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At each Art & Elixir painting event, artists of all skill levels, especially beginners are welcome to explore their creative sides. Instructors guide participants through each event allowing up-and-coming artists their own “intentional composition decisions.” During events, the owners–who are skilled artists themselves–give students step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the evening’s featured painting. But it’s up to the artist to decide how to interpret that work. Using paints, brushes, aprons, canvases, and easels provided by Art & Elixir, guests can paint fields of lavender with bright red acrylic paint. The only rule during these casual two–three hour sessions is that painters (aged 15 and older) enjoy themselves. Events take place at venues such as Lone Oak Grill and Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille, where guests can snack on food and drinks available for purchase.

Varies
Vaires,
MN
US

Not only a safe, encouraging environment for kids to be creative, KidzArt is also a place where anyone from age 2 to adult can build confidence and learn to see the world in a new way. With a variety of kids' classes, as well as painting and drawing for adults, artists of all ages can express themselves, explore new mediums, and bring out their inner Van Gogh by painting it a bouquet of blobby sunflowers.

3039 East Old State Road
Schenectady,
NY
US

Music industry veterans Stan Denis and Paul Benedetti, both fathers of ambitious child musicians, spent years commiserating about the dismal, calcified state of music education. Deciding to do something about it, the two founded Rock School Music, determined to mix the principles of classical pedagogy with a heavy dose of kid-directed originality. Rather than focusing on scales and hoary old etudes, their instructors encourage students to bring in music they actually enjoy listening to, helping aspiring rockers play their favorite songs and recommending technical drills that directly improve their ability to play the studied piece.

In addition to private lessons, the studio's Rock School program arranges young jammers into bands based on their skill levels, before giving them a weekend practice space and sponsoring regular rock concerts for friends and family. Rock School Music’s studio, furnished with plush leather chairs and a wood-paneled front desk, inspires visitors to pursue their musical dreams with its framed band posters and fern plants that resemble Slash.

68 Congress Street
Saratoga Springs,
NY
US

Steve Conklin has more interesting friends than most. They've flown with the Blue Angels, trekked up Mount Kilimanjaro, driven in stock-car races, and stared sharks straight in the eye. Naturally, people with a taste for adrenaline rarely stay satisfied with one kind of adventure for long, and so Conklin found himself becoming a sort of one-man referral service?a role he decided to make official several years ago. With Extreme Bucket List, he connects limit-pushers of all kinds with more than 400 different biography-enhancing experiences around the country?from sky and scuba diving to renting, racing, or becoming roommates with a Ferrari.

unknown
Saratoga Springs,
NY
US

Morgan Boswell knew that candle making was fun?and easy if you had the right tools?but did anyone else? At her shop The Candle Collective, she's able to share her tricks and tips with candle makers of all stripes, even little kids. During two-hour classes, she shows students how to create their own candles, beginning with picking a scent and a mold, then filling, shaping, and cooling three candles. She also sells handcrafted candles and accessories at the studio, with unique products such as tea lights and Moroccan lamps to beautifully display them.

20 Prospect St
Ballston Spa,
NY
US

When it comes to the creative process, there's enough room for everyone. That's the philosophy at Odyssey School of Fine Arts, a non-profit art school for both kids ages 5 and up and adults. Their faculty instructs in drawing, painting, sculpture, and many other mediums worthy of a place in the "art" section of the encyclopedia. In addition to classes, Odyssey School of Fine Arts brings people together to make community art projects such as mosaics.

165 Wilton Rd.
Greenfield Center,
NY
US