With the start of the new year, many are thinking about their goals and resolutions; but instead of making the same old type of resolution for 2017, what about setting out to try a new hobby? Having a dedicated hobby can help clear your mind and even reduce stress. Plus, the new year is the perfect opportunity to be adventurous and explore new things. Here are some local hobbies we think are worth checking out.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ORANGETHEORY
1. Orangetheory’s Group Classes
If you want to get in shape, but hate going to the gym and working out by yourself, group fitness classes are the way to go. Orangetheory (with locations in White Plains and Mt. Kisco) is the latest in workout trends and combines cardio with resistance training. The workouts are based on Orangetheory’s premise that if you exercise at 84 percent of your maximum heart rate, it maximizes fat burning.
2. Learn a Language
Apart from being an exciting new challenge, being able to speak two languages has benefits like reducing the likelihood of the onset of dementia and making you a better multitasker. Apps like duolingo are free, and the easy-to-use interface makes learning a language (and there are so many to choose from!) easy and fun.
3. Home Brewing
If you absolutely love everything craft beer, 2017 might be the year to experiment with home brewing. Brewing starter kits are fairly inexpensive and the Westchester Homebrewers Organization is there to help you every step of the way. You can join the organization for an annual dues fee of just $25. Meetings occur on the fourth Monday of each month at Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford.
Photo by Cori Morenberg
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4. Wheelworking Ceramics
Looking for a way to relax and get creative? Try ceramics. While challenging, it’s incredibly rewarding to take a hunk of wet clay and transform it into something beautiful to have in your home. Yonkers Peace Pottery Studio offers introductory classes, with 8-week sessions, private one-on-one, and one time trial classes to choose from.
5. Ballroom Dancing
Bust a move and brush up on your dance skills. Westchester Ballroom, located in Briarcliff, offers a variety of dance classes like Ballroom, Latin, Swing, and Tango for all different skill levels. Take a class or sign up for one of their parties for a fun night out.
Photo courtesy of Blue Tulip Chocolates
â€‹6. Chocolate Making
Your sweet tooth will thank you for this hobbie — get into chocolate making this year. Blue Tulip Chocolates hosts tastings and “how to become a chocolatier” workshops where you get to learn how to make and decorate chocolate all while enjoying delightful samples from Belgium and France.
Photo courtesy of The Cliffs
7. Rock Climbing
At The Cliffs in Valhalla, you can sign up for a Learn to Climb 1-Month package for $99. The package, designed for beginners, includes a 2-hour crash course on everything you need to get climbing. It also includes a free month of climbing with gear so you can go in and practice as much as you want, and an additional basic technique class for when you’re ready to tighten your skills.
8. Cooking Classes
If you dream of being Westchester’s next best chef, then you need to check out the Zwilling Cooking Studio located in Pleasantville. Take a class to brush up on your knife skills, learn to expertly pair wine with food, or how to make pasta from scratch.
We know — you’re probably thinking of your grandmother sitting in a rocking chair, knitting away. But, contrary to that image, knitting is actually a great hobby to learn at any age because once you get the basics down, you can make anything. It’s pretty rewarding to be able to see all your hard work in a finished product. Flying Fingers Yarn Shop in Tarrytown offers small-sized six-week classes for $125.
10. Swipe Your Library Card
Start taking advantage of the Westchester Library System (really, who doesn’t want to try and read more?). If you don’t already have a library card, get one — it’s free! Support your local library and pick a new book to read or movie to watch. You can even browse for books or movies online and if it isn’t available at your local library, you can have it delivered to the nearest branch.