Every so often we’re going to give you hard-working parents some suggestions to shake up your routine and take care of yourself for a change. So call up the sitter or let your family fend for themselves–you need a break!
You probably never thought of school as an escape when you were still a student. (Some of us in fact still have nightmares that we can’t graduate because of some paper we forgot to write.) But now, going back to school is a great way to enjoy time off from the fam, and summer is the perfect time to escape to an air-conditioned classroom and learn something new.
And by new, we mean something fun and creative like figure drawing or learning to play the banjo. Here are a few suggestions that will inspire you to get out of the house and get those creative juices flowing.
Have you ever tried throwing a pot on a wheel? It’s so relaxing and mesmerizing that all your troubles will slip away (for 1-2 hours). Choplet on Grand Street in Williamsburg has several weekly classes and you need nothing but your two hands when you walk through the door. They provide you with all your potting needs from great instructors, a variety of clays, all the necessary tools, glazing, firing and use of the abundant open studio hours when you sign up for an 8-week class. There’s also a one-day session this Monday, July 2. But if you’re not into the full on ceramics experience and want something a little less, um, messy, then The Painted Pot might be more your speed. With over 500 bisque items to choose from, you’re sure to find a piece that you’ll enjoy putting your own personal touch on. And with three locations throughout Brooklyn (Bay Ridge, Carroll Gardens and Park Slope) you won’t have to go far to spend an evening making a Mug that says “Moms Rule. Kids Drool.”
Art & Design
Feel like getting up close and personal with a naked person, and not the one you’ve seen naked for the last 10 years (all in the name of art of course)? Check out a figure-drawing class at the Brooklyn Artists Gym. If you happen to be a little shy or your spouse considers that cheating, then there’s a slew of other art classes to chose from: watercolors, silk screening, block printing, sewing, acrylic still life and a bunch more. Their calendar has the full schedule.) 3rd Ward, another art class emporium located in East Williamsburg, is like continuing ed for the Hipster set. It has one of the most impressive rosters of art/design/media classes in Brooklyn–from jewelry design to how to make and edit a short film. If you’re looking for a more light-hearted variety of art class try The Painting Lounge in Williamsburg just off the Lorimer stop on the L. The Painting Lounge makes for a fine solo experience or a lovely date night destination where you can bring a bottle of wine and create a masterpiece in two hours no matter what your skill set.
Want to get crafty but don’t have a lot of time? At By Brooklyn in Carroll Gardens you can take a three-hour class in their lush backyard, and walk away with something new to wear. This Sunday July 1 the lesson plan is Shibori, a gorgeous, Japanese resist-dye technique taught by local designer Katrin Reifeiss who also teaches a much longer version of the class at Textile Art Center‘s Manhattan location. You’ll come home with a striking silk scarf and erase all those bad images in your mind about tie-dye. And at the original Brooklyn outpost of Textile Art Center, there are weekend intensives in natural dyeing, where you can learn how to dye using food and plants from their “Living Library,” or dye garden, and experiment with different fibers in the dye lab. The next is July 21 and 22.
We’ve got something for you music lover, killer playlist maker, living room dance party thrower–a class at The Jalopy Theater and School of Music. Jalopy offers group lessons in guitar, fiddle, mandolin and ukulele. And there’s no need to fork over a heap of cash for a new instrument, since they rent them for $25 a month. And for those who already know how to play but haven’t touched your instrument since the day you set eyes upon that tiny pink plus sign, break that sucker out and join a band at the Brooklyn Music Factory. The Brooklyn Music Factory makes it easy to grab a spot in their adult band program and get your jam on without the hassle of having to go on tour. But on second thought, how great would that be?