This far into quarantine, most of us are probably going a little stir crazy — but we can still pick up new skills thanks to a flood of online classes that cover everything from art and dance to food and wine.
These classes are all from Philly institutions. Whether you’re looking to work on your dance moves, get some historical holiday cheer, or teach the kids a little bit of acrobatics, there’s a class you can sign up for right now. We’ve rounded up a few of the best.
Food classes: Master wine and cheese pairing
Who’s it for? Oenophiles, turophiles, and folks who just fancy a glass of vino and a snack
What to expect: There’s not a lot that goes together better than good wine and cheese. The Wine School of Philadelphia can teach you to put the two together properly with its virtual wine and cheese pairing class, which looks at pairings ranging from classic to unorthodox.($11.99, Dec. 19, 4 p.m., vinology.com)
Circus classes: How to parkour indoors safely
Who’s it for? Free-running youngsters aged 8 to 12
What to expect: With all this time inside this year, your kids might have a little cabin fever, but thanks to the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, they can learn to (literally) climb the walls safely in a “Kids Parkour” class. This workshop focuses on the basics of free-running and parkour — or urban acrobatics — from the comfort of your home. All they need is some stairs, a doorway or hallway, and a couch or bed. ($15, Sundays, 1 p.m., phillycircus.com)
Also check out: The Philadelphia School of Circus Art has tons of other options for energetic kids, including ones that focus on stretching, handstands, and basic acrobatics.
Dog obedience classes: Train up your pup
Who’s it for? Tricky dogs and their owners
What to expect: Training your dog may not be easy, but Philly Unleashed’s “AKC: Trick Dog Prep Class” makes it fun by adding impressive tricks into the mix. Taught by certified trick dog instructor Alicia Harantschuk, it’ll help prep your pup for a Novice Trick Dog Title from the American Kennel Club, which requires a mastery of 10 tricks from a list that includes skills like high five, shake hands, kiss, and fetch. ($10, Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m., phillyunleashed.com)
Also check out: If your dog needs a little more training before getting into the tricks, Philly Unleashed has that covered. Check out its “Puppy Kindergarten” or “Level 1 Obedience.”
Beer-making classes: Brew your own with expert help
Who’s it for? Budding brewmeisters and craft beer connoisseurs
What to expect: City Brew Tours usually runs beer-soaked tours of about a dozen cities including Philly, though that’s on hold due to COVID-19. So you might as well learn to brew your own beer via its “Live Homebrew Experience” online class. There, you’ll learn how to make your own batch of pale or amber ale with a provided homebrew kit during a 2.5-hour live workshop. Ten days later, you can crack your own cold ones. ($99, runs Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 1 p.m., citybrewtours.com)
Also check out: You could skip the brewing and get right to the good part — that is, drinking — with City Brew Tours’ “Beer and Cheese Pairing Happy Hour” (Note: You’ll need to provide your own snacks and booze).
» READ MORE: Do this at home: Start brewing your own beer
Folk music classes: What is wassailing, anyway?
Who’s it for? Winter holiday lovers in need of a little traditional, folksy cheer
What to expect: Based on the Anglo-Saxon term “waes hael,” or “good health,” wassailing is a holiday folk tradition that’s sort of like caroling. That’ll be limited this year, but you can still do it virtually with the Philly Folk School’s “Winter Wassail Workshop,” which teaches its history and music. You’ll be in for songs and carols, recipes for historical holiday foods, and sing-alongs. ($10-$12, Dec. 5, 2 p.m., pfs.org)
Comedy classes: Learn to toast (and roast) for the holidays
Who’s it for? Aspiring roastmasters (or just folks who want to brush up on public speaking)
What to expect: Need to make a toast while getting in a few jabs at this year’s virtual holiday get-togethers? The Off Mic Comedy School — Philly’s first all-virtual stand-up comedy school — can help you out with its “Toast and Roast” workshop, which consists of a half-day interactive class fronted by show producers and comics Spark Tabor and Cynthia Marie. You’ll be landing zingers in no time. ($75, Dec. 12, 4 p.m., offmiccomedyschool.com)
Ballet classes: Dance it out (and stay fit)
Who’s it for? Kiddos aged 6 to 12 who just gotta dance
What to expect: Known as “Dance eXchange,” this after-school dance program from the folks at BalletX is a good one for youngsters who are learning remotely and need to get out a little energy. Here, they’ll learn basic dance movements and groove it out with the rest of the class via Zoom. Instructors also focus on self-confidence, discovery, and affirmation. (Free, Tuesdays and Thursdays through Dec. 17, 4 p.m., balletx.org)
Also check out: If you or someone you know is aged 16 to 24 and serious about dance, check out BalletX’s “Virtual Winter Intensive,” which focuses on development and advice for folks looking to break into the world of professional dance.
Acting classes: Scratch your itch for stagetime
Who’s it for? Fledgling Philly actors
What to expect: If you’ve been thinking about starting your path to the stage or screen, the Walnut Street Theatre has the perfect class to get you on your journey. This virtual “Intro to Acting” class, headed up by performance artist Logan Schulman, is targeted toward adult beginners, and covers the foundation of what it takes to begin on the road to your dream role — or just how to be more confident in your daily life. ($150, Dec. 14-18, 6 p.m., walnutstreettheatre.org)
Art classes: Become the next Jackson Pollock
Who’s it for? Adults with a serious interest in abstract art
What to expect: Fleisher Art Memorial’s “Abstract and Intuitive Painting” course runs weekly for about two months, and in that time, you’ll get a good foundation in the process of making abstract art — plus knowledge on using acrylic paint, color theory, and history. Please note: You’ll need supplies like a primary color paint set, canvases, brushes, and a palette knife — so come prepared. ($255-$285, Wednesdays from Jan. 6 to March 10, 6:30 p.m., fleisher.org)