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After School Specials

November 14, 2014

Winter sports season is in full swing in Newport Beach, but if water polo or wrestling isn’t your child’s thing, you’re likely looking for an alternative after-school activity to enrich their educational experience. Fortunately, the area also offers a variety of extracurricular fun for creative young minds, from arts and crafts workshops to storytelling yoga classes.

Angel Thread Sewing School
This sewing class hosted by Lisa Mayer is offered to ages 7 and up. “Most of our students are ages 8-12; this is when creative souls really develop a love for sewing and are eager to learn,” says Mayer, who saw a need for teaching this useful skill not offered in our education system. “Sewing is a life skill that enhances patience and creativity, while instilling a sense of accomplishment.” Students — Mayer hosts about three to five at a time — learn to sew by both hand and machine, experiencing each stage of a project, from cutting out patterns to the last stitch. Mayer has every child start by sewing a pair of pajama pants, suitable for beginners. “Plus, if they never sew again, at least they’ve made something useful!” she says. After that, kids choose what they want to create. By keeping classes small, Mayer is able to give each student the attention needed to help them realize their own vision. Girls tend to favor dresses, quilts, and handbags, while the boys often make costumes, computer cases, and aprons for their moms. But there are no rules: “I am open to anything if I think they’ll be successful with it — we’re not going to make jeans or jackets or things that are too difficult to sew by hand,” Mayer says. She will hold two holiday workshops, one for sewing sock monkeys (“This pays special attention to hand-stitching”) and one for making Christmas stockings for American Girl dolls (“or anyone on their Christmas list”). Classes for kids are at 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For weekend times and adult classes, visit or email

Timree Paint Studio
Aspiring young artists between ages 6–12 can learn to paint from renowned artist, Timree Gold, at her Newport Beach studio. Following the step-by-step “Timree Technique,” up to 17 students each work on the same subject during the hour-long class, but can employ their own colors and, of course, distinctive style. Under the direction of Timree or one of her talented team members, students first draw their picture, and then paint it. Voted one of the “Top 10 Most Sought-After Art Classes in the U.S.” by Red Tricycle, the workshop explores the application of high-quality acrylic on canvas and covers a variety of “cheerful subjects,” from iconic Newport Beach landmarks to coastal landscapes to seasonal and holiday scenes. “Our girly girls also go crazy for our glitter-paint days,” says Timree. Each student has a masterpiece to take home after class. After-school workshops are 4–5 p.m. on Tuesdays. Visit for information and to sign up.

Mindful Octopus
Little yogis ages 3–10 can find balance and fun in this storytelling yoga program — a mix of yoga, art, and colorful fantasy. “We introduce the practice of yoga and meditation through the art of storytelling,” says founder and certified trainer Samantha Breit, whose mission is to foster health, mindfulness, and creative imagination in our youth. Each class is designed to teach “The Eight Tentacles,” a collection of valuable lessons and exercises for kids to put into practice — story, mindfulness, yoga, breath, meditation, self-realization, karma, and art. After kids finish their downward dogs and fish poses, they engage in an art project that reflects on the story of the day. Using various media and materials, they create art “that represents and expresses what the story means to them personally,” says Breit. Held at 11 a.m. Saturdays at The Resort at Pelican Hill, each class accommodates up to 10 students to allow individual attention. Parent participation is not recommended. Visit for more information and scheduling.

Newport Sea Base Rowing
Sure, rowing might be a sport, but since it’s not one that’s offered through every school, we’ll call it an “after school program.” This mentally, physically, and socially transformative lifetime sport is for people of all ages, body types, and athletic abilities, say the coaches at Newport Sea Base Rowing. “If you can swim, we can put you in a boat.” Programs are available to kids in sixth grade and older, and can foster competitiveness or just plain fun. Coaches undergo rigorous certification, ensuring the best possible safety and training. Through the program, juniors learn the basics of rowing — sweep (one oar) and sculling (two oars) with light, land-based training on rowing machines — in a relaxed and supportive environment. Visit for more information and schedules.

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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