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Cool Classes to Cure the Winter Blues (and a giveaway)

February and March can be tough months!  If you’re like me, you’re getting tired of the cold and the grey.  Some of us might be heading into hermit territory.  In fact, most week days I come home from work and desire nothing more than to put my pajamas on and cozy up with a blanket.  Luckily, if you are feeling those winter blues, there are all kinds of opportunities, inside, to learn something new, explore your artistic side, and burn off some energy.  Here is a quick overview of a few I’ve explored recently and highly recommend.  Plus, I’ve got a giveaway to help get you out of the house so be sure to read until the end.

Uptown Art in Anderson:

Uptown Art on Beechmont Ave. in Anderson Township is a paint studio that provides the perfect casual learning environment with step-by-step instructions from super nice experts.  This one is the perfect girls night out.  I went recently with some of my best girls and we had a blast.  While we all painted the same picture, each one turned out differently.  As our instructor kept reminding us, it’s “wine art, not fine art” so let the OCD go.  I love that their calendar is up at least one month in advance so you can pick the perfect painting for you.  Uptown Art is a big, bright, open space and they have a bar so you really can sip that wine with one hand while exercising your creative muscles with the other.  Feel free to bring in snacks or grab those at the bar as well.  One of my friends picked up some sushi and another made some homemade treats.  It was lovely.  I’ve also been to Uptown Art when they offered cookie decorating classes. Another relaxing time out with friends.    

Something for everyone.

Perfect night out with friends!

Finished paintings.

Queen City Clay in Hyde Park:

Queen City Clay is a pretty special place.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at the wheel and the instructors at Queen City are the perfect teachers for brand new beginners and experts alike.  You can learn how to use the pottery wheel in a small group, single session Open Wheel class, or if you want to really get good, take an 8-week class.  Even with the single session, I walked away with a beautiful bowl that I made myself.  There’s a great sense of pride in that.  Offering a variety of classes from drawing, sculpting, and cartooning, Queen City is a great learning space for kids.  They offer art classes and summer camps for the young, blooming artisans out there.  What I didn’t realize until my most recent visit is that Queen City also has a walk-in painting studio.  It’s a great space.  Pick a piece of pottery and paint away.  If you love pottery like I do, bring your wallet because local artisans have studios inside Queen City and you can purchase some beautiful handmade items in the gallery.  

Open wheel sessions.

Classes for all skill levels.

Painting pottery studio.

Gallery to purchase art by local artisans.

Class Axe Throwing in West Chester:

OK.  I’ve been seeing this axe throwing thing on social media for a couple months and I’ve been so intrigued.  For Valentine’s Day, I took my husband to Class Axe Throwing in West Chester.  I needed to find out what all the hype was about.  I’m so glad I did.  At Class Axe you will spend 1.5 hours learning, throwing, and competing in a safe environment.  Trust me when I say you don’t have to be good at sports to be good at axe throwing.  I barely speak sports and I hit my share of bullseyes!  I felt pretty bad axe if I do say so myself (I’ve been using that joke since Valentine’s Day)!  Class Axe is BYOB; I suggest scheduling a couple lanes with a group of friends and making a night of it.  If you really get into it, there are axe throwing leagues at Class Axe, too.  And, don’t think you will just mindlessly be throwing axes for over an hour.  You’ll play several different games (like darts)– each round with a different goal.  While you’re up there, if you’ve never done an Escape Room, you can do that at Class Axe as well.  I’m definitely a fan and look forward to going back soon.  

The range.

Feeling pretty “bad axe” hitting that bullseye.

Great team building activity!

Now that’s funny!

GIVEAWAY: If you’d like to try your hand at throwing axes, I have tickets for four to Class Axe in West Chester!  All you have to do is comment on this post by telling me something new you’ve tried in the last year or so. As always, social media shares are appreciated.

GO THERE (Uptown Art, Queen City Clay, Class Axe Throwing)!  TRY THAT (Learning a new skill)!


The SkyStar Experience, Attacking your Fears (Plus free tickets)

This blog is about celebrating new experiences and trying new things. Well, this time, trying a new experience means facing one of my biggest fears: heights.

Yep, I have a real fear of heights. . . a real fear of heights. In fact, I’m starting this post a week before the actual event because I am already nervous! I have to write about it to gear myself up for it! What am I so nervous about? Getting on the SkyStar (which I am affectionately referring to as the wheel of death). Normal people refer to it as the largest mobile observation wheel in the U.S. I mean, I love admiring it. I think it’s a beautiful addition to the Cincinnati Banks. It’s a glorious site at night. In a way, I both love the SkyStar and fear the SkyStar. I love it from afar! But, Friday night, February 8th, I’m getting on it in spite of my fears!

I don’t care who you are, that’s HIGH!

Since I’ve already been worrying about it for a week, I’m going to dig up a photo of me riding a Sky Lift in Gatlinburg, TN. I so didn’t want to ride it, but, because I suffer terribly from FOMO (fear of missing out), I wanted to share in that experience with my friends. As I waited in line, my heart was thumping, my palms were seriously sweating, my breath was failing, and my mind was racing with “what if” scenarios that all resulted in death or mutilation. But, I got on. Barely. But I got on.

Sky Lift in Gatlinburg, TN.

Sometimes I make myself attack my fears, even through tears, because I don’t want to give into them. So, I am once again, hopefully, going to tackle my fear of heights by getting on the Cincinnati SkyStar Wheel. Here we go!

Beautiful, but SO high!
This is me almost ready to board; I’m terrified and thinking of back out!
View of the Banks, Smale Park, and the Ohio River.
View of downtown and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
View of downtown Cincinnati!
View of the Roebling Bridge (my favorite) and the river as the sun starts to set!

Seeing the skyline and riverfront views of Cincinnati and Kentucky is simply incredible. My amazement of it all slowly eased my discomfort and allowed me to settle in. I kept looking out and not down.

By the third loop, I’m more relaxed and in awe of the city! As long as my husband didn’t get up and move! LOL
Watching the sun slowly set over Cincinnati at 150-feet? Worth smacking your fears in the face!

Am I proud I did it? Absolutely! Will I probably be scared the next time? Absolutely! But I’m feeling pretty confident there will be a next time. The ride is just too impressive to miss. It’s a one-of-a-kind, 12-minute, four full revolutions experience. And when you’re done, grab a bite to eat at local restaurants like Yard House and Taste of Belgium, both right next door. Can’t beat that as a Cincinnati night out.

How can you ride for free? Comment on this post and share either a fear you’ve attacked, or a fear you want to attack and you will be entered to win four tickets to ride SkyStar!

GO THERE (SkyStar)! TRY THAT (purposefully facing your fears)!