Alice Cooper once sang, "School's Out Forever." Sure, the kids may be back in school, but it's also the time when curious New Yorkers pursue a higher type of learning in food, jazz, and fitness. And they are not going to school: They are going to The Shops at Columbus Circle, where the "teachers" have names like Williams-Sonoma, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Equinox. Think about it. Only at The Shops at Columbus Circle can you shop, eat, dine, live, work, play, and learn. There’s no other place like it in New York City — or on the planet, for that matter — that will invigorate all of your senses.
Here's a cheat sheet that will show where you can learn to cook, listen to music, and get fit:
Take Cooking Lessons
Foodies will be delighted by the many cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. During the Cookbook Club class (September 21), you can learn to make braised chicken and brussels sprouts, along with other recipes from Martha Stewart's Vegetables. (And you’ll get a copy of the cookbook.) With the free Knife Skills class (September 25), you’ll be slicing and dicing like a pro in no time.
Learn About Jazz
Whether you’re a music lover or just want to learn more about the melodic tunes of jazz, you won’t want to miss Swing University at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The faculty will illuminate the history of this American art form and teach you how to be a better listener. This fall’s schedule of six- to eight-week courses includes topics like Louis Armstrong (an overview of the jazz genius), Jazz 101 (a primer on classic sounds), and Ellington, Basie, and Beyond: Big Band Jazz (an introduction to the big-band innovators).
Looking to get fit? Equinox is the place. This season, a host of new group fitness classes will whip you into shape. The Cut is a cardio-forward boxing workout that incorporates high-velocity music, aiming for a knockout body. Barre + Band will help you achieve a dancer’s physique — strong, long, and sleek. This ballet-inspired class uses resistance bands to challenge every muscle.
Run and Explore
If you want to explore the city while you exercise, New York Running Company offers easy 30- to 45-minute group runs every week. These 10- to 12-mile jogs take you to off-the-beaten-path locations like Roosevelt Island. For something even more intense, sign up for a training program that will get you ready for a half marathon or marathon — you’ll be a winner in no time.