Best Bargain Programs for Kids: Lower Cost and Free After School Programs

Photo courtesy of YMCA of Metro Chicago
Photo courtesy of YMCA of Metro Chicago

As much as parents would like to be home and attentive to their children at 3 p.m. every day, it just isn't always possible. And the cost of daycare or after school camps and classes can really add up. Parents who need those extra few hours after school lets out each day can find a variety of fun and educational programming to keep their kids occupied from 3 until 5 (or beyond). Just because they're free or inexpensive doesn't mean they can't be fun. We found lower cost and free after school programs featuring academics, sports, creative writing, art, and even circus performance for kids throughout the city. 

Want to continue the free fun into the weekend? Check out our best free things to do this fall and free days at museums and other attractions, or search for free events in our Chicago event calendar.

Midnight Circus in the Parks
Chicago Parks - various times Pick
Free Days at the Field Museum
Field Museum - 9:00 AM
Free Tuesdays at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Contemporary Art - 10:00 AM
Community Playgroup
Irish American Heritage Center - 10:00 AM
Rewired Pizza Cafe Family Fun Night
Rewired Pizza Cafe - 4:00 PM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides