Today’s post is not about sharing freebies. There are a ton of coupon/freebie blogs, such as Freebies4mom, that can share those up-to-the minute posts on that. No, this post is about comparing two of the largest home improvement stores, Home Depot or Lowes, specifically their kids’ workshops.
We’ve been an avid attendee of Lowes Build and Grow Clinics and Home Depot Kids Workshops for years, even before the days of owning our home. I still remember the first time
we Prof helped Piano Man make a drum kit at Lowes. For most apartment dwellers, touching a hammer wasn’t the first thing on my to do list on the weekends, but for that Saturday project, we went for it. Piano Man banged on that drum for years until the plastic wore down.
We became regulars of Lowes and eventually learned of Home Depot ‘s Kids Workshops when we saw advertisements on their welcome sign at the front of the store. Now after all these years, we’ve learned a thing or two about the advantages and disadvantages of these two free Saturday programs.
Take a look at the chart below:
Because Home Depot doesn’t require preregistration for their kids’ workshops, this is perfect for families who want to make a spontaneous visit to Home Depot. Of course, this also means that you’ll want to get there early before the 10:00 – 10:30 am crowds rush in. And when it gets packed, it’s not as easy to navigate in and out of the dedicated workshop space.
Lowes, on the other hand, requires pre-registration. This means, if Lowes has a popular project coming up, you’ll want to be proactive and sign up very early. For example, the upcoming December 14th Train Clinic is already full. (I began writing this post on November 12, 2013.) Also, because of pre-registration, Lowes offers a finite number of spaces to attend, which means it won’t be as busy and crazy as a Home Depot’s Kids Workshop.
Lowes’ projects are also notoriously more difficult than Home Depot’s. The number of steps to complete a Lowes Build and Grow project is about 2-3 steps longer than Home Depot’s. I’ve also been known to stress and shed a few drops of tears when frustrated at a particular step in the project. So you’ll need to help your younger builders a bit more to successfully complete the project.
Although Home Depot lacks complicated wooden designs on some projects, it surpasses Lowe’s in the colorful artistic design process. Home Depot provides painting stations to make each wooden project different from the next child’s.
While Lowes staffers hand out iron-on patches (thank you, Lowes, for changing it from a sew-on patch to iron patch. My life is so much better!), Home Depot’s staffers hand out pins to place on your child’s apron. Additionally, Home Depot passes out free popcorn! That is probably just as big of a highlight for any child as is the free wooden project.
We like both programs. Home Depot’s workshops are great because it is open and free to everyone in our community. It feels more relaxed and enjoyable, probably because it also requires less steps in building the project. But Lowes offers more movable projects, such as the Lowes Pull Back Race Car and Train Engine Clinics, that are huge favorites every year. Lowes also offers summer specific movie-themed projects, such as Madagascar and Planes characters. (Edit: Recently, Home Depot offered a Despicable Me 2 Tic-Tac-Toe Game too.) So if you’ve got the time, go to both. You might even find something you need for your house, which is precisely why Home Depot and Lowes offers these free Saturday events.
Check out these websites below to find a workshop or clinic near your hometown:
From my hometown to yours,