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  • Writer's pictureThe Bone Guys

19 Hobbies to Pursue Right Now And Where to Practice Them



There’s one thing we can all probably agree on right now: there’s a lot of time on our hands to spend either watching Cobra Kai on Netflix or learning and practicing a fulfilling new hobby.

And while we’d never refuse your right to a dojo session with Daniel-San and Johnny Lawrence, we still feel it is the perfect time to guide you towards a new passion you can pursue with or without a quarantine in full-effect.

Check out The Bone Guys’ guide to 19 hobbies you can pursue right now in Southern California.


PILOTING PLANES

Where To Go: Encore Flight Academy, which offers lessons out of Van Nuys Airport and can lead you through FAA-approved simulations and beginner flying lessons all the way to the acquisition of your pilot’s license. Your initial session might find you taking off –with assistance from a trained co-pilot, of course— before a short but beautiful journey to downtown, at which point you’ll turn around and hit the coast before venturing back over the Santa Monica Mountains and safely landing.

What You’ll Need: Nothing more than a little faith in your instructor. But feel free to wear some aviator shades.



COOKING

Where To Go: If you want to learn how to cook restaurant-quality dishes, look no further than The Bone Guys’ own guide to 15 professional chefs teaching you to cook during quarantine. If you’re looking for more personal attention, check out the myriad classes offered on CozyMeals, a gateway to private chefs who will teach you how to prepare their best dishes over the computer.

What You’ll Need: We love the well-made, affordable knives produced by Misen and the extensive range of quality cookware available from Made In.



VENTRILOQUY

Where To Go: “Mom and Dad, I’m going to puppet school.” Fortunately you won’t need to speak those words, or tell anyone for that matter, when you tap the private online classes offered by L.A.’s Puppetry Plus, available in 2-8-hour packages.

What You’ll Need: A sock, some glue and a pack of googly eyes.



MIXOLOGY

Where To Go: You’re likely already drinking more during the pandemic, so why not step those drinks up? We love the spirit-specific online classes offered by Costa Mesa’s The Mixing Glass, which help you get to know certain spirits better as well as the skills to make professional-level cocktails. They also offer cocktail-specific kits for crafting Manhattans and Old Fashioneds and their ilk.

What You’ll Need: Your favorite bottle, a shaker, a jigger, bitters, fresh fruit juice, and ice.



BEER BREWING

Where To Go: Although classes are currently canceled, we trust the supplies and guidance of Windsor Home Brewing Supply Co. in Costa Mesa, which also offers contactless beer delivery (aka study materials). In L.A., excellent options for necessities and advice include Eagle Rock Home Brewing, which used to run our favorite home brewing store in Culver City, as well as South Bay Brewing Supply in Torrance.

What You’ll Need: While the above stores can assist you in procuring all the hops, yeast, and equipment you need, the convenient and affordable kits from Brooklyn BrewShop are perfect for first-timers, containing all the fundamental equipment and ingredients you need to attempt brewing with real ingredients for less than $50. Should you need additional instruction, follow these clear directions from L.A.’s own Beer Chicks.



HANG GLIDING

Where To Go: Windsports at Dockweiler Beach in Los Angeles, veritable pioneers of the hang gliding game with a history going back to the 1970’s. 2-3 hour introductory lessons take place on the dunes and include four flights from a not-as-intimidating height of 30-feet. Advanced lessons are also available should you wish to continue on.

What You’ll Need: A face mask and a bike helmet.



FISHING

Where To Go: If it’s fly-fishing you hope to conquer, look no further than Van Nuys’ own Fisherman’s Spot, which will take you out to its own fishing hole for rainbow trout, carp, largemouth and striped bass and can also teach you fly-fishing in the surf. If you’re looking to cast and reel in oceans and bays, head to LBC Fishing Lessons, which promises to make an angler out of you in no time.

What You’ll Need: If you want to try it on your own, all you’ll need is a rod, some bait, a six-pack, and a few hours on a nearby pier or, in winter, Kenneth Hanh Park’s catfish and rainbow trout-stocked fishing pond. Just make sure you’re clear on what is safe to eat.



SOURDOUGH BREAD

Where To Go: Like many people, this is a hobby we’ve taken to ourselves during quarantine. And we may never look back if it means not having to buy a loaf of bread with 21 ingredients again. We learned everything we needed from Riverside-based Positively Probiotic, which offers all the cultures, as well as the recipe you’ll need to get started.

What You’ll Need: It all starts with starter culture. Otherwise, you’ll need flour to feed it, a jar to keep it, water, salt, and a cast-iron pot with lid and working oven to heat it up in. Welcome to the cult of the mother.



PADDLEBOARDING

Where To Go: Marina Del Rey’s Pro Sup Shop remains open despite the pandemic, with increased safety measures for its $30 paddleboard and kayak lessons in the marina. Newport-based Pirate Coast Paddle offers private and group lessons, with the thrilling option of a night paddle session on glowing boards.

What You’ll Need: All gear is included, but wear sunscreen and you’ll probably want a wetsuit, towel, and anything else that keeps you warm in the chilly Pacific, too.



RACING CARS

Where To Go: Whether you want to ride along with a professional behind the wheel or take control yourself, we’ve been thrilled by the stock car driving lessons offered at Irwindale’s YouRaceLA, where you can put the petal to the floor on a professional speedway for the ultimate adrenalin rush, after a brief course in safety.

What You’ll Need: Nothing but a clear and focused mind and nerves of steel.



DJing

Where To Go: Scratch Academy is L.A.’s premier place to get schooled on the 1’s and 2’s by a professional, having been founded by Jam Master Jay in NYC. Currently, all classes have moved online.

What You’ll Need: Scratch Academy can accommodate people who don’t have any DJ equipment but want to test the waters. As well as those stocked with tools who are looking to sharpen their production, controller, and turntable skills.



YOGA

Where To Go: West L.A.’s Laughing Frog Yoga is a great place for beginners to get more comfortable with their poses, and now offers outdoor classes. But if you’re a little paranoid from the pandemic, a quick YouTube search reveals a surplus of excellent yoga classes from dedicated instructors, such as Yoga With Adriene, the site’s most popular teacher.

What You’ll Need: A yoga mat or a soft place to kneel with plenty of folding room, along with some comfortable clothing.



CANDLEMAKING

Where To Go: Stone Candles, the Santa Monica-based store that taught us the trade, has moved its classes online, offering live BYOB sessions every Saturday afternoon. Private lessons are still available in-person, too.

What You’ll Need: 2 weeks to await the candle kit that comes with your class, along with a little counter space.



BIRDWATCHING

Where To Go: Bird watching opportunities are plenty in our sprawling metropolis, from the occasional sight of a red tail hawk over the freeways to the hummingbirds and scrub-jays that frequent patio feeders and native plants. But to enter the urban wilderness, we recommend the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve, where the 405 meets the 101, a roost to exceptional and elegant herons and albatrosses, as well as the smaller birds you’ll need to comb the horizon for. Other standout locations include the Audubon Center at Debs Park in Montecito Heights, which is sadly closed amid the pandemic. Fortunately, this is the kind of activity you can also undertake on your favorite trail or simply while hanging out in a suburban backyard.

What You’ll Need: The naked eye usually works well enough, though a great pair of binoculars and a camera are also terrific assets.



GUITAR/UKELELE

Where To Go: Fender, the iconic name in electronic guitars, has a full and respected online program for learning guitar, bass and ukulele lessons, beginning with a free trial that allows you to explore their methodology before buying.

What You’ll Need: A real guitar. Unfortunately your tennis racket won’t get you very far here.



PHOTOGRAPHY

Where To Go: Classes at the L.A. Center of Photography have mostly moved online, allowing you access to dozens of courses, including travel-based adventures in the real world, like the trip to Bhutan lead by a photographer whose work has appeared in Time and the New York Times.

What You’ll Need: As much camera as you can afford.



WOODWORKING

Where To Go: Sadly the excellent group intro classes we’ve enjoyed at Downtown’s Allied Woodshop are cancelled, but the workshop is offering private instruction by appointment for all levels of familiarity.

What You’ll Need: They’ll provide all the safety equipment and machines you need to make your first project. Like the long, smooth, rectangular cheese board we still cherish.



BALLROOM DANCING

Where To Go: Group classes are a no-go at the moment, so at least you won’t be self conscious with at 3rd Street Dance, which offers hands-on private instruction at its Beverly Grove studio, as well as private classes over Zoom in dances such as international ballroom, West Coast swing, the Hustle, and waltz.

What You’ll Need: Tear-away pants. Okay, they’re still totally optional.


LANGUAGES

Where To Go: Duolingo and Babbel may be the most popular, game-based ways to learn a foreign language online, but Rocket Languages is the dedicated one we really recommend. It takes a conversational, easy-to-learn but comprehensive approach to multiple foreign languages, including Hindi, Japanese, Spanish, French, Korean, Arabic, and Sign Language, with the intent of teaching you to read, speak, and write in the languages you choose to learn.

What You’ll Need: A tongue and a laptop.



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