Tot Chef: Fall and Winter Cooking Classes with Kids
Written by Lauren Valencia
Cooking is an ideal class for kids to take. They can learn new chops, get exposed to new foods and tastes, and they can try it all out at home. And cooking engages all five senses, plus children’s sixth sense — getting messy!
Here's a baker's dozen of places that offer kids’ cooking classes, sorted by locale, plus gingerbread-house-making workshops. Note: Many of these sell out fast, so book early, and our apologies if some of the classes we noted aren't available still.
Seattle and the Eastside
This French cooking school offers a number of classes for adults, kids and families; upcoming classes include crepes on Nov. 9, tartlets on Nov. 23 and holiday treats on Dec. 7. (Kids can also take “French Marmitons,” a four-class series that teaches iconic French dishes on Saturdays at 4 p.m.)
Details: $35/single class."Marmitons" recommended for ages 8–12. $140/participant for 4-class series.
Frog Legs Kids Culinary Academy
Located in Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood and owned by mom-of-three Laura Vida, Frog Legs offers many cooking classes, parties, and camps for children (and some for adults, too). Classes are interactive, nut-free, and include active time, art opportunities and stories. There are a number of offerings around Thanksgiving, including classes in pie-baking, holiday treats and more.
Details: Classes for kids starting at age 3. $45–$65 a class.
PCC Kids Cook
With locations from Edmonds to West Seattle, the kids' cooking classes at these beloved neighborhood markets are affordable and fill up quickly, so reserve early (as in the minute you get your catalog). Upcoming kids' classes that are still open include grilled cheese and tomato soup, tamales, and teen baking.
Details: Classes for kids starting at age 4. $35–$45 a class.
Kitchen Coach in North Seattle, a branch of Mangia Bene Catering, offers classes for parents and kids; they’ll do after-school cooking classes for youth groups of six or more. Upcoming classes include "Easy as Pie" on Nov. 24 and a "Holiday Gift Class" on Dec. 21.
Details: Ages 9-16 for scheduled classes. $40–$60/person plus fees. Register online. Call 206-548-4994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
There are several kids' cooking programs offered through Seattle Parks; examples include Lil' Chefs (ages 2-5) and Jr. Chefs Cooking Club (ages 5-12). Again, book early!
Details: $82/child for Lil Chefs series; $88/child for Jr. Chefs. Register online.
Kirkland offers parent/child cooking series for preschoolers with themes that change monthly. Classes are held at McAuliffe Park. Note: Currently, fall classes are mostly full, but there are openings for winter and spring. Search the website.
NuCulinary has various locations and may also come to you. Children’s classes are offered on demand, so get some friends together and make a date. They do birthday parties, too.
Shoreline offers Kids in the Kitchen, a three-class series, and occasional one-day workshops with Chef Laurie from Pastry Craft called "Mom and Me - Pies Made Easy." Chef Laurie also offers private in-home cooking classes.
Details: Ages 7–11 for Kids in the Kitchen; $40/resident, $48/non-resident.
South Sound classes
Pierce County Parks
Chambers Bay Grill Restaurant hosts Junior Top Chefs, a basic kitchen and cooking class for older kids taught by the Chambers Bay Chef and his team. Next class session, Jan. 7–Feb. 4
Details: Ages 9–15. $120/junior, $110/each additional junior. Register online.
Bayview School of Cooking
Olympia’s Bayview School of Cooking has a special kids’ cooking program called Kids in the Kitchen, with classes divided into two age groups. Upcoming holiday-oriented classes including Christmas cookie making and a parent-child gingerbread house workshop.
Details: Age groups 5–8 and 9–13. $25/ages 5–8, $35/ages 9–13. $50 for parent-child workshop. Register by phone or online.
Our region has a bevy of fun workshops; book early!
Gingerbread Jamboree, Tacoma
An annual event organized by the Children's Museum of Tacoma with candy buffets, fun with frosting, and an opportunity to build your own gingerbread house. Pre-registration required.
Details: Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.Hotel Murano, 1320 Broadway Plaza Tacoma. $40/family of four. Register online.
Gingerbread House Making at the Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle
An annual event from the folks who really know gingerbread: The whole family can decorate a gingerbread house with candy and other goodies.
Details: Saturday, Dec. 7, from 12:30–2:30 p.m. $15 per family; one house per family. Reservations required.
Family Gingerbread House Workshops, Bellevue
KidsQuest Children’s Museum offers several gingerbread workshops at the beautiful Hilton Hotel Bellevue; all materials, snacks and cider are provided.
Details: Workshops on Dec. 12, 13, 14, 15. $35/member family, $40/non-member family. Online pre-registration required and space is limited.
About the author: Lauren Valencia is an educator and aspiring magazine editor. She loves sharing her passion for music and the arts with children and families, from writing kindie music reviews to throwing preschool dance parties to the tunes of Whitney Houston and Caspar Babypants. To chill out, Lauren practices yoga, reads novels, and tells bad jokes.