get ready for… summer school!

Today’s youth can fill their summer days not only with the great outdoors, but with online learning, discovery camps, exploratory arts and science programs – so much to choose from. But why should kids be the only ones having all the fun learning and doing? In the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Here are a few of our favorite ways to reinvent summer school for the kid in all of us:

For Those Who Want to Get the Band Back Together:
Check out The Mike Risko Music School in Ossining where it’s never too late to learn a new instrument. The folks at Mike Risko point out that music lessons increase brain function and help with processing and memory. So, whether you’re itching to learn a brand new instrument to play in the privacy of your home, or you just want to brush up on your skills believing you can get your old garage band back together, this place offers it all— including the opportunity to join one of the school’s rock bands. Private lessons are $39 for 30 minutes; summer group guitar or piano lessons are $150 for a six-week session.
Contact: Mike Risko Music School at 914-762-8757 or
The Best Part: While lessons are weekly, you can practice at home to perfect your musical craft. Plus, Mike Risko offers social opportunities to play with others — which can make jamming a lot more fun!

For Those Who Like to USE THEIR NOGGIN’:
Grab your books and head back to college with SUNY Purchase’s Senior Citizen Auditors program. The University invites all New York State residents, ages 60 and over, to audit any accredited course taught on the main campus for just $50 per class! Take a music, arts or psychology course: maybe even learn Spanish. Auditing a course means you will not receive college credit, nor will you be required to complete class assignments or take tests. Perfect for those independent-minded students!
Contact: SUNY Purchase at; 914-251-6000
The Best Part: Because this time around there is no graduation requirement, you only take the classes that interest you. It’s all the fun of learning without the stress of studying for the exam!

For Those Who Love The Great Outdoors:
If you’ve ever dreamed of sailing off into the sunset, it’s probably a good idea to learn how to take the helm! With over 30 years of experience, Croton Sailing School offers instruction aboard its fleet of 24 Rainbow sailboats. You will learn everything you need to know to properly and safely handle a sailboat. The Hands-On Sailing Course, perfect for beginners, runs $395 for a two-day basic sailing course (limited to four students per sailboat). Classes are available weekends or weekdays from May through November.
Contact: Croton Sailing School at or 914-271-6868
The Best Part: Croton Sailing School says that this starter course is very popular with area retirees. So besides learning a new skill, there is a good chance you will meet other like-minded adventurers!

For Those WHO Are Light on Their Feet (or WANT TO Be):
Keep your body and mind in tip-top shape with ballroom dance lessons from the masters at the Arthur Murray Dance Center in Mt. Kisco. Take lessons with your spouse, a friend, or on your own. Dancing is a great way to stay fit while having fun, and memorizing dance steps also exercises your mind.
Contact: Arthur Murray Dance Center at or 914-864-0710
The Best Part: The first lesson is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose. In no time at all, you will be waltzing like the celebs on Dancing with the Stars.

For Those Who Like to Keep Their Hands Busy:
It seems that everything old is new again. Both knitting and crocheting have had a resurgence of popularity in the last few years. Whether you are new to knitting, need a refresher course or simply want to improve your stitch, Flying Fingers Yarn Shop in Tarrytown has the right class for you. They hold an assortment of weekly classes that run for six-week sessions. The price of the class doesn’t include materials, but they can set you up with everything you need to get started.
Contact: Flying Fingers Yarn Shop at or 914-631-4113
The Best Part: Once you’ve learned to knit the basics, the creative possibilities are endless!

If none of these classes pique your interest, don’t despair; there are hundreds of interesting, engaging, top-notch adult classes in and around Westchester, and we’re sure you’ll find the perfect way to spend some summer days!

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