It may be just the beginning of summer, but school’s in session in the Tri-Valley. A wide range of classes are cropping up throughout the region, and they are just as cool as they are quirky. (Much cooler than freshman year algebra, we promise.)
Photo Credit: Gerardz Honey Bees
Did you know that worker bees are all female and a queen bee can lay 1,500 eggs per day? Or that a third of the world’s food production depends on pollination? Get a glimpse into the fascinating life of bees and find out what all the buzz is about with Gerard’Z Honeybees—a small family operation of “backyard beekeepers” who cross-pollinate their hives throughout the Bay Area and Central Valley, from Sonoma and San Francisco to Turlock and Tracy. The beginner curriculum delves into the basics of beekeeping and the inner mechanics of a hive, then ends in a sample flight of honeys (my personal favorite was the avocado honey, with raspberry coming in a sweet second). Beginner workshops are held at local and nearby wineries, while advanced programs take place on their Livermore property. Once you graduate to this class, you can suit up and interact with the bees—whom Ed, the guy running the show, refers to as “little miracle workers.”
WHERE: Locations vary.
WHEN: Workshops are held about once a month, follow Gerard’Z Honeybees on Facebook or visit their website for upcoming events, gerardzhoneybees.com.
HOW MUCH: Contact Gerard’Z Honeybees for pricing.
WHAT TO BRING: A trusty notebook and $10 for a jar of honey.
Step aside, cronuts—there’s a new trending treat in town. And Livermore local Allison Polimeno of AP Sugar Co. is here to teach you a thing or two about them. From lingerie-inspired delicacies for bachelorettes to seasonal sweets for the neighbors, kitschy custom cookies are the current confectionary craze. After five years of creating custom designs for her clients, Allison decided it was time to share her craft. In a three-hour interactive workshop, she’ll walk you through the basics of working with royal icing, flooding and piping techniques, and how to nail writing in script. You’ll be sent home with six scrumptious cookies, along with her icing recipe, tips, and tricks. She keeps her sugar cookie recipe tight-lipped, which is totally fair; it took her over a year to get exactly right.
WHERE: Locations vary throughout the Tri-Valley.
WHEN: Workshops are held about once a month, follow Allison on Instagram for upcoming events, @apsugarco.
HOW MUCH: $90
WHAT TO BRING: Yourself and a sweet tooth! Cookies, icing, and tools are provided.
There’s no denying that the metaphysical is having a moment right now. And at the forefront in the Tri-Valley is Creative Healing Center & Crystal Boutique, a non-descript locale in downtown Livermore. The shop has been in the community for decades, but just went through a revitalization in the past two years. Hundreds of gleaming crystals, singings bowls, and other curiosities line the shelves, and once a month they offer an introductory tarot reading class. Led by Kristine Daizy, Tarot & Tea: The Beginning is a true 101 course—she’ll first walk you through setting intentions, clearing energy, and firing up your intuition. Tarot decks can be complex, but she eases into the Major and Minor Arcana cards in a way that even newcomers can grasp. Unwind with a cup of chai and get to know your wands, swords, cups, and pentacles. Afterwards, she’ll gently guide you through a simple three-card reading. The shop offers various classes with community in mind, so even if tarot isn’t your thing, they likely have something that is just your type of magic.
WHERE: Creative Healing Center & Crystal Boutique, 29 S. Livermore Avenue, Livermore.
WHEN: Workshops are held monthly, follow Creative Healing Center & Crystal Boutique and Kristine Daizy on Facebook or Instagram for all upcoming events, @creativehealing center, @daizymeadows.
HOW MUCH: $40
WHAT TO BRING: Yourself, a tarot deck, and an open mind. No deck? They have amazing options for sale.