As the days get warmer and summer draws near, those kiddie classes that were such life-savers during the drab days of winter may be starting to seem like, well, a bit of a drag. If you’re looking to keep your kids active and engaged this summer while taking advantage of the great outdoors, Red Tricycle has uncovered 10 great ways to do just that!
1. Learn to Play Soccer – All Over the City: Super Soccer Stars offers classes for toddlers through 12-year-olds in parks and at schools all over the city. Check out the school’s website to see if there’s an outdoor class in your area for your child’s age group. With open enrollment, you can join in on a spring class now, or get a head start on your summer plans.
2. Play Tennis in Central Park: Registration is open now for the Central Park Tennis Center’s 8-week children’s summer program (June 9-Aug. 1). Kids ages 4-15 can participate, with a “Tiny Tots” division for little ones, and a “Juniors” program for kids ages 8 and older. Call 212-360-8131, ext. 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
3. Rock Out in Prospect Park: Music for Aardvarks heads outdoors for the summer, with classes being offered every weekday for babies and toddlers in Brooklyn. Three different meet-up spots throughout the park (via North, Central, and South Park Slope entrances) make this a convenient pick for many Brooklyn families. Registration for 8-week summer sessions is now open on the Music for Aardvarks website.
4. Become a Zookeeper-in-Training at the Bronx Zoo: Tag along with your toddler for an immersive week of fun at the Bronx Zoo this summer. Mini camps for 2-3 year-olds run from June 16-20, or June 23-27, with two time slots available. Sign-up ASAP, as there are limited spots available.
5. Grow a Green Thumb at the New York Botanical Garden: Kids ages 3 to 12 can hone their gardening skills this summer with two distinctly different programs being offered at the NYBG. “Garden Sprouts” (ages 3-5) are accompanied by a parent as they explore the garden (and even dig for worms!). Older kids (or “Garden Crafters”) from ages 6 to 12 get to plant their very own veggie gardens. Check out the schedule and sign up online now.
6. Connect with Nature in Prospect Park: Little explorers ages 2 to 5 years old will play, imagine, create and learn outdoors in the park at Tinkergarten’s classes. No matter the weather, teachers take the classroom outside where kids will make mud pies, build with sticks, run with ribbons through the grass and more. Registration for summer programming is open now on Tinkergarten’s website.
7. Explore Nature (For Free!) With the Whole Family: Prospect Park’s weekend Pop-Up Audubon program is now in its second season, and offers families a fun way to learn and explore the park together. Check out the schedule for specific themes and meeting spots, but don’t worry about pre-registering. Classes are free and open to all.
8. Set Up Your Own Little Maestros Outdoor Class: Fans of Manhattan-based Little Maestros can now gather your own crew together for some musical fun in the sun. To arrange an outdoor music class for your playgroup in the courtyard of an apartment building or at the park, call 212-396-3977 or email email@example.com.
9. Lace up at Lakside: Bigger kids can learn the fundamentals of roller hockey at Prospect Park’s beautiful new outdoor roller rink at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside. Sign up for a five-week session now by calling 718-462-0090 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. Learn to Ride a Horse in Prospect Park: Budding equestrians as young as 6 can learn to saddle up this summer at Kensington Stables in Prospect Park. Sign up your little rider for a minimum of one week’s worth of full-day (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) sessions at the stables, where they’ll learn everything from basic safety to the kind of care horses require, to of course, riding! Register now on Kensington’s website.
Photos courtesy Soccer Superstars Facebook page, Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS/Bronx Zoo, Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Facebook page
Do your kids have a favorite outdoor class that didn’t make our list? Do tell!