For many of us, balancing work, family commitments and social obligations—all while trying to get a decent amount of sleep every night—leaves little time to indulge our hobbies or pet projects. If you’re like me, you’re constantly making lists of things you’d like to paint, write or cook only to find them lost to a busy schedule (or the temptation of an occasional Netflix binge). Making a conscious effort and a hard commitment to the things that enrich our lives is the best way to ensure we actually carve out the time. The following classes will help you do just that—whether you’re honing an existing skill or learning a new one. And, yes, wine tastings count.
1. Whole animal butchery at Moriarty Meats
28 Grant St, Buffalo, NY 14213
716-860-5200 / moriartymeats.com
Most of us don’t know where our meat comes from or how it’s prepared. Tom and Kaitlin Moriarty of Moriarty Meats want to change that. That’s why they make a point to minimize waste by showcasing unique cuts of locally sourced meat you’re not likely to find at you local Wegmans. They also offer unique workshop opportunities—like learning how to break down and prepare various cuts of lamb—for anyone curious about traditional French butchery or interested in taking a more hands on approach to their dinner. Subscribe to their newsletter or follow them on Instagram for regular updates.
2. Embroidery and dyeing workshops at Stitch Buffalo
1215 Niagara St, Buffalo, NY 14213
716-495-9642 / stitchbuffalo.org
Located in a cozy shop on Niagara Street, Stitch Buffalo aims to empower refugee women in Buffalo by providing a warm and welcoming gathering space for cross-cultural exchange through textile arts on the West Side. They offer regular workshops in different types of traditional embroidery as well as indigo and resist dyeing techniques, and beginners are always welcome. They also offer open class time for anyone who needs help completing a project, starting a new one or simply wants to share a creative space to work on their craft. Search for classes and sign up on their website.
3. Fermentation demonstration at Barrel + Brine
155 Chandler St, Buffalo, NY 14207
716-877-3455 / barrelnbrine.com
Barrel + Brine, Buffalo’s premiere purveyors of all things brined, canned, preserved and pickled have just recently begun offering classes for those of us curious about the mysterious and delightful alchemy of fermentation. Their first class, coming up on November 3 in their tap room on up-and-coming Chandler Street, will focus on sauerkraut and include a brief history, a hands-on demonstration, Q&A time and a hearty dinner of fermented fare. Visit their Facebook for class offerings and opportunities to sign up.
4. Wine tasting at Paradise Wine
435 Rhode Island St, Buffalo, NY 14213
716-322-5396 / paradisewinebuffalo.com
From its stylish and welcoming space at the Five Points, Paradise Wine offers an approachable atmosphere for exploring some of the most exciting and funky producers in natural, organic and biodynamic wine. They regularly offer classes featuring a number of unique varietals and bottles hailing from sustainable vineyards around the world—from the southern Rhone Valley in France to the Finger Lakes region in our own backyard. Subscribe to the newsletter or stop into the shop at the Five Points to learn more and sign up.
5. Spanish classes at El Buen Amigo
114 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14201
716-885-6343 / facebook.com/elbuenamigolaca
Whether you need to brush up on the Spanish you (kind of) remember taking in high school or want to hone your ability to speak conversationally, El Buen Amigo offers classes for varying skill levels five days a week. Classes are supplemented by learning materials and online tutorials, but a little homework never killed anybody. Visit their Facebook for more information on enrolling.
6. Horticulture and watercolor courses at the Botanical Gardens
2655 South Park Ave, Buffalo, NY 14218
716-827-1584 / buffalogardens.com
Seasoned gardeners and budding green thumbs alike will find joy in the expansive horticulture course offerings now available at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens. Classes will cover everything from botany 101 to propagation and hydroponics. They’re a great way to scratch your gardening itch when your flowerbeds are buried in a blanket of snow. The Botanical Gardens also offer beginner and intermediate watercolor courses in the tranquility of their verdant sanctuary. Visit their website to learn more and sign up.