SCHOOL’S OUT --- THESE CLASSES ARE JUST FOR FUN!
Even though you’re on vacation, you can still learn a thing or two and have fun at the same time. Choose from a variety of one-time classes and instruction featuring hands-on activities that will send you home with a skill or hobby that will last long after your vacation is over.
Art ClassesPortland is chock full of galleries but after exploring everything from photography to fine paintings, you may be itching to let your own artistic side have free reign. Color Me Mine, the paint-your-own ceramic studio in Portland, is just the spot to unleash your talent and show your style. Choose from 400 ceramic pieces - then glaze, paint and fire it in their kiln; they’ll even ship your creation home for you. Great fun for individuals or groups from 5 to 105 years young!
Outdoor ClassesThe Casco Bay Region is known for its great outdoor recreational opportunities and the L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools make it easy to get out and enjoy the outdoors with their "Walk-On Adventures,” a series of clinics that provide all the equipment and instruction you need to try your hand at kayaking, fly-fishing, archery, snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing. Best of all, advance registration isn’t necessary to enjoy these exciting and inexpensive adventures which depart from the L.L. Bean Flagship Store in Freeport. To register for in-depth courses and private lessons in fly-fishing, wingshooting and kayaking, contact the Outdoor Discovery Schools.
Have a passion to be on the water? The instructors at Maine Island Kayak will teach the fundamental skills of safe paddling amid the magic of Casco Bay’s marine environment. Or join Captain Tom aboard Lucky Catch Cruises as he guides you through the daily routine of a Maine lobsterman and lets you haul traps yourself.
Interested in the rich and mysterious world of nature? Throughout the year, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens offer informal landscaping workshops and horticultural programs at their spectacular Boothbay Harbor site. For some additional family fun and to learn about lobster, bats, archery, fly-tying and casting, bald eagles, taxidermy and much more, attend Summer Wildlife Days at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. Make sure to visit its website for a full list of events.
English riding lessons are offered to beginners and experienced riders year-round at the Pineland Farms Equestrian Center in Pownal. From tacking-up a horse to putting the horse away after your ride, lessons cover the entire process of handling a horse before, during and after a ride. The indoor riding arena is heated during the winter months so you can enjoy riding no matter what the weather conditions are. But come prepared if you might want a lesson - riders must bring (and wear) a helmet.
Culinary ClassesYou don’t have to be a full-fledged "foodie” to take in a cooking class and watch culinary professionals provide step-by-step instructions to prepare a fabulous dish. If you love to eat, cook or just want to have a great time, Stonewall Kitchen’s cooking classes will tickle your taste buds. Some of the savory topics include bread making, holiday menus, ethnic specialties and seafood delights. Classes are held almost daily at the company’s headquarters in York.
Browne Trading Company opened its studio kitchen to the public this year, offering intimate demonstrations on the preparation and cooking of the fresh seafood they are renowned for supplying nationwide. They also share their expertise on wine at tastings held the last Thursday of every month from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
With over 8,000 items in the store, LeRoux Kitchen in Portland is a must for those whose favorite room is the kitchen. Enjoy wine tastings every first Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. as you peruse this culinary connoisseur’s paradise. LeRoux’s talented staff and culinary guests frequently offer baking and cooking demonstrations that will inspire you to hit the kitchen.
Whole Foods Market offers Maine’s largest selection of natural and organic products, as well as a wide variety of events and educational classes on food, health and wellness. For everything from a Sushi 101 class to seminars on gluten-free eating and balanced nutrition for athletes, check the Portland store’s website for an up-to-date listing of what’s going on while you’re in town.