Make Meaning Bethesda

My family refers to Bethesda Row, the pedestrian-friendly, immaculately maintained shopping district in downtown Bethesda, as the place to get nice things. Sometimes it’s a jacket from The North Face or letterpress cards from Paper Source. Once, it was an iPad from the Apple Store. We’ve bought yoga pants from Lucy, waited in line for cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake, and window-shopped for merino wool sweaters at the merino wool store Icebreaker (yes, that’s a real thing). And this weekend, a few doors down from Icebreaker, we discovered Make Meaning, a 6,000-square-foot arts and crafts emporium that opened this past summer.

At Make Meaning, kids and families can paint ceramics, decorate fondant cakes, mold candles and soap, apply (temporary) glitter tattoos and even cut and design glass jewelry. On Saturday evenings, Make Meaning opens an adults-only, BYOB “Studio Night.” All of the activities take place in Make Meaning’s beautiful second-story studio space, enhanced by light that floods in from the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Bethesda Avenue.

Like a lot of the places on Bethesda Row, Make Meaning offers folks plenty to do if you aren’t on a budget. A VIP birthday party for 10 kids, for example, can run upwards of $1000, and Make Meaning’s holiday craft, gingerbread house decorating, usually costs $49.95 a house. So imagine our budget-minded pleasure when we learned that on every weekday, from December 15 to December 24, Make Meaning is offering gingerbread house decorating for just $9.95 per house (limit one per person, while supplies last). That’s the same as — or in some cases, even more affordable than — getting a pre-assembled gingerbread house at Target or Trader Joe’s!

Make Meaning Gingerbread House

That price includes a pre-built house, a variety of gumballs, gummy candy, and candy canes, and a tube of icing to stick them to the house with (and surreptitiously eat, as our kids did!). After you’re done with your dream house, Make Meaning will wrap it up in cellophane for the journey home. This is such an amazing deal, that I already have plans to take reserve space for my Girl Scouts to do the activity during our special holiday/end-of-year meeting next week.

There’s no mention of this great, 80 percent discount on Make Meaning’s website, but it’s real, trust me. Just download the coupon at and head over to Make Meaning during the specific days and hours when it’s valid (Weekdays only. Monday 10AM-5PM, Tuesday-Friday 10AM-7PM.)

And here’s another reason to stop by Make Meaning this December:  for every weekday craft activity purchased during weekdays between Dec. 8 and Dec. 24, Make Meaning will donate one craft project to be made by patients and their families residing at The Children’s Inn at the NIH. The Children’s Inn is the residence reserved for patients undergoing pediatric medical research at NIH and their families. I suspect a craft from Make Meaning this winter will go far in cheering up patients and their families.

Disclosure: I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of One2One Network. Although I was compensated for this post, all opinions stated are my own.