Our Parties in the ArtShed, St Albans are designed for children and we encourage parents to view them as such rather than as a social opportunity for friends and family! To this end we would normally only expect the host parents to stay and are not able to cater for large groups of adults. We're confident that your children will have fun and they'll also get to bring home their very own painting! Please read the information below which provides full details of our parties.
1) Booking & payment
In the first instance, please use our website Contact Form to get in touch about possible dates for your party. Please note, we no longer run parties on Sundays in the ArtShed.
We will then respond to you as soon as possible by email to discuss availability and agree a time and date.
To confirm the booking, you must then book using our online system and pay the £75 non-refundable deposit. You will then receive an email confirming your booking.
Once the party has run we will invoice for the balance due immediately.
Our parties cost £18.75 per child with a minimum booking fee of £150 (8 children), excluding extras.
The ‘Extras Package’ includes a campfire, marshmallows, plates, cups & napkins and costs £50.
We can take up to 15 children in the winter months and up to 25 during the Summer Term. We don’t run parties during the school holidays as we are running our Holiday Camps during that period.
2) Before the party
We will agree the party activity with you from a choice of canvas paintings – please see our website Parties page for more details. If it is in the winter months there is also the choice of a ‘Glow in the Dark Party’.
We will agree whether or not you want a fire with marshmallows (our Extras Package).
We will agree how many children you expect to come to the party.
We will also provide some printed invites for you to send out to your guests.
We do not provide party bags but you are welcome to bring your own.
We do not provide food – please see our notes in 3) below for more information.
3) On the day
Arrival & parking
As the party host you may park on our drive but we ask that guests park on nearby Cunningham Hill Road to drop-off and pick-up. This is for safety reasons and to maintain access. We ask that you communicate this to your guests before the party.
As the party host, please arrive 15 minutes before the start of the party but ask guests not to arrive more than 5 minutes beforehand.
We aim to make the party space as attractive as possible but if you would like to decorate just before the party starts, for example with balloons and banners, that’s fine too – just let us know.
Our garden is a fun place to be for kids (and adults!). We have ducks and chickens, plenty of space to run around and play including a sandpit, Wendy house, swing and climbing frame. The trampoline is kept out of bounds for safety reasons.
What to wear
Given the outdoor nature of the party and the art activity itself we always advise that children wear suitable clothing but party clothes are fine if they’re not too precious! Bring coats and wrap up warm if it’s a cold day – the kids will be kept warm in the Cabin but parents may wish to bring an extra layer.
The cabin & activity
The original Art Shed is a log cabin at the end of our garden that is well used as an art studio and classroom space. It’s a fun space to be in and get those creative juices flowing!
We run two sorts of parties for children: a Standard Party and a Glow in the Dark Party (winter months only).
For our Standard Parties children are taken through the stages of drawing and painting a picture on canvas (please see our website Parties page for the choice of pictures). Aprons and all materials are provided and the children then get to take home their work - it can be helpful if parents picking-up bring a plastic bag to put the still-wet painting in!
Our Glow in the Dark Parties run in the winter months when it gets dark early and children can experience ArtShed in the dark! They paint a picture under UV light using glow-in-the-dark paints and then get to charge around the garden with glow sticks. The Extras Package, which includes toasting marshmallows on a campfire, is very popular with this choice.
Our parties run for 2 hours and follow an approximate timetable as follows:
We don’t run party games as the Art activity takes up most of the party time.
We do not supply food for the party but do provide water. You are welcome to bring your own food but most people order pizza from Dominoes just up the road! This can either be delivered or collected to benefit from their buy one get one half-price deal.
We ask where possible to minimize the use of items that may end up in the bin or recycling. We recommend bringing squash and paper cups instead of plastic bottles/cartons which often have to be thrown away half-drunk.
The one thing we can’t control! Our parties run regardless of the weather so please be prepared for whatever the weather might be on the day. Only in the event of extreme weather (eg lightning or very high winds) would we consider cancelling the party. To date we have never had to do this. In addition to the cabin we have a large marquee up where everyone can remain dry but in our experience children don’t tend to notice the weather and charge around in the garden anyway!
Fire & marshmallows – the Extras Package
If you have chosen the Extras Package we will provide a campfire and marshmallows to be toasted over the fire on sticks. Included in this package are paper plates, napkins, cups and tea and coffee facilities.