Photograph: Courtesy Queens Public Library

The best after-school programs in NYC this year

Searching for after-school programs? These virtual classes, pods and in-person offerings will keep kids busy!

By Time Out editors
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We'll admit: 2020 is a tricky year to navigate. 

Although there is still so much up in the air about the back-to-school season, you can rely on fun after-school programs to keep kids learning after the bell rings. From online music classes and art pods to foreign language tutoring and dance class, we'll help you discover what's being offered virtually and in-person—and what's still TBD. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to get your kids back to school in NYC

Whether you're opting for the blended learning or remote curriculum this fall, we're here for you every step of the way as you tackle this new norm, whether you're concerned about outdoor learning or want to apply for the new free daycare program

After-school programs: Manhattan

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asphaltgreen01.jpg
Photograph: Courtesy of Asphalt Green

Asphalt Green Classes

Things to do Classes and workshops Upper East Side

Update: The 2020 schedule is to be determined.  

Asphalt Green's after-school programming is every young athlete's dream. No matter your gamer's interest—baseball, tennis, flag football, soccer and so on—Asphalt Green specializes in a wide variety of sports for all ages and skill levels. Upper East Side, Battery Park City. Ages 3–13.

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92ndy04.jpg
Photograph: Courtesy 92Y

92nd Street Y

Things to do Upper East Side

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. 

From dancing and swimming to cooking and ceramics, the 92nd Street Y's plethora of after-school activities will keep children engaged long after the bell rings. Let students take a breather in the Clubhouse (which divides kids up by grades), ask for assistance in the Homework Room and of course, participate in their favorite activities alongside peers. Grades K–6.

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Credit: Courtesy of Tinkergarten

Tinkergarten

Things to do Classes and workshops Midtown West

Update: Programs are being held virtually.

Animal lovin’ kids get hands-on time with guinea pigs, turtles, bunnies and bearded dragons while learning science skills like observation, classification and communication. Babes (and caregivers) also hang out with a variety of creatures in Rocks, Smocks & Animals, a mommy-and-me class that combines animal visits with music, storytime and art. If your kid’s more the culinary kind, consider the Farm Foodies Cooking Class, where attendees learn the importance of cooking with fresh ingredients. Need a fun and flexible option? The Afternoon Kids Club can cover you for a couple of hours. Ages 14 mos—8 years.

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golfclubatchelseapiersclasses01.jpg
Photograph: Scott McDermott

Chelsea Piers

Sports and fitness Chelsea

Update: In-person classes are available.

Fun at the Chelsea Piers Field House has no limits, and its after-school programs let kids take advantage of the state-of-the-art facility. Your tykes can sign up for one or more of the many semester-long classes, including rock climbing for the adventurous, dance for the dramatic and soccer and basketball for the team-oriented. On days when the kids aren’t inside the classroom, they can take part in table games, art projects and computer activities. The 2020 program kicks off on Sept 10. Learn all about the new health and safety procedures online. All ages.

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usta
usta
Photograph: Courtesy USTA

USTA

Have a rising US Open champ on your hands? Let the USTA help your athletes hone their tennis skills. View after-school options via USTA Eastern or reach out to Jocelyn Alfalla at jalfalla@eastern.usta.com to bring tennis to your local community. 

Photograph: Courtesy The Children's Acting Academy

Children's Acting Academy

Things to do Classes and workshops Midtown West

Update: Programs are being held virtually. 

Owned by theater actor Mimi Stuart, the Children’s Acting Academy offers original programs in which drama kings and queens can flex their improv muscles, practice monologues and fine-tune their speech and diction. Professional actors give students a taste of what it takes to make it. The fall 2020 semester ($400) will run from Sept 22–Dec 12 and take place on Zoom. Ages 7 and up.

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marlon and tomas.jpg
courtesy Pixel Academy

Pixel Academy

Things to do Cultural centers Cobble Hill

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online kids' classes are currently available.

Here’s proof that STEM can be fun! Your little Einsteins can drop by one of Pixel Academy’s locations for “makerspace” activities (3-D printing, for instance). You can also sign them up for one of Pixel’s longer series , like “Video Production and YouTube” to build development and design expertise. Sessions include homework help and snacks, as well as optional pickup from various schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Ages 7–14.

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artfarminthecity04.jpg
Photograph: Marielle Solan

The Art Farm in the City Classes

Things to do Upper East Side

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online kids' classes are currently available.

Animal-lovin’ kids get hands-on time with guinea pigs, turtles, bunnies and bearded dragons while learning science skills such as classification and communication. Babes (and caregivers) also hang out with a variety of creatures in Rocks, Smocks and Animals, a mommy-and-me class that combines animal visits with music, storytime and art. If your kid’s more intrigued by culinary adventures, consider the Farm Foodies Cooking Class, where students learn the importance of cooking with fresh ingredients. Need a fun and flexible option? The Afternoon Kids Club can cover you for a couple of hours. Ages 14 months–8 years.

 

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jccmanhattan05.jpg
Photograph: Courtesy The JCC in Manhattan

JCC Manhattan

Things to do Classes and workshops Upper West Side

Update: Programs and events are being held virtually.

Enjoy a traditional after-school program experience at the JCC, complete with creative play, homework help and tasty snacks to chow down on. Kids looking for extra activities can also sign up for special course options (at an additional fee), which include tae kwon do and gymnastics for energetic kids, ballet and hip-hop for dancers and even a variety of coding classes that use Kodu Arcade and Minecraft. Minimermaids can swim year-round in the indoor pool during sessions dedicated to teaching appropriate strokes and techniques to all levels of swimmers. Counselors transport kids from school to the JCC and within the building between classes. Ages 4–11.

MoMATH
MoMATH
Photograph: Jessica Lin

Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

Museums Science and technology Flatiron

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined.

Mathematics may get a bad rap in a typical school curriculum, but MoMath approaches the subject in a fresh, exciting way for gifted students. Through weekly sessions that are broken down by experience level, the Expansions program covers the discipline’s weird and wonderful topics—cellular automata, anyone? (Parents must fill out an application for their child to be considered.) Grades 1–12.

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After-school programs: Brooklyn

Photograph: Courtesy The Dynamite Shop

The Dynamite Shop

Things to do Classes and workshops South Brooklyn

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online kids' classes are currently available. 

Once youngsters taste-test the Dynamite Shop’s delicious dishes, they’ll come back hungry for more. The culinary school offers a glimpse into the inner workings of a real kitchen— but kids and teens are the chefs here! Founders and food writers Dana Bowen and Sara Kate Gillingham have devised the Make & Take program, in which young cooks prep dinner for their families each night. Bon appétit! (Prices TBD). Ages 8–13.

Brooklyn Boulders

Sports and fitness Yoga & Pilates Gowanus

Update: The 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online classes are currently available.

In the Brooklyn Boulders Kids Academy, young participants receive basic coaching as they learn to climb, and a 1:5 teacher ratio makes sure everyone gets personalized instruction. Kids will learn how to safely use equipment and scale Brooklyn Boulders' climbing walls, as well as enjoy activities on the ground too! Ages 5 and up.

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2017 BMF Rockwood June
2017 BMF Rockwood June
Courtesy Brooklyn Music Factory

Brooklyn Music Factory

Things to do Camps Gowanus

Update: Online private lessons and group classes are being offered at this time. 

When all is said and done, you're guaranteed to have a rock star on the rise. Brooklyn Music Factory offers an atypical method to music lessons, and your kiddos are going to love every second of it. The venue's program teaches the fundamentals through a game-based approach, so there's a lot to love about classes the jam-worthy offerings that focus on songwriting, keyboard and more. Online private lessons and group classes are being offered at this time. Ages 1 and up. 

Lango Kids
Lango Kids
Photograph: Courtesy Lango Kids

Lango Kids

Update: The 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online kids' classes are currently available. 

Since young brains are particularly adept at learning languages, Lango Kids is the place to go: Weekly lessons ($28/class) in Spanish and Mandarin cover grammar, vocabulary and phrases, ultimately leading to simple conversations. What’s more, the teachers—who are all native speakers—incorporate fun movement exercises and creative projects to reinforce the intellectual stuff. Ages 4–6.

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Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Acting Lab

Brooklyn Acting Lab

Things to do Classes and workshops Park Slope

Update: The 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online kids' classes and outdoor classes are currently available. 

With weekly courses geared toward tots and teens, Brooklyn Acting Lab aims to hone kids’ talent through training that prioritizes collaboration and ensemble- based playmaking. In the Storybook Theatre program, kindergartners engage in games and improv exercises based on that week’s picture book. The classes focus on language and movement in classical, contemporary, physical and experimental theater; then, participants perform their favorite scenes. Also on offer are Musical Theater Ensembles, Improv and Acting on Camera, and the new Magical Musicals. Ages 3–18.

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85.brooklynrobotfoundry001.jpg
Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Robot Foundry

Brooklyn Robot Foundry

Things to do Gowanus

Update: Programs are being held virtually.

Techies are introduced to basic engineering concepts as they build their own robot. 2020's offerings include S.T.E.A.M. RoboLab, an enrichment class for those ages 6–12, Robot Coders for those 9–13, among others. Explore all of the options online. Ages 2–13.

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tisci class 1.jpg
Photograph: courtesy The Tiny Scientist

The Tiny Scientist

Things to do South Brooklyn

Update: Online and in-person classes are available.

Helping New Yorkers juggle their unpredictable schedules, The Tiny Scientist has decided to offer pod science programs throughout the day: morning, early afternoon and after-school. Families are able to register for a minimum of three sessions per week over the two-week registration period. Pods will run at different times according to location. Each offering features hands-on science projects, nonfiction read-alouds, free play with STEM toys and more. Virtual classes are also available. Ages 5 and up.

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bcm01.jpg
Photograph: David Rosenzweig

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Museums Childhood Crown Heights

Update: The BCM + You program is currently being held virtually.

In this interdisciplinary program at P.S. 189, educators teach your curious scholars about the arts, culture and STEM subjects using the museum’s 30,000-plus objects. Enrollment operates on a lottery system. Ages 5–11.

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Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Game Lab

Brooklyn Game Lab

Things to do Classes and workshops South Brooklyn

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online kids' classes are currently available.

Brooklyn Game Lab’s after-school programs engage gamers of all interests by offering a choice of four different labs. Participants will learn the methods and mechanics of modern board and card games—no video games! Kids can also try their hand at recently released innovative games like Photosynthesis and Hive. For the adventurous, Quest Lab (ages 9 and up) combines roleplaying games and live-action role play. Note that the venue has several different locations. Ages 6–14.

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Photograph: Aviator Sports and Events Center

Aviator Sports and Recreation

Sports and fitness Brooklyn

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined.

Aviator Sports is a bona fide smorgasbord of pastimes for little ones: The 175,000-square-foot facility boasts ice skating, gymnastics, rock climbing, sports, dance, arts and crafts, and other fun activities— but only after they complete their homework, of course. (Aviator is a stickler for good study habits.) Ages 5–11.

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After-school programs: Queens

The Cliffs at LIC
The Cliffs at LIC
Photograph: Courtesy Cliffs at LIC

The Cliffs at LIC

Sports and fitness Climbing Long Island City

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined.

After a day of navigating the academic obstacle course at school, your favorite achievers—whether beginner, intermediate or advanced—can reach new heights on a rock-climbing wall. The Cliffs’ offerings allow developing bodies to build muscle strength and agility. For example, introductory sessions teach climbers how to tie safety knots and belay (that is, controlling the rope while they’re suspended in midair) as well as other basics, mastering them with hands-on games and activities. More experienced teens can try lead climbing and other advanced techniques. Ages 6–18.

Queens Public Library
Queens Public Library
Photograph: Courtesy Queens Public Library

Queens Library Stacks

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online kids' classes are currently available.

Library branches across the borough are offering a free after-school academic enrichment program. The first part of each session is reserved for homework help, and the remaining time is dedicated to other educational activities or unstructured fun. Led by a librarian and a team leader, the curriculum concentrates on STEM subjects intermingled with literacy-based exercises. Plus, students learn how to use the library’s resources to complete projects they're assigned throughout the week. Queens Public Library, various locations. Ages 6–14.

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gymnastics
gymnastics
Photograph: Shutterstock

LIC Kids Gymnastics

Things to do Play spaces Long Island City

Update: In-person classes are available.

Your kids are likely to be hunched and antsy after sitting at a desk all day. Help them spring into action with flips, jumps and balancing challenges! Expert coaches teach the fundamentals of Olympic events for both women (vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor) and men (floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar). As the children grow stronger and more flexible, they’ll gain confidence and learn new moves that they can show off on the playground. The fall 2020 season will run from Sept 14–Dec 19. Some classes will run while others are on pause. Call LIC Kids directly for sign-ups and pricing. Ages 4.5–12.

Okabaloo
Okabaloo
Photograph: Courtesy Okabaloo

Okabaloo: FunArtFaktory

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online kids' classes are currently available. 

In creative space Okabaloo’s recreational program FunArtFaktory, professional artists and counselors get your kids immersed in the visual arts, the performing arts, music, musical theater, creative movement, STEM exercises and Spanish, to name just a few. Ages 6–11.

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youngchefsacademy01.jpg
Photograph: Courtesy Chris Chesleigh

Young Chefs Academy Classes

Things to do Classes and workshops Forest Hills

Update: Programs are being held virtually.

Help future chefs and tastemakers perfect new skills, from proper food preparation and kitchen safety to cooking, baking techniques and plating presentation. Some people use the program as a drop-in class, while members take the classes weekly and can track their growth as amateur cooks with monthly knowledge assessments, all while working toward a diploma and a MasterChef jacket. The academy may be just what you need for a picky little eater; some studies have shown that they’re more likely to try meals they prepared themselves. Bon appétit! Ages 4–18.

ballet slippers
ballet slippers
Photograph: Courtesy Innviertlerin + Pixabay

Long Island City School of Ballet

Things to do Schools and universities Long Island City

Update: Programs are being held virtually. 

Find the leotard and start lacing those ballet shoes. Several levels of ballet (including parent-child classes) allow young twinkle toes to build their skills from the ground up. But that's not the only offering at the Long Island City School of Ballet. Atypical options include SportsDance for Boys, a program that uses athletic movements to teach the fundamentals, and Imagine Dance, where a different story serves as inspiration for the routines in each class. Classic offerings such as hip-hop, tap and jazz are also on the menu, should your dance machine want to check out a variety of genres. The fall 2020 season will run from Sept 14–Dec 19. Ages 2 and up.

After-school programs: Bronx

renaissance youth art center
renaissance youth art center
Photograph: Courtesy Renaissance Youth Center

Renaissance Youth Center

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined.

With a presence in its South Bronx community since the early 2000s, Renaissance Youth Center has a well-rounded, free five days-a-week program that offers homework help and specialized “majors,” including robotics, video editing, architecture design and zoology. For example, in architecture design, kids use online software to build 2-D and 3-D models of cities. In zoology, future veterinarians look after iguanas, geckos, snakes, turtles and other creatures in a state-of-the-art facility. One day a week is dedicated to practicing instruments and singing. Grades K–5.

school supplies
school supplies
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

Bronx House

The nonprofit community center’s broad academic-enrichment program ($3,100/year) aims to boost kids’ social and literacy skills while encouraging a healthy lifestyle and service to the Bronx nabe. Subjects and activities run the gamut, from homework help and STEM exercises to crafts, swimming and dance. Plus,the center’s swim academy gives lessons to all ages in its heated indoor pool. Grades K–7.

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little girl swimming in pool
little girl swimming in pool
Shutterstock/YanLev

Riverdale Y

Things to do Event spaces The Bronx

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online classes are currently available.
 
Kid’s Space starts off with a healthy kosher snack, followed by homework help and, of course, the fun stuff: swimming, cooking, martial arts, musical theater and plenty of other pursuits. Make sure to call the Y to see whether transportation is provided from your child’s school. Grades K–6.

Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education

Things to do Schools and universities The Bronx

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. 

If you’ve ever balked at the high cost of childcare or after-school activities, you won’t believe that this structured, all-inclusive program is completely free for Bronx kids. After the school day, local students head to the center after class and dive in to a variety of subjects such as arts, tech, engineering and even college help for those entering the SAT and application process. Ages 5–15.

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Bronx River Art Center

Things to do Schools and universities The Bronx

Update: Programs are being held virtually. 

Young people who want develop serious artistic abilities will find their heaven at Bronx River Art Center, which offers courses on painting, drawing, ceramics, digital photography and printmaking—all taught by seasoned artists. In this class (free, but only 15 spots are available), pros give teens a behind-the-scenes peek at what it’s like to have a career in the visual arts and design industries. In December and June, the students’ work is showcased for all to see in the center’s gallery. Teen Project Studio Program is free but requires an application for admission. Ages 9–18. 

edible academy nybg
edible academy nybg
Photograph: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

New York Botanical Garden Edible Academy

Things to do Camps The Bronx

Update: Registered and drop-in events are currently suspended.

At the newly renovated Edible Academy, the Dig! Plant! Grow! program’s themes change with the seasons. In Pollinator Pals, your special urban farmer studies how insects interact with the life cycles of flowers. The Three Sisters course investigates the close relationship between corn, beans and squash; for example, kids grind corn and make corn-husk dolls while learning about the crop’s role in Lenape history. In the Goodnight Garden class, little botanists find out how to prepare the academy’s green space for winter. Ages 2 and up.

After-school programs: Staten Island

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siskatingpav.jpg
Photograph: Staten Island Skating Pavilion

Staten Island Skating Pavilion

Things to do Ice skating Staten Island

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. 

Though the trees may still have their green leaves, this large rink maintains its year-round frosty temperatures for skating fun. Aspiring figure skaters and hockey players can all learn the basics of edge work, stroking and turns. Courses are offered every day of the week for a variety of interests and skill levels, and public and freestyle sessions are available for little Mirai Nagasus who want to spend some afternoons shredding the ice without instruction. Ages 4 and up.

girl playing violin
girl playing violin
Shutterstock

Castellano’s House of Music

Update: In-person classes are available. 

Instrumentalists who want to get into the groove can get one-on- one lessons at this family-owned and -operated shop that boasts a roster of musicians who have worked with bands and performers you may know, including Ingrid Michaelson and members of Guns N’ Roses. Kids can have their pick of woodwinds, piano, guitar, brass, drums and other instruments. Both half-hour and hour sessions are available. Ages 7 and up.

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MakerSpace NYC

Update: Skill-based classes are being scheduled as private lessons. Call ahead for any questions.

For an exciting craft hour, MakerSpace’s State Island after-school program gives your moppet an understanding of the arts, engineering or design through hands-on experience in the studio. They’ll tackle individual and group projects in electronics, ceramics, construction and other neat areas. Ages 5–11.

baking
baking
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

Kidz R Cookin'

Update: The fall 2020 schedule is to be determined. Online kids' classes are currently available.

Founders Richard and Karen Steinmetz first tested their kitchen classes on their daughters in 2007, but now all young chefs can sharpen their skills while learning about creative cooking and everyday nutrition ($40/class). The entrée-and-dessert menu changes every week—past dishes have included scallops in a sauce of sage and brown butter (plus cookies) and grilled hanger steak with fried rice and veggies (plus cinnamon rolls). The classes are sensitive to food allergies and religious restrictions, and kids who enroll for at least eight weeks receive an apron embroidered with their name. Ages 5-19.

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ballet slippers
ballet slippers
Photograph: Courtesy Pixabay + Jabore

Move Me Dance Studio

Dancers can master basic moves, while more advanced movers can opt for competitive classes that concentrate on conditioning and fine- tuning techniques. No matter what style your kids prefer—tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary—professionals with a passion for the art form are on hand to guide them. Ages 4 and up.

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