The opinions about schooling range on a colorful scale from “loathe it” to “love it”. Some enjoy learning new things, stretching their abilities, and educating their minds. Others only imagine school as a torture chamber with unnecessary work, endless tests and degrading marks of success (or lack of it).
Thankfully, there exists a whole other category of classes you can take that are much more fun than your eighth grade geometry class or your organic chemistry course in college. These are the classes you sign up for willingly, don’t receive a grade for and come away with a skill (or project) that you’re proud of and can directly apply to your life. Or they might just inspire you to pursue a crafting hobby, get more creative in the kitchen, jog more often or stay up-to-date with ever-changing technology.
Because we love alliteration, we decided to find fun (and a few free) classes in Fort Collins for four types of folks. Most cost money, but a few hidden gems are free of charge. So find a class that interests you, send this list to a friend or your significant other, and get together to explore something new!
For the Active Folks:
Whatever kind of fitness class you’re looking for, you can find it at Old Town Athletic Club. And the best part about their policy, especially for those non-committal people, is that you don’t have to be a member to take one of their classes! You can simply buy a group fitness punch card for $7 per class for a 10-class card, or $7.50 a class for a 5-class card. Stop by the club or contact Old Town Athletic Club for more information about their punch cards and available classes.
Speaking of commitment, before you commit to buying five or 10 classes, it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into! Check out their weekly class schedule to see all that they offer. There truly is something for everyone, including yoga, sculpting, bootcamp, toning, Nia, kettlebells and more. Each class is 45-60 minutes, and you’re sure to leave feeling better than when you walked in the door.
Yoga is a wonderful way to relieve stress, strengthen core muscles, stretch your body and regain focus and peace. Elan Yoga provides a number of classes designed for everyone from beginners to expert yogis, and ranging from non-heated to hot yoga. You are sure to find the perfect class with the right conditions for you.
We’re particularly excited to tell you about Elan Yoga because of their introductory offer. You can test out their facilities and their classes for 20 days for just $20. It will only cost a dollar a day to find out if yoga is your next hobby!
When everyone is coming to the gym in February to cancel their gym membership because of failed New Year’s resolutions, eagerly take their place by starting your gym membership. Becoming a member at Fort Collins Club gives you unlimited access to their classes, pilates excluded. Take a class in aquatics, cycling or a dynamic group class — including Nia, Zumba, Dance Fusion, Step Aerobics and FCC Boxing.
If you’re serious about this whole membership thing and are a true Fort Collins Club prospect, you can try out their facilities with a one-week trial! That truly takes the risk out of the decision.
For the Artsy Folks:
Create your own masterpiece following step-by-step instructions from a guide at Pinot’s Palette. But the best part about this place is being able to sip on your favorite beer or wine from their bar while you paint! Their process is simple: “Paint. Drink. Have Fun.” Pinot’s Palette would make the perfect destination for a girls’ night out, date night, birthday celebration, bachelorette outing, or company event.
All you have to do is check their class schedule to find a class that both interests you and works for your schedule. Then show up, ready to paint a lot, drink a little and have so much fun! You can also paint around town at one of their classes held at your favorite breweries and restaurants.
You might stop in your tracks at the sight of “School of Art,” thinking you have to be an enrolled student to participate in their classes. But alas, VanCo School of Art opens its doors to the Fort Collins community and trains aspiring artists of all ages.
They offer classes for kids, teens and adults on subjects ranging from oil painting to figure drawing with a live model. Take a look at their schedule to find the right class for your age and interest.
VanCo also hosts private parties, if you’re looking for a fun place to spend a birthday party or baby shower!
Lambspun is a comprehensive, full-service fiber store stocked with all the supplies needed for knitting, crocheting, weaving, felting and spinning. The experienced staff extends their knowledge on these subjects through their variety of classes offered at Lambspun. Viewing their well-maintained 2-acre property is worth the trip to Lambspun, as it has become an oasis of flowers, 70-year-old trees, grass and buildings from a simpler time.
Step back to the roots of handiwork by taking one of their classes on subjects like circular knitting, crocheting, Navajo weaving and wet felting. Who knows? Maybe 2016 is the year you’ll pick up a new crafting hobby and start your own Etsy store!
For the Foodie Folks:
Cooking classes make for a wonderful date night, activity with friends, or a relaxing time alone to learn something useful and exciting. Whatever the occasion (or lack thereof), you’re bound to have fun in the process and walk away with more culinary knowledge than when you walked in. The Cooking Studio in Fort Collins provides several classes per week on a myriad of subjects and food categories — from knife skills to bread making.
The Cooking Studio is focused on wholeheartedly engaging with simple and fresh ingredients, which they believe is the key to eating food that tastes and looks amazing. And we certainly agree! Their five fully equipped workstations filled with state-of-the-art appliances means you’ll get to be king or queen of the kitchen while you learn from the very best.
Educate the whole family about food nutrition and cooking by enrolling in foodies! Culinary Academy. This one-of-a-kind cooking school is in the business of teaching the importance of planning, preparing, and eating nutritious, delicious, affordable, home-cooked meals using local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. What a mouthful (no pun intended). And an important lesson for kids to learn at any early age! That’s why foodies! has classes specifically tailored to kids. Sometimes us adults need a refresher course on the subject, so foodies! has a selection of classes specifically tailored to adults.
So whatever your age (or your kids’ ages!), foodies! is the place to be in order to learn practical and healthy food information.
If you’re trying to save money but don’t mind a little road trip, especially since gas is currently so inexpensive, consider taking a free Williams-Sonoma technique class in Broomfield! The Flat Iron Crossing location in Broomfield offers classes on various culinary subjects, but the concepts are simple and very applicable to your everyday kitchen life.
Each Williams-Sonoma store across the country offers the same class each day, but the times vary depending on the location. So check out their upcoming classes, then call the Broomfield location at 720-887-2900 to get more details about the specific class you’re interested in, make your reservation (because the class size is limited), then drive to Williams-Sonoma on that date!
For the Techy Folks:
The Digital Workshop Center is a locally owned, independent computer training school offering professional development and training classes on design software programs, desktop applications, business solutions and advanced computer training concepts. If you’re lost in all that technical jargon, don’t worry! There are some very basic classes designed for the beginner computer user.
If you practically grew up alongside the evolution of computers and technology, there are several classes you could take to take your skills to the next level with classes covering the Adobe Creative Suite, social media classes or even full-stack web development classes. There’s a class designed for every type of computer user, on nearly every subject in the field at The Digital Workshop Center!
The Poudre River Public Library is passionate about educating, and that holds true for how they view technology and the future of its users. They are so passionate about educating people on this subject that they offer free computer classes at their Harmony Library computer lab.
Have you always wanted to learn how to blog? (That’s obviously something we endorse!) Or how to enhance your digital photography? Or how to master the sometimes frustrating Microsoft Excel? Check out the Poudre River Public Library class schedule, sign up if necessary, and show up without paying a dime!
You may have heard that there is a major underrepresentation of females in the computer programming world. Girl Develop It aims to change that by providing affordable programs for adult women interested in learning web and software development in a judgment-free environment. They have a Fort Collins chapter that holds periodical events focused on coding and building a community of women coders. Many events (such as Code & Coffee) are laid-back and relaxed, providing an environment to collaborate, encourage and share recent projects.
It’s no secret that coding is such a valuable skill to learn — for every age, race and gender! Learn the basics or expand on your coding knowledge by becoming a part of Girl Develop It’s community.
There is so much to learn!
Many people have their favorite exercise class they’ve gone to for years, the cooking class they take each anniversary or their favorite craft store where they learn new skills. Whatever you’re learning, we’d love to hear about it!
PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Old Town Athletic Club, Elan Yoga & Fitness, Fort Collins Club, Pinot’s Palette, VanCo School of Art, Lambspun, RBB Architects, The Cooking Studio, foodies! Culinary Academy, Williams-Sonoma, The Digital Workshop Center, Rayi Christian Wicaksono and Girl Develop It