5 places in Billings to get your CREATIVE on

Looking for ways to unleash your inner artist? To perhaps perfect your natural ability to take a good photo, or learn a thing or two about painting? We all have a creative genius lurking within just trying to find its way out, and Billings offers some great resources to help get the creative juices flowing.

1. The Billings Adult and Community Education Center at the Lincoln Center

For a reasonable price ($60-$120 for most courses) you can find all sorts of activities to inspire you in a variety of ways. The, mostly, 6-week courses include everything from business and computer-related classes to storytelling to genealogy. You will find language courses, yoga, sports activities, musical instrument classes, photography, stained glass, pottery, and the list goes on. For a complete guide to what the Education Center offers, dates and costs, check out their website at: www.BillingsAdultCommunityEd.org.

2. The Yellowstone Art Museum (YAM)

The YAM is a great place to be inspired by others, and learn from regional artists. Their open studio on Thursdays (running through July 27) is geared toward offering children ages 5-12 the opportunity to create sculptures, paintings, prints, etc. The family can also get hands-on with the Art in Action: Marking Time exhibit (running through August 6), which puts YOU the viewer in charge of curating! This exciting community-based installation allows the viewer to leave their mark, literally on the walls of the YAM. For a full calendar, including adult classes, go to the calendar section of their website at www.artmuseum.org.

3. Sip-N-Paint

Located at 1911 King Ave, Suite 11. In cahoots with Buffalo Jump Winery, Sip-N-Paint offers a relaxed atmosphere where you can kick back with (or without) friends, have a glass of wine or a cocktail and snacks, and create a masterpiece with professional instruction provided. They also offer family days and special events. For further information and hours, go to www.BuffaloJumpWinery.com.

4. Candi's Art & Party Studio

Located at 2010 Grand Ave, Suite 5, is another fun, relaxing place to gather with friends and/or family to create unique make-and-take art projects for artists of every age, stage, and ability. Create in a variety of mediums: ceramics, mosaics, canvas painting, pallet art, etc. For more information on what they offer, hours and prices, go to: www.artnparty.com.

5. The Great Outdoors

Literally. Billings offers a variety of beautiful places to find your creative genius. If you are in search of a peaceful place to sit back and start that novel or paint that landscape, try one of our picturesque parks, like Pioneer or Riverfront. If a little more solitude and big views are desired, you are likely to find those at ZooMontana's Botanical Garden (depending on the time and day), or perhaps Zimmerman and Swords Parks, atop the rims. Or maybe your place is another beautiful spot closer to home. Head on out there and see what happens. These are just a sampling of the many places you can find inspiration in Billings. For more ideas and places to unleash your creative side, check out www.visitbillings.com. Enjoy!