Is Self-Care on Your Agenda for 2020? Check Out These Unique and Affordable Classes and Put Yourself at the Top of the List This Year

Olympia Parks Arts Recreation classes in Olympia Jazzercise
Jazzercise is a jazzy way to practice self-care. Photo courtesy: Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation

Winter can be a season of deep reverence and gratitude, and our community is fortunate to have the City of Olympia’s Parks, Arts and Recreation Department’s classes, camps and programs. These are blessings we can count twice. They make self-care affordable and attainable and provide us with experiences we will remember throughout the year.

Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation-Winter Catalogue
Dancing is a great way to clear your mind and find joy at the same time. The Olympia Parks, Arts & Rec dance classes are great because you don’t need to sign up with a partner. Photo courtesy: Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation

Registration is open now for the new Winter/Spring 2020 offerings. The first page of the print brochure calls out “Do Something for You.”

  • Sign up for a Class
  • Learn a New Skill
  • Spend Time Outside

All of these can be achieved – and more – and no matter what you resolve to do, the Parks, Arts and Recreation department can help.

Get Some Fresh Air

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow,” said Audrey Hepburn. The promise of spring may be hiding in tightly-wound winter buds, but the gardener knows that winter is the season to begin making plans. There are plots available for those 16-years-old-and up at the city’s two Community Gardens located at Sunrise and Yauger Parks. Applications are taken on a first-come, first-served basis beginning in January. Dig in the dirt, grow nourishing foods, and connect with other gardeners, because, after all, as an anonymous, yet very wise person once said, “Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes.”

Communing with nature can be a transformative and spiritual experience. Norman Maclean in his book, “A River Runs Through It,” says “In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.” Avid fly fishers have known for ages that finding deep peace may be just up around the next river bend, and this exciting outdoor activity will lead you into some of the most peaceful settings. Learn the basics of the sport through Introduction to Fly Fishing, instructed by members of South Sound Fly Fishers, who have a combined 90 years of experience. By spring’s arrival you’ll be ready to head out to our many lakes and rivers to try out your technique.

Olympia Parks Arts Recreation classes in Olympia Community Garden
Sign-ups start in January for new gardeners wanting to cultivate a Community Garden plot. Don’t wait! Sign-ups are first-come, first-served. Photo courtesy: Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation

There’s an adage that says “the difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.” No matter which you choose, with Rock and Mineral Identification you’ll at least be able to identify them. In a four-hour course held over two, two-hour blocks, Instructor David Kaynor, member of the Geologic Society of America, will teach you how to identify most rocks in Washington.

Make Art

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents,” Bob Ross’s voice soothes. Those who are willing to show their age will say they remember watching him masterfully scrape at his palette, folding colors into one another, transforming Prussian blue into a more light-hearted shade. Make some transformations of your own in Bob Ross Joy of Painting. Or try Palette Knife Painting with Acrylics, where color mixing and knife strokes on the palette are the focus, and contrasting and blending happen before the paint even hits the canvas.

By the time we realize we are ready to “throw something,” we are past the point of needing some self-care. In Beginning Wheel Throwing, you can throw things in a healthful way – it’s clay on a potter’s wheel. In a class designed for absolute beginner students “learn to center with confidence,” and though the catalogue is referencing the clay on the wheel, there’s more centering going on than what meets the eye.

Olympia Parks Arts Recreation classes in Olympia Cooking Class
The City offers a smorgasbord of different cooking classes. Make 2020 your year to hone your skills. Photo courtesy: Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation

Cook Nourishing Foods

Perhaps being in your kitchen is what fills up your cup – literally. Participants ages 14 and up and can learn the timeless skill of making your own vegetable and fish stocks in the Soups and Stocks class and then how to use each to prepare hearty soups and more.

Or perhaps you’d like your baking prowess to rise like the yeasts in some of your favorite breads, and that can be achieved too, with the help of Instructor, Barbara Johnson and her Baking with Yeast class. These nourishing cooking classes take place in January, the perfect month to cozy up in a warm kitchen. Whether you are honing your knife or a new skill, if cooking is your love language, there are seven unique classes to choose from.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

That wise phrase can be words to live by, and is especially helpful in new situations. Perhaps you want to try Acting with Accents, learn to dance the Cha Cha and Salsa in Latin Love, or glide across the room in a Ballroom Waltz? Through music, voice, theater, and dancing, we can study our way toward the performers we wish to become, or just pretend we are someone else for a little while. Through an impressive 29 different class offerings, there’s no dancing around the fact that there are some self-care gems here.

Get Fit

Olympia Parks Arts Recreation classes in Olympia Kids Yoga
Self-care isn’t just for adults. There’s a kid’s yoga class, too! Photo courtesy: Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation

Thomas Jefferson once eloquently defined self-care: “Exercise and application produce order in our affairs, health of body, cheerfulness of mind, and these make us precious to our friends.” Not only to our friends, but also to ourselves, there are many ways to put a little sweat equity into our self-care investments and the City Of Olympia’s Parks, Arts, and Recreation Department offers a variety of ways to get bodies moving. Crucial in the winter months, these indoor classes are a bright spot in the darkest part of the year. Choose from yoga to Taekwondo, to Jazzercise, or all manner of organized sports, these activities can be an outlet to escape the stressors and the mundanity of our lives.

New year, new start. For many, the shift in the calendar year brings a shift in mindset. A shift in lifestyle, a shift in self-awareness. And whether we resolve to be better humans, take care of our bodies better, or take time to make time – self-care is a lasting gift we should all give ourselves.

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”- Katie Reed

Experience It! Olympia Parks, Arts, and Recreation Department

222 Columbia Street NW, Olympia
Classes are held at the Olympia Center unless otherwise noted.
Schedule your experience online here.


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