Studies show that pursuing creative endeavors can increase positive emotions, reduce depression and anxiety, and even improve your immune system’s abilities. Trying something new also improves brain function and feeds your sense of adventure. Most importantly — it’s fun! Learn to cook something new, paint on canvas or ceramics, make a fused-glass assemblage, and more in a variety of make-it-yourself classes in and around Bellevue.

Kitchen Creativity

At Whisk cooking school you can get creative and try something new all at the same time. With myriad classes for adults — and some geared specifically toward kids and teens — you’re sure to find something that piques your culinary curiosity.

Classes span the globe and might include how to make Spanish paella, French classics, or Asian dumplings. You can also try your hand at homemade pizzas and fresh pasta. All that cooking also comes with a generous side of retail therapy: Whisk serves up a selective array of quality kitchenware, bakeware, barware, and interesting tabletop serving pieces for all your entertaining needs — from family-style suppers to hosting fancy dinner parties. Note: Classes can fill up fast, so plan accordingly and rediscover the original joy of cooking.

A Class in Glass

In Woodinville, about a half hour north of Bellevue, you can have a go at glass fusing (not to be confused with glass blowing, which is totally different) at MoltenWorks Glass Studio. The folks at MoltenGlass liken glass fusing to making a pizza, with a base glass piece (crust) and different shaped, sized, and colored pieces on top (toppings). Then it’s “baked” in a kiln, and voilà, you have your feast — at least for the eyes.

A dozen or so times a month they offer their Sip N’ Fuse class (with instruction), where you can create a variety of projects, from bowls to coasters. You’ll be taught the basics, such as cutting, breaking, and snapping glass pieces, as well as how to use the tools of the trade. Next, you lay out the design, and they fire it all together. No prior experience necessary, just a sense of adventure. Consider a Saturday night session, where live music adds to the fun. Classes are for ages 21 and up. Wine, beer, and hard cider are available for purchase (that’s the “Sip” part). Out-of-towners can have finished works mailed to them, as the fusing process takes the studio about a week to complete.

Brush Up on Your Painting Skills

Just north of Bellevue sits Kirkland, where you’ll find Canvas, an upscale painting studio in the heart of downtown. Never painted before? No problem! All you need is a willingness to try and a desire to share some laughs. Each two-hour session comes complete with all you need — aprons, brushes, supplies, and step-by-step instruction from an artist team member. Instructors guide you through the painting process and you leave the session with your very own “masterpiece.”

A night’s painting often draws inspiration from the masters, such as the Vincent van Gogh-esque “Starry Night Seattle,” which renders the city in his distinctive Postimpressionist style. Register online at their website, or give them a call and they can get you signed up for a class over the phone. Sorry kids, this is a 21 and older venue, so line up that babysitter and prepare to paint — and party, with wine and local brews on tap available for purchase.

Get Crafty with Ceramics

Feeling spontaneous? No appointment is necessary at Creatively Yours, a ceramic-painting studio located in the Crossroads Bellevue shopping center that offers a plethora of paint-it-yourself options. First choose an unfinished ceramic piece — be it platter, bowl, mug, cookie jar, pitcher, Christmas ornament, etc. — then friendly staff can help you create a totally unique piece of art. Your work will endure as a one-of-a-kind souvenir of your Bellevue trip.

Regularly scheduled good times include monthly Family Nights, Date Nights, TGIF, and more. This is also the place to book fun group events for team building, fundraisers, birthdays, or other special events. (Psst...ask them about booking their famous margarita painting party.) Finished artworks normally take a week before they are ready to be taken home but can be expedited for a small fee and even shipped if you give them a head’s up in advance. This is an all-ages venue and young painters are welcome.

Grow with Garden Art

Hip to the current climate, the Bellevue Botanical Garden is offering both online and in-person classes for the foreseeable future. Located in the heart of Bellevue, this 53-acre urban refuge plays host to classes covering a wide range of topics.

Take your pick from garden-centric courses such as choosing and caring for houseplants (online) to making attractive wire cloches to keep your garden safe from rabbits and other uninvited guests (in-person) to forest bathing (in person) to destination photography (online) to crafting paper mushrooms (in-person). This year, it’s time to try something new! For most classes, pre-registration is required and can be accomplished online. For the in-person options, be sure to budget time before or after your chosen class to explore the world-class gardens.

Note: Mask and vaccine requirements vary from venue to venue. We recommend researching individual policies before you visit.