Get us in your inbox


The 12 best classes in NYC for 2023

Get schooled in these fascinating classes in NYC, including language lessons, cooking workshops and photography classes

Written by
Time Out New York contributors
Annalise Mantz
George Blew
Alex Floyd-Douglass

You’re a smart cookie so you probably know that education doesn’t have to stop at graduation: New Yorkers can constantly add to their skills in the wide range of fascinating classes in NYC. Gym rats can get their adrenaline fix from the hottest new fitness classes, while creative types might want to visit the best arts and crafts stores to learn how to create their very own craft masterpieces.

For the adventurous student (that's you!), we've uncovered the best out-of-the-box classes in NYC, ranging from dance classes for adults to a hands-on neon sign workshop. Whether you've always wanted to try aerial acrobatics or you're an aspiring sommelier, we have the course for you. All you need to do? Check out our hand-picked list of the best classes NYC has to offer, pick your perfect class, and get that grey matter going. Every day's a school day! Happy learning, friends.

RECOMMENDED: The best acting classes in NYC
RECOMMENDED: The best NYC writing classes
RECOMMENDED: The best coding classes in NYC
RECOMMENDED: 40 virtual team-building activities
RECOMMENDED: The best team-building activities in NYC

This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

Best NYC classes

One-on-One Makeup Lessons at Shara Makeup Studio
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. One-on-One Makeup Lessons at Shara Makeup Studio

You don't have to contour your full face (a la Kim Kardashian West) to look polished: It's all about creating a manageable makeup routine that works for you. This one-on-one session for aspiring makeup artists will help you take your skills to the next level, whether you've never applied mascara before or know your way around a strobing kit. With more than 10 years of experience in industry, instructor Shara Strand knows all the tricks of the trade. 

Any class at Murray’s Cheese
Photograph: Anna Simonak

2. Any class at Murray’s Cheese

Come on, it’s cheese. Who doesn’t want to know everything there is about cheese? You’re definitely in the right place here, because there’s really nothing these guys don’t know about cheese. Each of the classes is as excellent as the cheese you’ll get to enjoy but if you want our top pick? It’s got to be the ‘Cheese 101’ class, because there aren’t many better ways to spend your time than being walked through seven gourmet cheeses alongside unlimited pours of perfectly matched red and sparkling wines. Heads-up though: it’s hugely popular, so if you can’t get a seat there then we can absolutely recommend the burrata and mozzarella making classes. Keep an eye out too for some awesome seasonal classes, especially around the holidays.

Any class at the New York Botanical Garden
New York Botanical Garden

3. Any class at the New York Botanical Garden

There’s an incredible range of classes at this iconic New York institution. From flower arranging and soapmaking workshops to introductions to landscape design and incense classes, this is your go-to place for creating magic from the world around us. Seriously, there’s so much on offer here. Want to keep some bees? They can help there. Interested in using a chainsaw correctly? Yep, that too. Want to make some baskets out of pine bark? No problem. You can even just head down for a Tai Chi class if that’s what you’re looking for. All, highly recommended.

Creative Writing 101 Class at Gotham Writers’ Workshop
Gotham Writers' Workshop

4. Creative Writing 101 Class at Gotham Writers’ Workshop

Everybody’s got a book in them, but will yours be any good? This is a good place to start (half the problem, right?), with the expert tutors at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop on hand to walk you through an intro to creative writing. And don't worry, this class isn’t about standing up and reading your story to everyone, it’s more about sparking ideas, seeing things how a writer sees them, and to give you confidence in putting pen to paper. 

Brewshop 101: Home Brewing Essentials at Bitter & Esters
  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Prospect Heights

Bitters & Esters not only serves as a shop where hops heads can load up on malts, grains and equipment, but also doubles as a classroom, offering weekly instruction on DIY suds. Learn the basics of at-home brewing in their popular introductory workshop before moving onto specialized classes in hops tasting, beer recipe writing and all-grain brewing. 

One Day Jewelry Making Class (DIY Diamond Ring)
Ayaka Nishi Jewelry Design School

6. One Day Jewelry Making Class (DIY Diamond Ring)

Ever wanted to craft your very own diamond ring? If so, the excellent Ayaka Nishi Jewelry Design School can make your dream a reality. You’ll get expert intro tuition on all things jewelry, before embarking on the design and creation of your very own ring, complete with set diamond. And if you want to engrave it for a special someone? You can totally do that, too.

Stained Glass Course at Craftsman Avenue
Ryan Handt

7. Stained Glass Course at Craftsman Avenue

Craftsman Avenue is another school that offers a really impressive range of classes but we had a lot of fun making our own little stained-glass masterpiece. Here you’ll learn the intricacies of this centuries-old art, before walking away with your very own, totally unique piece. And the best bit? It’s not that hard to create something very beautiful indeed. Lots of fun.

Knife Skills 1 at the Institute of Culinary Education
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Knife Skills 1 at the Institute of Culinary Education

Knowing how to wield a knife safely and effectively is one of the most important skills for any home cook. Not only is it a genuine pleasure to use knives like the pros do, it’s also, you know, helpful to know how not to take the tip of your finger off. With this awesome introductory class at the Institute of Culinary Education you’ll learn to slice, dice, chop, mince and julienne your way through all kinds of recipes. You’ll even learn the best ways to sharpen and care for your knives at home. Very handy.

Programming for Non-Programmers: The Basics at General Assembly
Photograph: Courtesy General Assembly

9. Programming for Non-Programmers: The Basics at General Assembly

The General Assembly is a great place to head to for all kinds of classes (we like the public speaking courses, and the social media bootcamps) but this programming class is really solid. It’s a four-hour workshop where you’ll get the lowdown on several different programming languages, learn basic web development lingo and try your hand at HTML and CSS coding. So if your personal website is looking a little too much like all the other online portfolios, or you just want a route into a field that even now is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, this class is for you.

Digital Photography I: An Introduction at Art of Intuitive Photography
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Digital Photography I: An Introduction at Art of Intuitive Photography

A DSLR camera won’t do you much good if you can’t figure out how to get out of auto mode. Gain a better understanding of how to use your camera's settings to snap truly stunning photographs in this hands-on class at the Art of Intuitive Photography. You’ll also learn basic principles of photography such as white balance, shutter speed and depth of field. Before you know it, you'll be snapping totally Instagrammable shots.


Glide through the air with the greatest of ease while saddled into an aerial trapeze. Hey, that rhymes! The instructors at Trapeze School New York will not only equip you with the skills to do death-defying stunts, but they’ll do it in novel outdoor locales like South Street Seaport and Pier 40 off the West Side Highway. Daily trapeze sessions are available for all four skill levels. Beginners, take note: You must take three intro courses and get approval from a teacher before you can move on to a more advanced class to learn how to flip mid-air.

More classes in NYC

    You may also like
    You may also like