Growing up I loved going to libraries, zoos and museums as entertainment. My family often spent the weekends out-of-town browsing through museum collections or flexing our calf muscles at a zoo. We maxed out our checkout limits and carted books, music and movies home from the library. It was easy to max out at our small-town library, we were only allowed three books per subject! In my hometown, we didn’t have a CLASS program, but sometimes a handful of community courses popped up — a drawing class in someone’s basement or a photography class at the library. Living in Salina, going on seven years, I’m constantly impressed by how many quality and affordable choices there are in our community for all ages to learn and try new things.

I still derive a lot of personal enjoyment from taking classes, learning and studying. Working for the Salina Public Library as a Programs Coordinator, my job is facilitating lifelong learning connections for others! It’s thrilling for me. You might be thinking “Nerd,” but I identify much more with “Edutainment Connoisseur.” Edutainment is education + entertainment, or having fun while learning! I am always in search of quality learning opportunities that will also be fun. I hope you find your own edutainment with the library’s winter offerings. Make a holiday gift, spend quality time with family and friends, choose self-care or find help with making your 2020 learning resolutions. Here are some of my top choices Winter Edutainment at SPL:

Holiday Gift Ideas

Learn new techniques from instructors while creating a handmade gift or receiving expert shopping advice!

Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

Lavender Wreath-Making | Saturday, Nov. 2 | 10 a.m.-Noon OR Saturday, Nov. 2 | 2-4 p.m.

Edutainment Value: Have you seen how much real wreaths cost? This class is a great deal! Not only will you learn how to make your own wreath from expert lavender farmer Mike Neustrom using lavender grown on his farm. This could also be a great outing with family and friends in a room filled with the sweet smell of harvested lavender! Space is limited, register by Oct. 26. 

Holiday Glow | Thursday, Dec. 12 | 5-7 p.m.

Edutainment Value: Let Flower Nook’s Peggy Debey walk you through making your own holiday arrangement in this hands-on floral arranging class. Who doesn’t need the expertise of a florist around the holidays? Help your tablescape shine; Peggy will also be sharing her expert tips and tricks for using candles. Register by Dec. 5. 

Savings for Black Friday Shopping | Thursday, Nov. 21| 6 p.m. OR Friday, Nov. 22 | 10 a.m.

Edutainment Value: Who’s going to be the Black Friday Shopping Master in your house? YOU are because you took this class! Expertly navigate this busy day with all the pro tips and tricks you learn in the Technology Center Learning Lab. Registration begins Nov. 14 for Thursday’s class and Nov. 15 for Friday’s, both opening at 9 a.m. 

Glass Ornament Making | Tuesday, Dec. 3 | 6 p.m.

Edutainment Value: Get those kids 10 years and older out of the house on an early December Tuesday night for some crafting in the Prescott Room. Make a memorable Christmas decoration for your family tree or to give away. Registration opens Nov. 26 at 9 a.m. 

Quality Time with Family & Friends

Learning with others is scientifically known to increase your enjoyment and retention of lessons learned in the classroom. So grab your sister, best friend, cousin, aunt, mom, dad, grandma, uncle … and sign up for a class together.

Photo from Barry & Meta West’s fall cooking class Fall Festival Feast in 2018.

Autumn Inspired Menu | Monday, Nov. 4 | 6-8:30 p.m. OR Tuesday, Nov. 5 | 6-8:30 p.m.

Edutainment Value: Professional teachers and cooks Barry and Meta are experienced edutainers! Watching them cook together and banter is always a good laugh, whether they are teaching cutting techniques or how to make carrot flower garnishes. You will feel as though you are inside your favorite cooking show. Did I mention you’ll get to eat their delicious creations too? Register by Oct. 28 for Nov. 4 OR Oct. 29 for Nov. 5 class, space is limited. 

Instapot 101 with Chef Alli | Saturday, Nov. 23 | 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 2-4:30 p.m.

Edutainment Value: Chef Alli is not just an experienced professional chef, she’s an Instapot master! Are you stressed about how you’re going to manage all of your holiday cooking? Learn from the best how to operate your at-home pressure cooker and maximize its use right in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. We *promise* nothing will be exploding on Chef Alli’s watch except your tastebuds. We have space for you to bring the whole clan down, but make sure to register everybody by Nov. 16 for the time that works best for you.

A Tasting of Celebratory Wines | Thursday, Dec. 5 | 6-7:30 p.m.

Edutainment Value: Drinking can be learning right? Yes, grab a partner and join instructors Chad Bowman and Bret Birdsong for this enlightening hour of hors d’oeuvres paired with complimentary sparkling wines from around the world. They’ll cover everything from how these wines are made to picking out the best combinations for your next event. With only 18 seats available, register early or by Nov. 27. 

Gingerbread House Making | Wednesday, Dec. 11 | 10:15 a.m. or 6 p.m. OR Thursday, Dec. 12 | 10:15 a.m.

Edutainment Value: You get a gingerbread house, and you get a gingerbread house…  Back by popular demand with more times to choose from, this is an event for youth of all ages! Registration begins one week prior to the event at 9 a.m. 

Treat Yourself

Finding ways to destress and self-care during the busy holiday season is essential to your mental and physical health. Make sure to schedule time for yourself in your winter calendar. Joining one of our exercise classes that meet once a week is a great way to dedicate some time to exercise and relaxation. The instructors teaching these classes do so out of a personal passion for movement, let some of their positivity rub off on you!

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Kenjutsu (Japanese Swordsmanship) | Nov. 5-26 | 6-7 p.m.

Edutainment Value: Are you usually stressed during the holidays? Why not learn to focus all of that energy in a beginning swordsmanship class? Learn the basics of Itto Ryu swordsmanship, a Japanese style founded by Ito Ittosai. Itto Ryu is based on the concept of “one sword, one cut.”  Register by Oct. 29.

Chair Yoga, Yin Yang Yoga, Yoga Moves | See Coursestorm or the library’s winter calendar for a full schedule of winter yoga classes and descriptions.

Edutainment Value: Want to yoga, but not ready for a full gym membership or big commitment? Library yoga classes offer a great entry point for beginners and those with limited mobility. Our yoga instructors are certified, and their once a week class schedules fit nicely into even the busiest schedules. Yoga movements can teach you how to relax, stretch and breath better.

A Fresh Start

Are you ready for 2020? It’s a new year and a great number to really bring things into focus! Though the internet is at your fingertips, taking one of these one-hourish classes guided by an experienced instructor could help you explore your New Year’s dreams efficiently. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of hearing the questions other students ask!

Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash

Connect with Small Business Resources | Tuesday, Dec. 10 | 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Edutainment Value: Have you always dreamed of starting your own business, but not sure where to start? This one-hour class is a great introduction to what’s available out there to help you pursue your dream. Brainstorming your big ideas is half the fun! Register by Dec. 3. 

Seven Basic Concepts for Xeriscape and Native Landscaping | Tuesday, Jan. 28 | 6-7:30 p.m.

Edutainment Value: If you love plants and design, this will be a fun class for you! Join experienced landscaper Darrin Wright as he helps you consider all the elements to transforming your yard into the garden of your dreams using environmentally sustainable methods. Register by Jan. 21. 

Makers Group | Saturdays, Nov. 2 or 16, Dec. 7, Jan. 4 or 18 | 2 p.m.

Edutainment Value: Want to tinker around with like-minded individuals while working with electronic kits, 3D prints, etc.? Join the Makers Group in the Technology Center Learning Lab on winter Saturday afternoons and get creative, technically speaking. No registration is required.

Getting Photos from Your Phone | Wednesday, Jan. 15 | 6 p.m. OR Thursday, Jan. 16 | 1:30 p.m.

Edutainment Value: Getting organized is a chore at home, but take this quick class to free your photos! Put those captured smiles into print or get them shared with your friends and family. Your phone photo collection should be bringing you enjoyment, not clogging up your hard drive! Registration is required and begins one week before the class starts at 9 a.m. 

If you don’t see anything that fits the bill for you here, check out the library’s complete November, December and January options in the Winter Calendar! Copies are available for pick up at the library or view the online version. ❄️