MindCraft offers a bevy of classes for children to learn newer and creative skills such as 3D printing and sewing, using top of the line equipment. .
Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

It’s been a long, long time since you gave nary a thought about the viral dangers of mixing it up in a restaurant, a Zumba class or even on a busy dock at your
 favorite fishing hole.

While state and local health officials continue to warn, the pandemic, which has killed close to 1 million Americans, people near and far continue to get vaxxed to the max and want out of their homes to do something different.

Overall, more than a third of Americans cite the pandemic as a major source of stress, and many say it has made certain parts of their lives harder. But when it comes to education, friendships and dating, the disruption has had a pronounced impact especially among younger Americans, according to a survey from MTV Entertainment Group and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

A wide range of venues and places say they’re seeing unprecedented interest in learning something new, and not online.

Is it time to let down your mask and your hesitance to get out and join the rest of the living and try something new?

The possibilities are virtually endless. Have some goat with your yoga. Maybe learn to wield that knife against an onion as seen on TV. And then there’s a variety of herbal cocktails to try as you sip among your crystals.

Check out these possibilities as a way to put some spring in your spring. 

Drop-In Writing or Drawing at the Denver Art Museum

Writing is every fourth Tuesday and drawing is every second Tuesday of the month. Free for members or included in general admission. For more information visit www.denverartmuseum.org. 

Maybe you can’t commit to a multi-week course or maybe you just don’t want to. Either way, finding some dedicated time to write or draw is easy with drop-in classes at the Denver Art Museum. Once a month join fellow scribes in a guided session that’s included with general admission or free for members. You’ll feel that burst of creativity without being tied down by it. A win-win. Check the museum’s website for more details each month.

Tour and Treks with History Colorado 

Find an assortment of tours and treks at www.historycolorado.org. Enrollment and tours ongoing. Prices, dates and times vary.

What do you know about the Denver neighborhood once known as Millionaire’s Row? Or what happened to the Mile High’s own ChinaTown? Those are just a few topics History Colorado is offering up this spring. On a regular basis, the state museum invites you to stand where the history happened and dive a little deeper. Find a list of local tours and distant treks to feed your historical appetite. 

Cyanotype Photo Workshop at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center

May 29, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 1070 Bannock Denver CO 80204. $165 for non-members. All skill levels. www.cpacphoto.org. 

Cyanotype, a light-sensitive printing process, is one of the oldest methods for creating photographs that we know of. It works by using special paper and relying on the sun or UV lighting — the camera is entirely optional. Today, it’s a great way to get creative and inspire through a non-traditional medium. You can learn the ropes with the photo experts at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center next month. Instructor Kimberly Chiaris encourages students to bring their own items to photograph, just make sure they’d make a great silhouette, as that’s the premise behind this artform. 

James Platz works on an art project, April 5, at the Art Garage during a mixed media art class. The Art Garage offers a steady stream of classes for students aged 3-99. Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

Fundamental Color Theory at the Curtis Center

Beginner level class at the Curtis Center in Greenwood Village. $120. www.greenwoodvillage.com. 

Each season of art classes at The Curtis Center in Greenwood Village comes with fresh ideas, but sometimes it’s nice to focus on the basics. Look for a Fundamental Color Theory class at the center next time you’re in need of something artsy, but a little different. Yes, it’s about the color wheel. But it’s also so much more. Everything you know (or want to know) about design, branding or art relies on this concept. 

Herbal Cocktails Class 

June 11 at 6 p.m. or Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. $125 per student. Must be 21+ www.blossomandbranchfarm.com 

You’ve heard of farm to table, but we’ll do you one better: garden to glass. Denver mixologist Kevin Burke is leading two nights this summer and fall to help you create some of the best cocktails with a little help from your garden (or the folks at Blossom and Branch Farm). You’ll learn about infusions, combinations and, most importantly, how to impress friends with spirits and botanicals. 

Botanic Gardens Classes

Classes vary in times and curriculum. More information can be found at their website www.botanicgardens.org/education/adult-programs

Calling all green thumbs and hopeful horticulturists. And while we’re at it, let’s throw in aspiring artists and organic herbalists and homeopaths. 

The Denver Botanic Gardens is teeming with adult classes and workshops amongst their bevy of programs. They offer hands-on workshops, certificate classes and public lectures. 

There are far too many of those classes to list so this hack is going to highlight his favorites. 

Air plants can be an easy way to spruce up your home as they require no potting and provide an opportunity to put plants in places that a standard pot would not allow. The Air Plants 101 class teaches best care instructions for these cool little Tillandsia, including their basic biology, watering instructions, how to propagate them and the best ways to mount and display them

The Botanic Gardens also offer a bevy of art classes. The School of Botanical Art and Illustration provides classes on pencil illustrating, advanced bonsai design and even Art as Therapy, which shows how art can serve as a method of personal therapy. We can all get on board with that.

Sushi Rolling at Colorado Sake Co.

Classes start at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays. $45 to register at https://bit.ly/3DNWzoz.

Pull up a chair and roll up some sushi with friends at Colorado Sake Co. Located in the middle of Denver’s RiNo Arts District, the sake brewery and tasting room offers sushi rolling classes every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Aspiring itamae will have the opportunity to make a hand roll, six-piece roll and eight-piece roll while enjoying two half-glasses of sake. Members of the public interested in signing up for a class can register online through Eventbrite. Ingredients, tools and sake are all included in the $45 class fee.

Students of an art class at the Art Garage pull their supplies and get set to begin on their projects, April 4. The Art Garage offers a steady stream of classes for students aged 3-99.
Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

Woodworking Workshop

Classes and scheduling vary. More information can be found at their website www.imadeitworkshops.com/

Few things are more rewarding than building anything with nothing more than your bare hands and unfettered brawn. Here is where I Made It workshops come into play. 

To start, all of the timber that I Made It uses is harvested from the Front Range Mountains, including the Black Forest Burn Scar. And in providing a fully equipped workshop, the instructors help you take your newly acquired, locally harvested wood, and teach you how to make a live edge table with it, or any other creative piece of wooden furniture you can think of. 

They offer classes in making resin river coffee tables and kitchen tables, charcuterie boards and resin poured cheese boards, and even work from home desks, as they call them. A practice we are all on board with. There is a bevy of events they specialize in hosting as well, be it bachelorette parties and bridal showers or corporate team building events. 

The process of building the furniture is not a quick one, and you’ll likely be friends with your instructor following the six 1.5 hour sessions you’ll spend, on average, making a kitchen table. The result will be well worth the wait.

Whatever the reason you find yourself at I Made It, you can be rest assured that you will be walking out with a new skill and a fine piece of furniture for your home. 

Learn Knife Skills with Chef Trusan

Classes 1:30-4:30 p.m., April 24, June 12 and July 17 at the Colorado Free University Lowry Campus. Tuition is $57 for non-members and $45 for members, plus a $8 fee paid in class. Register for the April class at https://bit.ly/3x8hGAW.

Nothing ties a home-cooked meal together like a sharp, sturdy chef’s knife. Whether slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, shredding or julienning, a chef who knows their way around a knife can portion out their ingredients evenly and turn a tasty meal into a feast for the eyes. U.S. emergency departments also treated more than 340,000 knife-related injuries last year, so unless you want to season your meals with literal blood, sweat and tears, it’s worth learning a few tricks of the trade. Trusan Comstock has close to four decades of experience in the culinary world, working with world-class chefs and offering private in-home classes. Join Trusan as he guides a class through the process of selecting a knife as well as proper knife handling, cutting techniques, safety, care, sharpening and storage. The class will also make a recipe using many of the techniques taught by Trusan. Students are welcome to bring their own knives and cutting boards. The $8 fee will include food and materials.

Art Garage

Classes vary in times and curriculum. More information can be found at their website www.artgaragedenver.com

From mixed media art classes to a workshop on making seed bombs, opportunities to scratch that creativity itch are plentiful at the Art Garage.

With its 10-year anniversary as a non-profit coming down the pike later this year, this visual art driven studio offers classes in ceramics, fiber arts, textile arts to mention a few. 

Part of the Art Garage’s mission is to offer classes that encourage creativity to all ages and backgrounds. Their website expresses the importance “that all people (including but not limited to) every age, race, gender, sexual orientation, physical and intellectual ability, mental health background, religion, and culture should have access to visual arts.” 

The age range their workshops and classes cater to spans from 3-99, with specific classes for specific ages within those age ranges. 

New classes begin frequently, so if you see one on the schedule that began this week, a similar one will be soon to follow. 

The Art Garage also hosts single-day workshops, including a Mothers Day collage making workshop, which is just around the corner. There are four spots left as this hack puts ink to paper, so make sure you sign up quick. And while you are there, sign up for the workshop where you’ll learn how to make seed bombs, just in time for spring gardening. 

Camps, Workshops and Afterschool Programs at MindCraft Makerspace

Classes vary in times and curriculum. More information can be found at their website www.mindcraftmakerspace.com

If you want to provide that extra mental stimulation to your children, beyond what they are learning at school Mindcraft provides such an opportunity.

Located in the Stanley Marketplace, Mindcraft may double as a toy store, but beyond those flashy playthings the workshop awaits. 

Here is where the real fun lies — a wall of 3D printers. Not only that, you can also make laser cuttings and other fun creative activities.

MindCraft has been described as a place where anyone from 5 to 95 can come and create, learn and invent. 

This is the place to flex your creativity and mental gymnastics with the latest tech. 

It’s well known that mental stimulation is more than essential in childhood development, and MindCraft is a great place to help build cognitive skills and flex those youthful mental muscles. 

The makerspace provides an opportunity for afterschool programs, birthday parties, summer camps and, for next year, spring break camps.

As well as the hi-tech offerings, there are simpler, so to speak, workshop options. Sewing and other arts and crafts styled activities are available as well as the more on brand coding and gaming.

A 3D printer begins laying the base layer of a project that will be completed hours after beginning the process, April 4 at MindCraft Makerspace in the Stanley Marketplace. MindCraft offers a bevy of classes for children to learn newer and creative skills such as 3D printing and sewing, using top of the line equipment. .
Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

 City of Aurora wellness classes

Classes and scheduling vary. More information at https://bit.ly/3Kd1sKv or cityofaurora.perfectmind.com.

As we’ve turned the corner past year two of the pandemic, it’s understandable if your nerves are starting to feel a little frayed. Teeth grinding, trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating can all be symptoms of stress (not that we’re familiar with any of that). If you’d like to find some new ways of coping with stress instead of pouring yourself another drink or buying another scented candle, consider checking out one of the city of Aurora’s new wellness classes added to its “lifetime learning” catalog. Beginning in early May, a series of classes will explore meditation with a “certified sound energy practitioner,” teach you how to create a gratitude journal and explore ways to improve your diet (your brain can’t feel good if your body doesn’t feel good, after all). Classes range in price from $37-$60 and will meet in the Aurora Center for Active Adults. If you feel well enough already, other lifetime learning classes include courses of American Sign Language, Spanish, technology, mah jongg and beginning in June, bridge — tell your grandma. 

Learn to Skydive with iFLY

Hours and scheduling information available at www.iflyworld.com/denver/.

It’s 2022, and you no longer need to book a flight to enjoy the weightless joy of skydiving — a vertical wind tunnel gives visitors the opportunity to defy gravity within the four walls of iFLY’s facility south of Centennial. And since there’s no jumping or falling involved, just floating on a high-speed column of air, it’s a viable alternative for those who squirm at the idea of jumping from a plane at 10,000-plus feet. iFLY offers coaching for locals interested in honing their skills as indoor skydivers. The niche sport is growing in popularity and involves acrobatic displays of flying both alone and in formation. Athletes compete to perform a certain number of aerial maneuvers within a set window of time. Besides coaching for prospective skydivers, iFLY also hosts birthday parties, private events and field trips for children that focus on the science and technology behind flying. 

City of Aurora cooking classes

Classes and scheduling vary. More information at https://bit.ly/3LGJGiX.

Aurora has a deserved reputation as a haven of delicious food from cultures all across the globe. But though supporting A-town’s small businesses is always a plus, the city of Aurora is offering the opportunity to learn to make amazing ethnic food without leaving the comfort of your own kitchen. All types of classes are on the menu this spring, for adults, teens, kids and families at all levels of cooking ability. Want to learn how to make donuts, dim sum, Korean BBQ or sushi? There are classes for that. Want to introduce your little ones to the kitchen in a way that will hold their interest? Maybe the dinosaur, video game or Toy Story-themed classes will do the trick. Want to learn how to make something new and enjoy a drink while you’re at it? One of the 21+ cooking classes such as “street tacos and margaritas” or “tapas and sangria” should do the trick. Classes take place in the city’s teaching kitchens, prices range from $30-$50. If you’re ready to venture out in person quite yet, try out one of the two-hour $20 virtual classes instead. Bon appetit!

Goat Yoga at Four Mile Historic Park

Register for weekend classes at https://bit.ly/38wLaOy. $30 sign-up fee.

Bleating hearts and yogis of all skill levels are invited to spend their Saturday and Sunday mornings with Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga. Goat yoga exploded in popularity a few years ago, with practitioners swearing that stretching in the presence of the horned ungulates helps improve relaxation and deepen meditation. The practice is alive and well at Denver’s Four Mile Historic Park, where Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga offers regular weekend classes. The events include a 45-minute goat yoga lesson, followed by 15 minutes of “decompression” for guests and goats. Attendees are welcome to pet and hold the goats, as well as take photos with the animals. Visitors can rent yoga mats for $5 and are encouraged to bring water, sunscreen and hair ties.

Baking with Phyllo Dough

Register online for the May 2 class at https://bit.ly/36RmTlX. Sign-up costs $69 for residents and $75 for non-residents.

Want to learn how to make the crispy, layered pastry that forms the foundation of baklava and börek? Phyllo, or filo, has a rich history of use in Turkish cuisine, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Join Michele Lillie and Parker Parks and Recreation for a hands-on class on what phyllo is and how to use it to make delicious sweet and savory pastries. This class is being taught at the Parker Arts, Culture & Events Center in Old Town Parker.

Cookie decorating at Gaylord Rockies

Through May 8 at Rocky Grotto in the Grand Lodge, dates and times vary. $6.99 per person. More information at https://bit.ly/3r53rsD.

What’s better than a class where you can eat your creations? Spring has sprung, and as part of a series of seasonal activities, the Gaylord Rockies Resort is offering a plethora of cookie decorating opportunities over the next month. Perfect the art of decorating cookies and then take them home for a sweet treat for the low price of only $6.99 per person.

Latin dance classes at Stanley Marketplace

Every Saturday at 10 a.m. and Monday at 7 p.m. $6 per person

Want to get more active but tired of all the same boring exercise routines? Stanley Marketplace promises that its weekly Latin dance classes with instructor Carmen Duran are “so engaging & so much fun that you’ll forget that it’s a workout.” The “Latin, Zumba-esque” classes are socially distanced, open to everyone and cost only $6 — sounds like a steal. Plus, after working up a thirst dancing, participants can enjoy half-priced beer and other beverages at Stanley’s Cheluna Brewing Company. 

Community College of Aurora professional development classes

Classes and scheduling vary. More information at https://bit.ly/3KfzNsi.

According to a 2021 poll from the Washington Post, over 20% of workers in the U.S. have seriously considered changing careers during the pandemic, which has caused many people to reassess what they want out of life and work. But changing careers can be daunting, especially when it requires going back to school or learning new skills. For people interested in exploring a new trajectory — or just leveling up in their current line of work — the Community College of Aurora’s workforce and professional development classes can help you dip your toe in the water or learn something new without having to make a huge commitment. The community college offers a range of online classes in healthcare, technology, business and construction to give those who are already working full-time a window back into the classroom. Classes vary in length and amount of instruction, ranging from fully-self paced to instructor lead, and begin at $79. Just remember: you’re never too old to learn something new.

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2 months ago

Excellent article! So nice to see original reporting besides police reports. More like this, please.