A hobby is defined as “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation”. National Hobby Month is every January, the perfect time to start a new hobby for the year. Something to take away from the stress of work and everyday life that you can enjoy in your off time. In Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes there are plenty of hobbies to explore from the arts to craftmanship. Finding a new hobby can be as simple as taking 40-minute class and walking away with your own work of art, or delving into an extensive workshop to learn a new skill.

In the city best known for glass it obvious that you will see it everywhere. In the windowfronts of stores, the dishes of the restaurants you dine at, at the Corning Museum of Glass, and even the glass on your smartphone used to capture your memories here came from Corning. But, did you know that while you are observing the beautiful and sometimes functional pieces around the Corning, you can make your own? The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass offers all kinds of projects and workshops on glass making from quick sessions of glassblowing to make an ornament, flameworking a bead, and fusing a frame. If you want to go more in depth sign up for one of their week-long glass making classes in variety of techniques, for all skill levels that are taught by top international glassmaking artists and instructors.


Flameworking at CMOG
Flameworking at The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass

Hands-on Glass Studio offers make-your-own glass experiences where visitors looking to learn a new skill can make their own ornament, paperweight, or snowman. Visit the F.L.A.V.O.R. Studio and Gallery at the Black Sheep Inn and take a class in stained glass, mixed media, repurposed jewelry-making, and even Bench Building.

The Finger Lakes Boating Museum strives to educate its visitors on the history of boating in the Finger Lakes. Go the extra mile and sign up for one of their workshops, offered for adults and kids. Or jump in and learn more in-depth skills during their courses throughout the year where you will spend a few days working. A new hobby is something you may not know you love until you try so give it a chance!

Finger Lakes Boating Museum
Finger Lakes Boating Museum courtesy of Stu Gallagher

Get hands on, and maybe a little dirty working with your hands during the Blacksmithing workshops at Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes. Start with the Basic Fundamentals course where you will learn to make tent stakes, S – hooks, camp fire tools, and more. Once you have mastered that move onto the Intermediate Fundamentals where you will learn key rings, utensils, paper weights, and more.

Blacksmithing at Heritage Village
Blacksmithing at Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes

Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes is abundant with art. From galleries to studios. Try your hand at something new this year. Visit Wine and Design for a guided painting lesson with your closest friends, and one of the best parts? You can bring your favorite Finger Lakes wine to enjoy while you learn. Try your hand at the pottery wheel at Rocky Hill Pottery during a lesson. Take a class at 171 Cedar Arts. They offer a wide variety of classes from ceramics and culinary, to theatre and dance.

Pottery class at Rocky Hill Pottery
Pottery class at Rocky Hill Pottery

The best of hobbies let you relax and unwind from the busy schedules of our everyday lives while learning a new skill. The two of those ideas come together in many forms in Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes with the abundance of classes, workshops, studios to be worked in, and the knowledgeable artist and craftsman willing to teach. What new hobby will you try this year?

Wine and Design
Wine and Design