I hate winter. When I say this I don’t mean, “Oh I dislike the cold.” When I say this I mean that every single year around November I start crunching numbers and researching how I can temporarily move to a tropical location for three months, work remotely, stay in my relationship and still pay my rent here in Charlotte.
Not surprisingly, those numbers never crunch into an expense I could feasibly absorb so I just sit here like a miserable lump until springtime.
I grew up outside Chicago so trust me when I say I know what a winter worse than Charlotte’s mild occasional dusting of snow looks like. But that doesn’t make me hate winter in Charlotte any less so spare me the emails about how “winter in _____ is so much worse.”
In an attempt to distract myself from myself for an entire season, I’ve decided to pick up an indoor winter hobby. Last year my hobby was refurbishing Craigslist furniture and that was a major flop. I underestimated how much refurbishing furniture relies on sanding and painting things outside and ended up refurbishing precisely zero pieces of furniture. So I’m setting my bar lower this year.
Here are some slightly more attainable indoor winter hobbies that don’t involve turning your apartment into an impractical furniture workshop.
Sew something warm
Stick it to winter by learning how to make your own warm and toasty wearables. You’ll find beginner through advanced sewing classes offered at Charlotte Sewing Center and Ruth’s Sewing Academy. This is my official declared winter hobby of 2017 so perhaps I’ll see you there. I plan to make an insulated onesie I can live inside until April.
Brew beer, wine or cider at home
Try your hand at creating your own craft brew. You’ll find all the supplies you need (along with friendly advice from experts) at Alternative Beverage on South Boulevard. It’s a sneaky little brewer’s paradise tucked away in the Sleepy Poet Antique Mall and they’ve got gear for making beer, wine and cider. That’ll keep you busy all winter. Not a big drinker? You can also make your own kombucha at home.
Learn to code
If you plan to spend winter inside staring at your computer screen, you might as well do something productive with that time. Learning to code is a crazy valuable skill and Charlotte has lots of places willing to teach you. Check out full immersion courses at The Iron Yard, Tech Talent South and UNC Charlotte, or stop by The Iron Yard’s free crash courses to see if this hobby is for you.
I’ve interviewed many a jewelry entrepreneur whose business launched with a simple hobby. So maybe this will become your next venture. Get started with jewelry-making supplies and free hands-on instructional classes at Beads Inc.
Take dance classes
You can try to look like less of a buffoon on the dance floor when wedding season rolls around again next spring by taking lessons this winter. Studios in Charlotte offer everything from ballroom and ballet to hip hop and pole. (Maybe don’t select pole dance as your surprise performance at your sister’s wedding though. Maybe.) Check out adult class offerings from Queen City Ballroom, Open Door Studios and Move Studio. You’ll also find several dance classes on the schedule at YMCA Charlotte and be sure to keep an eye out for Charlotte Ballet’s next season of adult open division classes.
Learn (or practice) a language
The Language Academy of the Carolinas offers morning and evening language courses for Spanish, Italian, Chinese, French, German and Portuguese. Or, if you already know a second language and just need to practice, stop by the International House for free conversation hours in Japanese, Farsi, French, Italian, Arabic, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Igbo.