Other than getting coffee from quirky cafes or admiring street art in the CBD laneways, you can also learn how to make sushi or create your own beauty products.
Tucked away in Bennetts Lane off Little Lonsdale St is Laneway Learning, a non-profit community organisation that runs informal and affordable classes designed to teach people something new without breaking the bank.
Laneway Learning runs between 14 and 18 classes every week at the CBD venue and classes range from how to look fabulous in photographs to DIY organic skincare products and to create your own Christmas ornaments.
General manager Maria Yebra said Laneway Learning provided a venue for people to learn in a casual environment and bring local residents together.
“Most of the people who come to the classes are CBD residents and it’s a wonderful opportunity for them to meet each other,” she said.
“Compared to learning through a computer screen, learning face-to-face is much more memorable.”
The name Laneway Learning not only points to the location of the venue, but also reflects the “Melbourne character”.
“Laneway is such a Melburnian thing and we want to do something very Melbourne. We want to promote the idea of being able to learn anywhere,” Ms Yebra said.
Started from the CBD five years ago, Laneway Learning has since expanded to Fitzroy, Brunswick, Preston and is looking to further expand to other cities in Australia and internationally.
It has recently been nominated for a Melbourne Award for its community contribution.
Ms Yebra said, although she did not expect to win the award, it was wonderful to be acknowledged.
“It’s amazing to have that recognition and we have been included in the City of Melbourne’s Christmas campaign,” she said.
Laneway learning employs teachers with diverse expertise and offers them a platform to gain experience and publicity.
“We have a peer-to-peer model where teachers share their knowledge and improve their experience at the same time,” Ms Yebra said.
Laneway Learning is running a series of Christmas classes and more information can be found on melbourne.lanewaylearning.com