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Summer 2013 sports: Free lessons for kids in NYC

Who says you have to go to camp to learn new sports? We've rounded up all kinds of free lessons for kids in NYC to get them moving this summer.

  • Photograph: Julien Neschaer

    Summer 2013 sports: Free lessons for kids in NYC

    Swim lessons

  • Alan Roche

    Summer 2013 sports: Free lessons for kids in NYC

    Golf lessons

     

     

  • Courtesy Hosh Family Yoga

    Summer 2013 sports: Free lessons for kids in NYC

    Yoga sessions

  • Alan Roche

    Summer 2013 sports: Free lessons for kids in NYC

    Tennis lessons

  • Summer 2013 sports: Free lessons for kids in NYC

    Volleyball clinics

  • Summer 2013 sports: Free lessons for kids in NYC

    Kayaking

  • Photograph: Donald Yip

    Biking

Photograph: Julien Neschaer

Summer 2013 sports: Free lessons for kids in NYC

Swim lessons


Summer 2013 is only halfway over, so why not use the rest of it to let your kids take up a new sport? And no, we're not talking about enrolling them in a summer camp, but rather signing up for free lessons for kids. As we discovered when we started hunting for them, there are still plenty of opportunities for kids to try out new sports around the city free of charge. We've put together a list of our favorite free lessons for kids of all ages and skill levels, from swimming and tennis instruction to kayaking and yoga sessions. Take a look—some classes even let parents join in on the fun!

RECOMMENDED: All free things to do with kids this summer

Free lessons for kids

Swim lessons

Toddlers and children can beat the summer heat with free Parks Department swim lessons at pools in parks in all five boroughs. Aquatic specialists help toddlers, joined by guardians, become familiar with the water and learn basic skills, and children ages 6 and up have the chance to work on more advanced swimming techniques. You can still register for the final session (until Aug 6), which runs August 12–23; kids receive spots by lottery. Ages 18 months to 17 years.

Golf lessons

Kids of all skill levels can score free golf lessons in Brooklyn parks by enrolling in the second session of CityParks Golf, which runs from July 29 through August 23; equipment is provided free of charge. After honing their skills, kids get a chance to try out for the CityParks Intermediate Program and Junior Golf Academy at the CityParks Junior Golf Center in Bay Ridge. For more information and to sign up, click here. Ages 6 to 16.

Hosh Family Yoga lesson

Yoga sessions

Families with budding yogis (ages 4 and up) can start their Sunday mornings with sun salutations on the McGolrick Park lawn, courtesy of the drop-in program SummerStarz Yoga, hosted by Hosh Family Yoga. At Summer in the Square: Yoga Storytime in Union Square, kids under the age of six are invited, along with parents, to see stories come alive with puppets, songs and yoga poses. The session is hosted by Karma Kids Yoga on Thursday mornings at 10am, at the Pavilion Building (at 16th St). 

CityParks Tennis lessons at Seventh Ave and 150th St

Tennis lessons

No need to worry about paying expensive fees for access to New York City tennis courts: CityParks Tennis provides free lessons to kids of all skill levels in parks all over the city. Lessons are offered through August 9, and you can register during program hours at each participating park. Ages 6 to 16.

Volleyball clinics

Head to Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Fridays, where kids can serve it up with instructors from Metro Beach Sports. No registration is required for this free, public clinic, which covers the fundamentals of beach volleyball, including serving, spiking, passing and ball control. Ages 7 to 12.

Kayaking on the Hudson

Kayaking

Cool off with a gratis paddle around the Hudson and East rivers—on your own or with a lesson. The Pier 96 location of Downtown Boathouse (at 56th St) offers families free classes on Wednesdays on a first-come, first-served basis; no prior experience is required. (As is the case at all locations, each child must be accompanied by an adult.) Check out their list of offerings online, which ranges from classes taught on shore to ones out on the water. You can also head to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, between Piers 1 and 2, where kids accompanied by an adult guardian can can kayak in the majestic shadow of the park's namesake on Thursdays and Saturdays. No registration is required, but guardians will need to sign a waiver before paddling out. No minimum age but a child must weigh 30 pounds to kayak.

Biking on Governor's Island

Biking lessons

Kids ditch the training wheels when they participate in a free group class run by Bike New York that teaches them to ride a two-wheeler for the first time. Lessons are offered in Brooklyn Bridge Park (at the Pier 5 Uplands) and other select locations on weekends through September. Click here for the latest schedule. Note that many sessions require advance registration. Free. All ages.



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