Saturday Morning Cartoons with a Twist: Chuck Jones Center for Creativity

T, who are you sending a letter to?!

With school starting, I bet many RMT’ers are looking for more and more fun (and new) activities for the weekends, either things to do as a family or places where we can meet up for play dates with others. Yes, of course there’s always the usual museums and such, but I guess I more am looking for something fun and new to explore, something a bit off of the beaten path, coloring outside of the lines if you will. And to be honest, as T approaches five-years-old (!), he’s growing tired of a few of our usual haunts as well.

What’s up, Doc? It’s that wicked wabbit, and it looks like he makes his home at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa (CA).

While Drop In & Draw Saturdays are technically free events at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, donations are highly encouraged. And how could you not want to donate a little something after seeing the creative effort put into – of all things – a donation box?!

Our Saturday morning play date group out at Drop In & Draw at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

A few Saturdays ago, T and I met up with a few friends over at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity for their Saturday morning “Drop In & Draw” program. This is a donation-based center where kids and adults can gather and create drawings, paintings, or other multi-media forms of artwork under the guidance of staff members, or with no guidance at all. The point is to literally drop-in on a Saturday morning and, well, get back to the drawing boards!

What can I say… I am very proud that my T knows already how to handle scissors properly, and here’s the photo to show it.

T gets into the glue at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

T and his friends draw, paint, and glue the morning away at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

Now as you know, it’s a challenge for me to set up any sort of art projects here at home. The mess and T’s focus (or lack of most times) still are doing me in, I hate to admit. However, that’s what’s so great about this and other art/ play centers for kids – they can do the art that they sorely need to do, but the mess stays out of your house! Brilliant!

A wide view inside of the gallery at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

This is a wall mural above the space where Drop In & Draw happens at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. While close-up shots of the original art pieces isn’t allowed, as most are for sale, I got the OK for the gallery staff to take this photo.

T enjoyed the animation cells hanging in the gallery at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. What a wonderful way to introduce kids to art, RMT’ers: Cartoons!

Oh, and when you want to take a break from being the artist, take a nice stroll through the gallery to appreciate the master himself. The space is covered with the artwork of Chuck Jones from his Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies days at Warner Bros. Cartoons studios. Jones created such iconic characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, Marvin the Martian, and dozens if not hundreds more throughout his decades-long career.

A mom-made rainbow was just one of many masterpieces of the morning out at Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

We are blessed to have a real artist in our play group, as in an actual art major in college artist! This is the same friend of mine who guided T on that art play date at her home back in November, too. Here, she is sketching the “Pussyfoot” character, just one of many of Chuck Jones’ creations.

This guy’s face says it all: Experience pure artistic joy at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

T and one of his art pieces (or work in progress?) from our Saturday morning out at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

The kids made this caution sign after we finished cleaning up a mess on the floor where the kids got together to make a group mural. The mural, sadly, didn’t survive the move to a higher elevation (i.e. table).

The kids had an absolute blast creating the morning away; in fact, so did a few of the parents also. Some used the usual crayons and markers while others got elbow-deep in the paints, papers, and glue. Before we knew it, almost two hours flew by, and we had quite the piles of artwork to show for it… and a few messes (don’t worry, RMT’ers, we helped clean up!).

The kids hanging out after Drop In & Draw at South Coast Collection’s beautiful courtyard space. Looks like they are still feeling pretty creative!

T and I ate off of the Taco Maria food truck at the SoCo Farmers’ Market. Check them out online at .

Once we’d had our fill of art for the morning and before we headed home, we ventured outside and continued  our day snacking and shopping at South Coast Collection (AKA “SoCo”), which is not just the home for the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity but to many nice cafes,  restaurants, and boutique shops, along with The OC Mart Mix. This is also where the SoCo Farmers’ Market sets up on Saturdays, which was where we chose to have our lunch and do a quick grocery stop (thus avoiding the grocery store on a Saturday mid-day, thank you Farmers’ Market!).

It was a masterpiece of a morning out for T and I, and it’s definitely something we will drop-in our schedules again soon!

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity puts a great twist on the usual Saturday morning cartoons.

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is located at 3321 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, California 92626 in South Coast Collection (“SoCo”), just north of the 405 at Harbor. The Center is open six days a week. Hours are: Monday 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Drop In & Draw is held most Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.