We are all familiar with the usual plans for a typical Friday night in Miami: nightclubs, bars, dancing, beachy hangs… and though we all love and enjoy those quintessential Miami pastimes they can certainly get a bit dull and predictable after a while. Besides, our city has so much more to offer! If you’re craving a change of pace right here in our city, here’s a handy cheat sheet for the next time you’re stumped about what to do in our city…or want to impress your next date with your creativity and savviness. Here are our picks for alternative Friday nights in Miami:

Learn a Craft or a New Skill

Who says learning can’t be a weekend activity? Miami is chock-full of casual classes and workshops to expand your personal toolkit of skills and hobbies. If you wanna get your hands a little dirty you can try a one-time pottery class at Anhinga Clay Studios, which they offer every Friday and Saturday evening. In the same artsy vein, Miami Art Club offers regular workshops on Friday evenings, such as live model figure drawing and ceramic painting. You can keep track of their upcoming events on their Facebook page.

Photo by Thierry Isambert

If that’s not so much your style and you’d rather up your invitation writing or bullet journaling game, you can take a beginner’s calligraphy workshop at Letterpress Girls. They also host workshops regularly; check their website for updates! If something sportier is more your speed, you could take an introductory archery class through Miami EcoAdventures at one of various Miami Parks–for a small fee they guide you and provide all equipment.

Get Culinary

Miami is one of the greatest cities for foodies, and if you consider yourself to be one it might be an unexpected new thrill to see how things work on the other side of the foodie-ing. Take a cooking class at La Centrale’s gorgeous kitchen and learn to make a scrumptious Italian dish, which–bonus–you get to enjoy at the end of the class. You can also order wine from their wine shop, Bottega de Vino, or directly from their Enoteca bar menu if you want to make it a boozy affair. They offer classes most days of the week. Check out their April and May calendars here and here. If you have a sweeter tooth, however, you might be more into a factory tour and chocolate making workshop at Exquisito Chocolates. Look here for their event schedule and get your cacao on.

Photo by La Centrale

Get Multicultural

Almost anywhere you turn in Miami you can find cultural enclaves where you can immerse yourself almost as authentically as if you’d traveled to their native communities. Little Havana hosts Calle 8 Cultural Fridays every third Friday of the month. This month they’ve organized a photography workshop and meetup in addition to their usual itinerary, which generally includes live music, street dancing, domino and chess games, and local crafts. Also on every third Friday you can experience lively caribbean rhythms at the monthly Sounds of Little Haiti event. The city of Downtown Coral Gables also hosts a Miracle Mile Unplugged musical event every single Friday, featuring jazz and acoustic selections. It goes without saying, once you’re in these neighborhoods you’re bound to discover and enjoy unique shops and delicious food. It’s a win-win-win.

Photo by amgintrealty.com

Get Worldly

If you’d like to keep it classy and sophisticated you can hit up First Fridays at ICA, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and browse some modern art. You can also enjoy other various offerings like film screenings and performances. The best part?–it’s totally free. As for live music options, it doesn’t get much cooler than tribute nights at Selina Brawlers. This month’s event is dedicated to Miles Davis, featuring Mark Small. The gorgeous Frost Science Museum shows awesome Laser Fridays every first and third Friday of the month and they’re not to be missed. The Nite Owl Theatre is another option to satisfy your artistic cravings–especially if your heart has a soft spot for vintage cinema. Nested in the heart of Buena Vista, this quaint cinema shows old school movies on 35mm, and is open only Thursday through Sunday. If you’re more of the bookworm variety, you can find lots of interesting events, talks, and book launches at our beloved Books & Books almost any day of the month.

Photo via Eventbrite

Let Out Some Aggression

Let’s face it–at the end of a week everyone needs to let off some steam. Sometimes a little wine and a massage is enough, but sometimes that just doesn’t cut it. For those particularly difficult weeks, you can unwind at Smash the Rage and take your pick both of weapon of destruction and items to destruct. Another good option is an axe-throwing session at Extreme Axe. They offer several packages and you’re bound to leave relaxed and carefree.

Photo by Extreme Axe Throwing

Cover photo by Javier Sanchez for Miami New Times