Hobbies are a great way to pass the time, create new things, and keep us from binging The Office on Netflix for the fiftieth time. But the hardest part of picking up a new hobby is usually just figuring out where to start! After all, YouTube tutorials can only help so much before you need some expert guidance.
Indyfluence is all about discovering and learning new things around Indy, so we’ve picked out 10 places around the city with classes and resources to help you explore a new hobby—and maybe begin a lifelong passion!
1. Indianapolis Art Center
When it comes to art, the Indianapolis Art Center is your one-stop shop for classes in nearly all mediums, skills, and forms. From painting to photography, woodworking to digital art—if you can do something, they’ll teach you how to create art with it! They offer both in-studio and online classes for all ages and skill levels, from beginners to advanced creators. Most of their programs do require a consistent commitment over weeks of classes, but if you have the time, these intensive crash-course lessons are absolutely worth your while. And if you’re looking for a more casual learning experience, check out their Make It Take It classes, which offer one-time, two-hour art adventures and let you leave with a beautiful finished creation!
2. Cirque Indy
Did you ever dream of running away to the circus? Well, now’s your chance! Cirque Indy is Indianapolis’ only circus school, specializing in teaching the aerial arts. Instead of your usual treadmill workout, you can soar above the ground on silks and trapeze in a unique blend of acrobatics and gymnastics, building your strength and flexibility. Whether you’re interested in a small class sampler or a full-time membership, they offer a variety of class packages that work around your schedule. And there’s no previous experience or fitness required, so everyone is welcome to come, stretch their wings, and learn how to fly!
3. Kicasso Sneaker Art Bar
Looking to trick out your kicks? At the Kicasso Sneaker Art Bar, your shoes are your canvas. They understand that custom, colorful shoes are an essential part of every wardrobe—and a fun way to express yourself wherever you go! So, their instructors help guide you with the best strategies to paint your sneaks with a design made to last. When you sign up for one of their classes, they hook you up with all the materials and paints you need to make a one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece for your feet. They’ll provide the sneakers so long as you bring your creativity—or if you’d like, you can bring in your own shoe canvas to paint!
4. Indiana Writers Center
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a draft must be in want of a workshop—and the Indiana Writers Center (IWC) is happy to provide! The IWC is a community of hundreds of Hoosier writers, readers, and literary enthusiasts. With lectures on publishing practices, intro classes in different genres, and advanced workshops, the IWC offers all the resources you need to help get your book on the shelves. And if you’re a theater kid at heart, check out the Indiana Playwrights Circle! They offer a full educational curriculum and a community of local actors to help improve your script writing, teach audience development strategies, and support all your thespian ambitions.
5. Fountain Square Clay Center
Whether you’re a pottery aficionado or a complete clay novice, anyone can learn how to throw a pot like a pro! The Fountain Square Clay Center (FSCC) is a fully equipped studio where you can explore the world of pottery and create your own bowls, vases, and other clay creations. The FSCC offers a variety of different deals and packages to fit your free time, whether you need a one-night class, an eight-week course, or just an open studio to practice your pots. And their classes can teach you both basic handbuilding techniques and the proper way to use a pottery wheel—showing you how to spin your clay into beautiful shapes you can glaze, fire, and keep forever.
6. Katsumi’s Teaching Kitchen
Learning to cook may be essential for our survival—and the health of our bank accounts!—but you don’t have to settle for packaged meal kits and beginner cookbooks. You can learn to cook directly from the experts at places like Katsumi’s Teaching Kitchen. There, you can sign up for simple beginners’ classes in authentic Japanese cooking. As a kid, owner Mori Lemau was taught how to prepare and cook these dishes by her Japanese mother and grandmother, and now she loves teaching others about her heritage—and its delicious food and flavors. With intro classes in making sushi, potstickers, dim sum, and homemade bento boxes, you won’t need to order takeout again anytime soon!
7. DanceWorks Indy
At DanceWorks Indy, it’s never too late to put on your dancing shoes! DanceWorks offers lessons for adults of all ages who are interested in getting active, having fun, and learning new dance moves. They teach a wide variety of styles from classical ballet and tap to jazz and hip-hop—so you can dance to whatever music fits the beat of your heart. And if you’re in it for the exercise, DanceWorks also offers SWERK classes, a hip-hop cardio fitness workout designed to get your blood pumping and your body moving! Be sure to take advantage of their First Week Free deal, where new students can take an unlimited sampler of classes for free during their first week dancing.
8. GRT Hot Glass Studios
There are some hobbies you can easily start with nothing more than a Google search and some free time—but glassblowing is definitely not one of them. GRT Hot Glass Studios is one of the few places in Indianapolis where you can create your own glass artwork, no experience required. Everyone ages 10 and up are welcome to come in for a lesson and work with molten glass from their 2100-degree furnace. So if you want to try your hand at this hot hobby, be sure to check out one of their sampler classes. They will guide you through the basics and let you leave with your own sculpted creation—after it’s cooled down, of course!
9. EPIC Climbing and Fitness
You can learn to reach new heights at EPIC Climbing and Fitness! Whether you’re looking for a challenging new workout or preparing to climb outdoor cliffsides, EPIC offers three different types of rock climbing for you to choose from, including rope-less bouldering, auto belay climbing, and top rope climbing. EPIC also has fitness classes and yoga sessions to help build your strength, increase your flexibility, and ultimately improve your performance on the wall. Just remember, if you’re learning top rope, you’ll need a partner—so bring a friend, harness up, and climb on!
10. Arthur’s Music Store
Arthur’s Music Store has been a piece of Indy’s history since 1952 and is still owned by the namesake Arthur Family. They buy, trade, and sell instruments, including everything from accordions and mandolins to drums and dulcimers. And they also repair your broken instruments and electronic music equipment like amplifiers. But best of all, they offer one-on-one lessons in a wide variety of instruments, dedicating their years of experience and expertise to help you become the best musician you can be. With lessons in musician staples like guitar and piano as well as unorthodox instruments like the bagpipes and the autoharp, Arthur’s Music Store has everything you need to get out there and make some music!
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