Back-To-School for Grown-Ups


Back-to-School season is not just for kids! The Shoreline offers an exciting array of adult educational opportunities. I’m constantly bookmarking on and off-line classes I’d love to take (from How to Finally Write That Book (ha!) to Understanding SEO (more likely). Here are some interesting adult classes on offer this fall.

Wesleyan Institute of Lifelong Learning offers up an inspiring catalog including Raising the Roof: 1950s Architecture and the Postwar Housing Boom and The World of Spirits. Find these and more at:

The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has expanded their fine art offerings to include digital options like Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design and Social Media for Creatives for all levels, in mainly one-day workshops. Genius!

The Graduate Institute in Bethany, CT offers graduate degrees and non-credit courses in Positive Psychology, integrative health and healing, coaching, and organizational leadership (I could use that!).  Their goal is to provide transformative education based on an integrative and holistic perspective. Most courses are over weekends throughout the year to fit easily in a busy schedule. Info sessions are coming up on 9/11 and 9/25. Find out more about course offerings here:

Painters at all levels head to Lyme Art Association for serious instruction from Beginner Watercolors to Portrait Painting and Plein Air. Private lessons by artist Jack Montmeat are available, too, in this historic and beloved institution. Check the schedule here:

ERACE (East Shore Region Adult & Continuing Education) course offerings are vast and varied, from Genealogy 101 and Photoshop for Everyone to Ayurvedic Cooking and Zumba. Here’s a good one: Mah Jong for Beginners! Classes are mainly in Branford and Guilford. Here’s the catalog:

New London Adult Ed covers the Shoreline with classes in everything from Financial Fitness to Fairy Houses. Day trips and overnight excursions, too! Iceland, anyone? Classes are in multiple locations between Old Lyme and New London. See it all here:

Guilford Art Center offers plenty of opportunities to get your hands dirty, with classes in ceramics, sculpture, glass, metal, fiber, and more. No matter your medium, you’ll find something here, plus workshops in encaustic collage and silk scarf dying. Click here for schedule:

Learn Basic Blacksmithing or Celestial Navigation at Mystic Seaport, plus coming up for the holidays: Rope Wreath Making and Holiday Pies and Pudding. Sign up here:

The Florence Griswold Museum’s offerings this fall are so interesting: The Expressive Wellness Series on  is for artists and non-artists, who wish to deepen their self-awareness, find stress reduction strategies, or navigate life transitions through the creative art making process. Also, enjoy reading club, lectures and Discovery Sundays.

The Lyman Allyn offers Art History For All: Dark and Stormy Nights: Monsters & Machines in 19th Century Art and Literature, in five Thursday evening sessions:

Spectrum Art Gallery in Centerbrook offers workshops in mandala making, collage, watercolor and more:

Mercy By The Sea in Madison offers programs and workshops on Practicing Peace, A Day of Mindfulness, and a Full Moon Labyrinth Walk, among other spiritual topics at their oceanside retreat.


Learn to cook at Weekend Kitchen in Essex:

Learn to sew at Cate’s Sew Modern in Guilford:

Learn to throw at Earth and Fire Studio in Essex:

Learn vegan basics fresh from the farm at White Gate Farm in East Lyme:

Learn woodworking at Nautical Arts Workshop in Deep River:

Learn French (or Spanish, Mandarin, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Arabic, Greek and Russian) at Aux Trois Pommes in Guilford and New Haven:

Creative writers convene in Clinton at the Henry Carter Hull Library on monthly Mondays:

Take a variety of dance and/or fitness classes for adults at Eastern CT Ballet:


Here’s one of my favorite online learning destinations, with short classes and workshops on everything from crafting and cooking to creative writing and computers: