After high school and college end, learning new things can slowly begin to take a backseat. But honing new skills is a fun way to stay connected to the world and other people. It can be social or cathartic, and you may walk away with something truly useful. Here are some ways to go back to the classroom as an adult in and around the urban core in some of our favorite school subjects. For all adult education classes and workshops, be sure to check online for exact dates and times.
Stagewrights at Stageworks Theatre
1120 E. Kennedy Blvd. West Building #151 | (813) 374-2416 | stageworkstheatre.org
Perfect for the secret bard in all of us, this workshop is held twice a month for aspiring playwrights at Stageworks Theatre, located in Grand Central at Kennedy. Each playwright can bring up to ten pages of script to be read aloud by members and receive feedback on.
1010 N. MacInnes Place | (813) 222-1040 | strazcenter.org
You may think the Patel Conservatory is just for kids, but they focus on adult education as well. From piano lessons to rock bands to choirs, and ending in full-on dance and theatre showcases, you’ll have the chance to perform your favorite tunes in many different mediums.
Tampa Museum of Art
120 W. Gasparilla Plaza | (813) 274-8130 | tampamuseum.org
The Tampa Museum of Art offers studio classes taught by artists in the Tampa Bay community at locations around the city, including the museum itself. Each workshop is inspired by the museum’s permanent collection or visiting exhibits. The museum also hosts lectures by art experts and visiting artists that are free for members and students and just $5 for non-members.
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
400 N. Ashley Drive, Cube 200 | (813) 221-2222 | fmopa.org
No need for a super fancy camera if you want to sharpen your photography skills. The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts offers amateur classes for a wide variety of interests including the basics of photography, visual storytelling, Photoshop and even smartphone photography.
Taylor Art Studio
611 W. Indiana Ave. | (813) 274-8364 | tampa.gov
The Taylor Art Studio offers classes for kids and adults focusing on pottery and glass fusing. Located at a community center in the heart of Tampa Heights, it could be your family’s go-to creative place or a fun spot to make something pretty for yourself.
John F. Germany Library
900 N. Ashley Drive | (813) 273-3652 | hcplc.org
The library holds a wealth of information besides just books. Regular book clubs are held to discuss famous and unknown novels alike and they even offer other types of classes for the mind, like yoga and tai chi. Other practical classes include walk-in tech help and sewing classes.
420 West Kennedy Blvd. | (813) 253-0222 | oxfordexchange.com
This hotspot offers more than just good coffee and a great place to take pictures for Instagram. Book clubs, writing workshops, and author signings and readings are held regularly in the bookstore corner of the establishment, giving readers the chance to challenge their minds and buy signed copies of books by famous authors.
Lector Social Club
305 East Polk St. | (813) 223-2337 | lectorsocialclub.com
Lector Social Club may be best known as a place to stock up on natural and organic wines. But with their writers and artists in residence and their lending library, Lector truly is a place for expanding the mind as well. Check their calendar of events for art installations, book readings and other learning opportunities.
The Paper Seahorse
211 S. Howard Ave. | (813) 251-8096 | paperseahorse.com
While slightly off the beaten path for Tampa downtowners, the Paper Seahorse is one of the few locations offering calligraphy classes on consistent basis in the area. Besides offering a plethora of supplies for paper crafters, the store holds classes for lettering, writing and journaling, and other forms of crafting (stamp making, paper marbling and more).
Tampa Bay History Center
801 Old Water St. | (813) 228-0097 | tampabayhistorycenter.org
The Tampa Bay History Center is a hidden history gem that holds many different forums to learn about Florida history and culture. A book group is hosted once a month to discuss the best in Florida literature, and events called Florida Conversations bring in authors and presenters covering a variety of Florida topics.
Math & Science
4931 W. Nassau St. | (813) 438-6221 | tampahackerspace.com
This workshop space provides equipment and classes to members for tech-related projects. Projects involving aquaponics, robotics, electronics, ham/amateur radio and Bitcoin are only a few of the projects members are working on right now. Though you must become a member to use the space, you can get a feel for Tampa Hackerspace at their open make nights, which are held most Tuesday evenings and are free and open to the public.
Florida Small Business Development Center at USF
Port Authority Building | 1101 Channelside Drive, Suite 210 | (813) 905-5800 | sbdctampabay.com
Finally want to sell your grandma’s secret sauce you’ve been saying you’ll bottle for years? The FSBDC is a good place to start. They have all the courses an aspiring small business owner needs, from bookkeeping basics to online marketing. It’s never too late to turn your hobby into profit.
USFSP Brewing Arts Program
140 7th Ave. S. | (727) 873-4156 | usfsp.edu
Take your love for craft beer to another level by learning how to open your own beer business. This program through the University of South Florida St. Petersburg provides an online course coupled with hands-on experience at local breweries for anyone interested in getting into the beer brewing business. There’s a burgeoning market for local brews in Tampa right now, and it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon.
Southern Brewing and Winery
4500 N. Nebraska Ave. | (813) 238-7800 | southernbrewingwinemaking.com
If you’re looking for a bit more casual beer-making experience, Southern Brewing and Winery not only has all the supplies you need to brew at home but they also have classes to show you how to do it. Classes are monthly and teach extract and all grain brewing methods, so you can wow your friends with some personalized beer at your next get together.
Tampa Garden Club
2629 Bayshore Blvd. | (813) 251-5059 | tampagardenclub.com
For those looking to develop a green thumb, the Tampa Garden Club is a great resource to learn plant tips and tricks. Their calendar of events includes workshops and demonstrations of all kinds as well as different green festivals around Tampa that the garden club sponsors.
Sew South Tampa
3418 S. Dale Mabry Highway | (813) 842-1940 | sewsouthtampa.com
Unlock your inner fashionista or pick up just enough sewing skills so you don’t have to ever go back to the tailor. Whatever your reason for threading the needle, Sew South Tampa is here to help you out. A series of four private classes for adults includes supplies and everything you need to get the ball rolling.
Sur la Table
711 S. Dakota Ave. | (813) 253-3063 | surlatable.com
Want to learn how to make the perfect French crepe? Have an impending dinner party and want to brush up on some techniques? There are always new things to learn in the kitchen, and Sur La Table in Hyde Park Village offers classes to teach them all to you. Options range from learning to make a single dish — like a croissant or a smokehouse burger — to a survey of a specific cuisine. You can even stay in your own kitchen and take one of Sur La Table’s online cooking classes — options include chicken classics, pizza 101 and healthy-ish recipes.
2414 S. MacDill Ave. | 813-515-0833 | arworkshop.com
The only thing better than doing it yourself is doing it yourself with some help. AR Workshop offers hands-on classes for creating custom home decor from raw materials. The best part? Their design pros have your materials and templates prepped, so you can just choose your paint or stain and get rolling on your custom project. Consider wood plank signs, framed signs, canvas pillows, centerpiece boxes and canvas tote bags as all in the realm of possibilities.
Florida School of Woodworking
1609 N. Franklin St. | (813) 223-3490 | schoolofwoodwork.com
Never got the chance to take woodworking in high school? Your second chance is calling. At the Florida School of Woodworking downtown, there are classes for every level of craftsman and for every technique. Go easy and make a bowl, cup or spoon, learn the finer points of wood burning and inlay, or even make your own furniture.
10690 Palm River Rd. | (813) 298-1811 | topgolf.com
If you’re still trying to beat your boss at the monthly Topgolf office tourney and haven’t succeeded, you may want to consider taking advantage of the facility’s in-house golf instructors. You can take classes or private lessons at Topgolf to improve your game or just hone your driving range skills. Either way, it’s a fun and active way to learn a new skill.
2002 E. 5th Ave. #102 | (813) 248-9642 | yogalofttampa.com
Work on your mudra and mantra at Yoga Loft, where they have a variety of yoga classes for all levels. Yoga not only helps you learn and keep in touch with your body, but it also teaches mindfulness and meditation. In addition to regular yoga classes, Yoga Loft also offers the opportunity to become a yoga instructor through their Yoga Teacher Training program.
Harbour Island Athletic Club
900 S. Harbour Island Blvd. | (813) 202-1950 | wellbridge.com
If you miss the competitive sports atmosphere of high school sports, check out an adult sports league. The Harbour Island Athletic Club is one of the gyms near downtown that runs different fitness groups and sports leagues, including basketball, boxing, and racquetball.
Sweatshop Urban Fitness
715 N. Franklin St. | (813) 413-5348 | sweatshopurbanfitness.com
Sweatshop Urban Fitness is another gym downtown that offers a different kind of exercise experience. Their classes combine strength training, cardiovascular intervals, and core conditioning that will push you to your limits. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it will teach you a lot about your fitness level and how to accomplish your goals.