Learn New Skills at These Adult-Friendly, Year-Round Classes & Workshops in Seattle

The Works, Hugo House, Velocity, and More Places to Learn New Things
October 8, 2019
The Works offers classes for crafters, cooks, and natural skincare enthusiasts alike. (The works via facebook)
If adding new skills and hobbies to your repertoire is on your list of resolutions for the new year, Seattle's vast array of classes and workshops are sure to inspire you. Whether you want to dedicate the full quarter to writing courses with Hugo House or Clarion West, try one-off art classes at Push/Pull or cooking classes at the Pantry, or learn to dance at Velocity, you'll find myriad options to satisfy your thirst for new skills. Best of all, you can plan ahead—the options below are offered all year long.
Jump to: Arts & Crafts | Film & Photography | Writing | Music | Food & Cooking | Nature & Outdoors | Sex | Dance & Movement | Performance | Miscellaneous

ARTS & CRAFTS
FINE ARTS
Gage Academy of Art
Working artists teach diverse subjects in visual arts, from color harmony to egg tempera painting. In addition to semester-long courses, there are weeklong and weekend workshops on subjects like botanical watercolors, color theory and mixing, pet portraits, and figure drawing.
Capitol Hill, rolling start dates

Pratt Fine Arts
This is a wonderful community arts center named after Seattle civil rights and education activist Edwin T. Pratt. You can try your hand at all sorts of media here, but they have an especially rich selection of weeks-long classes and single-day workshops in glass sculpting, blacksmithing, metalworking, woodworking, and other artisanry.
Central District, rolling start dates

Seattle Artist League
The North Seattle-located Seattle Artist League promises small-size classes in drawing, painting, printmaking, and more.
Greenwood, rolling start dates

DIY CRAFTS
AR Workshop
This new Etsy-inspired workshop offers artsy home decor classes for those looking to fill their living space with textile wall hangings, knit pumpkins, cozy blankets, painted wooden signs, and the like.
Ravenna, various single dates

Push/Pull
One of Seattle’s queerest, most underground arts spaces open to the public, Push/Pull provides inexpensive, usually one-off classes in a variety of arts and crafts, including accordion bookmaking, DIY screenprinting, macrame wall hanging, and much more. Bonus: You can shop for zines, art, t-shirts, weird and shocking stickers, and other merch while you’re there.
Ballard, various single dates

Seattle ReCreative
The recycled-material shop, an absolute must-visit for thrifty DIYers, also conducts single-day workshops on subjects like art journaling and bookmaking.
Greenwood, various single dates

The Works
Crafters, cooks, and natural skincare enthusiasts alike will find something that suits their interests (and Instagrams) here, whether you want to brush up on your knife skills, learn how to read tarot, or decorate Christmas cookies.
First Hill, various single dates

GLASS, POTTERY & METAL
glassybaby
For a very Seattle experience, head to glassybaby's Madrona hot shop, where you can both browse the fancy votives that are ubiquitous in this city and learn the regionally popular art of glassblowing. Their popular one-on-one workshops offer the opportunity to make pint-sized votives, paperweights, and seasonal baubles like pumpkins and candy canes—and occasionally, dog bowls.
Madrona, various single dates

MoltenWorks
This glass studio is getting in on the drinking-while-doing-something-possibly-dangerous trend (see paint & sip, drunken axe-throwing) with their Sip ‘N Fuse Experience, open to adults (21 and over) who’d like to create bowls, plates, candle holders, sun catchers, and more while tippling. There’s also Glass Fusion 4All, open to kids seven and up.
Woodinville, weekly

Pottery Northwest
Whether you’re an experienced clay manipulator or have yet to get your hands dirty, Pottery Northwest’s 10-week courses help you acquire skills in throwing, handbuilding, sculpting, and more. If you miss their quarterly registration period, they also offer occasional one-night Clay Nights on Fridays and Saturdays.
Seattle Center, quarterly

Seattle Glassblowing Studio
Book “blow-your-own” classes for you and your friends or a date night, and finish the class with a new paperweight, seafloat, bowl, pumpkin, vase, and more.
Belltown, by appointment

Lawless Forge
Just like glassblowing and pottery, we'd also file this one under "things you can't do at home": Blacksmithing. Head to Lawless Forge to make your renaissance faire dreams come true, and learn how to turn hot steel into everything from horseshoe knives to bottle openers to garden art. Their tagline: "Forging bonds between groups of colleagues, family, and friends."
West Seattle, by appointment

SEWING & JEWELRY
Beadworld
Learn stitching, wirework, embossing, and other specialized jewelry-making skills in single classes, some of which include the use of a butane torch (18+ only).
Ravenna, various single dates

Drygoods Design
Whether you’ve never picked up a needle and thread or you consider yourself a skilled garment constructor, the fabric and gift shop has classes for all levels. If you’re a beginner, start with one of their "This is a Sewing Machine" classes. If you’re a little more advanced, subjects range from zippers to tote bags to high-waisted pants.
Pioneer Square, various single dates

NW Rockhounds
Lovers of rock and mineral specimens and natural curiosities looking to do more than just shop for crystals can learn the basics of wire-wrapping, jewelry-making, gemstone-caging, and other such skills at the Lake City retailer.
Lake City, various single dates

Stitches
The cozy Capitol Hill fabric store helps you put your new sewing materials to use with crafty classes. From knitting a basic dishcloth to sewing a pair of pants to getting started with hand embroidery, it’s a good place to go if you’re looking to start a new hobby.
Capitol Hill, various two-session dates

PAINTING
CANVAS! Paint and Sip Studio
This paint-and-sip studio offers classes nearly every day, with $5 mimosa specials on select afternoons. You'll go home with your own unique versions of a tranquil scene, be it a row of fall trees, a snapshot of Pike Place Market, or a Seattle version of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
Fremont & Kirkland, various single dates

Uncorked Canvas
Wine-fueled amateur artists are guided through paintings from start to finish, from seasonal options like a portrait of the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus to a landscape of Mount Rainier.
West Seattle, various single dates

Yaymaker
With no fixed studio, these painting classes take place in wineries and eateries across Washington—which means you can drink while an instructor guides you through the basic steps of creating a work of art. Their options tend to lean toward peaceful landscapes, from autumn waterfalls to lighthouse sunsets. If painting isn’t your thing, they also offer other DIY workshops, including candle-making and plant nights.
Various locations, various single dates

FILM & PHOTOGRAPHY
Glazer’s Camera
For a quick and cheap introduction to photography (or information on special topics), check out workshops at Glazer’s, many of which are free with the purchase of a camera. Guided photowalks through Seattle landmarks like the Woodland Park Zoo and the Ballard Locks are also occasionally on offer.
Queen Anne, various single dates

Northwest Film Forum
A wonderful resource for the local film community, the Forum employs professionals to teach workshops and intensives on using editing software, scriptwriting and storyboarding, and camera operation and techniques.
Capitol Hill, various single dates

Photographic Center Northwest
This school gives you the choice of a 53-credit certificate program (if you’re seeking serious academic laurels), 10-week courses, short-term courses, and individual workshops and crash courses. Learn topics like black-and-white photography, digital photography, and more for about $825 for the long courses (there are scholarships); delve into topics like darkroom printing, photoshop, and light photography in workshops or short courses for $130–$400. Be prepared to spend time chasing the light outside of class and bring your own camera.
Capitol Hill, quarterly (winter semester begins Jan 6)

WRITING
Clarion West
The speculative fiction writing school’s famous six-week course, which boasts such graduates as Ann Leckie, E. Lily Yu, and Sandra Odell, is open to only a select few—but the program also conducts one-day workshops with some of the best genre writers around.
Various locations, various single dates

Hugo House
Hugo House is Seattle’s local literary hub. Their commitment to learning is deep in their bones and each and every one of their events will expand your mind, at least a little. If you’re an aspiring writer, you should absolutely check out their course catalog, which includes quarterly classes in poetry, novel writing, and more. For those with less time and money, the one- or two-session classes, which are sometimes taught by famous writers in conjunction with Hugo House readings, are perfect.
Capitol Hill, quarterly registration with rolling start dates

Seattle Writes at Seattle Public Libraries
The Seattle Public Library hosts a dizzying number of workshops at branches across the city, and every single one of them is absolutely free. They’ll help you figure out your new computer, do your taxes, learn a new language, play board games, discuss books, hear from authors, listen to concerts, watch movies, become a US citizen, entertain your children, take advantage of government programs, experiment with 3D printers, and much more. Of particular note is their Seattle Writes program: free workshops and classes with accomplished local writing teachers as well as a Hugo House writing circle with local authors.
Various locations, various single dates

MUSIC
Dusty Strings
Located in central Fremont since 1982, Dusty Strings is known throughout town as a premier seller of acoustic instruments, having originated with crafting their own hammered dulcimers and folk harps. Each month, they offer classes in guitar, ukulele, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and harp, as well as vocal instruction and ensemble practice. They also host a free monthly jam in case you’d like to test the waters of group participation first.
Fremont, rolling start dates for series and single dates

Vera Project
The Vera Project is a non-profit event space that focuses on all-ages programming. Their KEXP-neighboring facility boasts a recording studio, performance stage, and screen-printing studio, with classes for live sound, fabric and poster printing, DJ skills, concert lighting, and more. Many kids who take these classes go on to use the skills they develop at Vera events and as Vera staff and volunteers, though adults are also encouraged to register.
Seattle Center, various single dates

FOOD & COOKING
GENERAL
Addo
Chef Eric Rivera’s experimental “culinary incubator” will school you in how to braise, ferment, butcher, and prepare for the holidays, among other handy kitchen skills.
Ballard, various single dates

Book Larder
Seattle’s only cookbook store, a true Fremont gem, hosts all manner of cooking classes. Pick up a new skill, like cheesemaking, sourdough bread baking, pasta making, or cake decorating, or take a class that revolves around a theme (like autumn or Georgian cuisine).
Fremont, various single dates

Eat Seattle
Take a market-to-table cooking class with a chef-guided hands-on demo with ingredients sourced from Pike Place, followed by a quick jaunt through the market to learn about the local suppliers.
Downtown, various single dates

Hipcooks
This South Lake Union cooking school offers classes like “Pasta in Casa,” “It’s All Greek to Me,” and “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina,” as well as “Cooking 101” primers for true novices.
South Lake Union, various single dates

Hot Stove Society
Seattle’s culinary juggernaut Tom Douglas has a cooking school inside Hotel Andra with tons of classes on varying themes each week. Sneak away during a weekday lunch break for one of their Lunch Club cooking classes, which involve a demonstration of a lunch prepared for you on the spot (that you later get to eat!).
Downtown, various single dates

The Pantry
This Ballard community kitchen holds some of the most sought-after classes in town, with everything from macaron-making to arts and crafts. If you see something you like, don’t dawdle—they’re known to sell out faster than the time it takes to fry an egg.
Ballard, various single dates

Salty Seattle
Linda Miller Nicholson, known for her whimsical, vibrant, plant-dyed pasta creations as saltyseattle on Instagram, hosts intimate workshops in her home pasta studio, where attendees can craft agnolotti, pappardelle, ravioli, garganelli, and other pasta shapes.
Various locations, various single dates

DESSERTS
Bells Pastries
Pastry chef Jasmin Bell Smith, who won the Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship and was a finalist on Chopped Desserts, guides students in making French macarons, fruit galettes, tarts, custards, cream puffs, fondant-decorated cakes, and gluten-free desserts at various locations around Seattle.
Various locations, various single dates

Indi Chocolate
Live out your Chocolat-inspired fantasy of being a chocolatier with classes at Pike Place’s small-batch bean-to-bar chocolate factory, where you can hand-roll truffles with custom flavor combos, make your own chocolate, learn how to brew better coffee at home, and concoct tasty drinks with infused cacao and alcohol.
Downtown, various single dates

Theo Chocolate
Channel Charlie Bucket and take a jaunt to Fremont’s very own fair-trade chocolate factory for classes on making your own chocolate bark, pairing chocolate and cheese or tea, decorating holiday cookies, hand-rolling ganache truffles, and tasting coffee and chocolate.
Fremont, various single dates

DRINKS
Cure
Step behind the bar at this Capitol Hill lounge and learn how to whip up craft cocktails with real equipment, including shakers, jiggers, strainers, bar mats, ice bins, and more. You’ll practice pouring like a pro and get to sample a few drinks after class. If you sign up for their newsletter for class updates, they’ll even send you a free bartending book to download.
Capitol Hill, various single dates

Serafina
Learn how to shake and stir like a master mixologist at the Eastlake Italian restaurant’s cocktail classes, held about once a month, which cover topics like bitters and brandy cocktails.
Eastlake, occasional single dates

NATURE & OUTDOORS
Bike Works
Staying true to its mission to educate and empower youth and "make bicycling accessible and affordable to the Seattle community," Bike Works offers educational programs for both kids (ages 9-17) and adults (18+), ranging from beginner to advanced bike repair.

Cascade Bicycle Club
If your bike is your main mode of transportation, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on safety measures. In addition to their group rides, Cascade Bicycle Club is there for cyclists of all ages looking to feel more comfortable pedaling in a busy environment and pick up repair tips.
Sand Point, various single dates

Glasswing
An in-house team of experts offer plant and floral workshops in the greenhouse gallery space of the good-smelling and carefully curated home goods and clothing store, including workshops on terrariums, bonsai, and floral arranging.
Capitol Hill, various single dates

The Mountaineers
If the books Wild and Into the Wild taught us anything, it’s that one should be prepared before committing to life (or, more likely, a few days) off the grid. The Mountaineers offer class series—most of which do not require prerequisites—on first aid, day hiking, wilderness navigation, and more.
Sand Point, rolling start dates

REI
In addition to being a trusted purveyor of hiking boots, camping equipment, and oddly flavored energy goo, REI also helps you prepare for outdoor adventures with classes for beginners and pros alike. Some subject highlights include the basics of hiking in the PNW, travel writing and photography, a women's introduction to mountain biking, and, last but not least, zombie preparedness.
Eastlake, various single dates

Seattle Audubon
Local experts lead workshops on birding and natural history, ranging from topics like where to go on your next avian-centric vacation to an overview of shorebirds in the Pacific Northwest.
Wedgwood, quarterly

Swansons Nursery
If you've got a green thumb and want to pick up some tips for caring for your plant babies, the garden center offers workshops and seminars in everything from the best seasonal varietals to drip irrigation to a primer on houseplants. If you have more of an Etsy sensibility, check out one of the nursery's crafty workshops for grown-ups, which offer the chance to make things like glitter pumpkins, floral headpieces, and ever-popular terrariums.
Crown Hill, various single dates

Tilth Alliance
For anyone looking to improve their green thumb and learn about sustainable eating—whether that means tending to garden full of plants or a kitchen windowsill’s worth—Tilth Alliance offers everything from 101-style classes on composting to identification workshops on edible local weeds to farm walks.
Wallingford, various single dates

SEX
Babeland
If you like free bubbly, discounts on shopping, and chances to win sex toys, Babeland’s free classes are a decidedly fun and flirty option, from a dirty talk 101 class for shy people to seasonal parties complete with sips and sex tips au gratis.
Capitol Hill, various single dates

Gallery Erato
Seattle’s diverse kinksters know that safety and consent are the most important parts of exploring any kink, which is why Gallery Erato offers tons of classes on everything from their popular Bondage for Beginners to more specific forays like Nerves and Bondage and Technical Rigging.
Downtown, various single dates

DANCE & MOVEMENT
Century Ballroom
Ascend to the beautiful ballroom to be introduced to salsa, tango, tap, swing, and more at this fun, queer-friendly Capitol Hill institution. Can’t commit to a full course? Check out their drop-in classes in kizomba, salsa, swing, and more, which are followed by social dancing.
Capitol Hill, bimonthly series registration and weekly single dates

Divine Movement
Carrying the weight of your entire body while swiveling around on a pole is not as easy as it looks. Divine offers six-week pole dancing classes that have lots of variety and range from beginner to advanced.
Wallingford & Kirkland

Emerald City Trapeze
Circus professionals will teach you to jump off 30-foot platforms and balance upside down in no time through these all-levels recurring classes, which include flying trapeze, aerial arts, the fitness-focused “shakedown,” acrobatics, and pole dancing. They stress that you don’t have to have an athletic background to take a class, but they do offer advanced classes.
Sodo, various single dates

Enchant Vertical Dance
“Seattle’s inclusive pole dancing studio” has tons of options for absolute beginners and those who already know how to spin upside down. Their intro class, which lasts for five weeks, teaches you how to incorporate “spins, transitions, climbs and sits” into a routine. From there, you can move up the ladder (or the pole, as it were) to Pole 2, Pole 3-4, and so on, until you reach something called Contemporary PoleOgraphy. If you don’t want to commit to a full course, you can opt for drop-in classes and open-pole sessions. They also offer dance (including ballet, jazz, and contemporary) and yoga classes.
Capitol Hill, rolling start dates

Parkour Visions
Teens, adults, and kids can learn to view the streets Seattle as their very own mid-’90s music video while respecting non-parkour-practicing folks by checking out all-levels classes in Gas Works Park, UW’s Red Square, Freeway Park, and other local spots.
Various locations, various single dates

Salsa Con Todo
Take four- to five-week monthly courses in salsa, zouk, bachata, tango, and kizomba, or simply drop in for single beginning and intermediate classes.
Fremont, rolling start dates

Salsa N’ Seattle
The first class is free at this studio offering four-week courses in zumba, salsa, kizomba, hip-hop, and more.
Atlantic, rolling start dates

SANCA
Have you always pictured yourself as a star of the circus? You can start making that dream come true at SANCA, where you can learn trapeze, aerial, trampoline, unicycle, and more. Kids and adults alike are welcome here—the studio emphasizes the fact that "circus is for everyone."
Georgetown, quarterly, monthly, and single dates

Velocity Dance Center
Velocity’s dancers lead classes in performance, like the ongoing drop-in courses “Beginning Modern” with Alice Gosti and Allison Burke and “Intermediate Hip-hop” with Jaret Hughes (both Tuesdays). One of the best-loved recurring classes is Kate Wallich’s Dance Church (Tuesday and Saturdays), open to all abilities and focused on the joy of movement. If you're a true beginner or unsure of your level, check out their six-week Intro to Dance Series to learn the basics of styles like hip-hop, house, and modern. Velocity also gets visiting artists to teach special masterclass workshops and longer courses.
Capitol Hill, various single dates and rolling series start dates

Versatile Arts
Aerial arts aren’t just for circus performers—you, too, can learn to twist yourself around silky durable fabrics in a safe and supportive environment with these year-round classes. For those who already have core skills, Versatile also features daily open-gym sessions.
Phinney, session-based

PERFORMANCE
Freehold Theatre
Working actors, playwrights, and other theater professionals teach the fundamentals of drama and advanced topics. Beginners should start with the “Emerging Series,” an intensive, months-long series that serves as the foundation for Freehold's other courses.
Chinatown-International District, rolling start dates

The Jet City Improv Academy
This Seattle improv institution offers eight-week "Jet City Improv Academy" courses taught by excellent performers. They also offer weekly drop-in classes on Mondays, open to all skill levels.
University District, quarterly

Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque
Miss Indigo Blue invites you to “dip your toe in those sparkly waters” with classes in stripping, teasing, bumping, grinding, tassel-twirling with your boobs or butt, and all that good stuff. For more extensive courses, start out with Burlesque 101, during which you’ll perfect your own routine.
Atlantic, quarterly and single dates

Unexpected Productions
Learn the art of being funny onstage without prior planning!
Georgetown, quarterly

MISCELLANEOUS
Field Trip Society
These "classes and adventures for curious grown-ups" don’t teach you a specific skill so much as they teach how to be a specific type of person—one who crafts cocktail aromatics, plays the ukulele, and forages for mushrooms, among other things.
Various locations

General Assembly
If you’re interested in digital marketing, starting a podcast, crafting an elevator pitch, understanding Python programming, or otherwise elevating your status as a web- and business-savvy individual, this private tech school has your back with free introductory classes. For more money, you can also sign up for single-day workshops and bootcamps.
Downtown, various single dates

Urban Elective
Without the pressure of filling credits for a diploma, these varied six-week courses focus on niche subjects like conspiracy theories and urban legends, how to not suck at dating, feminist embroidery, and the history of reality TV. What’s more, you’ll get to do your learning in breweries and wineries around town, which is far better than sitting in a classroom.
Various locations, quarterly