The Best Classes in Chicago That Are Actually Fun and Affordable

The Best Classes in Chicago That Are Actually Fun and Affordable

Photo: OhJuliaAnn at Perennial

Photo: OhJuliaAnn at Perennial

Everyone can use a break from their routine, and that doesn’t have to mean signing up for an 8-week pottery class or breaking the bank. We're big fans of trying out a new hobby or interest in a low-cost, low-commitment, and fun way. Perhaps your thing is salsa dancing, calligraphy, macrame, DIY crafts, painting with friends, lifting weights with other women, sending sawdust flying, cooking vegan recipes, or knife throwing. Whatever it might be, Dabble's 14,000+ experience listings around the country truly have something for everyone.

Let’s face it…after we graduate, it can be hard to try new things and meet new people with similar interests. Thankfully, Dabble turns the entire city into your classroom and Chicago's boasts more than 8,500 classes and experiences to reboot your 5-9 bucket list while maybe teaching you how to blow glass or brew your own beer. There are also more date night and team-building experiences than you can shake a stick at with more being added daily - and you can even post a class or workshop yourself!

Without further delay, here are some of the best classes and experiences that Chicago (and Dabble) have to offer…

Whole Foods Cooking Classroom in Lincoln Park is your one-stop shop for at-home cooking skills

Whole Foods Cooking Classroom in Lincoln Park is your one-stop shop for at-home cooking skills

Master your kitchen with cooking classes - Lincoln Park, Whole Foods Cooking Classroom
Cooking classes at Whole Foods cover everything from knife skills to wine pairings. The At-Home Cooking Specialists will help you sharpen your knives and cooking skills with affordable cooking experiences conveniently located above a ton of great food and produce with free parking.

Cost: $40, but prices vary based on the schedule

Over 4,000 people have taken calligraphy and lettering classes on Dabble since 2011.

Over 4,000 people have taken calligraphy and lettering classes on Dabble since 2011.

Level Up Your Calligraphy & Lettering Skills - Rogers Park & Fulton Market - Flying Dolphin Studio, Sam Meyer + Delania J Designs

Calligraphy is a skill that anyone can learn. With individualized instruction, regular practice and dedication. Whether you are looking to address invitations for that special day or send a greeting card, calligraphy will enhance the beauty and impact of all your correspondences.  These classes range from the Chancery script to modern calligraphy and provide a birds-eye view into the world of calligraphy, its history and the resources for you to continue perfecting your new skill.

Cost: $30 for Calligraphy for Beginners to $49 for Calligraphy + Cocktails with Sam and Delania.

Pursuit Supply teaching beer brewing basics at the Adler Planetarium

Pursuit Supply teaching beer brewing basics at the Adler Planetarium

Learn to craft a beer with homebrewing classes - Irving Park, Pursuit Supply Company

This introduction to homebrewing class is a hands-on experience focused on providing you with the essential information needed to get started with homebrewing. The Pursuit Supply Company will provide all of the essentials to learn how to brew high-quality beer. During this class we will be talking about the essential steps to brew beer, talk a little bit about the history of beer, and most importantly we will brew beer. 
Cost: $30 for beginner homebrewing

Instructor and woodworker Joseph Budka has taught over 1,000 Dabblers at MAKE! Chicago

Instructor and woodworker Joseph Budka has taught over 1,000 Dabblers at MAKE! Chicago

Craft your own cutting board in Woodworking 101 - Bridgeport, MAKE! Chicago

This workshop is introduces guests to the wood-shop environment and basic woodworking skills. Aspiring woodworkers will be familiarized with the shop environment, learn the safe and proper use of many common woodworking tools, and several woodworking techniques. Tool instruction will include the safe and proper usage of the table saw, surface planer, clamps, band saw, stationary sanders, palm sanders, and carving tools. Other techniques may be introduced, as time permits. There will also be lectures on safety, wood species, and finishing.  Using the skills instructed, each student will complete a cutting board of their very own design and handy-work. Do to the restrictions of time and materials costs, we will be restricted in the overall size and scope of what we can do. However, there will be an opportunity for everyone to utilize their creativity, and personalize their cutting boards. 
Cost: Woodworking 101 is $75 for 6-hour class with Open Shop and other classes.

Typical scene from a Duet Dance Studio experience.

Typical scene from a Duet Dance Studio experience.

Grab a partner and learn to salsa or swing dance - Bucktown, Duet Dance Studio

Voted as one of Chicago Top 5 Dance Teachers 2013 by Art Intercepts, Duet Dance Studio has been sharing the joy of dance to people of all ages since 2006. In these dance classes, not only will you find learning to dance fun, relaxing and rejuvenating, you will also find dance a powerful way to connect with people.
Cost: Most classes are $20 for 1-hour class followed by open dance.

Rhine Hall Distillery in Fulton Market offers tours, cocktail classes, and hosts private events.

Rhine Hall Distillery in Fulton Market offers tours, cocktail classes, and hosts private events.

Elevate your spirits knowledge with a distillery tour - Fulton Market, Rhine Hall Distillery

Rhine Hall opened its doors on November 1, 2013 with a production facility and tasting room in the heart of Chicago's Kinzie Industrial Corridor.  At Rhine Hall, they focus on fruit brandies, a European-style brandy otherwise known as  eau de vie or schnapps. This means that we start with fresh fruit before we chop, ferment, distill, and bottle our spirits. Get an inside look at this process with one of their distillery tours and tasting session! Tours are available for up to 15 people, however groups can be of any size. Tours typically take up to 45 minutes.
Cost: $10 per person and registration is encouraged.

Brooklyn Boulders in the West Loop hosts bouldering and rope climbing experiences.

Brooklyn Boulders in the West Loop hosts bouldering and rope climbing experiences.

Learn the ropes of rock climbing - West Loop, Brooklyn Boulders
Brooklyn Boulders designs, builds and operates multi-faceted rock climbing facilities anchored by the premise that movement stimulates innovation and creativity. With 25,000 square feet of climbing surface managed by a dedicated and skilled route-setting staff, this place is the ideal training ground for beginners and advanced climbers. Here you’ll find climbing classes, group fitness exercise, weight and cardio equipment.
Cost: $35 per person and registration is required.

Learn to shoot a bow and arrow in this addicting experience.

Learn to shoot a bow and arrow in this addicting experience.

Unleash your inner Arya Stark - Albany Park, American Indian Center
This 50-minute introductory archery experience with the American Indian Center, will give you a great start at learning how to wield a bow and arrow. Cross "hit a bullseye" off your bucket list, or at least get closer, with a group session designed to teach you the focus, control, and precision needed to hit your mark.
Cost: $20 per person and registration is required.

Individual class bookings and class packs are available for Ladies Who Lift.

Individual class bookings and class packs are available for Ladies Who Lift.

Build a healthy community with high-energy women - Various Gyms, Ladies Who Lift
Ladies Who Lift is an all-female strength training workshop and class aimed to educate, empower, and inspire women of all shapes, sizes, fitness, and lifting backgrounds. Offered at two different levels, Ladies Who Lift provides the opportunity to both learn the basics and then perfect these skills all while guaranteeing a badass workout using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, prowlers, and more.
Cost: $30 to $35 per person and registration is required.

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