Do you ever wish you could bottle up an ounce of your kid’s energy for yourself? It’s boundless–from sun up to sun down. If you have your little in an after school sport to help him or her chillax, keep it up. Then, try supplementing after school sports with these just as engaging library classes and meet-ups. From night knitting to STEM team, there’s something fun for everyone. And the best part? They’re free!

Photo: Cockburn Libraries via Flickr

For Tech Tykes: Montgomery County Library
Miniature cutting-edge scientists, mathematicians and those interested in technology (err, every kid!) should huff it to the Montgomery County Library stat. Building classes feature Legos, art classes use sweet i-pad apps, and there are several “STEM stations” where the young and old can work on experiments, learn to read and maybe even, gasp, get excited about math! For those interested in a little more freedom, check out the Discovery rooms where small fries can learn through play. Vroom cars around, stack up blocks, and problem solve – all at the library!


For kids that love it all: Alexandria City Library
Variety is the spice of life at this library. Whether your little one is a Princess-in-training, a fully-fledged pirate or about to set off on their own big middle school adventure there are classes and programs designed to bring their fantasies to life. Paws to Read lets older kids (6 and up) read books to therapy dogs, while young Chanel will learn how to knit at Knit Nite. Babies can join in on the fun too! Mother Goose Time teaches music, dance and works on language development.


For the naturalists: Howard County Library
Budding naturalists will fall in love at The Enchanted Garden next to the Howard Library’s Miller branch. If your kids love pizza, flying around like butterflies and digging in the dirt, there are different garden clubs they can join to learn more about growing plants, nurturing nature and what plants are native (and not!) to the DC area. Fluttering fans of the Natural History Museum’s butterfly garden will sqwee with delight to visit the new Monarch Way Station where these flying beauties abound on their way south for the winter. No tickets required.


For the gamers: Fairfax County Library
The groups at Fairfax Library may be designed for your kids, but we bet your inner 9th grade nerd will be super interested in them too. Lego, Pokémon and Chess Club are just a few of the examples where youngsters can cut their teeth learning strategies, fairness and best building practices. All while having zero clue that’s what they’re doing while visiting the boring ol’ library!

For the artsy types: Prince William County Library
Arts and crafts lovers won’t even realize they’re surrounded by books when taking classes at the PWC library. Whether it’s celebrating back to school with some hand decorated rulers, teaching your mini-Picasso how to paint by numbers, or hosting a night where the whole family can create something to treasure there’s more than just reading, writing and studying at this library. Here’s something that’s also super cool – sometimes Police Officers show up to do a “Read Along” where they make sure the little ones are paying attention and listening to Mom and Dad…and maybe read a story…or two.


Are there any after school library classes that your kids love? Tell us about them in the comments section below. 

-Hilary Riedemann