Want to keep the kids busy in the afternoons once they go back to school? We panned the after school rivers to find you NYC’s golden options, where kids will learn skills beyond reading, writing and arithmetic – think skateboarding, computer programming or nature exploration – and have a lot of fun all at the same time. Not to mention, after school programs improve students self-esteem, leadership skills and even test scores. Here are nine of the best to sign up for before classes start.

For the Modern Day Daniel Boone

Just a few minutes of nature time will improve a kid's health and development, so imagine what 90 minutes will do. Every session of Mohr's Explorers, rain, shine, or polar vortex, kids age 5-10 visit Central Park to observe their natural environment. They hike, climb, fish and learn basic survival skills - even elements of fort building. The challenging program builds confidence, encourages teamwork and creativity, and might even keep kids from getting sick.

What: Mohrs Explorers

Where: Mohrs Explorers, SE Corner of 81st St. and Central Park West, Upper West Side

When: Sept. 8-Dec. 10, Mon. or Thurs., 3:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m.

Ages: 5-10

Cost: $630 for 14-week session

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Have you enrolled your kid in an after school class for fall? Tell us all about it.

–Anna Knoebel