Have you been to one of Lowe's Build and Grow Workshops? We love them. A lot. My 4 year old son even brings his own tool bag. Its a big deal in our family. So I called to see if Lowe's Home Improvement offered any tours as well.
Technically...no. However, you can book a free birthday party and ask if they would be willing to give an explanation of some tools. Perfect!
Lowe's recommends no more than 16 kids and I definitely agree. For the tour, you are in a private room but there really isn't space for more than that especially since you are building. We ended up with 9 kids and that was great. To begin the tour, George- our guide- had several tools out on the table. He explained each tool, other names you might hear, and how to use them. The kids really enjoyed this part. That's my son's really interested face above. My husband and I even learned a few things.
Next we were able to practice some hammering. George gave us some long boards with some nails. Obviously, this is where it gets really fun. George went around gave tips and help as well.
Then it was building time! Woohoo! You get the same things that you would on a Saturday: an apron with name tag, goggles, building kit, and tools to borrow. The instructions are fairly simple to follow but you really should read them through before starting. Its just smart. I really like how the holes are already drilled so you just have to line things up properly- it really makes it easier which is helpful when you are teaching little ones. We made birdhouses with a roof that opens. After you complete your project, you get a badge that can be ironed on to your apron.
What I liked:
I appreciated the simple but interesting tool lesson at the beginning as well as the hammering practice before we got started building.
What my kids liked:
What my husband liked:
It was nice to have a less crowded building experience- they get pretty busy at Saturday workshops.
We walked around the store a little afterwards by ourselves but its not part of the tour. All in all it was a great tour considering they don't really offer them. And its free!
Various locations (4 in Colorado Springs)
Store hours are 6am-10pm. Party times will vary by store, however, they were pretty flexible for me.
Total Tour Time:
3.5/5- Considering they don't really offer tours, it was pretty good.
I know Home Depot does building workshops for kids too. We been to both and there are pros and cons about each place. We've decided to stick with Lowe's mostly. Here's what's different about Home Depot:
- You use more tools at Home Depot. Usually you get to use a screwdriver, sand paper, and a hammer. Then sometimes you get to paint your project (good luck getting that one home without getting paint all over you). At Lowe's its mainly a hammer.
- The difficulty of Home Depot's projects is greater. Although difficulty will vary by project, Home Depot's are just harder. Also, if the boards have holes, they don't go all the way through- just starter holes. That makes it harder for little ones but its great for the older ones to learn. I've found though, that even though they have holes it doesn't mean they are the right ones. I recently went to a birthday party there with my son and the holes for the nails were on the wrong side of the board so of no use at all and the hole for the screw was completely off- I had to make a new hole anyway. Be aware so you don't get too frustrated. Generally speaking, there is more adult participation required which is hard for the kids that want to do it all. At Lowe's the holes go all the way through and actually are where they are supposed to be.
- Building is once a month- at Lowe's its usually twice.
- The rooms are basically the same. However, at the Home Depot we went to, they did have a pin the hammer on the tool belt game which was cool.
Note: Either place you go, you will end up on the floor building- its easier. I know that Home Depot offers make shift tables at the workshops but they don't work well for hammering. At the Home Depot birthday party, however, the tables did work well.