Perched atop wooden stools along the lengthy counter of Whats Cooking D’s kitchen, culinary students participate in hands-on cooking classes, supper-club evenings, and beer- and wine-brewing demonstrations. Homey wood cabinets, polished steel ovens, and checkerboard wall tiles act as the backdrop for adult classes covering topics such as kitchen fundamentals, complex recipes, and which end of the butcher knife is the handle. Kids’ classes incorporate fun activities, such as cake and cupcake decorating, and parent-child cooking classes allow kids to eat free and adults to take a break from dinnertime cleanup. The kitchen also turns into a brewery for wine- and beer-crafting classes, with an experienced brewmaster teaching libation-making techniques and that alcohol makes you feel feelings.
Spanning four locations, Club Fitness caters to health-seekers with its expansive cardio rooms, personal-training sessions, and group fitness classes. Most studios boast an impressive array of amenities, such as a private, women-only area, shake and supplement bar, babysitting, tanning beds, and weights that lift themselves and then high-five you. Guests can work out on the sprawling cardio decks, or get sweaty in group fitness classes that include Insanity, Bodypump, and Step.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
Among the clink of glasses and convivial conversation of a favorite bar, an unusual sound can be heard; the scrape of brushes on canvas, the ketchupy sound of paint spouting from bottles, the instructions of an experienced artist. This is the noise of Paint Scene, which turns local bars and restaurants into a studio for amateur painters. Students work, perhaps for the first time, with provided canvases and brushes, following along to produce depictions of pastoral forests and pouring wine. All the while, they chat and share drinks with their fellow painters, stopping briefly to comment on the excellent brushwork on display in their hummus plates.
Females In Training gives fitness-focused femmes a comfortable, sophisticated setting for all their calorie-crunching sweat sessions. Matriculate in a group exercise class such as Zumba, Pilates, boot camp, or ultimate abs plus to combine the exerciserly expertise of your experienced instructor with the good-natured camaraderie that’s the hallmark of all mob action. A squad of certified personal trainers augments the gym’s pulse-pounding coursework by offering one-on-one workout powwows full of insights, tips, and Oscar picks, helping tone and trim bodies while also sprinkling brains with fat-free servings of knowledge. Health hunters can also embark on solo body-shrinking expeditions using the gym’s assortment of free weights, Life Fitness treadmills and cross-trainers, StairMasters, and other heart-rate-raising equipment.
The experienced, college-trained harmony wizards at Agawam Music dole out top-notch musical tutelage to budding musicians tickling all variety of instruments. Each personalized, one-on-one lesson allows drummers to drum, flautists to flaut, and saxophonists to phone home with the news that their pitch is really improving. Agawam also verses pupils in the arts of electric and acoustic guitar, piano, clarinet, and bass. Blossoming virtuosos can hone their euphonious skills in an array of genres such as blues, jazz, classical, and elevator muzak. Lessons are scheduled at a set time and day each week, and any added costs for learning materials, such as music books and gold-plated metronomes, will be the responsibility of the student.