Online classes for lockdown: courses to try in Northern Ireland - from art to fitness and learning a new language

Keeping yourself entertained during lockdown can be tricky, with many of us spending an increased amount of time at home.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 8:48 am

If you’re all caught up on your favourite Netflix shows, or you’ve exhausted your general knowledge during the family Zoom quiz, there are plenty of fun courses and classes available online to keep you occupied during lockdown.

Whether you’re hoping to get fit or learn a new language, we’ve rounded up some of the best online classes on offer across Northern Ireland.

Get in touch if you run a class or course that you’d like to add to our list.

There are a variety of online classes and courses to try. Photo: Shutterstock

Health, fitness and wellbeing

StrongMumsNI is delivering its specialised postnatal fitness programme online. Registrations are now open for March classes; see the Facebook page for more information.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is providing a series of live streamed fitness classes throughout the week, from Pilates to family fitness, body combat and actively ageing. Visit the council’s website for the full timetable.

Fitness Belfast is offering a new eight-week yoga programme via Zoom. Beginning from March 11, the progressive course is perfect for beginners and allows participants access to class recordings and an exclusive Facebook group alongside weekly classes. For more details, see the Fitness Belfast website.

A beginners Pilates course will commence with LR Health and Fitness on March 9. The six-week Zoom course aims to improve core strength and flexibility; it can also be added to any training programme as part of recovery. More information is available on the LR Health and Fitness Facebook page.

Cookery

Larne chef Pol Shields’ started YouTube Channel The Isolated Chef during lockdown last year. The channel is packed with baking and cookery tutorials, from chilli con carne to Mississippi mud pie. This year, Pol also began hosting live Zoom cookery classes for kids, adults, and charity groups. For more details on the classes, get in touch via The Isolated Chef on Facebook.

Craigavon-based Lockdown Cakes and Bakes feature regular online ‘bake-alongs’; viewers can gather the ingredients and follow the instructions on its Facebook page to create treats such as butterscotch tart and caramel squares.

Art

Belfast artist Dawn Crothers is offering a programme of workshops and classes for March, including arts and crafts for kids and a ‘paint a puffin’ workshop on March 14 – see her website for further details.

Seacourt Print Workshop is hosting an online relief printmaking workshop with Clinton Kirkpatrick. Suitable for beginners, the workshop takes viewers through four steps towards printing their very own Lino print. It costs £35 for the online workshop, or £50 for the workshop and a materials box; visit Seacourt Print Workshop website for more information or to sign up.

Languages

Queen’s University Belfast’s Language Centre has been running its language classes online since last Autumn, with the April term also set to be delivered virtually on Microsoft Teams. Open to members of the public as well as students and staff, the centre offers 14 different languages including Arabic, French, Japanese, and Spanish.

For kids

Belfast’s Holistic Kidz is offering a series of free, fun online wellness classes and a ‘Bundle of Zen’ handbook to help the well-being of children during the pandemic. For more information, visit the Holistic Kidz website or check out @holistic_kidzni on Instagram.

Pets

Robin Bates Dog Training Services is running a number of its courses online, covering all ages of dogs from puppies to ‘golden oldies’. For more information or to book, visit the website.