Thanks to the coronavirus school is different this year—including a last-minute delay in opening!—but that doesn’t mean the kids don’t need something enriching to do after school. Hoping to find an in-person after school program for fall 2020 that’s also serious about keeping everyone healthy? We found NYC after school programs and classes which feature social distancing and small-group pods, as well as outdoor after school programs throughout NYC. Art, music, sports, science, tech, gaming — you’ve got options! (P.S. hoping to do an outdoor birthday party? Click here for help planning!)
Make Music with Blue Balloon
Blue Balloon teaches kids ages 3 and up to play instruments through songwriting. Classes are child-led and will include both indoor and outdoor options (as well as virtual "long distance lessons"). If you're planning to run a pod in your community, Blue Balloon can send an experienced music teacher to lead you pod in an outdoor setting.
Starting rates: Inquire for rates.
Game on with Brooklyn Game Lab
While the weather permits, the Brooklyn Game Lab will host over 40 different social (and socially distanced) games outdoors in Park Slope and Prospect Park. Once the temperature drops, classes will move to being fully remote.
Starting rate: $240 per month, for one 3hr session per week
Get Active with Park Slope United
This program introduces kids to soccer in a fun way that incorporates teamwork, games and self-confidence. Tryouts are free, so the kids can give it a shot before you commit.
Starting rate: $35 per class for an 8-12 week season, half price for an additional day per week
Get Those Feet Moving with Run4Fun
This always-outdoor running program is a great way for kids to stay in shape and be part of a community. Kids grades 1 through 9 can sign up for a 10-week fall running program in Prospect Park but be aware that some days are already selling out.
Starting rate: $420 for a 10-week session, 1 day a week
Play Outdoors with Mindful Sports
Another top pick for pod groups, Mindful Sports is offering a 7-session afterschool program for kids ages 5 - 12. The program will teach kids to play sports and practice mindfulness through three-hour sessions in various locations in Brooklyn. Please be aware that a 2-week health pre-screening is required before families are allowed to begin classes.
Starting rate: $350 per child for 4+ child groups, with price per child increasing for smaller groups
Go on Adventures with Camp Half-Blood
Combining fantasy with crafting and active play, Camp Half-Blood is a great choice for fans of dragons and mythology. Kids will form groups of 8 - 10 per counselor and engage in safe and distanced pretend play inspired by myths and legends. After school programs run fo three weeks, two hours per session (three day per week minimum). Families will be able to form their own groups if they want to stick with their pods.
Starting rate: Inquire for rates.
Get Crafty with Created by Kids NYC
Are your kids particularly interested in a specific art form? This program focuses on a different skill every day of the week: ceramics, storytelling and illustration, graffiti and street art, fashion design, and photo/film. The program will take place in the studio and drop-off and pick-up times will be staggered. Only 10 spots are available and Created by Kids is willing to accommodate pods.
Starting rate: $488 for 9 classes
592 Pacific St.
Think Critically with the Brooklyn Strategist
Kids develop their critical thinking and strategic planning skills with this program's focus on board games, chess, role playing game (playing and creation), and more. Students who decide not to come back to the in-person sessions will be able to continue their learning online through a unique hybrid program.
Starting rate: $540 for one class per week Sept. through Dec.
333 Court St.
Kick It With Blitz Dojo
Kensington karate studio Blitz Dojo is holding classes in Prospect Park inside the entrance at Ocean Parkway and Prospect Park Southwest. Classes take place every Friday, weather permitting, with sessions for three to seven-year-olds from 3:30-4 p.m., and sessions for kids eight to 15 from 4 - 4:45 p.m. Try your first class free (contact Blitz to schedule). Cost is $120/month with a six-month agreement, which can transfer over to online classes or classes in the dojo once group classes are allowed. To join with no commitment, cost is $140/month. One-time t-shirt fee of $20.
Perform Some Experiments with The Tiny Scientist
This program aims to make science fun for kids age 5 and older. Groups will be kept to pods of six kids at one time, and every afteschool session will include time outdoors, hands-on science learning, free-play with STEM toys, and a non-fiction read aloud that reinforced the skills learned during the hands-on program. You can sign up for 3+ sessions per week over a two week period.
Starting rate: $45 per day, with 10% discount for buying 10 sessions
1624 Eight Ave.
Join the Clubhouse at 92Y
More than an after school program, 92Y's Clubhouse is designed to accommodate children (grades K-5) on the days when they are not attending school in-person. Offered daily from 10:30 am - 2:30 pm, it combines academic learning – children participate in their schools’ respective lessons remotely (with the guidance of a 92Y instructor) – with arts and fitness enrichment. Activities include arts and crafts, dance, gymnastics, musical theater, parkour and swim – all led by experts from 92Y’s program areas. Clubhouse will take place in a dorm-style setting at the 92nd Street Y, with kids in groups of 10. Pricing is $120/day.
1395 Lexington Ave.
Upper East Side
Tumble & Turn at NYC Elite Gymnastics
NYC Elite gymnastics is offering small classes and pod classes at its three locations on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and in Tribeca. Classes for kids five and under are capped at six people, and classes for kids five and older are capped at seven people. Pricing ranges from $279 to $439 depending on the class. Private pod classes are for a minimum of three kids and a max of eight, and private lessons are available for $130 an hour.
200 Riverside Blvd.
Upper West Side
44 Worth St.
421 E. 91st St.
Go On Adventures With Mohr's Explorers
Get off the screen and into the woods! (Of Central Park.) Mohr's Explorers takes kids on educational adventures in the park that include elements of fort building, back-country survival and wilderness hide-and-seek – plus original outdoor games and activities. This outdoor program for kids ages five to 12 builds confidence, while encouraging teamwork and creativity. Programs operate five days a week, with sessions in the late morning and afternoon. Cost is $45 per child, per session, with classes running through December 18. Drop-offs, subject to change, are at E. 79th Street, W. 81st Street, West 93rd Street and West 108th Street and the park. Masks are required. Read the full COVID-19 safety measures here.
Learn a New Sport at Chelsea Piers
With the sports center's reopening in September, youth sports programs and classes will also be available to sign up for. Many classes are held during after school hours, including gymnastics, basketball basics, soccer, and more. Plus, special slots are open for small pods to sign up for if you want to make it a small group event.
Starting rate: $439.98
62 Chelsea Piers
Dance, Act & Perform with Applause NYC
For the little performers in your family, this program has beginner through professional-level training in dance, theater, and film for kids ages 3-18. Nearly all programs are held during after school hours and all programs will be rigorously distanced (the website states that a distance of 8-12 feet will be maintained at all times during each class). Virtual classes are also available.
Starting rate: $695 for a semester, 1 day a week Sept. - Nov.
184 E. 76th St.
Upper East Side
Learn & Play at the 14th Street Y
Held through 6 p.m. every school day, the 14th Street Y after school program includes homework help, physical activities and enrichment classes. Kids can choose from a number of classes that help promote personal growth, including yoga, drama, gymnastics, chess, film-making, and more.
Starting rate: $1,425 per semester for one day per week, with incremental savings for each day added
344 E. 14th St.
Get Homework Help with Greenwich School
This afterschool program will have homework help and a snack in a gym. You also have the option to sign up for actual classes in pottery, cooking, chess, and more. Kids who attend PS 3, PS 31, and Our Lady of Pompeii can use the walkover service (though you can inquire into getting walkover service from other nearby schools).
Starting rate: $495 for 1 class per week for a semester
122 W. 27th St.
Perfect Your Parkour with The Movement Creative
With this parkour program, kids can feel like a video game protagonist while getting some great exercise! All classes are held outdoors (weather permitting). Located in three places around the city, this parkour adventure program strives to teach kids to overcome physical and mental hurdles and get stronger from their experiences. Advance screening, daily temperature checks, and the elimination of physical contact games means kids can have fun in a safe, outdoor environment.
Starting rate: $445 for 8 classes
Shoot Some Hoops with Fastbreak Sports
This program teaches kids to play basketball, helping them stay active and improve their coordination. Classes will be limited to a maximum of 15 kids (across an indoor basketball court) and all kids will be socially distanced the entire time.
Starting rate: $620 for 10 sessions (once a week)
1629 First Ave.
Upper East Side
Dance Ballet, Tap & More with Bridge for Dance
Get your tutus and tap shoes ready for these dance classes, many of which are held during after school hours. From ballet and tap to hip-hop and circus studies, this dance school has 10-week programs in many categories!
Starting rate: $400 for one class per week, with incremental savings for each additional class per week, plus a $35 yearly registration fee
Upper West Side
Swing With Court 16 in Queens (or Brooklyn)
Indoor tennis club Court 16, which has locations in Gowanus and Long Island City, is offering both small group classes (four players max per court) as well as training pod group classes for families that are organizing their kids’ activities with specific groups of friends or classmates. (Minimum three kids per pod.) You can read their COVID-19 safety measures here. Classes are offered for kids ages three to 15, and start at $45 for 45 minutes. To sign up, you will need to become a member of Court 16, and commit to the entire season running September 8, 2020 through January 31, 2021.
526 Baltic St.
Court 16 LIC
Long Island City
Play with Your Pod with PlayDay
Small-group and pod-based programming is available for afterschool hours at this program. Along with homework help, activities include painting, sculpting, drawing, building, and more. Pickup is available from PS/IS 78 and nearby bus stops.
Starting rate: $1,400 for one day per week, for one semester (Sept. - Dec.)
5-37 51st Ave.
Practice your footwork with Fancy Feet Dance Studio
This dance studio introduces kids to gymnastics, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and other dance forms. Nearly all classes are held during after school hours and can provide a fun way for kids to stay in shape and learn a skill. Temperature checks and small class sizes are planned for the fall semester.
Starting rate: $73 per class