A lot of us pay premiums for things like going to football games and concerts–all great experiences, don’t get me wrong. But why be a mere spectator when you can be the center of the experience? Here are ten super cool things you can learn to do right here in Illinois.
1. Learn to fly
Learning to fly a plane is within reach. Northwest Flyers Flight School, of Schaumburg, will help you learn to operate a plane and guide you through the process of getting your license. What a great skill, and a dream of so many!
2. Blow your own glass
Before I took a class, I had no idea how glass was made. You will learn how to blow glass and make some beautiful designs to bring home. It also helps that this establishment is in Ottawa, minutes from scenic Starved Rock. Make it a weekend!
3. Ride a horse
I'm continuously surprised by how few people have gone horseback riding. But if you find yourself devoid of that equestrian experience, head down (wayyyy down) to Herod, right in the midst of the gorgeous Shawnee National Forest. You will not only learn to ride a horse, but will do so in a beautiful setting.
How many people want to skydive before they die? But how many people want to not die when they are skydiving? Enter iFLY, with locations in Chicago and Schaumburg and Naperville, which will help you achieve the dream of skydiving with no risk. It's the best of both worlds.
5. Become a woodworker
Woodworking is a dying skill, but there is something so satisfying about making something with your hands. Who remembers making a bird house in woodshop? A simple structure can bring you immense pride. The guys over at CU Woodshop, in Champaign, give classes and will help you with woodworking--whether you are still in the bird house phase or want to enhance your craft.
6. Unleash your inner Julia Child
Whether you are a great cook and want to step up your game, or you do not know your way around a kitchen, a cooking class is definitely for you. Why? Because you get to eat! And you will receive great instruction so that you make some delicious creations. The folks over at Cook, Cork and Fork in Palatine offer a range of cooking classes, in addition to a store with everything you could possibly need for your gourmet kitchen.
7. Learn circus tricks
Who didn't want to run away and join the circus at some point in their lives? Well, you don't have to run away, but can learn some really cool tricks. Head over to Trapeze School New York, located in Chicago, and amaze your friends/scare your poor mother.
8. Become a total wine snob
Taking a wine class sounds the coolest thing ever, because you get free wine and also learn stuff. But really, if you are a wine aficionado, you will learn to appreciate it so much more if you learn about its composition, pairings, etc. The nice people over at The Wine Goddess in Evanston will get you started.
9. Learn to be a seafarer
Taking a pontoon boat out on the lake is cool, but it is a totally different boating experience if you are on a sailboat. You are in control (hopefully). You can learn all there is to know about sailing in Chicago, at Learn to Sail with 3rd Coast Cruising. Get out on Lake Michigan and enjoy some great views of the city.
10. Learn to scuba dive
Who says you have to go somewhere tropical to learn to Scuba? Sentry Scuba, in Moline, will teach you how to Scuba. I was surprised by how reasonable the prices are for the quality and length of instruction. Why not learn to Scuba and explore the underwater world?
Did you take any lessons or classes to learn how to do amazing things? Give your instructor a shout out in the comments.