a time for fresh starts. What do you hope to see or do in the new year? Who or what inspires you? Create an artistic Vision Board by collecting and arranging images into a collage that inspires you or brings you happiness!

Half sheet of paper
Drawing materials (optional)

Mini Vision Board Instructions (PDF)


Flower Power Prints

Create colorful monoprints using real flowers and paint, inspired by the work of MMA Currents artist Ken Hale. Monoprints are images that can only be made once, so each time you create something unique and magical!

Paint (acrylic or washable)
Sturdy Paper
Roller (brayer) or Sponge
Foil Tray or Baking Sheet

Flower Power Prints Instructions (PDF)


Mini Accordion Story Book

Make a mini story book! Use this simple bookmaking technique to create and illustrate your very own story. 

Drawing Materials

Mini Accordion Story Book Instructions (PDF)


Odds and Ends 3D Collage

MMA’s Artist in Residence Gretchen Andrew uses a variety of small objects glued to her canvas to make her vision boards stand out and give meaning to the ideas she is sharing. 

Gather small (sacrificable to art) objects that will make your drawing stand out! Do the materials you use help tell your story?

Check out the virtual exhibition Gretchen Andrew: Future News for more inspiration!

Thick Paper or Cardstock
Colored Pencils/Markers/ Pencil
Ribbon, Buttons, Feathers, Jewels, Leaves, whatever you can find!

Odds and Ends 3D Collage Instructions (PDF)


Missed our earlier Virtual Free Family Fun Days? Check out all the activities below!


Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Spooktacular!

Welcome to MMA’s favorite Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Spooktacular!

Attention all Ghouls and Goblins: The Monsterey Booseum of Art is getting creepy and creative for this virtual Free Family Fun Day! We’ll be sharing art projects all day that are sure to give you chills and thrills. (But mostly thrills!)


Spooky Scavenger Hunt Bingo

Between now and Halloween, try to find or create as many of these spooooky things as you can. Bonus Halloween points for checking off the whole board!

Hint: Drawing a spooky tree totally counts! 

Spooky Scavenger Hunt Bingo (PDF)

Mosaic Monstrosities

These monstrous mosaic’s are made by arranging small colorful pieces of paper together to create a creature. Let’s put that pile of junk mail and old magazines to good use!

Junk mail and magazines

Mosaic Monstrosity Instructions (PDF)



Mixed Media Haunted Houses

To create a mixed media haunted house, first we’ll make a spooky sky using watercolor techniques, add paper collage to construct our houses, and use markers, pastels, or crayons to add creepy details!

Black marker
Watercolors, water, and paintbrush
Plastic bag, markers, spray bottle
Black paper

Mixed Media Haunted Houses Instructions (PDF)


Jack O’Notan 

Notan is a Japanese term to express “light and dark”. We will use this idea to create a Jack O’Lantern design that helps us understand positive and negative space, as well as symmetry!

2 different colors of paper

Jack-O-Notan Instructions (PDF)


Salt Dough Pumpkins

This super simple recipe is enough to make a few small pumpkin sculptures, or one huge pumpkin. Salt dough is made with non-toxic household ingredients, but not very tasty, so please don’t eat your dough!

½ cup Salt
1 cup All Purpose Flour 
½ cup Water

Salt Dough Pumpkin Instructions (PDF)


Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Fun in the Sun

Welcome to MMA’s second Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Fun in the Sun!  The whole family can join in on these creative projects completed with objects found around your house!

Tag us in your projects on social media @montereyart or email a picture of your creations to [email protected] and be entered for a chance to win a R.A.D Art Kit for even more creative fun at home!


Sun’s Out Fun’s Out(side) Rainbow Scavenger Hunt

Rainbows appear in many places, not just the sky! Sometimes we see them on clothes, from our windows, or on flags – See if you can spot a rainbow out in the wild or make your own! Take a picture and tag us @montereyart so we can share it.

Super Chill Chalk Paint Popsicles

This super simple chalk paint recipe is a fun way to experiment with color mixing(with a dash of science), and stay cool in the summer. Use your chalk paint to write inspiring messages and brighten up your neighborhood! 

Popsicle mold, muffin tin, ice cube tray
Washable paint or food coloring 
Baking Soda
Popsicle sticks or toothpicks
Vinegar (optional)

Super Chill Chalk Paint Popsicles Instructions (PDF)


Have You Seen My Beach Ball – 3D Paper Ball

Lose your beach ball? No problem! Turn a single flat sheet of paper into a 3D paper ball with just a few folds and three pieces of tape!

Ballpoint pen

Have you Seen My Beach Ball-3D Paper Ball Instructions (PDF)


Cool Color Collages

Create a mixed media landscape collage, and see the important role color plays in your composition!

Fabric Scraps or Colored Paper
Paint Brushes
Paint, Markers, Crayons, or Colored Pencils

Cool Color Collages Instructions (PDF)

Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Natural Wonders

Welcome to MMA’s very first Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Natural Wonders! The whole family can join in on these creative projects inspired by nature and completed with objects found around your house!

Tag us in your projects on social media @montereyart or email a picture of your creations to [email protected] and be entered for a chance to win a R.A.D Art Kit for even more creative fun at home!



Forging for Color Scavenger Hunt

On your next walk in your neighborhood, take some time to notice the colors around you. Can you find all the colors of the rainbow in nature? Fill in the below color wheel, or make your own, and take it with you on your walk to help you match colors!

Foraging for Color Scavenger Hunt Color Wheel (PDF)


Nature Texture Plate

Discover the many different patterns and textures of the natural world by making your own texture plate! The plate can be left as is to create rubbings, or you can add paint or markers to show off the textures.

Smooth cardboard 
Natural materials with interesting textures

Nature Texture Plate Instructions (PDF) 


Patterns in Nature with Rob Boss

Create killer collages from patterns that you find in the natural world around you.  Guest star, Rob Boss, teaches about what patterns are, how to recreate your own, and how to use it to collage your own picture.  

glue/glue stick, or tape
Your favorite coloring materials

Patterns In Nature Collage Instructions (PDF)


Origami Planter Boxes

Use recycled, biodegradable paper and traditional origami techniques to create a paper planter! Students will get to get their hands dirty while they plant a seedling. As a bonus, you can bury the entire planter box when the seedling is ready for transplant!

Repurposed paper, cardstock

Origami Planter Box Instructions (PDF)


Flower Power! Smashed Flower Art

Even when staying home, we can create interesting nature art from simple materials found around our home and neighborhoods! Take a walk around your block, pick some flowers popping out from the sidewalk, in the bushes, in the bushes from the park, or snip some from your own yard! (Be careful not to pluck from your neighbors gardens, unless you ask of course!)

Flowers (the more colorful and fresh, the better)
Wax Paper (parchment paper, paper towels, or plain paper work as well)
Thick paper- watercolor, cardstock, or thin cardboard
A hammer or mallet
Optional- Shears or scissors to trim flower stems

Flower Power Smashed Flower Art Instructions (PDF)


Anthotype Fun

Learn how to make an anthotype – a photographic printing process made from plants and sunlight!

Anthotype Fun Instructions


How did we do? Please fill out a brief survey so we can make Family Day even better!