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The best after school programs in NYC

Sign your kids up for these stellar, engaging after school programs in NYC. Your kids, tweens and teens will love them!

Photograph: Courtesy Asphalt Green

Give kids something other than homework to look forward to with these after school programs and classes! These NYC-based picks will keep city kids busy with fun things like science experiments, improv theater, karate, gymnastics and even new languages (with some, you'll even find cooking classes and yoga for kids opportunities too)!

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

These great after school picks are perfect for energetic, eager kids of all ages.

The best after school programs in NYC

1

92nd Street Y Classes

The 92nd Street Y holds classes for every discipline under the sun, and the after-school offerings at their top-notch facilities are always family favorites. Young U.S. Open hopefuls practice their swing and footwork in Peewee Tennis classes (ages 4–7), hosted by CityView Racquet Club, while budding yogis work on breathing techniques and try downward dog in Bean Yoga (ages 5–11). Ballers can hit the basketball court for coaching sessions in the 92Y Dribblers program (ages 4–6), and high-energy kids jump and climb around in the Studio in the Sky during Parkour classes (ages 5–8). All ages.

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Upper East Side
2

Chelsea Piers

Recommended

When it comes to after-school sports, few facilities in the city rival Chelsea Piers’ extensive roster of youth classes. You name it, it has: soccer, basketball, baseball, football, parkour, gymnastics, tennis, ice hockey and rock climbing, as well as competitive teams and leagues to put their skills to use. Best of all, its CP After 3 program offers local school pickup for kids in kindergarten through third grade. Once they arrive, kids get a healthy snack and help with their homework before jumping into the Field House sports class of their choice. During downtime, table games, art and computer skill development will keep your kid happy and busy until it’s time to head home for dinner. Hudson River Park, Pier 62, Eleventh Ave at W 22nd St (212-336-6666, chelseapiers.com). Fall session Sept 10–Jan 22; various classes and prices; check website for details. Ages 5–16.

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Chelsea
3

Brooklyn Boulders

In the Brooklyn Boulders Kids Academy, kids build strength, concentration and problem-solving skills while stretching, bouldering, roped climbing and slacklining—with a 1:5 belayer to climber ratio, kids are always well-supervised and can pretty much climb to their heart’s content. For older climbers, there's a Teen Academy for kids 12 and up. Ages 4 and up.

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Gowanus
4

LIC Kids

Tots who love to tumble can improve their balance and coordination in this Long Island City training center’s after-school program. Little gym stars settle in for snack time, plus one hour of homework with assistance from onsite tutors. Next, they’ll break into groups based on skill level and hit the mats for a two-hour learning program, where certified USAG coaches lead them through exercises on vault, balance beam, bars, floor, pommel horse and parallel bars. Parents can choose between one and five days per week, but must commit to the full semester. Once-per-week, 45-minute classes are also available Monday through Saturday during the semester. Ages 4 and up.

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Long Island City
5

Streb Lab for Action Mechanics (SLAM)

With the concrete jungle as their playground, city kids are always moving at a fast pace. Choreographer Elizabeth Streb, founder of STREB Extreme Action Company, channels their endless energy in her KidAction classes, combining aspects of dance athletics, boxing, rodeo, the circus and Hollywood stunt work. Divided into appropriate age groups, kids explore impact, velocity and gravity through exercise, acrobatics and aerial arts. Little daredevils (ages 5 and up) can take on the trapeze in KidFly or even bounce and flip in Trampoline or Parkour sessions. Ages 18 months–16.

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Williamsburg
6

Asphalt Green Classes

With an adjustable floor that switches from shallow to deep, Asphalt Green arguably has the best pool in Manhattan. The sports hub's comprehensive class offerings also include pilates, yoga, spinning and martial arts. Bring sporty kids who love hoops to Battery Park City to hit the court with Asphalt Green’s Basketball Academy. With classes capped at about eight students, players get plenty of one-on-one instruction from coaches. Tiny tots learn game in Little Shooters (ages 3–4) and Pee Wee (ages 5–6) classes, and then move up to Middies (ages 7–8) and Sharp Shooters (ages 9–10) to try out defensive strategies and face off in five-on-five games. For a bit of friendly competition, kids can join the rec league where age groups are divided into four teams for specialized weekly practice with an assigned coach, followed by formal game play. Locations in Battery Park City and on the Upper East Side. Ages 3–13.

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Upper East Side
7

Super Soccer Stars Drop-In Classes

This organization’s stellar after-school soccer classes are not only offered at its home location, but also at approximately 100 locations in greater New York City (often at local schools). Little kickers can start super young (ages 2 through 4) to learn the basics in a noncompetitive way. Grade school-aged kids kick it up a notch with exercises that focus on dribbling, passing, shooting, defending and shielding and end with a friendly scrimmage to get ’em accustomed to the game structure. Older, more experienced players can move on to the Premiere and Advanced Development sessions and teams, where they deepen their understanding of team positioning and strategy, passing and ball control. Various locations (212-877-7171, supersoccerstars.com). Fall session Sept 8–Nov 25 (outdoor) or Dec 23 (indoor); $250 and up depending on class. Ages 2–16

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8

Staten Island Skating Pavilion

This spacious indoor rink operates even when all the ice has melted at Rockefeller Plaza. Kids can strap on their skates year-round, beginners learning basic skills like edge work, stroking and turns and advanced skaters practicing graceful spins, jumps and more fancy footwork. Skate School students dress in costume and perform choreographed routines that they’ve practiced throughout the year during the annual Skating Spectacular in June. Young NHL hopefuls can opt for the center’s USA Hockey Learn to Skate program, which helps them find their balance through athletic drills. Ages 5 and up.

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Staten Island
9

Uptown Sports Complex Classes

Sports team practices are a great way to keep kiddos active outside of the classroom, but if they have a hard time choosing one activity, let them sample several at this high-energy after school program. Gymnastics, baseball, soccer, dance and self-defense are all on offer at this massive sports facility, with guidance from trained instructors to help kids improve their physical fitness. Pick-up from area schools is included, plus they’ll fuel up with a snack get help with homework before heading home. Ages 5–12.

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The Bronx
10

AmeriKick Karate

The martial arts are fantastic for introducing kids to competition, in a respectful and nurturing environment. They can get started as young as toddlers at AmeriKick’s two Staten Island facilities, honing their listening skills and working together with other students in the Tiny Tigers program (ages 3–4). Self-discipline and focus become more important once kids become Little Dragons (ages 5–7) and practice coordinated grabs and kicks. They’ll work their way into the Karate Kids program (ages 7–13), which incorporates elements of Tae Kwon Do, boxing, kung fu and judo, and focuses on character development. Students are given assignments to ensure they’re being kind and generous outside of class. Various locations in Staten Island. Ages 3–13.

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Staten Island
11

New York Kids Club, Upper West Side

Supplement your little pupil’s school day with a three-hour block of activities in Afternoon Club at locations across the city. NY Kids Club makes use of its state-of-the-art play space to let kids run off some steam by playing sports, dancing, trying karate or honing their gymnastics skills. More low-key fun includes art-making, chess and cooking, plus there will be time to get a head start on homework with help from staff. A big bonus for busy parents: There’s complimentary pick-up from local schools! 

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Upper West Side
12

Court 16

This private kids’ tennis club providesoffers group and individualized instruction on perfectly kid-size (36-by-18-foot) courts! Preschoolers (called Freshmen) learn basic coordination, balance and visual-motor skills through exercises like catching drills, free form running and jumping. Sophomores (ages 5–6) learn basic skills, like the forehand and backhand swings,. Juniors (ages 7–8) further develop their technique a and discover the spirit and fun of competition. And seniors (ages 9–11nine through 11 years old) use all they’ve learned for more intense, strategy-driven play that, learning to control the point and builds confidence for full-size court matches. As an added convenience, Court 16 offers after-school pickup at certain local schools if five kids sign up. Ages 3–11. 

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Gowanus
13
Homage

Homage

Is your kid determined to master a half cab? (That’s a skateboard move, FYI!) Hook them up with group lessons at their own indoor skate park. Youngsters learn basic skills and safety, like how to stop or fall without injuring themselves, before they graduate to more advanced tricks. Homage breaks for snack time (not included), then gives kids free skate time to practice or do homework. Local working parents think the after-school pickup option is totally rad—Homage is open every day public school is in session until 6pm and offers camp options when school is closed. 615 Degraw St, Brooklyn (718-596-8151, homageskateboardacademy.com). Sept 9–June 28; enroll at any time; $45 and up/day. Ages 7 and up.

14

Yogi Beans

Kids aged 3–10 can get flexible with class offerings at three different locations (and one in Central Park!) that employs age-appropriate techniques, games and props to teach young yogis the benefits of a regular practice. In Me & My Bean program, caregivers and kids bend, stretch and bond; Central Park Yoga allows moms to tone with a cardio-Yoga regime while their offspring (Mini Beans) learn the basics nearby. School-age kids, tweens and teens can also refine their skills in classes that put more emphasis on the correct alignment for poses. Ages 6 weeks to 16 years.

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Lenox Hill
15

West Side YMCA

If your child wants to learn how to swim—or learn how to swim better—you’d be hard-pressed to find more options than those offered at the Y. Kids are grouped by age and capability, and certified instructors teach classes for ages that range from super young to teen beginners. The courses cover personal safety and stroke techniques like paddling, treading and floating so your guppies can hold their own on your next beach vacation. If your offspring prefer dry land, the Y also offers dance, basketball, tae kwon do and football. Various classes and locations (212-630-9600, ymcanyc.org). Visit website for class descriptions and detailed price information; registration staggered throughout the year. Ages 5–18.

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Upper West Side
16

LIC Kids

Tots who love to tumble can improve their balance and coordination in this Long Island City training center’s after-school program. Little gym stars settle in for snack time, plus one hour of homework with assistance from onsite tutors. Next, they’ll break into groups based on skill level and hit the mats for a two-hour learning program, where certified USAG coaches lead them through exercises on vault, balance beam, bars, floor, pommel horse and parallel bars. Parents can choose between one and five days per week, but must commit to the full semester. Once-per-week, 45-minute classes are also available Monday through Saturday during the semester. Ages 4 and up.

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Long Island City

Children's Museum of the Arts

This kid-centric art museum not only offers its signature drop-in art-making programs but also a series of skill-building after-school classes for various age groups. Teaching Artists lead the classes to help crafty kids refine their techniques, find their own artistic style and explore their imaginations. The museum’s imaginative and rigorous offerings include typical art classes like painting and sculpture but also Experimental Animation, Filmmaking and Refining Techniques: Graphic Novel for comic book fans. Before class begins, youngsters can join in on supervised play with other students. School pick-up is available from select West Village and Tribeca schools for an additional fee. A limited number of scholarships available. Ages 5–15.

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Downtown

DreamYard Art Center

Kids from 42 Bronx public schools flock to DreamYard for free programs that help them discover their talents and passions through the arts. Youngsters (ages 6–10) gain confidence through a rotating series of theater, visual arts, dance and digital arts classes with their peers in the MINIs program. Middle school kids (ages 11–13) and high school students (ages 14–18) get to try exciting opportunities like arts activism, poetry and hip-hop, while working with professional artists. The center has the ability to connect driven kids with internships and mentorships in the community, as well as to prep students for the transition to college. Ages 6–18.

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The Bronx

Bronx River Art Center

Since it’s original building closed back in 2010, BRAC has held art classes in various locations throughout the community, but soon the non-profit will reopen its doors after $10 million in renovations. Young artists will be able to channel their creativity into a variety of classes, including fine arts like drawing, painting and ceramics as well as digital arts like animation, game design and 3D modeling. The fall programs will take advantage of new classrooms, studio spaces, a computer lab, and a ground floor art gallery where works by emerging and established artists in the community will be on display. Older kids can apply to the free Teen Project Studio where they’ll focus in on their craft during a 10-week session. Ages 7 and up.

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The Bronx

Art Lab

At this school of fine and applied arts, talented artists from throughout the city mentor young creatives and help them bring their visions to life. Classes divided by age group tackle various mediums and techniques, providing art instruction as well as inspiration via exhibitions in the onsite gallery space. Children’s Art (ages 5–7) offers an intro to drawing, painting, sculpture and more basic art-making skills. Young People’s Art (ages 8–12) focuses in on more specific passions, including comic book art (manga and anime), sewing and fashion. Teen Art courses (ages 13–18) assist students interested in art colleges with building a portfolios that will stand up to other applicants at places like Pratt, F.I.T. and more. Ages 5 and up.

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Staten Island

Textile Arts Center

With locations in Greenwich Village and Park Slope, crafty kids in Manhattan and Brooklyn can experiment with new art forms. On a typical day, budding artists have time for homework and a snack (included) before beginning class at 4pm. They experiment with textiles through eight-week workshop cycles in Weaving, Printing & Dyeing, Felting & Soft Sculpture and Sewing & Fashion, led by professional artisans. Sign up for one cycle or continuous cycles through the year. 505 Carroll St, Brooklyn (718-369-0222) · 26 W 8th St (646-225-6554, textileartscenter.com/afterschool). Ages 5–14.

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Gowanus

SMB Studio Arts

Artsy projects go far beyond tempura paintings at this Staten Island studio. Creativity is merely a jumping-off point that leads kids to focused courses like Architecture & Design (ages 8–12) where students absorb concepts like perspective points and 3D drawing; or Comic Art (ages 6–12) which involves designing characters as well as elements of storytelling. Kids can channel their ideas into a plethora of other classes as well, including drawing, painting, fashion boutique, animation, human anatomy, digital design and photography, which each introduce young creators to new and exciting materials and tools. Driven artists even get a chance to show off their full range by putting together impressive portfolios made up of works using graphite, pastels, watercolors, acrylic and more. Ages 4–19.

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Staten Island

Mischievous Goddess

Little girls will flip for the Mindful Crafts classes put together by Mischievous Goddess founder, Lucie McQuilkan. The group dives into artsy activities with a spiritual twist, creating projects like glittery mobiles, fairy houses and goddess eyes using paint, beads and natural materials like sticks, shells and fresh flowers. Good vibes flow throughout the sessions, which incorporate tales of mermaids and unicorns, plus tranquil music and time outdoors (weather permitting). Little ones (ages 3–7) who prefer to move around more can get in on Goddess Dancing classes at other locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Ages 4–6.

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Prospect Heights
Automatic Studios

Automatic Studios

Kids get a behind-the-scenes look at movie magic through this Brooklyn studio’s Movie Arts after-school program. Experts coach small groups of young cinephiles (12 students max) aged 8-10 and 11-13 through the entire movie-making process, from scriptwriting to production to editing. The program culminates in a final screening of their short film. Ages 8-13.

French Institute Alliance Française Classes

If you’re after the language de l’amour, look no further than FIAF—a full-immersion school that ties its exploration of the language to French art and culture. Highlights include A Petits Pas, designed especially for toddlers. Some classes held at International School of Brooklyn (477 Court St between Nelson and Luquer, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn). Ages 1 and up.

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Upper East Side

The Craft Studio

This UES arts-and-crafts emporium offers kids engaging classes in painting, sculpting, design and other crafting skills. Wednesday’s Foodie Art (ages 6 and up) teaches kids how to turn edible objects into objects of art. Construction & Science sessions lets kids build volcanoes, twisters and terrariums (ages 6 and up, Mondays 3:00–4:00pm) while Rockin’ Craft Class invites youngsters to design T-shirts and make holiday centerpieces (ages 3.5–9, Thursdays 3:30–4:30pm). Ages 2 to 9.

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Upper East Side
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Downtown Dance Factory

There are a wide variety of offerings at this Tribeca studio, including a popular boys' hip-hop program (there’s a Street Hip Hop class that includes girls too!) that's drawn plenty of young men in the few years since it launched. From ballet and tap to jazz and lyrical, range from Tututots for teeny ballerinas to invitation-only technique sessions for experienced students, this spot has something for anyone you likes to boogie. Ages 2 and up.

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Tribeca

Child's Play NY

This theater program invites little ones to immerse themselves in fantasy scenarios as they sing, dance and act, using props and costumes to bring their characters to life. The tiniest tots can begins to explore theater with Mom or Dad through puppets, music and games in A World of Play (18 month–21/2 years). In Imagine That!, preschoolers (ages 2–3) will work with their caregivers to reinterpret familiar stories and make up their own wacky scenarios. In the Adventure Series, little ones (ages 4–6) focus on rotating themes including Magical Travels, Gods & Heroes, Ocean Adventures, Fairy Tale Theater and Animals Adventures. Mini Musical classes allow kids (ages 4–6) to stage some of their favorite works of literature, including this season’s titles Peter Pan, Jungle Book and Once Upon a Time. As part of the Shakespeare Players, students (age 7–9) will rehearse and perform an adaptation of The Tempest. The Shakespeare Ensemble (ages 10-13) will put on their version of Antigone. Ages 2 to 14.

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Mark Morris Dance Center

Tiny dancers and musicians learn to bust a move 
from age three through their teens with the help of teaching artists at Mark Morris. Classes run the gamut from ballet to hip-hop to Afro-Haitian, plus there’s Special Kids Dance for youngsters with special needs. Those with a serious musical bent opt for Morris’s music performance program, and learn basic music theory and song interpretation through popular and classical music. Fall programs will culminate 
in a performance of holiday classics in and around BAM. Ages 4–17.

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Fort Greene

Applause New York

If you’ve got an aspiring entertainer on your hands, the occasional school play probably isn’t enough of an outlet for their creative energy. Kids who dream of going into the performing arts will dig the immersive courses covering types of dance like hip-hop and Broadway, plus musical theater, acting scene study and on-camera acting. Kids can work on individual skills as well as collaborate as a team to create dance numbers, musical productions, complex characters and original films over the course of the semester. All classes will culminate in a showcase performance in front of real-deal agents and casting directors searching for young talent! Ages 4–18. 

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The School at Steps

Kids of all skill levels are welcome to put on their dancing shoes and join in at this studio. Beginners learn dancing basics like coordination and rhythm in the Young Dancers Program (ages 2–5) to prepare for ballet and tap classes, while kids in the Technique Program (ages 6–18) develop form and try other genres like jazz, theater dance, hip-hop and modern as well. Pilates and dance history are also in the mix, and serious dancers may even ascend to the Pre-Professional Program (ages 7–18). Rehearsals are fun, yet focused, with a required dress code for most classes, but the dancers’ dedication pays off—past students have gone on to perform in prestigious shows, including Broadway’s Hamilton. Ages 18 months–18.

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Upper West Side

Brooklyn Arts Exchange

Expressive kiddos get expert instruction in various forms of dance and theater at BAX’s studios in Park Slope. Students learn about form and rhythm in focused dance classes organized by age, delving into the techniques of modern dance, ballet and hip-hop—they’ll even try out trendy moves like the Running Man and the Nae Nae. Aspiring actors work on their vocals, explore improvisation and hone more theater skills in drama classes. Exercises, storytelling and creative games build confidence and an understanding of the art before the term culminates with a showcase of the students’ original works in the BAX Theater. Ages 5–12. 

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Park Slope

Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education

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 (there’s complimentary pick-up) to dive in to their first class of choice and eat a quick snack. They have their pick of courses in music, theater, dance, fashion, arts and more, which they focus on for 45 minutes, before moving on to a second discipline. As they return throughout the year, they’ll work on final projects to present during a showcase at the end of each semester. Ages 5–15.

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The Bronx

Kids 'N Comedy

Guided by real live comedians and writers, wee wiseacres build on their comedic chops by studying their favorite comics on video, learning how to write and workshop material, and testing it out on their peers — culminating in a performance of their very own set for friends and family on the Gotham Comedy Club stage. Ages 10 and up.

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Chelsea

Long Island City School of Ballet

Several levels of ballet (including a parent-child class for two-year-olds) allow young twinkle toes to learn and build their skills from the ground up and eventually audition for Ballet for Young Audiences' Nutcracker. Off-the-beaten-path options include SportsDance, a program that uses athletic movements like jumping and bending to teach the fundamentals, and Imagine Dance, where a different story serves as inspiration for the dances in each class. Hip-hop, tap and jazz are also on the menu. Ages 2 and up.

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Long Island City

Treasure Trunk Theatre

If you have a budding performer around the house, these playful youth theater programs are great for harnessing their creative energy. Youngsters can shake off stage fright in 45- to 55-minute classes like Imagination Adventure, Story Drama or Musical Adventure, where they’ll use props and costumes and play characters from their favorite stories and musicals. For more in-depth instruction, try Put on a Play (ages 4–6) or Musical Treasures (ages 5–7) where kids learn choreographed dance numbers and perform scripted mini-plays for friends and family. Various locations. Ages 2 ½–7.

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Brooklyn Heights
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Brooklyn Music Factory

Brooklyn Music Factory

Got a young rocker on your hands? Brooklyn Music Factory lets kids develop their skills in private lessons (voice, drums, guitar, bass or keys). They learn to play instruments and jam with kid-made bands in their preferred genre, grouped by age and skill. Offerings include Big City Country, Rock, Girl Pop, and Write and Record (kids pen original tunes and produce a recorded track!). 295 Douglass St, Brooklyn (877-767-3560, brooklynmusicfactory.com). Ages 4–16.

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

The comprehensive curriculum at this music school founded in 1897 and housed in a five-story Victorian Gothic mansion ranges from House Party classes for toddlers (featuring the music of kid-crooner Dan Zanes) to advanced Rock Band Workshops (ages 8–12) an on-trend Youth Pop and Broadway Chorus (ages 5–11) and chamber ensembles for teens. Ages 1 and up.

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Park Slope
Laurie Berkner's The Music in Me

Laurie Berkner's The Music in Me

The Pied Piper of little music lovers, Laurie Berkner’s parent/child music class will be featured at three NYC locations this fall. Taught by Berkner-trained instructors, kiddos discover the wonder of music by singing, expressing their feelings and bopping along to catchy favorites like “Me and My Energy” and “We Are The Dinosaurs.” Ages 6 mos to 3. Themusicinme.com. Third Street Music School Settlement, 235 E 11th St (212-777-3240, thirdstreetmusicschool.org) * Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 W 83rd St (212-721-1223, cmom.org), Discovery Programs, 251 W 100 St (212-749-8717)

CodeAdvantage

Leveling up in Donkey Kong or building a house in The Sims used to be an impressive feat, but with sophisticated coding software, young gamers and designers are capable of way more. Kids can learn coding basics, design 3D video games, make custom mods in Minecraft, create original animations, build apps and more in focused CodeAdvantage classes. Even first-graders can start absorbing the fundamentals of computer programming through game-based learning, and parents might pick up a thing or two by following along with their child’s projects through the online portal. Various locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Ages 6–13.

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Battery Park City

Geek Forest

These days, kids aren’t just impressing their parents by mastering high-tech toys with little instruction—they’re building their own playthings, with working parts and all. This electronics and robotics shop in Williamsburg sells the pieces necessary to build functional video game controllers, motors, instruments and more, and invites kids to learn and create together. Courses cover everything from basic engineering (circuitry, mechanics) to digital programming and 3D design. Students use made-for-kids kits like littleBits and LEGO MINDSTORMS as well as cutting-edge software like Arduino and Scratch. Ages 5–14.

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Williamsburg

Carmelo the Science Fellow

This Pied Piper of science has amassed such a devout following, his camps sell out immediately! Carmelo’s after-school program is offered two days per week per age group (preschool, kindergarten through second, and third through fifth). This year’s offerings include Ocean’s Blue, which lets tykes work with animals like fiddler and horseshoe crabs, building from-scratch aquariums to learn about the ocean’s ecosystem; and Cosmic Kingdom and Cove of Biodiversity, where young biologists get up-close with creepy crawlers like giant millipedes and hissing cockroaches. After-school pickup is offered at area schools, and kids can bring their own snack, do homework and play with learning toys like Zoobs and marble runs until class begins. 300 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn (718-722-0000, carmelothesciencefellow.com). Fall session mid-Sept through mid-Dec; 12-week classes $325-$425, local school pickup for groups of 3 or more offered at $70 additional cost per child per session; after-school times vary per age group, see website for details. Ages 3 and up.

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Carroll Gardens

JCC in Manhattan

Breed a lover of science and technology from the beginning with hands-on courses that take learning outside the classroom. The JCC gives kids ages 6–10 an Intro to Coding at the onsite multimedia center, using a kid-friendly, 3D visual programming language called Kodu. With help from instructors, they’ll design way-cool, original video games and understand concepts like loops, variables and constructors. Curious little ones can create slime, exploding volcanoes and even rainbows in Weird Science sessions (ages 4–5), while mini makers explore STEM principles and tackling projects in the Young Inventors Club (ages 7–9). 

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Upper West Side

Brooklyn Robot Foundry Gowanus

Tinkerers and inventors have the freedom to come up with their own wacky creations at this kid-oriented workspace in Gowanus. Robot Crafting classes (ages 5–7) teach youngsters basic principles of engineering to help them come up with creative design ideas and build simple robots and machines. In Robot Building (ages 8–10), more complex concepts are explained via demos, and then come into play as part of the weekly robot designs. In Robot Inventing (ages 7–13), older kids bring their contraptions to life using electrical components. They can even try out Hummingbird robotics kits for programming or collaborate to design a gardening robot as a group. Walking pick-up is available from some area schools. Ages 5–13.

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Gowanus

The Pixel Academy

At this drop-in learning space, aspiring coders and game designers get the lowdown on programming and beyond. Gaming gurus are typically picked up at local schools, fed a healthy snack and let loose to experiment with state-of-the-art digital equipment, either through daily workshops (like toy design, 3-D printing, Minecraft, laser cutting or digital music composition). Kiddos can attend Pixel Academy anywhere from one to five days per week, and lucky for Manhattanites, there’s a new East Village location in the works. 163 Pacific St, Brooklyn (866-771-6837, pixelacademy.org). After-school program runs weekdays when public school is in session; Sept 9–June 25 2:30–6:30pm; annual membership $99, additional sibling $49, after-school visits $45/day (for either prepaid or drop-in); minicamps offered when school is out. Ages 7–12.

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RoboFun!

If you’re the parent of a persistent “What’s that? How does it work?” kind of kid, this one’s for you. Tiny techies who want to expand their know-how will dig these workshops in engineering and coding. Pre-Robotics helps kindergarteners build motorized LEGO creations, while older sibs (first through sixth grades) can design original characters, obstacles, settings and controls with MIT Media Lab software in Coding/Video Game Design. Also on offer is Stop Motion Animation (third through sixth grades)—if they’re into Fantastic Mr. Fox, they’ll love writing their own scripts, drawing up storyboards and building creatures using clay, paper and found objects for their own videos. 2672 Broadway, loft A (212-245-0444, robofun.org). Fall session Sept 15–Nov 25; 8-week classes $360, 9-week classes $405, 10-week classes $450. Ages 3–12.

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Upper West Side

The Tiny Scientist

This mecca for tiny science geeks hosts hour-and-a-half classes and hands-on workshops that encourage exploration. Among this season’s offerings: Candy Chemistry (grades K–2) has kids using air pressure to mash marshmellows and extracting DNA from strawberries to practice measurement, observe and track their observations like a for-real scientist; Maker Magic has kids (grades 2–5) making light up wristbands and a solids and liquids lava lamp, using fundamental science concepts to build. Plus, they offer free after-school pick up (and the option of after-care!) from local public schools. Ages 2–11.

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Beansprouts

This well-established Park Slope nursery school has experienced staffers to keep kids busy after school with activities like photography, cooking, pottery and soccer in their indoor/outdoor facility. The pluses are many: they’ve got a full sized gym (for getting ya-yas out on snowy days), they provide homework help and keep healthy snacks around to fill kid-bellies. Two-, three-, four- and five-day options are available, so you can customize the program to fit your schedule and needs. What’s more, they pick-up from ten area schools. Various classroom locations. Grades pre-K through 4.

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Park Slope

JCC in Manhattan

With so many activities to choose from, this UWS institution is many a local parent’s designated go-to. When it comes to sports, kids can try tennis, fencing, basketball and lacrosse or a multi-sports class with a little bit of everything. Weird Science and Extreme Science has school-aged kids dabbling in various hands-on experiments. What’s more, the JCC After School program for ages 4–10 includes pickup from many area schools, plus classes and access to the Clubhouse lounge, where older kids can get homework help. Ages birth and up.

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Upper West Side

Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Many learning facilities throughout the city allow kids to look but not touch, but this expansive cultural center and botanical garden encourages youngsters to interact with their surroundings for the full experience. Grow to Eat classes at the onsite Heritage Farm let kids discover where food comes through planting, examining and preparing seasonal produce. Enroll in Little Yogis for a peaceful nature escape in the Chinese Scholar’s Garden, or explore the botanical garden grounds by getting crafty in Autumn Leaves sessions or taking an ecological tour in the science-focused Wetlands Creatures program. Ages 5–10.

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Staten Island

Collina Italiana

With offerings on both sides of the East River, Collina Italiana is a small school boasting seriously immersive Italian language classes. In Girotondo Blu, a program for preschoolers, kids bone up on their language skills through games, songs, storytelling and film, with a break for la merenda (snack time). In the Teatro Italiano, kids ages 8 through 12 perfect their Italian by writing a play, making costumes and writing songs. Homework help and tutoring in Italian are additional helpful options. Mini Picassos will dig Paint with Italian (ages 3 through 10), led by a renowned artist who blends the art of painting with language enhancement. Want to try it first? Drop-off options are available, too. Molto bene! 1556 Third Ave, suite 603 · The Crafty Kids, 165 William St · (212-427-7770, collinaitaliana.com). Fall classes Sept 28–Jan 23; $95 and up for ongoing 3hr drop-off program; $640 for 15 1hr classes. Ages 2–12.

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Upper East Side

Freshmade NYC

Have a little one who wrinkles his or her nose at dinnertime? One way to cure picky eating is to get kids in the kitchen! They’ll feel grown-up practicing knife skills and learning how to read and write recipes, and are more likely to eat something when they see exactly what goes into it. Once-weekly classes at this kid-friendly kitchen invite youngsters to put on aprons and become Young Chefs (ages 5–7) and Junior Chefs (ages 8–13). Kids absorb cooking fundamentals and make tasty, which they share at the end of each session. For special themes like pizza, pasta and sushi, try Friday Pop-Up Workshops (ages 5–7, ages 8–13). Ages 5–13.

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Downtown

Young Chefs Academy Classes

Your little kitchen helpers will be whipping up their own recipes after some time in this kid-friendly kitchen. Once per week, they’ll get cooking with other mini chefs their age in classes like Kindercooks (ages 4–6), Junior Chefs (ages 7–11) and Senior Chefs (ages 12–18). After picking up food prep skills like slicing and dicing, they’ll tackle easy recipes, with fun eats for juniors and seniors based on monthly themes. They’ll even learn a bit about kitchen safety, nutrition and etiquette as they cook. Ages 4–18.

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Alley Pond Environmental Center

This nonprofit is an environmental education center, which means you'll find nature trails, along with family and school programs like an annual square dance and a BBQ. Kids will love exploring the amazing landscape via after-school programs like Nature Club (ages 3–4) and Junior Nature Kids (ages 5–8), where they’ll get an up close encounter with nature once per week. Sessions for preschoolers might involve children’s books, crafts, games, nature walks and even interact with live animals. The older set will dig more into scientific and ecological topics through hands-on demos and discussion with the instructors. After a snack and a good dose of fresh air, they’ll be ready to head back to their urban habitat. All ages.  

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Queens

The Art Farm in the City

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 kids 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 to 8 years.

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Upper East Side

Tinkergarten

City kids get the rare opportunity to learn in an outdoor classroom through this early-childhood program. Tots as young as 1 ½ will develop their motor and sensory skills, as well as self-esteem and focus via hands-on, group activities in many of Brooklyn green spaces, including Prospect Park, Marine Park, Owls Head Park and Shore Road Park. The natural environment plays a role in each lesson, whether inspiring discussion about the seasons or providing natural materials to use in crafts and “outdoor kitchen” cooking activities. Parents will need to pack a healthy snack and water, and make sure the kids are suited up in weather-appropriate gear for class. Ages 18 months–8 years.

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LIC Kids

Housed in a gigantic 2,500-square-foot facility with a gym and a classroom, LIC Kids hosts tonsa comprehensive after-school program with plenty of after-school classes offered at a discounted rate. Among the offerings: Gymnastics, Music in Motion, Physical Theater and LIC Kids on Broadway. Among the offerings: Gymnastics, Music in Motion, Physical Theater and LIC Kids on Broadway. A typical day includes one hour of schoolwork/homework time (after-school pickup and homework help are both part of the deal), snack time (kids bring their own), one hour of active instruction (giggle-worthy Zumba, dance or music instruction) and one hour of learning (math, science or language). Plus, if your kid could benefit from some one-on-one academic support, a tutoring service offers more individualized help and academic support (at an additional cost). Ages 4–12.

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Long Island City
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Comments

3 comments
Teri C
Teri C

Please also check out the excellent programs at Smith Street Workshop in Carroll Gardens:

http://www.smithstreetworkshop.com/

In addition to enriching after-school classes, there is individualized 1:1 private tutoring as well as Test Prep (State Tests + SHSAT).