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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 fun things to learn this winter in Toronto

learn winter torontoWinter is the best season to do a little bit of extracurricular learning in Toronto. While there's a host of entertainment and events to occupy oneself with over the cold months, given the reduced outdoor activities on offer, it just makes sense to outfit one's self with new knowledge and skills. From DJ classes to taxidermy workshops, the options are as widespread as they are fun. Don't hibernate when you can get edified.

Here are 10 fun things to learn this winter in Toronto.

Get a wine education

You can learn about wine at any time of the year, but it's an educational activity that's really best done on a cold night when the stuff in your glass will warm your belly and the talk of far away wine regions bathed in sun will make you imagine better times. Toronto has classes for everyone from complete novices to would-be sommeliers.

Learn how to fly a 737

Winter probably isn't the most fun time to take flying lessons in a little Cessna, so why not go big time and see how you do in the cockpit of a 737? Threshold Aviation touts an actual flight deck from a recently scrapped 737-500, which is hooked up to a variety of computers that feature well known airports around the world.

Go to Barista barista school

Do you struggle to pull a consistent shot out of your home espresso machine? Does your latte art suck? Never fear. In addition to cupping classes, you can one step further and train as a barista. You don't have to dream of opening an indie cafe to want to up your coffee game. Loft Kitchen also offers basic barista classes.

Become a master on the 1s and 2s

Want to be the life of the party when summer finally rolls around? Take DJ lessons now, and you'll be able to show off your skills on the decks in no time. If you've struggled to learn a conventional instrument but consider yourself musically inclined, this could be your ticket.

Create slogan posters with Douglas Coupland

Ok, Gen-X fans, now's your chance to work side by side with Douglas Coupland. The acclaimed author and artist will host two studio workshops at the ROM in which participants will design slogan posters using the Helvetica font. It sounds like pure Coupland, who's artistic projects are heavily related to the politics of design.

Learn to brew your own beer

There are a few places where you can learn how to brew your own beer in Toronto, but surely one of the most laid back experiences is at Noble Hop. Held in-store, the casual workshops walk attendees through the basics of beer-making , after which one can get started brewing at home.

Become a tea expert

Taught by tea sommeliers, these classes at the Tea Emporium combine education in tea serving ceremonies as well as information about the history and culture of tea-producing regions around the world. There's even tea tasting flights.

Learn how to print in 3D

There are lots of 3D printing workshops around the city at places like Hot Pop Factory, but the best deal might be at the Toronto Public Library's Digital Innovation Hub, which offers 3D printing certification for free. You'll want to book your workshop well in advance, but there's lots of scheduled classes this winter.

Learn the art of taxidermy

Teta Kika's Casual Taxidermy classes allow you to make some... interesting gifts and decor pieces at a beginner level. The February class is sold out, but March is still available and more may pop up. If you can't wait, Action Potential Lab is running a workshop February 7 with licensed instructor Mickey Alice Kwapis.

Wield a flame and create some glass art

Playing with Fire in the Junction offers a variety of glassblowing classes designed to teach participants how to make unique pieces, be they paperweights or tumblers for future cocktails. The workshops are designed for absolute beginners, so you don't need to worry if you have no foreknowledge of this age-old art.

What did I miss? Add your suggestions for fun things to learn this winter in the comment section.

by Derek Flack via blogTO

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