It’s that time of year: pencils are sharpened, backpacks are packed and the kids are off to school to learn new things. Do you sometimes wish that you could go ‘back to school" with them, but without all that homework? You're in luck. In D.C., you don't necessarily need to seek a degree to learn something new! Here are some fun, different classes you can take in the area:
If you want to learn anything about creative writing, take a course at the Writers Center in Bethesda . While some courses meet in-person, there are many that take place online. Also, some classes meet one time and others meet weekly for several months to a year. There is a class here for any commitment level and interest. Courses are led by different instructors, all having extensive experience in the subject. Some writing courses coming up this fall include:
- Finding Your Memoir Voice: Meets in person every Wednesday, Sept. 12-Oct. 31, 10:30 a.m. -1 p.m. Cost: $360
- Writing Dialogue: Meets in person on September 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost: $50
- Whodunnit? Writing the Mystery Novel: Sept. 15, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: $50
- Meditative Journaling: Meets online Sept. 17-Oct. 8, Cost: $195
- Writing Creative Nonfiction: Meets online Sept. 24- Nov. 12, Cost: $360.00
In this day and age, knowing how to take a proper photograph is honestly just a good idea, whether its for personal or professional reasons. Capital Photography Centers offers a bunch of different courses depending on your skill level and interests. Some classes are classroom-based, while others take place in the field. Here are some of their upcoming classes:
- DSLR Photography Basics: Sept. 15, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Cost: $99
- Smartphone Photography - Getting Started at the American Indian Museum: Sept. 22, 11:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Cost: $99
- Getting Started in Food Photography: September 23, 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Cost: $169
- Autumn in Harpers Ferry: Oct. 7, 7:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Cost: $99
- Family and Children Photography: Oct. 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost: $99
- Lightroom In A Day: Oct. 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: $149
Their full class calendar can be viewed here.
Adobe Creative Suite
Knowing how to use Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Audition, Premiere Pro or any of the Adobe Creative programs is a valuable skill no matter the industry you work in or the side hustle you have. George Washington University offers non-credit classes throughout the year, and is offering an Adobe Creative Suite Course this fall, from Nov. 6-Dec. 11. It costs $400 and meets Tuesdays 6-9:30 p.m. Get more information on how to sign up for this course here.
If you specifically want to learn all about Adobe Photoshop, GW is offering a class on it Wednesdays 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. from Oct. 10-December 5. This course costs $600.
If you like to draw, and you like D.C., why not take a class that combines both? George Washington University’s Corcoran school offers non-credit classes throughout the year for non-students and its Drawing in the District class runs from Sept. 29-Oct. 27 Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The course costs $400. Learn more about the course and signing up here.
Learn Spanish or French at Fluent City. They offer small interactive classes that focus more on conversational immersion than textbook grammar. You can take classes online, but if you are really looking to pick the language up, then you should sign up for their in-person classes for beginner, intermediate or advanced speakers. Regular classes meet once a week for 10 weeks for 2 hours. Classes are about $400 depending on the level and time commitment (for example, their crash course costs a little more). For dates, locations and more information, check out their website.
Have you ever dreamed of flying your own plane? Take lessons at Washington International Flight Academy and get your private pilot license. You must log a minimum of 40 hours of training with specific benchmarks made during those training sessions. This is a lengthy and costly time commitment, as renting the aircraft costs $140/hour and instruction costs $60/hour. It's well worth it though if you want to become a licensed pilot. A private pilot license is a bit more intense than the license you need for simple recreation flying, but it allows you to fly at night and select airports.
The Washington International Flight Academy also offers classes for those interested in becoming commercial pilots or flight instructors.
Step up your game in the kitchen with a cooking class at CulinAerie in D.C. Whether you want to learn kitchen basics, improve your baking, have a date night or you're hosting a private event, CulinAerie offers a wide variety of cooking courses. Here are some of their upcoming classes:
- Date Night: Summer Harvest Steakhouse: Sept. 8, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Cost: $195/couple
- Sushi Bar Favorites: Sept. 13, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Cost: $95/person
- The Brunch Turn-Up: Sept. 15, 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Cost: $95/person
- Pasta Workshop: Sept. 24, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cost: $85/person
- Date Night: Food & Wine Pairing: Sept. 28, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. Cost: $210/couple
- Cook the Book: Vegetarian Indian: Oct. 3, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Cost $100/person
You can see CulinAerie's full calendar, complete with course menus, descriptions and registration information here.
If you want to learn how to play a new instrument, or brush up on what you learned during band class in middle school, take a class at Levine Music. They are located at five different locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Levine Music offers lessons specifically geared towards adults and has flexible options, so you have classes that fit in with your goals and schedule. Get more information about their programs here.
Have you ever secretly wanted to join the circus? Now that the kids are back in school, this could be your time to fly, LITERALLY. The Trapeze School New York has a Washington, D.C. location and offers classes regularly. Classes are two hours and taught in groups, and you don't need any experience to sign up for a class. There are indoor or outdoor trapeze lessons, and occasionally intensive workshops are available. Classes range from $50-$65. See the class schedules and sign up here.
Do you wish your thumb was greener? Check out The Lemon Collective’s Plant Parenthood: Houseplant 101 class on Tuesday, Sept. 11 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., or Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.This is a crash course on how to take care of the plants in your home. That way, you can be like Mother Nature without even leaving your couch. A huge bonus is that you will get two plants at this class, so there is no excuse not to practice what you learn! Tickets to this course cost $25.