This holiday season, are you on the hunt for any virtual classes to take with friends and family — either as a way of connecting with someone distant or as a gift idea for others?
Even if you’re tired of Zoom for work meetings, doctor’s appointments, and so on (and aren’t we all?), it’s still a great tool for connecting with friends and family right now by taking virtual classes together.
While we’ve previously shared posts on 5 online classes to take for fun during quarantine, 6 online classes for working women, and how to learn a new language, today we thought we’d provide some fun suggestions for virtual classes to take with friends and family — either people in your “pod” (attending a virtual class from one of your homes) or loved ones who don’t live nearby.
Start looking for virtual classes that are based in your area — shop local! For example, local arts organizations are going through tough times right now and could really use your support, so check if any of your favorites are offering online classes, such as theaters with virtual improv classes or art museums with virtual drawing instruction.
Also check with your city or town’s recreation department — my local one, for example, has transitioned to all-remote classes for the time being. Our local school district has a continuing education department that’s shifted to virtual classes for adults (and teens), so that’s another option to try, as are your local libraries and historical society.
Virtual Classes to Take With Friends & Family
I’ve heard good things about the classes run by Nonna Live (and right now you can get 20% off your first one with code WELCOME20). You can choose a regular class, such as pumpkin gnocchi with Parmigiano sauce, $59; fettuccine with tomato sauce, $59; or traditional tiramisu, $40; or choose to pay a bit more for a two-hour private booking in which up to 10 people ($399) or 10+ people ($599) can take part. For the latter, you have the chance to speak to Nonna Nerina and granddaughter Chiara ahead of time to choose the recipe you prefer. Ingredient and utensil lists are provided on the website for each class.
While it wasn’t exactly a “class,” a friend of mine had good luck with a tea tasting run by Brooklyn-based sustainable tea company teapigs. She invited local friends as well as friends in other cities to join her, and they really enjoyed it. (I’ve also seen Smith Teamaker recommended for this.) A member of a Facebook group I belong to recommended the group wine tastings from In Good Taste, while the Denver chocolate shop Bar and Cocoa runs virtual chocolate tastings, with two events coming soon on December 26, 2020, and January 7, 2021. Kits are $55 for one person, $90 for two.
In a recent threadjack readers recommended virtual cooking classes from Bake with a Legend, TravelingSpoon, and Party Line/Henrietta Red.
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Arts & Crafts Classes
Badass Cross Stitch (whom you can follow on Instagram) offers classes like embroidery 101, which promises that “You will be a pro stitcher in under two hours.” The virtual “Stitch-Up” gatherings of stitchers and needle artists also look interesting, for those who already know the basics.
If you’re looking for something more in-depth, Craftsy has a “Basics & Beyond” cross stitch class that runs for seven sessions for a total of 2 hours 13 minutes. (Also see our post on subversive cross stitch!)
I’ve also heard good things about Creativebug, which offers all sorts of interesting crafty classes for different skill levels — everything from keeping a daily gratitude art journal to crochet to sewing, painting, and more.
Wellness & Fitness Classes
I heard about the “workout parties” from obé from this WSJ article. You can take one of their live or on-demand classes with up to seven friends or family members — planned up to 56 hours in advance. (Here’s the FAQ.) Those in the group who aren’t obé members can get a free two-week guest pass (and a regular membership is $27/month, $65/quarter, or $199/year, with the first week free).
Yoga is another nice option for this, especially because we could all use some more relaxation this year. Yoga Beyond the Studio offers a private 30-minute meditation (up to 40 people) for $129 and a private 60-minute yoga class (up to 40 people) for $139. Bluebird Sky Yoga provides private group lessons; contact them for details. Your local yoga studios (who are probably struggling right now) might offer something like this, so check with them, too!
Readers, have you taken any virtual classes with friends and family — what classes have you tried, and through where? Would you consider any of these for a gift idea?
Stock photo via Deposit Photos / Syda Productions.
I did a few virtual game nights with friends at the start of the pandemic but that faded along the way. I’m wondering if winter will bring all that back around with outdoor spaced options so limited and numbers rising.
I’m also working with so many women struggling with pandemic productivity right now so I’m thinking of hosting a virtual Pandemic Productivity Planning Workshop myself too, would probably be a virtual brunch planning session, haha, any excuse for breakfast!
My friend and I took a kintsugi class from urushi.info. The class teaches traditional Japanese techniques to repair damaged ceramics with lacquer (urushi) and gold. I fixed a chipped coffee mug. It was a lot of fun, and I’m eyeing some chipped cereal bowls and a cracked ceramic wall-hanging. The class was $280 for 4 sessions and all materials. There are only about 7 people per class, so my friend and I were waitlisted for a couple of months before we got in.
Whoa, that’s super cool!
I have done a few Zoom-based classes through Primed Fine Arts, https://www.primedfinearts.com/home. I highly recommend them. It’s also possible to buy the kits and do them yourselves or to follow their Instagram instructions for their painting kits.
If you’re in Houston, we’ve enjoyed Underbelly’s cooking classes a lot. You pick up the ingredients beforehand at their location in Montrose so it’s all pre-measured. Super fun.
I really want to thank everyone for the fabulous COVID bubble pranks from yesterday! You opened my eyes to a universe of ideas – she’s recently been into bird statues for her holiday displays and I decided to go with giant blow up flamingo! I’ll have to get the timing right and maybe coordinate with her husband, but luckily we have a block where kids are always back and forth into each others’ yards and probably once a week the moms are decorating someone’s house for their anniversary or a birthday or something, so me creeping around with a giant blow up flamingo is likely to go over with little disruption. Once again, hive to the rescue!
I am truly glad – absolutely no snark at all – that you enjoy this and that you’re having fun with this. For me, the idea of a neighborhood where the moms are always decorating someone’s house for a birthday (etc) just makes me shudder. I would have no idea of my neighbors’ birthdays or anniversaries, they have no idea of mine, and I kind of like it that way. I find a lot of that feels very fake to me, even though I know some people are sincere about this kind of thing.
Yeah… it’s not for everyone but it’s been largely a COVID thing and since none of us go anywhere else, we’re trying to make the most of it and we truly do like each other and help each other through challenges together. There are also a couple families that don’t do anything and that’s really fine. I deliberately sought out a community that emphasizes this – it’s specific!
I’ve taken several classes from Skillpop. I’m in Charlotte and they’re local to me, but have pivoted to online classes this year so they’re open to anyone. I’ve taken classes on flower arranging, makeup basics, running, and writing your first novel. I’ve seen others on journaling, watercolors, hairstyles, crafts, meditation, and some career-adjacent things. Experience depends on the teacher, but everything’s been worth the money so far.
I did an online class through AirBNB on a sake tasting. It was taught out of Tokyo by a sake brewer who taught us about types of sake, how sake is made, and pairing sake with non-Japanese food. We were given a list of sake types to try and obtain before the class, and he based his pairings on what we had purchased. Fantastic time and about $20.
What a great post!
Thank you for mentioning local artists. One of our art museums is doing a great job of offering a variety of art and music classes online
Here are some high-quality online guitar and songwriting classes: https://www.oldtownschool.org/classes/adults/guitar/
Rebecca in Dallas
It’s not really a class, but my mom and I have been doing interactive theater events through Playbill Online! Our favorites have been virtual tours through Broadway Up Close, which is a walking tour company. The virtual tours aren’t walking tours, instead the tour guide shows pictures which is actually really cool because he can include things like side-by-side pictures of what a theater looked like when it was first opened vs. what it looks like today. We’re also able to see pictures and video from inside the theater that we wouldn’t be able to see in person. We have loved all of the tours we’ve done and we plan on taking the tours in person once we can go back to NYC! (My mom and I used to go every year for a girls’ trip, so we’ve missed it this year!)
Rebecca in Dallas
Here is the link! https://www.playbill.com/socialselects