With short days and cooler temperatures outside, the winter months are the perfect time to take up an indoor hobby. For apartment dwellers, there are plenty of activities that can be honed within your space—no large work area or copious amounts of storage required!
Take your love of baking to the next level with cake decorating classes. YouTube has dozens of channels dedicated to applying the perfect layer of frosting and making decorative accents—from basic techniques to artistic flourishes worthy of The Great American Baking Show. For hands-on instruction, check out local classes at Joann Fabrics, Michaels and Sur La Table.
To further explore your creative talents, check out the wide array of art classes the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department offers—from papermaking to watercolors to comic book-style drawing. Classes fill up quickly, so find your desired course and reserve your seat today. The ArtsCenter in Carrboro also offers pottery, videogame programming, drawing, specialty painting, photography and digital arts, as well as writing courses to help you bring your short stories and narratives to life.
If you want to turn your creative hobbies into a day-time job, check out the ONLC Training Center in Chapel Hill. These in-depth training classes will get you up to speed in Photoshop, graphic design and Lightroom (digital photography retouching) so you can explore new career opportunities. Or if you just want to learn some design basics and gain working knowledge of programs like Illustrator and InDesign, check out the graphic arts courses available through Durham Tech.
For residents 55 and over, the Orange County Senior Center offers classes in art, crafts, dance, music, theater and pottery; and seniors can improve their tech savviness through personal computer and technology classes at the Seymour Tech Center so they can easily find classes, supplies or meetups connected to the hobbies they love.
Parlez-vous a New Language?
If you’re itching to learn a new language to prepare for your next big vacation or just converse with neighbors, Duolingo can help fast track your speaking and comprehension skills. This free app gamifies the learning process and is available in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Chinese and many others.
The Chapel Hill Public Library also offers free online learning programs in more than 70 languages. Simply login with your library account to access the program’s conversation and film-based resources.
Hit the Right Note
Fill your home with the energizing sound of live music. Music & Arts offers a wide array of band and orchestra instrument rentals so you can find your rhythm before fully committing to an instrument purchase. At their store, they also offer lessons from talented local musicians.
Make Your Grandparents Proud
Become a numismatist (coin collector) or a philatelist (stamp collector) with these beginner guides. For a more personal collection, organize all your personal memories and experiences into a family scrapbook or trace your family tree using genealogy sites like Ancestry.
Jigsaw puzzles are another relaxing way to pass those gray winters days. With a puzzle board, you can transport your progress and easily free up the kitchen table at meal time. For access to new puzzles that won’t be a drain on your storage space, check out the Jigsaw Puzzle Swap Exchange, whose members can trade puzzles with other enthusiasts around the globe.
And while all seasons come to an end, be ready when those warmer temperatures roll around and have all the basic knots mastered before your next boat excursion or outdoor adventure.
You don’t have to have a garage or basement to take up a fulfilling new hobby. With abundant resources and classes offered throughout Chapel Hill, these winter days will fly by as your new skills blossom in time for spring.