Home Culture Local Activities + Classes to Spark Your Creativity

Local Activities + Classes to Spark Your Creativity

by Cristina Lombardi
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Rather than doing what’s familiar, finding a creative outlet and thinking outside the box allows us to become better problem-solvers. It may also lead to discovering a new talent or hobby. While some of us here in Hudson County work in fields that require us to be creative every day, many do not — and it can be challenging to incorporate creativity into our adult lives. Luckily, The Hoboken Girl has rounded up a list of activities in Hoboken, Jersey City, + beyond to get your creativity flowing — from cooking classes, to art studios, to museums, to unique workouts, and more. Read on for a list of creative classes and activities to try out.

Brief History of the Word ‘Creativity’

It wasn’t until the 17th Century that people began to get rid of the notion that creativity was only a divine power of God. It wasn’t until the 1920s that Sigmund Freud theorized ‘that creativity is an outcome of the struggle between the ego and the superego.’ As more people began to show divergent thinking skills, scientists began to create standardized and systematic tests to measure creativity.  This led to where we are today, a place where anyone and everyone can channel their inner creativity in a variety of different ways.

Creative Activities in Hoboken + Jersey City

Creating something new may take some time and effort, but it is also rewarding and exciting. Getting in the creative zone allows your mind to wander away from work and your busy life. Doing something active — such as a new workout or a walk — can also help to unlock your creative juices, clear your mind after a long day, and give you fresh insight. Keep reading for a list of unique, fun, and local activities to harness that creativity of yours. Trust us, there’s no shortage of ways to be creative in Hudson County.

Read More: A Guide to Classes for Adults in Northern New Jersey

Arts + Crafts

jersey city art school

^ Jersey City Art School

Urban Arts at Monroe | 720 Monroe Street, Hoboken

The Urban Arts at Monroe is a great center for students of all skill levels to learn and paint. The studio takes pride in the wide variety of media they offer — oil, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, you name it. Tools and materials are available on-site — with the exception of oil painting, for which students bring their own paint. They also hold art exhibitions, workshops, and gallery tours throughout the year, at various Hoboken sites.

Cre8sArt School | 365 1st Street, Hoboken

At Cre8sArt School, each class holds about five students working on a project basis, with the teacher providing instruction and guidance according to each student’s needs. Classes are purchased on a monthly basis, with one session every week, each for about $40.

Field Colony | 1001 Bloomfield Street, Hoboken

For those who are interested in learning digital art, Field Colony offers lessons in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and 3D modeling (SketchUp is used as the primary program in this course). The courses do not require preliminary knowledge in these softwares, or any previous experience in digital media. The instructors will cover the essential skills to use the programs and create digital imagery.

Upstairs Art Gallery | 896 Bergen Avenue, Jersey City

This store has been operating since the late 1960s and has witnessed waves of art movements and neighborhood developments throughout the decades. The interior has the cozy, nostalgic vibe of a vintage shop, with European old master-style portraits and still-life paintings on exhibit. Painting classes run every Tuesday night from 6PM-8:30PM, focusing mainly on oil painting.

Jersey City Art School | 29 McWilliams Place, Jersey City

This school offers classes on a wide variety of media, from traditional art forms such as oil painting and watercolor to more contemporary media such as digital photography, abstract painting, and printmaking. Depending on their skill level and media, students are grouped into different class series that run weekly for four to eight weeks.

ArteVino Studio | 720 Monroe Street, Hoboken 

ArteVino provides an interactive activity of creating your own art. The classes typically are either 2.5 or 3 hours and are BYOB. There is also a “WalkIn Art Studio” for those with small apartments who want to paint freely without storing art supplies. Check the calendar for updates.

Paint + Sip at Art Mango | 30 Mall Drive W, 2nd Floor, Jersey City | 20 Monroe Street, Hoboken

An Art Mango package offers two hours to “sip back and relax” and paint for parties of 10 guests or up to 50. The team provides the art materials needed — participants can bring their own beverages.

Woodworking Class at The DIY Joint | 51 Harrison Street #A207, Hoboken + 600 Palisade Avenue, Union City

This workshop is the perfect place to put your handyman and handywoman skills to test to learn the craft of woodworking. You’ll be greeted with friendly, expert instructors, who take the guesswork and fear out of using power tools. The studio has professional-grade tools and equipment in-house to borrow if you don’t have your own.

Roig Collection | 225 River Street, Hoboken

There’s nothing like visiting an art gallery to feel inspired — and a visit to The Roig Collection will do just that. The gallery was started by longtime Hoboken resident, Ricardo Roig who is “a maker of modern original hand-cut art inspired by life.” There are multiple art series’ to choose from including a “Mile Square Series” that features favorite local landmarks and restaurants like The Elysian Cafe, Court Street, Sinatra Park, and more. Mix and Sip events are typically held on Thursdays and include live music, bites, and wine.

The JCMAP Mural Walking Tour

Murals offer an opportunity for local artists to express themselves on walls across the city, provide a representation of people in the community that creates important dialogue, and offer multitudes of inspiration for those who stumble upon them. Never underestimate the power of a good stroll through your neighborhood to observe the creativity that lies around us.

Photography Classes at Digital Photo Academy

Photographers rejoice! Photo lessons are available to take in Hoboken through Digital Photo Academy. You’ll be connected with a DPA instructor who will walk the area with you, all the while conveying the concepts of composition and camera operation to help you approach this fascinating area in a way that will help you access your creative point of view and enhance the wonderful light and diverse subjects. Please note — This class requires that you bring a DSLR camera and a tripod.

Cooking + Baking

sushi making saku

^ Sushi-making class at Saku

Sushi-Making Class at Saku | 936 Park Avenue, Hoboken

Cooking, preparing ingredients, and preparing a meal is definitely a fun way to channel your creativity. And sushi making is a fun and unique class to try. Sushi lovers are missing out if they haven’t stopped by this Asian fusion spot. On the first and last Tuesday of every month from 7PM-8:30PM, the “dark room” is reserved for a hands-on sushi tutorial aptly named “Rolling with the Homies.” Learn to make your favorite rolls — from a tuna roll, a California roll, and a salmon-avocado hand roll. Tickets cost $45. Sign up with a friend (or a date) at eventbrite.com.

Cocktail Classes at Liberty House | 76 Audrey Zapp Drive, Hoboken

This Jersey City institution has it all: waterfront views, gorgeous wedding packages, and, yes, even mixology classes once a month (usually on a Wednesday or Thursday night). Mix two to three drinks while munching on light bites. Tickets cost $45 and can be reserved by calling 201-395-0300 or by emailing reservations@libertyhouserestaurant.com.

Cooking Classes at Hudson Table | 1403 Clinton Street

With courses dedicated to Filipino barbecue, handmade pasta, Mexican surf and turf, vegan desserts, and much more, Hudson Table has something for the aspiring chef in everyone. The studio also offers special workshops and demonstrations for team-building events and private parties. Bonus: It’s BYOB. Visit hudsontable.com for upcoming classes and booking information.

Workouts, Activities, + More

guitar bar hoboken

^ Guitar Bar

The Gravity Vault Hoboken | 1423 Clinton Street, Hoboken 

Gravity Vault is a fun, alternative workout gym catering to rock climbers of all ages and abilities. Grab the kids, your bridesmaids, or your coworkers, and get ready for a workout session like no other. You can also find more unique workouts to try in the Hoboken and Jersey City area here.

Puzzle Out Escape Room | 1 Newark Street, Suite #22, Hoboken + 317 Grove Street, Jersey City

Puzzle Out is a fun and challenging live escape game in both Hoboken and Jersey City. The team has 60 minutes to complete the mission — find clues, solve puzzles, and escape. Participants can make a team with friends, family, or co-workers and get together for an afternoon of cracking codes, connecting the dots, and investigating the way out.

Liberty Science Center | 222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City

Liberty Science Center is an interactive science museum and learning center located in Liberty State Park in Jersey City. At its opening, it was the largest such planetarium in the Western Hemisphere — as well as science exhibits, numerous educational resources, and the original Hoberman sphere, a silver, computer-driven engineering artwork designed by Chuck Hoberman.

See More: The Most Unique Fitness Classes in Montclair

Guitar Bar | 160 1st Street, Hoboken + 362 Palisade Avenue, Jersey City

Learning or practicing an instrument is another great way to get in the creative zone. With two locations in Hudson County, Guitar Bar has guitars and other string instruments such as banjos and ukuleles — of all calibers at various price points, sells and trades vintage instruments, and provides rental and repair services. Another big part of Guitar Bar’s services are lessons, held in cozy classrooms at the back of the store. To get there, students walk through a sprawling space cluttered with vintage guitars, repairing tools, and vintage music equipment — a time tunnel speaking to the rich history of the town and its musical legacy.

Jersey City Free Public Library | 472 Jersey Ave, Jersey City + Hoboken Public Library | 500 Park Ave, Hoboken

Book clubs and reading daily are so beneficial to practicing imagination and harnessing creativity. Be sure to check out the many local book club groups to join from word of mouth, local Facebook groups, or even by starting your own.

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