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Sacramento, class is in session. Whether you want to learn how to surf or sail, fly-fish or fly a plane, craft a cocktail or a cocktail table, we’ve found teachable moments all over town. Got skills? Here are 50 fun ways to add more arrows to your quiver (literally—our how-to list includes archery lessons).
Let us edutain you!

By Rachel Brown, Tori Masucci Cummins, Anna Petkovich, Jessica Rine, Stephanie Towne Benoit, S.T. VanAirsdale and Kate Washington
Photographs by Jeremy Sykes and Max Whittaker

photo by Jeremy Sykes

Run Away with the Circus
Looking to elevate your exercise routine? Aerial Evolution turns you into a fitness high-flier. First-timers should try “Aerial Silks 1” or “Aerial Conditioning & Flexibility,” both of which are offered two to three times a week at $15 a pop. While the conditioning class is like a circus-style TRX workout, the silks class is your entrée to altitude. In it, you’ll rise a foot off the floor and twist upside down. After about two weeks of regularly attending classes, you’ll be prepared to ascend 10 feet in the air. The gravity-defying moves might be intimidating to the uninitiated, but Aerial Evolution owner and operator Matt Wright vows that if you can do downward dog, you can soar on silks. “It’s just a really fun workout,” he says, adding that, literally, “an hour flies by.” $12-$15. Multiple locations. 245-0284. sacaerialevolution.com

Paddle into the Sunset
Dip your toes into water sports by taking Sacramento State Aquatic Center’s “Sunset Paddle” kayaking classes. Held on select Fridays from March to November at Lake Natoma, the sessions give you access to the waters in the Sierra foothills at a time when other types of boats are prohibited, leaving you to paddle in peace and tranquility. No worries if you’ve never picked up an oar. Prior experience isn’t a prerequisite. You’ll start at the boathouse to receive basic kayaking and safety instruction before climbing into a single or double kayak for a two-and-a-half-hour guided tour along the lake’s wooded shoreline to Texas Hill, once home to a Gold Rush mining camp. Keep your eyes peeled for deer and Canadian geese, especially when you slip into a lagoon tucked near Mississippi Bar. If you’re interested in additional aquatic activities, the center offers different strokes for different folks, from canoeing lessons to sunrise stand-up paddleboarding outings. $30. 1901 Hazel Ave. Gold River. 278-2842. sacstateaquaticcenter.com

Earn Your Spurs
Horse around at Shadow Glen Riding Stables, a facility located in the Gold Fields District of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area that provides lessons and trail rides seven days a week. You can learn equine essentials in tutorials such as “Intro to Horses,” which covers grooming, saddling and bridling, or “The Works,” which features a preliminary riding orientation. Once you’re comfortable in the saddle, you’ll be chomping at the bit to hit the miles of pristine nearby trails that extend as far away as Squaw Valley and share the same paths gold miners traveled more than a century ago. You can even ride off into the sunset during special outings that boast spectacular views of neighboring Lake Natoma’s shimmering waters. Intro to Horses: $70. The Works: $100. 4854 Main Ave. Fair Oaks. 989-1826. shadowglenstables.com

photo by Nik PalomaresGain Insta-fame
Whether you already speak in hashtags or just want to step up your social media game, bring your smartphone to midtown’s Outlet Coworking complex for “Instagramming with the Pros.” During the three-hour session, UC Davis communication professor Nik Palomares, local photographer Will Thompson and social media specialist Faith Lopez (who runs Visit Sacramento’s popular Instagram page and was named one of Italian Vanity Fair’s top 10 Instagrammers to watch in 2013) will show you tips on how to gain Instagram followers (they have 160,000 among them), using cool photo-editing apps, social media etiquette, and how aperture and shutter speed apply even to iPhones. During the last hour of class, you’ll put your newfound skills behind the phone camera to the test with an “Instawalk” outside. $39. 2110 K St. eventbrite.com
Editors' Note: This lesson is no longer being offered. Please check the class website for updated information.

View Galaxies Far, Far Away
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to investigate the mysteries of the final frontier. “Explore the Night Sky,” a six-week course taught by Don Machholz, an amateur astronomer who has discovered 11 comets, at Sierra College’s Grass Valley campus in the spring and fall (next class begins Sept. 29), examines awe-inspiring phenomena, planetary movements, constellations and features like star clusters and double stars. You’ll also get ample observation time—greatly aided by the relative lack of light pollution in Nevada County—to practice navigating the night sky with telescopes, binoculars and the naked eye. Put your astronomical knowledge to work at Machholz’s so-called “star parties,” which take place when once-in-a-blue-moon celestial events occur, such as Mercury’s transit across the sun on May 9. $89. 250 Sierra College Dr. Grass Valley. 781-6280. sccommed.org

Master the Art of Small Talk
Become a small-talk sensei with a personal coaching session with Robert Scherer, owner of Sacramento’s Dale Carnegie franchise. During these classes, Scherer instructs students on key strategies for making a good first impression, and how to engage a stranger or acquaintance in thoughtful conversation—including asking open-ended questions (such as “How do you balance work and life these days?” or “What do you like about your job?”) and answering questions like “What do you do?” with a response that will continue the dialogue. For more in-depth study, Dale Carnegie offers eight-week courses that cover subjects like how to better remember names and facts, and ways to develop more confidence under pressure. Armed with newly acquired talking tools, you’ll be winning friends and influencing people in no time. $400 per hour for personal coaching; $1,795 for eight-week course. 929-3911. sacramento.dalecarnegie.com

Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s photo by Kelly Popejoy
Penmanship is a lost art. Find it again at a lettering workshop taught by Rosaura Unangst, a Sacramento-based calligraphy and watercolor artist whose Pigment & Parchment wedding stationery has been featured in Spanish Vogue. She covers the basics of pointed pen calligraphy such as angling your hands correctly to perfect the loopiest letters and mixing ink colors. If you want more ways to put pen (or paint) to paper, check out Unangst’s other classes, including “Watercolor 101,” “Watercolor Florals” or “Hand Lettering,” and let your fingers do the talking on your next thank-you note. $50-$125. West Elm at The Fountains. 1198 Roseville Pkwy. Roseville. 705-0782. pigmentandparchment.com

Channel Your Inner Bear Grylls
Sierra College’s “Wilderness Survival Techniques” seminar will toughen up any city softie. Jeff Adorador, who teaches real search-and-rescue teams and put his own survival abilities to the test living in a teepee for three years, explains how to meet basic needs while you’re off the grid and demonstrates crucial skills, such as building a fire and purifying water. Dress comfortably because much of the class, which is offered in the spring and fall semesters, takes place outside in a small wooded area by the school’s Rocklin campus. You’ll be getting your hands dirty erecting temporary shelters and foraging for foods like miner’s lettuce and blackberries, and by the end of the all-day, seven-hour session, be well equipped to answer the call of the wild. $89. 5000 Rocklin Rd. Rocklin. 781-6280. sccommed.org

Fly the Friendly Skies
Soar over the capital city during an introductory flight lesson with Captain Augustine Joseph, owner and founder of JetExe Aviation based at Sacramento Executive Airport. The veteran airman began his career in the Indian Air Force in 1984 and opened Sacramento’s Advance International Aviation Academy flight training school in 2013. Last year, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association ranked it among the top 10 flight schools in the nation. The hour-long private lesson begins with a briefing on how a plane operates. Once you’re filled in on the mechanics, you’re ready for takeoff (well, technically Joseph handles the ascension and landing, but you’ll take the lead once you reach cruising altitude) in either a Cessna or Remos single-engine lightweight aircraft for a taste of what it’s like in the cockpit and to get a bird’s-eye view of Sacramento sites, including the State Capitol, Tower Bridge and the forthcoming Golden 1 Center. $149. 6273 Freeport Blvd. 421-6756. jetexe.com

photo by Jeremy SykesBake a (Pizza) Pie
Napoli Culinary Academy may stand on a strip-mall-heavy stretch of Fulton Avenue in Arden-Arcade, but inside it boasts a charmingly kitschy recreation of a Naples street scene, from faux laundry lines to Chianti-bottle décor. That reflects owner Hassi Sadri’s professional devotion to Naples’ most famous culinary product: pizza. Sadri, who founded the nonprofit cooking school-cum-restaurant 19 years ago, is the head judge for the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, and he passes on his pizza expertise—like how not to tear the dough and how to cook pies in home ovens—to students in popular classes that are offered Wednesdays through Sundays (including a “family night” kids’ class on some Saturdays), complete with dough-tossing. But it’s not all pizza: The school also offers classes in Italian fare and wide-ranging international options such as Filipino and Persian cookery. In the classes, students watch a demo and then get in the kitchen to prepare a feast—which they then consume for a lavish meal. Buon appetito! $100. 1401 Fulton Ave. 971-0600. napoliculinaryacademy.com

Create a Glass Menagerie
Playing with fire isn’t frowned upon at Rainbow Glass in Carmichael. In fact, it’s standard practice during the shop’s glassblowing classes held every second weekend of the month. In a back studio sits a kiln that heats up to 2,100 degrees and is insulated with material developed by NASA’s Apollo program. Phillip Teefy, who owns Rainbow with his wife Hazel and studied under legendary glass artist Dale Chihuly, has been teaching glassblowing for nearly 40 years. Things will start to sizzle as you learn how to gather, inflate and shape molten blobs and transform them into translucent tumblers, vases and bowls. Now, that’s what we call a glass act. $119. 4556 Auburn Blvd. 483-3843. rainbowglass.org

photo by Jeremy Sykes