If you’re new to a city or just looking for some new friends or things to do, classes and meetups are a great option for you! From cooking classes to arts and crafts workshops all the way to choreographed lightsaber fights, there is definitely something for everyone. We’ve rounded up some of the best classes offered in top cities around the country to try out!
New York City
1. Interested in science, but don’t have a lot of friends who share that same passion? Don’t worry, The Secret Science Club is here to help you soak up all that scientific discussion you’ve been craving with likeminded people. Attend lectures that range from marine biology to the galaxy.
2. Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will love the events and educational activities you can participate in at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. One event that I am grabbing tickets for is the Leaf Peeping Sipping Tour coming up in the fall. An after hours tour of the gardens with some seasonal beverages sounds like the perfect way to spend time doing something you enjoy while meeting some new folks.
3. I’ve never even seen a Star Wars movie, but this still seems like such a fun thing to do. Take a New York Jedi class in Central Park. From 7pm to 9pm you’ll be with a motley crew of people and their light sabers having a blast. And yes, choreographed classes are a thing and yes, that does sound awesome.
4. More of the maker type? Visit Sprout Home in Brooklyn for one of their many classes offered. Learn how to illustrate your house plants or the ins and outs of herbalism and tea making, something will surely peak your interest.
5. Want to find some DIY workshops to check out in New York? We’ve rounded them all up for you here!
1. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is interested in helping people who love LACMA form bonds with other people who love LACMA, and thus LACMA Local was born. This bi-monthly group meets to get to know each other, know the museum and know Los Angeles as a city.
3. Being outside is just part of the Los Angeles lifestyle, so embrace it. Join the LA Trail Hikers and become part of a group who goes on organized hikes. If you’re a hiking newbie, this is a great way to get into the activity with the help of experienced group members.
4. Much like hiking, there are also countless organized biking groups who hit the streets and beaches of Los Angeles for planned routes (often times with fun destinations.) Whether you’re already an avid biker or just starting out, join one of these groups to learn your way around Los Angeles and make some new companions for the road while you’re at it.
5. See some DIY workshops we found in Los Angeles worth checking out.
1. Feeling crafty? Go to Lillstreet Art Center to take a class or two or three! Whether you’re looking to gain some extra skills in the art of textiles or looking to learn something completely new like metalsmithing—it’s all here.
2. Perhaps crafting isn’t your thing, but maybe music is. Head over to the Old Town School of Folk Music and join an organized jam session made up of fellow musicians and music lovers. If you don’t know how to play an instrument, they also offer free lessons.
3. Ah yes, Chicago. How can we ignore the fantastic food? Take a cooking class at The Wooden Spoon to learn kitchen skills and mingle with other food lovers. Cook a meal together and then feast on your work. Sounds good to us.
4. If you’re a fan of comedy then Chicago is the perfect place to be. While there are many different classes around the city, the most famous are those held at The Second City. From beginners improv classes to advanced physical theater programs, there are classes to help you flex your comedic muscles.
5. This roundup of DIY workshops in Chicago will surely grow your skill set.
1. This isn’t a class per se, but we couldn’t not include it on our list of ways to meet interesting people. Marla Bakery hosts Sunday night suppers and it’s definitely something you won’t want to miss. Have a family-style meal with strangers and leave after a night of good conversation with a few new friends. Make sure you follow them on social media to know when these events are happening!
2. I don’t think I have to say anything more than “Cats on Mats” here for you to understand what I’m talking about. Yes, I’m referring to kitten-filled yoga sessions. Cats may not be for everybody, but this might be the place for you to learn some new poses and make some new furry pals.
3. Visit Omnivore Books on Food to attend a book signing event with the author. Learn about growing and cooking food from current practices to the history involved in cooking.
4. This sounds seriously fun! Friends of the Golden Gate (FOGG) organize events where you meet people from your city, enjoy local drinks and food, all while touring a park with a park ranger. Every month a different park site is chosen so you can keep on learning new things and meeting new folks.
5. If you’re anything like us, you’ve seen a Pinterest project or two that you’d like to tackle. Consider taking some of these DIY classes in the Bay Area to help you achieve crafty success.
1. A solid part of the year in Boston is cold and snowy, so when you have the opportunity to get outdoors, it’s a good idea to take exercise lessons outside. There are tons of free workout groups to join in this city. Start by taking a look at this list curated by Fitt to get inspired workout and meet some fellow cardio cohorts.
2. Since Boston is filled with many universities, you can find a range of academic lectures and events. Choose a few hosted at Harvard to attend. You will be happily surprised at how much new knowledge you’ll walk away with!
3. The first Friday of every month the Museum of Fine Arts hosts MFA First Fridays. From 6pm to 9:30pm you can enjoy art, music, drinks and food with fellow culture lovers. This is the perfect place to learn some new things from your peers.
4. If modern art is more your scene, then hit up the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). There is an array of events and classes to choose from, however I think the lunch break yoga session on the ICA deck seems like fun.
5. Boston has plenty of DIY workshops to try out. See the list we’ve compiled.
1. Every Wednesday and Saturday you can take a 75-minute walking tour around the Reading Terminal Market with a food writer. On this tour you’ll learn everything from the history of the market to the origins of Philly Cheesesteaks. Yum and yum.
2. Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art to take sketching classes with others looking to get creative. Materials are provided so all you have to do is simply show up and be ready to have some fun.
3. Being a mom is a fantastic thing, but they need time to spend with fellow adults too. Fit4Mom is a great group of moms that gets out with their babies in tow in takes exercise classes all together. And it’s not just Philly, these groups are located in almost all major cities.
4. Greensgrow Farms prides itself on growing food, flowers and neighborhoods. They invite you right onto the farm to participate in a variety of events from meetups to yoga, but the ones we’re really interested in are the cheesemaking classes. Swing by the farm for a ricotta cheesemaking workshop and be sure to check out their full event calendar for all their fun activities.
5. Looking to learn a new crafting skill in Philadelphia? We’ve put together a list of the best classes.
1. Dallas Center for Architecture is a perfect place for architecture and city lovers to unite. Take walking tours of the city to explore all of its unique aspects that you may miss on your own.
2. Joining a dance class is a great way to learn some new skills and meet some fellow people who are ready to move to the beat. Power House of Dance has classes ranging from hip hop to acrobatics and will definitely leave you feeling good!
3. If you’re clueless in the kitchen, Central Market Cooking School will whip you into shape. From instruction on themed food and wine pairings to classes devoted to one specific ingredient, take you pick and become a top chef in the making.
4. If you’re interested in expanding your writing skills, the DFW Writers Workshop is the perfect community for you to join. Attend reading and critiquing groups to conferences hosted by literary greats, these folks will help you develop your editorial skills.
5. We’ve rounded up the best DIY classes in Dallas for you to try out with your friends and family.
1. Learn how to garden in the fall and winter for free at classes provided at Seattle Tilth. With instruction on how to prepare the soil to keeping your vegetables healthy throughout the winter, you’ll be gardening year-round in no time.
2. Book Larder is Seattle’s community cookbook club and it is something worth checking out. Meet up with the other members from your community to attend book signings, tastings and classes. Yes, yes and more yes.
3. The travel expert Rick Steves hosts free travel classes on Thursdays and Saturdays, with insider tips on all things travel related. If you have a case of wanderlust, pick up some new ideas from specific countries and cities to visit and get keen advice on planning all the logistics properly.
4. When I think of Seattle one of the first things I think of is coffee. Seattle Coffee Gear is a retail store that offers classes for all types of caffeine lovers. If you want an excuse to hang out and do some coffee tasting, look no further. Looking to learn how to make a top notch latte? They have experts that will teach you the ropes.
5. There are many DIY classes in Seattle, but we’ve narrowed down the list so you can check out the best ones.
1. Take advantage of the United States Botanic Garden monthly walking tours. Wandering around on your own is nice, but you will gain so much more insight if you pair up with a guide.
2. Spend some time at the Glen Echo Park for Arts and Culture. Learn something completely new like stone carving or brush up on your photography skills, there are plenty of interesting classes available!
3. Still Life offers weekly terrarium building classes at The Lemon Bowl, a shared studio space. Get together with fellow crafty people for an hour and walk away with something you made yourself.
4. The DC Library is the mecca of all classes. There are family crafting nights, laser cutting courses, photography lessons-the list goes on and on. You can find some very niche events here too like the Personal Archiving with Facebook class that teaches you how to archive all of your Facebook photos. Make sure you view the entire list for yourself because you’re bound to find something that sparks your interest.
5. There are tons of opportunities for you to learn a new crafting skill in DC. Check out the list of some of our favorite DIY classes right in your city.
1. The Real Food Academy offers some really fun and unique cooking classes. If you’re not looking to learn how to make elaborate meals, don’t worry. They offer easy introductory classes like making quick 20-minute meals!
2. Every single day of the year at 7am and 5pm, there are free yoga classes offered at 3rd Street Beach Yoga right on the beach. What better way to start your day (or ending your day) than with a nice relaxing yoga session on the sand!
3. I find one of the best ways to decompress is by creating things with my hands. Have no fear if you don’t know how where to start, Sewing 101 is here. This class will give you the basic set of skills needed create any cute Pinterest sewing challenge that comes your way.
4. Who doesn’t love a nice flower arrangement? There are a variety of classes offered by The Flowerbar at Field of Flowers. From simple designs to intricate beauties, study up with a fun group of fellow floral lovers.
5. While alone time is nice, it’s also nice to take classes together as a family. This fall Bash of Paint is offering family workshops so you and the kids can get crafty together. Spend the night creating matching pieces of art while getting the opportunity to meet fellow families in your neighborhood.
What other fun classes and meetups are going on in your city? Let us know in the comments so we can include them in our roundup!