The best free after school programs for kids in NYC

NYC's best free after school programs for kids will keep students busy long after class lets out
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock
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After a busy day of quizzes and studying, the final bell rings. Now what? 

If your youngster isn't ready to call it quits at 3pm, check out our guide to the best free after school programs for kids. NYC provides plenty of opportunities for students to explore their interests at no cost to moms and dads. What could be better? 

From arts and sports to science experiments and homework help, after-school adventures are aplenty. Who knows? Perhaps this is the year your child will uncover his or her passion. You won't know unless you sign up!  

RECOMMENDED: A full guide to kids' back to school activities 

If your little one can't decide what to choose, check out our favorite acting classes for kids, cooking classes for kids and art classes for kids

Best free after school programs for kids

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock/Dmytro Zinkevych

Tinker Lab at Lewis Latimer House Museum

There's no better place to experiment with science than the home of Lewis H. Latimer, who was once a right-hand-man to Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. At this program, budding tech-savvy students (ages 7–13) will tinker with coding, robotics and perhaps uncover their newfound love for computer science or engineering. 

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock/bonga1965

RecYouth at NYC Parks

If you thought your favorite parks were just for picnicking and relaxing, think again. RecYouth is a city-wide initiative to get teens to channel their love for digitial media. Students ages 13–17 are invited to explore unique areas such as photography, graphic design and other creative outlets that could one day become their career! 

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Homework Help at New York Public Library, New Dorp Branch

icon-location-pin Staten Island

This NYPL program (Tuesdays at 3:30pm beginning Sept 4) provides a little TLC to students who have questions about their workload. Children (in pre-K-third grade) who need to master their vocabulary are able to receive reading help while those in pre-K-eighth grade can square away math issues they might be experiencing. This free activity is on a first-come, first-serve basis and registration takes place the day of the event. 

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock/Glen Jones

Youth Sports at NYC Parks

Parks across the five boroughs serve as children's backyards, so it comes as no surprise that there are ample opportunities to play different sports throughout the year. Fall offerings include flag football and cycling. 

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Ranger Conservation Corps at NYC Parks

Ranger Conservation Corps is the perfect way for young adults to give back to their favorite spots. Participants (high school students) will get one-on-one time in nature by working to restore Forever Wild sites in flagship parks across each borough. 

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Attractions, Libraries, archives and foundations

Anime and Magna Club at New York Public Library, Tompkins Square Branch

icon-location-pin East Village

Students ages 13–18 will be exposed to the Asian-influenced artform of anime and magna while reading their favorite comics and watching the best anime flicks. Even better? There's a chance for participants to win cool prizes, too. Tuesdays at 4pm beginning Oct 9.  

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