New York seems to be getting more and more family-friendly by the minute. (Minus those escalating real estate prices, of course.) More families means more kids — and parents — looking for stuff to engage the child mind, and the city is bursting with kiddie classes and extracurricular amusement options. But, it can be hard to know which to choose, be aware of all the options or even commit to a full “semester.” Enter Kids Passport and Kidpass, two new digital services dedicated to helping parents discover, schedule and book classes and activities for the junior set. (Yes, they’re like ClassPass for kids.)
photo: angela n. via Flickr
Kids Passport: Booking in Brooklyn
Launched in October by tech industry vets Marissa Evans and Stephanie Choi (the latter of which is mom to a two-year-old), Kids Passport currently caters to the Brownstone Brooklyn and Dumbo/Williamsburg crowd. (Look for the service to expand to Manhattan neighborhoods in 2016, with Tribeca and the Upper West Side among the first areas added.)
The offerings feature the best of Brooklyn’s local and independent music, art, sports, theater, movement and science classes and workshops. If cookie cutter corporate spots don’t feel quite right for you, Kids Passport might be just the thing; partners include spots like Stomp & Shout Brooklyn, DUMBO playspace Recess, Baby DJ School, Music Together, Carmelo the Science Fellow, Treasure Trunk Theater, Lango Kids, Super Soccer Stars and more. Evans and Choi worked to amass a portfolio of classes offered by neighborhood favorites and fresh on-the-rise businesses, and met with providers to make sure they were a fit for Kids Passport.
Kids Passport partner Treasure Trunk Theater/photo: Treasure Trunk Theater
How it Works
Users register for Kids Passport at one of two levels: $39/month for two classes, or $99/month for six, and can filter classes by age group, day, type and more via the Kids Passport mobile-responsive site (i.e. you can book on the go using your phone).
You can sign up multiple kids on one account, and can book up to two weeks in advance. Need to cancel? You have until one hour before the class starts, and you can cancel or put your membership on hold at any time.
Also the brainchild of tech industry vets — who went from living in the city as singles to being married with chldren — KidPass just arrived in the NYC area in mid-January, and is welcoming users in waves to ensure both customers and providers have the best experience. (To register, head to the KidPass web site and sign-up for the waitlist; users are being activated based on their location with new ones added daily.)
As with Kids Passport, KidPass allows users to search using filters such as age, location and category to find the activity that’s best for their child. While KidPass does offer many options for families in the downtown and Brownstone Brooklyn area, it really shines in Manhattan, with options uptown, downtown and on the east and west sides. (They’ve even got some options in Queens and Jersey.)
KidPass has partnered with over 100 businesses, including Gymboree, Kidville, Pop Fit Kids, Music together, Super Little Champs, Penguin City Swim and the YMCA, which offer classes, workshops and events on the site; it’s also continuing to add service providers.
KidPass Partner PopFit Kids photo: via PopFit Kids Facebook page
KidPass By the Numbers
For $49, KidPass members get 10 “Activity Credits” per month to use on any activities they find on the site, with some options costing as few as one or two credits each. The service also offers access to premium happenings and camps, which cost more, but KidPass founders state that most offerings are listed at 50-75% off of the standard list prices. If you don’t use all of your credits, they roll over for three months, much like those minutes you don’t use, and if you find a class you want to commit to, KidPass will help you get a deal on a full semester. (You can also purchase Activity Credits for $5 each.)
You can book up to three weeks in advance on KidPass, and cancel until an hour before, and as many as five kids can be registered to a single KidPass account. Users can also pause or cancel their membership at any time.
Are you a Kids Passport or KidPass User? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!