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Orbix Hot Glass is a STEAM Filled Experience for Kids

Orbix Hot Glass is a STEAM Filled Experience for Kids

  • A great road trip from Huntsville!
  • Kids ages 5 and up can create beautiful blown glass ornaments
Orbix Hot Glass building
studios at Orbix
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Let your kids know you are not just blowing hot air when you say you are taking them to do something fun! Orbix Hot Glass is a glass studio that lets your kids blow their own glass ornament. This fun road trip takes you from Huntsville to the foothills of the Alabama Appalachian Mountains atop Lookout Mountain in north east Alabama about an hour and a half away. This makes for a perfect day trip – leave in the morning and be home well before dinner time.

I love exposing my children to unique and different experiences in life, specifically exploring nature, science and art. When kids create their own art through a unique medium like glass, it allows them to explore art through science – and science can be beautiful!

Chess board at Orbix porch

Getting to Orbix Hot Glass

The trip to Orbix takes you through the foothills of the Alabama Appalachian mountains atop Lookout Mountain with a dramatic steep hill just before the entrance to the studio. Stretch your legs and relax with rocking chairs and a chess set just outside the open studio walls. Bathrooms are clean and refreshments are available after your drive.

This glass studio has caught the eye of some great magazines like: O Magazine, Southern Living, InStyle, Food and Wine, Garden and Gun and Dwell magazine. The talent of artist and studio owner, Cal Breed, can be seen permanently at museums around the country including Cook Museum of Natural Science in Decatur. Have you seen their gorgeous entrance glass chandelier? That’s Cal’s! Orbix ships nationwide from the Fort Payne studio.

Ornament color choices at Orbix

How It Works: Kids at Orbix Hot Glass Ornament Class

I took my seven year-old daughter and nine year-old niece to the ornament making session at Orbix and they had a great time! This experience can be a facilitator for bigger STEAM conversations with kids ages five and up: What is glass made from? How does heat change the structure of the sand? What other art can be made with glass? What’s the science behind glass blowing?

When you arrive, a glass artist guide will walk you through your experience. Kids choose two colors they want in their ornament or glass project – a visual display makes it easier to pick. Kids are given cool safety goggles to wear to help protect their eyes. Your guide will connect a tube and mouth piece to the hot glass rod, and instruct your little glass artist when and how hard to blow into tube.

The kids loved seeing the glass slowly expand as they breathed into the metal rod. When asked to describe making a glass blown ornament, my seven year old daughter says, “Its kind of like blowing up a balloon.” The nine year-old adds, “But way cooler and hotter!”

After the class, your glass blown ornament will be shipped to your home the next week. It makes a great gift for friends or family, or a lovely art piece to display year-round or use on your Christmas tree.

Parent Pro-Tips

Be sure to wear closed toed shoes.
Safety glasses are required to wear while you’re in the open air studio.

Some detours to also add to your road trip:

  • Plan to explore the city of Fort Payne while you’re in the area. Grab lunch, smoothies or coffee at a locally recommended coffee shop, The Spot, or a meal at Vintage 1889.
  • The Alabama Fan Museum – Browse the museum with over 50 years of music memorabilia, videos, a gift shop and more.
  • We also made a stop at an Alabama made sock company, Zkano. Stop in their retail factory store for a unique roadtrip souvenir that makes a perfect take home for you or as a gift. They have kids socks too!

More Classes at Orbix

Want more advanced classes? Keep an eye on Orbix Hot Glass Events coming up. Be sure to reserve your spot in advance!

Orbix Hot Glass Details

Website | Facebook | Instagram
Location: 3869 County Rd 275, Fort Payne, AL 35967 (map)
Phone: 256-523-3188
Hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays 9 AM – 4 PM, Closed Sundays and Mondays
Cost: Varies by class, typically $40 – $170 per person. Glass blowing is open to the public, however, there are times when the level of focus for artists is extremely high and for success of the piece and safety for everyone viewing will be closed to the public.

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