Summer Camp for Adults? Not Exactly—But the Next Best Thing

Classes & activities for summer downtime.

  • Category
  • Written by
    Heather David
  • Illustrated by
    Yuiko Sugino

Ah, summertime … sun, fun and that never-ending social media feed featuring fabulous people doing fabulous things. One is playing boccie ball in Tuscany; another is scuba diving off the Seychelles. But if you’re staying local, there’s no need to fret. Exciting adventures and creative opportunities abound in the Valley. 

Get Hooked

Whether you’re a novice angler or a serious fisher, Guppies Fishing Adventures has a piscatory experience for you. For beginners, Valley native and outdoor adventure guide Lorenzo Sandoval brings all of the bait and tackle and patiently teaches the basics. These Lake Balboa outings are catch-and-release. For those more experienced, Lorenzo offers hiking and fishing expeditions at places like Castaic and Pyramid Lakes, where you can reel in rainbow trout, catfish or largemouth bass to take home and enjoy.

Converse Courtside

Pickleball is considered America’s fastest-growing participant sport. Why not get in on the fun? Instructor Timothy Chuko teaches the fundamentals to first-timers and instructs experienced players on how to advance their game to the next level. You’ll get good exercise, and who knows—you might also make a friend. “Pickleball is often played in a doubles format,” says Timothy, “so you’re constantly interacting with your partner and opponents. This creates opportunities for communication, teamwork and building relationships both on and off the court.”

Interested players can text Timothy at 747-257-7695.

Cue It Up

House of Billiards in Sherman Oaks is one of those no-muss, no-fuss joints that’s been going strong on the Boulevard since 1979. Their simple recipe for success? A room full of pool tables that rent hourly for $17, along with a $4 happy hour that features more than a dozen craft beers on tap. The family-owned establishment stimulates all of your senses with cue balls cracking, music rocking and televised sports airing nonstop. Prepare for a throwback experience replete with a cash-only policy.

It’s Mahjical

Encino-based Ronni Rice, aka the Marvelous Mrs. Mahj, delights in sharing the game of American Mahjong (Mahj) with others. Your mind will be enlightened through this tactile and stimulating tile game that incorporates strategy and luck. Playing is great for your mood, too. “If you’re not laughing while you’re playing Mahj, you’re not doing it right,” Ronni says. Originally created in ancient China, Mahj came to the States in the 1920s and now includes a daunting 36-page rulebook. But don’t be intimidated. Ronni patiently takes newbies through the intricacies of the game during the classes she holds in her backyard, while keeping things light and positive.

In the Cards

While many people think of canasta as a card game for grandmothers, today nothing could be further than the truth. Caroline Dann, one of only two registered canasta teachers in California, instructs all ages out of her Encino home—and she has never been busier. The former psychotherapist takes students through the complex rules and strategies of the mind-bending game during a series of four classes. Canasta, which emanates from the rummy family, is most commonly played by four in two partnerships with two decks of cards. It is a great way to engage your mind and creativity while having a good time with friends and family.

Fire It Up

The bright and airy Fire Glass Studio in Canoga Park is the perfect space to learn the art of glass fusion. The studio provides glass art classes for kids and adults at all skill levels, from beginner to accomplished artist.  Beginners can paint objects such as plates, candle holders and pendants, while the instructors handle all the dangerous stuff, like cutting and firing the glass. After a piece is cooked at temperatures of 1,500°, the colors meld together to form beautiful and unique combinations. For those interested in a deeper dive, Fire Glass also offers a professional open-lab program for those who want to create more complex works of art.

Clay Play

Creative Ceramics owner Kristin Davis describes the space as “a collaborative community of artists, young and old, who are inspired to play with clay.” The Sherman Oaks shop offers daily classes for kids and adults, as well as open studio times during which enthusiasts and experienced artists can create hand-formed sculptures or throw bowls and vases on the pottery wheel. “Our philosophy is simple,” Kristin says. “If you can imagine it, you can make it.”