Haute Hobbies

With the advent of a new school year, September is the perfect time to pick up a hobby. This year, challenge yourself by learning an unconventional skill. Glassblowing and glass working, for example, are artistically rewarding pastimes that can yield fabulous results. Since opening in early 2015, the Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts, located in the historic FEC Train Depot building in Lake Worth, has taught the art of glass to more than 800 students. “I think they are pleasantly surprised how much they enjoy it,” says Anita Holmes, the center’s executive director. Benzaiten has many classes for beginners and emerging glass artists, all hosted in its 4,500-square-foot studio. The Intro class lasts an hour and a half, covers the basics, and gives students the chance to create three glass pieces. For something more rigorous, try the Glass 101 experience, which lasts six to eight weeks and teaches the skills necessary to become a serious practitioner. In the coming months, Benzaiten will also begin offering classes in flameworking and metalworking. While it will take years of training—not to mention an innate knack for the craft—to create works as stunning as those by Benzaiten’s creative director, Rick Eggert, you’ll at least succeed in flaming the fires of creativity.

As I Burn Off Into the Distance, Rick Eggert

   Does learning to fly sound more your speed? Here are a few other high-end hobbies you can try in Palm Beach County:

   Ballroom Dancing: If you’re looking to dust off those dancing shoes, then head over to Fred Astaire in West Palm Beach. Cofounded by Fred Astaire himself, this studio teaches an array of styles including salsa, rumba, waltz, and foxtrot.

   Flight Lessons: Earn your pilot’s wings at Platinum Aviation, a flight-training company based in West Palm Beach. The school uses a simulator to help you get the feel of flying before heading into the clouds, and also offers on-demand charters so you can fly wherever you want to go.

   Sailing: Palm Beach is the perfect place to learn the art of sailing, just ask the Palm Beach Sailing Club. Affiliated with the American Sailing Association, Palm Beach Sailing Club offers courses and private lessons for novice and experienced sailors alike. 

   Skydiving: For all the daredevils out there, skydiving is the ultimate thrill. Skydive Palm Beach takes off from the Palm Beach County Glades Airport and trains each newcomer before embarking on a tandem jump. Best of all: They offer videos of your jumps so you can brag to your friends.

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