Free Classes for Your Next Family Vacation

Instead of typical souvenirs, take home a new skill or craft from your next vacation. We found spots that offer these free lessons.
By Caitlin Ultimo

Ages

3-13


1. Surf (Deerfield Beach, FL)
Every Saturday at 7 a.m., Island Water Sports (a surf gear store just blocks from the water) offers 80 minutes of intro instruction by a seasoned pro. All ages; boards provided.
Islandwatersports.com

2. Become a Junior Ranger (Porter, IN)
Kids (age 5 to15) can learn about the Lakeshore and bring home a Junior Ranger badge all in one trip. Pick up a Junior Rangers Activity Guide at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center and visit various sites within the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Kids can learn about the lakeshore, talk to a ranger and complete the required pages of the guide to receive a free Junior Ranger badge and certificate.
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center

PLUS: BEST EDUCATIONAL FEATURES AT DISNEYS AROUND THE WORLD

3. Make Pottery (Albuquerque, NM)
Let your kids embrace Albuquerque’s Native American history by with a Pueblo tribe member as they mold clay in the traditional way using the pinch and coil method. Once dried, and you’re all packed, the kids can take their custom creations home.
Hyatt Tamaya Resort & Spa

4. Pick up games (Kiawah Island, SC)
Kids (and parents!) are welcome to kick, toss or serve the ball around. Games take place in Night Heron Park in the afternoons. 
Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Sunday: GaGa Ball, Mondays & Fridays: Basketball, Tuesdays and Thursdays: Volleyball, Saturdays: Soccer)

PLUS: MISSING SCHOOL FOR A FAMILY VACATION?

5. Learn the Ropes (Santa Barbara, CA)
Kids of all ages will have a blast channeling their inner cowboy or cowgirl at a working dude ranch. They’ll learn about riding bulls from the pros with live bucking bull and cattle herding demonstrations. 
Rancho Oso RV and Camping

6. Be a Farmer for a Day (York, PA)
For a little unconventional fun in the sun, families visiting Gettysburg Farm can learn about planting and harvesting crops, as well as how to feed the cows and goats. 
Gettysburg Farm RV Campground (Gettysburg Farm is a working farm centrally located between York, Pa. and the battlefields of Gettysburg.)

7. Make Art (Dover, DE)
...that's inspired by real artists! Each month, Biggs Museum offers free classes -- Biggs Kids and Mini Masters -- which run throughout the day and aim to educate kids about current exhibitions. Small students are invited to take a stab at creating their own art piece inspired by what they learned. This November, kids can create their own “tapestry” bracelets, necklaces and bookmarks inspired by the Small Tapestries Exhibition
Biggs Museum of American Art

PLUS: MORE SCHOOL HOLIDAY VACATION IDEAS

Photo Credit: Mziello/Thinkstock

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Travel and Vacations