Art Encounters for grades K-5

Museum tours and art lessons for Homeschools, Cyberschool, Co-ops, and other learning groups

Fall 2024 schedule is coming in September! 

Families and educators!

Join us for special programs filled with interactive art tours and lessons. Visit the first and oldest art museum and art school in the United States and explore its internationally known collections of American art during dedicated hours. Activities facilitated by professional museum educators are designed to serve homeschools, co-op groups, and individual families, as well as locally attending cyberschool students.

Each program offers an engaging theme and focuses on the enhancement of academic curriculum highlighting literacy, observation, critical thinking, communication, and social skill development. This program offers a great opportunity for interaction between different homeschool groups in a creative setting.

Space is limited to 20 participants; please register early.

Unavailable on the scheduled days at PAFA? Contact Lindsey Murphy, the K-12 Manager to discuss alternative reservation options.

Email: or call 215 972-2022

Program Information

Fall Schedule is coming soon!

Each session includes museum exploration and art activities. 

Duration: 1pm- 2:30 pm

Runs selected Wednesdays and Thursdays, 1pm - 2:30 pm

$15 per session, includes Museum admission per child and one adult. Additional adults pay regular Museum admission.

Private Homeschool sessions may also be arranged (subject to space and staff availability). Please contact to schedule a private Homeschool tour.

Please read Youth and Family Programs Policies and Procedures | PAFA - Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, before you register.

Past Schedule Fall 2022-Spring 2023

Fall 2022




Art Lesson



1-1 Salon with a Twist

Discover how contemporary artists take traditional styles of artmaking and turn them into unique narratives by creating their own collections of objects and styles in surprising and new ways! 

Still Life Narrative

Create a layered mixed media still life narrative inspired by the updated Salon Gallery at PAFA using a variety of materials and application techniques!


10/7/2022, Friday

10/13/2022, Thursday


1-2 Grids, Lines, and the Mind

Explore how artists use math, science, and their minds to create inspiring works of art. Includes a visit to PAFA’s special exhibition Negotiating Grids.

Symmetry, Symmetrix

Inspired by Nina Chanel Abney’s Potato, Potata work of art in Negotiating Grids, this art project will use symmetry and technology concepts to create a mixed media collage using lots of fun materials!


10/27/2022, Thursday

10/28/2022, Friday



1-3. Who Are We?

In connection with the special exhibition Making American Artists: Stories from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1776–1976 and in collaboration with the Free Library, this tour will explore the genre of portrait making and looking at how portraits are created to express ideas and personalities. Includes a reading of the book Beautiful Shades of Brown: The Art of Laura Wheeler Waring, by Nancy Churnin.

Art Lesson: Beautiful Shades!

Learn how to construct a portrait using colorful techniques in traditional and innovative ways. The lesson is taught by a current student of PAFA!


11/4/2022, Friday

11/10/2022, Thursday


1-4. Music, Motion, and Art Making

Experience visual arts and music together by listening to music in the galleries!  Participants will be immersed in a multi-sensory experience, while learning about different ways music impacted the artists in PAFA’s collection.

Instrumental Art

Create a musical sculpture using a variety of materials that can be played!


11/18/2022, Friday

12/8/2022, Thursday


1-5. Season of Light Special

Inspired by the winter sky at night, holiday lights, and science, this art lesson will apply concepts of circuitry and different art mediums to create a piece of art that lights up!


12/16/2022, Friday

12/21/2022, Wednesday 


Spring 2023




Art Lesson



2-1. Making American Artists

Tour the remarkable special exhibition Making American Artists: Stories from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1776–1976 and explore how traditional themes and genres of art making have changed through history. Includes sketching in the galleries and then a Q&A Session with a PAFA student – an artist in the making.

You’re an Artist!

Become the part of PAFA’s 1st Art Encounters exhibition! Participants of this lesson will have their artwork on display in the Community and Education Center.


2/10/2023, Friday

2/16/2023, Thursday


2-2. Viewpoints

Who gets to tell the story?  This tour experience explores PAFA’s Making American Artists: Stories from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1776–1976 exhibition through comparing and contrasting activities, and how these artworks played a role in building the identity of a Nation.

Contrasting Views

Create a 2D paper art project that highlights the concept of contrasting views and opposites using artistic elements to highlight those views. 


3/9/2023, Thursday


2-3. Rising Sun Encounters

Explore the unprecedented Rising Sun exhibition that will transform the Historic Landmark Building by contemporary artist and make observations and express opinions about these innovative and large-scale sculptures, paintings, digital art, and more.

Mosaic Masterpieces

Inspired by the art seen in the Rising Sun exhibition, create a work of art rendering your own interpretation of the “Rising Sun” concept utilizing artistic mosaic tiles and other materials.


4/14/2023, Friday

4/20/2023, Thursday


2-4. Sculptural Explorations

This tour will focus on the many sculptural pieces commissioned by PAFA for the Rising Sun special exhibition. Participants will learn about the contemporary artist that created some of the works and investigate the science and techniques used to make the pieces.

Tree Sculpture

This is a mixed media art lesson that will allow participants to create their own sculpture of a tree incorporating their wishes for the future within it.


5/4/2023, Thursday

5//26/2023, Friday


2-5. Summer Celebration Special

Inspired by the warm weather and the beginning of summer, celebrate the end of the school year as you make a memorable artwork, reflecting on the time spent at PAFA.


6/8/2023, Friday

6/13/2023, Thursday


Contact Us

PAFA offers programs for artists and art lovers of all ages and skill levels who want to learn about and make art.