This fall's crop of brand-new classes brings a bunch of fresh options for all ages to the mix, including preschool music lessons developed by kindie rock queen Laurie Berkner, a program for tween entrepreneurs, hardcore computer coding for teens and an in-depth intro to the likes of Shakespeare and Socrates. In all, we rounded up 13 notable new kids' classes that either launch this fall or recently debuted. See which ones pique the interest of your young learner.
You can find out about even more excellent programs in our Classes Guide and our Class Directory, which allows you to sort listings by age, interest and neighborhood.
Back-to-school season isn't just about returning to the classroom. It's also the time when families look to enroll their kids in enriching extracurricular activities. Whether you're looking for athletics or arts or academic classes, after school or on the weekends, New York City offers an overwhelming number of options. The real challenge isn't finding a class, it's finding the right program for your child.
One of the best ways to do that is by trying a free trial or demo class. Throughout September (and sometimes beyond), many popular NYC children's programs are offering no-cost sessions so kids and parents can decide firsthand which classes are worth their time and money. We've rounded up FREE trial classes for more than 30 quality children's programs including visual and performing arts, language, animal care, athletics and more. Click on the titles for additional details about each class.
You can find out about even more excellent programs in our jam-packed Classes Guide and our Class Directory, which allows you to sort listings by age, interest and neighborhood.
It seems like it's never too early to start thinking about preschool in NYC, but for parents of toddlers, September means the start of the anxiety-provoking preschool admissions process. As one of the most popular neighborhoods for families in NYC right now, parents in Lower Manhattan have the added challenge of trying to keep track of all the new programs starting up to meet the increased demand. The influx of families has meant a crop of new preschools and early education programs for kids below Houston Street.
To help local families navigate the changing landscape, we’re delighted to team up with the terrific mothers' group HRP Mamas to sponsor the first annual Lower Manhattan Early Education Fair, a completely FREE event where moms and dads can get the inside scoop on the best preschool programs downtown.
Kids' classes. They're enriching, they give parents some well-deserved downtime and they're a great way to meet other families. New York City has an incredible range of classes for children of all ages. We've got the scoop on all kinds of programs, from organized sports like basketball and tennis, to performing arts such as musical theater and dance, to more offbeat offerings like trapeze and archery, and many more.
Below you'll find our roundups and reviews of NYC kids classes, all written by local moms. We even have posts about FREE classes and programs for moms, too. Be sure to check out our Class Directory where you can browse programs by category, location and age range.
As a Staten Island mom with a toddler and a tween, I've been to the Staten Island Zoo many, many, many times. I don't really need an excuse to visit this eight-acre animal oasis filled more than 350 different species, including lots of reptiles, two rare Amur leopards and the weather-prognosticating/mayor-biting groundhog Staten Island Chuck. But now my family has a great new reason to go: The zoo's recently opened Conservation Carousel featuring two-dozen handcrafted wooden creatures to ride.
The Staten Island Zoo is my family's favorite place to see animals in NYC because it's intimate (we love the Bronx Zoo, too, but it can be overwhelming), rarely crowded and secluded, so you feel like you're going on an out-of-the-city adventure. But since it's an independent institution (it's not affiliated with New York City's five other Wildlife Conservation Society zoos) and located in the so-called "forgotten borough," it's often overlooked by families who don't live on the isle. I'm here to tell you, it's worth the trek. It's near public transportation (there's also a free parking lot) and has lots of special attractions for kids, including a petting zoo and the new carousel, so it's a great daycation destination—then you can stick around and check out some of the other cool things to do with kids on Staten Island.
Summer has almost officially arrived and the New York City Parks Department is gearing up for three sessions of FREE swimming lessons for all ages, plus other no-cost aquatic programs. To try to snag a spot, you need to enter an online lottery, which begins on Friday, June 13. We've got the scoop on how to apply for the swim lessons lottery as well as additional information about these popular programs.
In our increasingly tech-driven world, knowing how to code is an invaluable skill. But kids who code don't really look at it that way—they just think it's lots of fun to design video games and create websites and make robots move. Take my 10-year-old: He first caught the coding bug back in second grade after attending a demo led by RoboFun where he learned about the wonders of Scratch, an easy-to-use programming language specifically aimed at children ages 8 to 16. Ever since then, he's continued to learn how to code at home thanks to FREE educational websites like Scratch's official site at MIT and CodeAcademy.
But even though he can work on his own, I'm a big believer in kids learning from other kids (not to mention the benefits of socializing with peers and getting him out of my hair for a few hours). So I recently researched coding classes for children in New York City to locate a program or two that would work for him. I actually found ten quality classes and camps for kids who have an itch to try Scratch or another computer programming language. You can find even more tech fun for kids in our Geek Guide.
We continue our series of posts about exploring Astoria, Queens with kids with a roundup of indoor places to play and learn in the neighborhood. When it comes to kids' classes, Astoria is one of Queens' biggest hot spots so we can't possibly list all of the wonderful programs on tap. Instead, we're highlighting places that offer drop-in sessions, as well as a few perennial family favorites that require longer commitments. Many of these spots attract residents from all over the borough . In fact, my kids and I come all the way from Sunnyside to hit The Yoga Room and super-inexpensive play space Kids Playhouse Astoria on a regular basis.
Here are 10 places where kids can play sports, swim, dance, bowl or just get there sillies out in Astoria, Queens.