As we enter the back-to-school season, there’s no better time to infuse a dose of creativity and excitement into your routine. Whether you’re a student gearing up for a new academic year or a lifelong learner seeking fresh inspiration, Ann Arbor has an array of captivating classes that blend fun and creativity with learning.
From mastering the art of pottery to honing your knitting skills, or trying out improv to learning more about the world of mixology, this vibrant city offers a kaleidoscope of opportunities to ignite your imagination and enhance your skills. Let’s dive into a curated selection of unique and engaging classes that promise to make your learning journey an enriching and enjoyable one.
Located in Downtown Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Art Center is our local headquarters for enjoying art exhibitions, connecting with local artists, and learning new art skills. Since 1909 (yes, you read that right!), this non-profit has offered innovative programs for all ages — engaging more than 60,000 people on an annual basis. Their education experiences are available for all ages and topics cover everything from painting and ceramics to jewelry making and metalsmithing! Depending on how deep you want to dive, you can choose a class that lasts just a few hours, a full day or four weeks. To see upcoming topics and classes, click here.
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre is a nonprofit, community theater program that provides opportunities for people in our community to participate in theater and learn new acting skills. In addition to putting together shows for the public, they support artists and creatives by giving them a place to practice and enhance their talents. Classes and workshops are available in topics like improv, choreography, stage management, sound design and more, and they cover several different age groups.
Founded in 2011, Maker Works is a massive, 14,000-square-foot workshop that is entirely focused on making things. When you purchase a membership or a day pass, the workshop is wide open for hands-on learning, practice and creation, but their team also offers one-time classes for specialized instruction in several topics. Covering craft, wood, metal, electronics, jewelry, software and more, Maker Works classes can provide you the skills and the tools needed to both learn and excel at nearly anything. Safety checkout classes are required before using some tools; check the tool pages to see which ones. And you can set up a free scheduled tour whenever Maker Works is open!
Founded in 2006, Tammy’s Tastings is a local, Ann Arbor business dedicated to building unique food and drink experiences — in a delicious, entertaining and slightly educational way. In addition to custom workshops, corporate events and private classes, Tammy and her team host regularly scheduled events that cover everything from chocolate tasting to mixology and cocktail history. Their specialty is cocktail classes, offering deep dives into specific cocktails and spirits, such as the gin and tonic, fall cocktails, negroni, whiskey, holiday cocktails, and more. To see the upcoming event schedule, click here.
Spun is a local, family-owned yarn shop in Kerrytown where you can shop yarn and tools, learn at scheduled classes, and ask questions at free, drop-in sessions occurring a few times a week. Regularly scheduled classes are more hands-on and intensive, covering topics like beginning crochet, brioche, cable knitting, stocking techniques, fixing knitting mistakes, making sweaters, and more. To see the full calendar and learn more about upcoming classes, click here. If you don’t see something you want to learn or you want more one-on-one help, you can set up a private lesson, starting at $40/hour, for one-hour or half-hour sessions.
Tucked between Zingerman’s Bakehouse and Zingerman’s Creamery, BAKE! is Zingerman’s hands-on teaching bakery. There, you can learn everything from cake baking to cheese pairing. Classes are open to the public in categories like pizza making, donut frying, flour grinding, soft pretzel creation, Thanksgiving pies, bagels, Italian cookies, and more. You can see all upcoming classes, either by name or by date and reserve your spots. And you can even look at virtual classes if you’d rather cook from the comfort of your own kitchen!
Ann Arbor Public Schools doesn’t just provide an enriching learning environment for kids — they also offer a variety of adult enrichment classes through their Community Education and Recreation program. Classes cover a wide variety of topics, including pottery, traditional Argentine tango, French and Spanish, beginning sewing, photography, woodworking, Bollywood dance, pen and ink, candlemaking, improv, estate planning, knife skills, and so much more. Plus, classes occur on a weekly basis for several weeks in a row, so you can build on skills learned in previous classes and make major strides towards your new hobby or interest!
Clay Work Studio is a teaching studio offering an extensive range of classes and workshops tailored to cater to the creative aspirations of all ages and skill levels. From the young talents of K-12 to seasoned artisans, each participant finds their niche in the carefully curated projects that align with their age and proficiency. Clay Work Studio offers several different classes, such as the mesmerizing art of wheel throwing and hand building, providing a gateway to the captivating world of clay crafting. Adults can sign up for six-week courses to build upon their skillset and master the craft over several different lessons. Boasting cutting-edge amenities including pottery wheels, electric kilns, glazing options, slab rollers, and more, the studio provides everything you need for success in your new craft. Plus, their rotating gallery showcases an inspiring array of ceramic pieces available for viewing and purchase.
The Ann Arbor District Library is proud to provide a creative haven for its library card holders through the licensed access to Creativebug. Unlock your artistic potential with over 1,000 captivating and award-winning video classes covering a diverse spectrum of disciplines, including painting, knitting, crafting, sewing, and beyond. Delve into these enriching experiences guided by renowned design experts and accomplished artists, all at your fingertips. Your library card opens the door to a world of inspiration and skill-building, ensuring that these engaging creative classes are readily accessible and completely free! Learn more about this incredible resource here.
We hope you learn something new — and have a blast while doing it!
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