Unplugging doesn’t have to mean going off the grid. All it takes is stepping away from your devices and engaging your mind in a different way. Try taking one of the many classes and workshops offered by local businesses and organizations. Learn a new skill. Meet new people. Get out and experience your community. But please resist the urge to post a photo to your Instagram feed. We feel enlightened already.
Intro to Photography in the Parks
Although you have to use your digital camera, we still say learning how to shoot strong photos with a camera (and not your phone) counts as an unplugged activity. Photographer and skirt! blogger Libby Williams leads a three-hour class on the basics of photography in Charleston’s parks. You’ll spend a few hours in the classroom and then go outside for hands-on instruction. 9 a.m. to noon at the Charleston Parks Conservancy office, 720 Magnolia Road, Suite 25, in West Ashley. $40. Visit charlestonparksconservancy.org to sign up.
For Art History Lovers
Pattern Play: Cassava Root Resist with Indigo
Oct. 14 and Oct. 21
The Gibbes Museum of Art offers multiple art classes each month. In October, you can learn a dyeing technique using cassava root paste and natural indigo. Cassava root is used in West Africa as a paste to paint fabric in different patterns. When it dries, it creates a plasticlike feel that will not allow dye to penetrate the fabric. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St., $145 for non-members. All materials are included. Register at gibbesmuseum.org.
Indigo at McLeod Plantation Historic Site
Learn to make dye from manufactured indigo or directly from the plant. Dye your own T-shirt or material while talking about indigo’s fascinating history in South Carolina. Take an indigo plant or seeds home with you. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. $20. Register at ccprc.com.
Zero George Cooking Classes
Watch executive chef Vinson Petrillo and sous chef Tyler Chavis prepare a multicourse meal, and enjoy tasting the dishes with wine pairings. Take notes and ask questions while the chef prepares your meal. Classes are held in Zero George’s professional display kitchen in the circa 1804 kitchen. 0 George St., $150 per person. Register at zerogeorge.com.
In the Kitchen with Chef Bob Waggoner
Prepare a seasonal tasting menu inspired by the Lowcountry at chef Bob Waggoner’s showroom kitchen of off King Street. You’ll learn tips and techniques to help build your confidence in the kitchen. This cooking experience in chef Bob’s showcase kitchen sells out quickly, so plan ahead.
164 Market St., $140 per person. Visit chefbobwaggoner.com to sign up.
Les Dames Culinary Academy
The Culinary Institute of Charleston holds a daylong holiday entertaining class at the institute’s Palmer campus. Nathalie Dupree teachers you how to pull off a holiday dinner without stress. Other topics include holiday baking, setting the table, and gifts from the kitchen. The day ends with a cocktail party featuring holiday drinks and wines. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, 66 Columbus St. $175 per person. For more information and tickets, visit ldeicharleston.org.
For Wine Lovers
Wine Blending By Kessler
Learn how to blend your perfect glass of wine at the Wine Blending by Kessler class at the Grand Bohemian Hotel. Taste different wine varietals and create a custom blend of your own. As a perfect finish, the team will create a customized label for your bottle using any pictures or artwork that you like. Grand Bohemian Hotel, 55 Wentworth St. $95. Visit classesbykessler.com to sign up.
Tailgating with Bourbon Cocktail Class
Learn how to make three unique bourbon cocktails for your next game day celebration. Small bites will be provided. 12 p.m. at The Cocktail Club, 479 King St. $25. For more information, visit facebook.com/TheCocktailClubCharleston.
For Green Thumbs
Floral Pumpkin Centerpiece
Fetes de Fleurs offers fun floral arranging classes from flower crowns to fall wreaths. Our favorite for the month of October is the floral pumpkin centerpiece class. Choose from a variety of beautiful fall florals and greenery to make your pumpkin centerpiece with. 7 to 9 p.m., 9 Porters Court. $58.58. For more information, visit www.fetesdefleurs.com.
Up Close and Personal: Private Garden of Charleston
While the Preservation Society of Charleston’s Fall Home and Garden tours offered this month may not be a traditional class, you are sure to go home with a wealth of knowledge. We like the private gardens of Charleston tour on Oct. 11. Landscape architect Glen Gardner and fall tours manager and horticulturist Susan McLeod Epstein lead you on a tour of private gardens while discussing Charleston’s rich horticultural heritage as well as the latest gardening trends. The tour concludes with a light wine reception in a private garden rarely open to the public. There’s also a photography walkabout tour on Oct. 13. Visit www.preservationsociety.org for the full schedule of tours and to buy tickets.
Tiger Lily’s Fall Design for Charity Class
Learn how to design your own floral creation and support a local nonprofit. Start the evening with wine and sweets from Christophe Artisan chocolates and mini cupcakes from Sugar Bakery. Choose from two price points: Beautiful at $75 or Stunning at $125. Twenty percent of the proceeds go to Meals on Wheels. Class is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Tiger Lily Florist, 131 Spring St. Register for classes at TigerLilyFlorist.com; space is limited to 14 people per class.
The World is Your Oyster
Make an oyster shell map canvas and a wine glass with the Coastal Kelder at West Elm. You’ll learn how to decoupage, paint shells and apply vinyl. 6 to 8 p.m. West Elm, 484 King St. Tickets are $37. For more information, visit eventbrite.com.
Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26
We’re excited to visit Custom Frames of Charleston, which offers step-by-step instructions to frame your favorite photographs yourself! The store also offers other workshops such as the Sweetgrass Shadowbox on Thursdays in October. Learn how to professionally mount a handmade sweetgrass rose in a customized shadowbox. $45. Custom Frames of Charleston, 52 Wentworth St. Visit customframesofcharleston.com.
Maker Break with Oysters All Around
Candlefish is known for its scented-candle-making workshops throughout the month. But we like their “Maker Break” workshops, when the store invites a local maker to teach you how to create one of their signature pieces. In October, the featured maker is Oysters All Around. You paint an oyster shell and add a tassel to create an oyster shell tassel keychain. 6 p.m. at Candlefish, 71 Wentworth St. Class is $50. Visit www.candlefish.com for more information.
This creative studio space in Mount Pleasant, which is part of a national chain, exists to host workshops, including wood sign classes, framed sign classes, pallet sign painting, pillow painting and centerpiece boxes. Browse the list of suggestions and book a private class for friends, or sign up for one of the many classes it offers. 280 W. Coleman Blvd. For more information, visit www.arworkshop.com/mtpleasant.
Redux Contemporary Art Center
Redux offers regular Sunday figure drawing, painting and photography classes, but we also love that you can schedule private jewelry making lessons with Rebecca McMenemy. She can teach you the basics, such as stringing beaded jewelry or more advanced metalsmithing, including soldering or bezel setting. $60 an hour for non-members. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For Beer and Wine Lovers:
Smoked Beer Classes
Explore the history and origins of smoke in beer, including the different ways that it can be added to a beer’s flavor profile at the new Edmund’s Oast Exchange. You’ll also learn classic styles and producers. 3 to 4 p.m. Edmund’s Oast Exchange, 1081 B Morrison Drive. $30 per person. To learn more, visit edmundsoast.com/exchange/events.