Your kid’s done karate and he’s all ballet-ed out. Now what? Sure, the typical children’s classes are fun, and NYC certainly has its share of learning experiences. But if you and the kids are looking for something new—something as unique as them—we’ve got you covered. In these awesomely out-of-the-ordinary NYC classes (and summer camps), the kids can learn how to forage for food in Central Park, weave their own clothes, leap through the city like urban ninjas, and so much more.
Do Star Wars Yoga, Butterfly Yoga, and More!
While the special events at Karma Kids Yoga aren’t classes that are ongoing, they’re so darn fun we had to include them. The studio frequently hosts the favorite “Glow-in-Dark Pajama Yoga”, and other upcoming one-offs include Butterfly Yoga (learning about metamorphosis and making wings); Frozen Yoga Adventure; Unicorn Yoga Rainbow Adventure, and Downward Doll Yoga—yoga with dolls and stuffies. (Another recent class: Superhero Yoga, pictured.) Older girls ages 7 to 10 can check out Girl Power Yoga happening early 2019.
Karma Kids Yoga
25 W. 23rd St.
Explore Indian Classical Dance With Aalokam
Expand their dance repertoire and cultural intelligence at Aalokam, which teaches the Indian classical dance of Bharatnatyam. Classes with founder and teacher Bharathi Penneswaran are held in midtown Manhattan, Park Slope, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Rates range from $260-$315 for 12-week sessions.
Hit the Bullseye at Hidden Gems Archery
If your kid has a case of Katniss, check out Hidden Gems Archery. The company was founded by Natasha Green, who wanted to ensure that all individuals who wanted to learn the sport of archery had access to instruction. Lessons are offered in the Bronx, Brooklyn and throughout the city in various locations, but you can always find them at their Harlem location every Saturday. (They're in Brooklyn Heights once a month as well.) Both private and group lessons are available.
New for 2019 is the Little Gems Archery program, in which kids as young as 5 years old can learn the sport! (Adults must be in attendance.)
Pop-up sessions: $40; group lessons: $30-40
Hidden Gems Archery
2 E. 120th St.
Yuck It Up with Kids 'N Comedy
Got an older kid who is all about getting the laugh? Kids 'N Comedy helps kids ages 10 to 18 develop their skills in sketch comedy, stand-up, and improv. Founded in 1996, Kids 'N Comedy brings in a rotating roster of professional comedians to teach a small group of 13, and each two-week session ends with a performance at Gotham Comedy Club. Sessions are Monday through Friday, Noon-4 p.m., and begin July 8, July 22, and August 5. Cost is $1225 and partial financial assistance is possible for demonstrated need.
Gotham Comedy Club
208 W. 23rd St.
Get Some Serious Fun and Girl Power with Curious Jane
Curious Jane, the outfit responsible for a magazine and classes and camps dedicated to developing and serving "confident, inquisitive girls who like to make things" has something for every type of girl, from kindergarten to sixth grade. Camps run for a week, and are dedicated to topics such as Spy Science, Space Craft, Kitchen Chemistry, and Design Studio. The counselors are funky, independent gals themselves, and bonus: Curious Jane is everywhere—Chelsea, FiDi, the Upper East Side, The Upper West Side, and several neighborhoods in Brooklyn, where they are based.
400 Third Ave.
Float a Boat with Koko NYC
From the people who bring you the celebrated South Slope Derby (in which kids make their own soap box cars and race them) comes a Boat Building Workshop, during which—you guessed it—kids design and build their own boats using mostly found materials. It all culminates with an actual voyage in June. Participants learn how to use planning, engineering, woodworking and critical thinking to create functional boats and models. Kids will explore traditional and experimental methods based on their own sensibilities, and they also learn the history of NYC's waterways. Workshops run from February to June and are for kids ages 7 to 13. Cost is $690.
234 Butler St.
Get Centered with Kids Chakra Art Class and Toddler Chakra Art Class
Fruiggie Ancient Organic Crafts has a Chakra Art Class for both toddlers ages two to four, and kids ages five and up. The Chakra Art class was created to allow children to participate in creative art activities while understanding the purpose of each chakra, the color meanings and their own energy within. Students also learn how to balance their energy with foods, crystals, and exercises such as art (using non-toxic and all natural art supplies), and meditation. There’s also a vegan snack with every class. Older kids get actual crystals; younger ones get ones made of felt (safety first!)
Fruiggie Ancient Organic Crafts
1080 Fulton St. Suite 4
Forage in Central Park with "Wildman" Steve Brill
You could make an entire salad out of roots and leaves found entirely in Central Park. How do you know which plants are edible? Let the expert tell you. "Wildman" Steve Brill leads families on foraging tours of Central Park, Prospect Park, Inwood Hill Park and beyond, pointing out all the yummy edibles we've been missing out on for years, like bay leaves, young onions, fresh mushrooms, and much more. Learn how to look for and what to avoid, and gain a renewed appreciation of the nature that surrounds us, even in the depths of the city. Recommended for ages 7-12.
Various locations and dates
Perform Parkour Feats with Brooklyn Zoo and Movement Creative
Does your kid climb onto every ledge and generally see the city as a giant playground? Level up their skill while encouraging activity and exercise by taking parkour classes. Parkour involves free-running and performing acrobatic feats using city streets instead of tightropes and balance beams. The Movement Creative gets kids out and into the wild with classes that often involve actual outdoor locations around NYC. Prefer to stay indoors in a more controlled environment? The Brooklyn Zoo hosts classes in its 10,000-foot location, equipped specifically for parkour and fitness. Classes are generally recommended for kids ages 7 and up.
Various times and prices
230 Bogart St.
The Movement Creative:
Riverside, Alphabet City, TriBeCa
Perform Circus Acrobatics with The Muse
The Muse offers lots of opportunities, and two locations, to learn and practice acrobatics and develop high-flying aerial skills—all in a safe environment, of course. Located in both Bushwick and Gowanus, The Muse holds ongoing classes, school break camps, summer camp, and even a mini intensive camp, ABCirque Junior Company. A large selection of classes teach kids balance, physical fitness, and motor skills in a large playground of mats, silks, blocks, and more. In addition to all that, The Muse hosts special events like Kiddie Raves and "Watch it and Try it" performances for kids and families.
The Muse Gowanus
303 3rd Ave.
350 Moffat St.
Go Full Free Range Parenting at The Yard
The freewheeling, open-ended play camp in a “junkyard" on Governors Island, formerly known as play:ground now goes by The Yard, but the spirit is the same. Kids ages 6 to 12 are invited to play, experiment, get messy, build, invent and collaborate outdoors using raw materials, water, and whatever else they can scrounge up. Groups of mixed-aged kids create, solve problems, and explore Governors Island as well. (Don’t worry, it’s all in a safe environment with adult playworkers on site.) Sessions are $625 for one-week, with financial assistance available. Not up for a full week? The Yard will be holding small group play sessions for kids ages two to 18 on select weekdays. Intrigued? Sign up here.
Cost: $625 /week
Learn to Draw Manga with Resobox
Fans of everything from Hello Kitty to Pikachu to cutting edge animé can literally try their hand at Japanese contemporary drawing styles. Under the instruction of teacher Kenichi Yoshida at Japanese cultural center Resobox, students create Japanese anime characters of their own vision and design and learn how to make manga (Japanese-style comics), as well as basic animation techniques. Classes, which can be signed up for individually or in multiples, are held at Resobox's Long Island City and Chelsea locations. (You can book private lessons, too.)
Mix It Up at Baby DJ School
“Empowering the super young to mix music that is super dope,” Baby DJ School is now offered in multiple neighborhoods in Manhattan (Upper West Side) and Brooklyn's Williamsburg and Clinton Hil (and available for private bookings). Think of it as an interactive sing-along for kids ages 2 months to 5 years that makes music education a dance party! The class introduces little ones to records, digital DJing and funky beats while developing their fine motor, ocular, language and social skills. Trial drop in classes are available for $30, and admission is rolling so you can join any time.
Design a Building with Little Architects
Got a budding Maya Lin on your hands? Tomorrow’s Frank Gehry? (Or just a kid who likes to build?) Check out Little Architects at Playday NYC, which recently opened a Gramercy Park location in addition to its Long Island city space. The class helps kids ages six and up develop ideas, plans, drawings, and models of their fantasy buildings. Students learn how to manipulate space, materials, and style through exercises that focus on drawing and thinking, and through demonstrations of the properties of assorted materials. Participants construct a model of their own dream structure, which is displayed in a final exhibition for friends and family. (In general, Playday NYC is a great spot for unusual offerings. Other classes—all of them drop-in—include Emoji Design, Celebrity Embroidery, R2D2 Robot Art, Banksy-style art and more. Read our feature on Playday NYC here.)
5-37 51st Ave.
122 E. 25th St.
Channel Some Divinity With Mischievous Goddess
Girls ages five to seven can tap into their inner goddess at this summer camp, which is hold two, one week sessions, "Playing with Fairies" (July 8-12) and "Manifesting with the Moon" (July 15-19). Campers learn about ancient goddesses from around the world, experience the power of affirmations, tap into inner peace through meditation, explore nature and environmentalism, learn about different cultures with diverse storytelling, and more. The camp, which is $650 per week is based in Bedford-Stuyvesant, but campers venture out on field trips related to the week's theme.
595 MacDonough St.
Become a Jedi master with Sword Class NYC
Young Jedi masters won't learn to use the Force, but they will learn to properly wield a lightsaber at this Light Saber Fitness class. This is no gimmick—Sword Class NYC is known for teaching real sword, spear, and even full armor fighting techniques in their classes—so alongside all the inevitable Star Wars references and costumes kids will receive actual instruction on proper sword-wielding, correct stances, and other techniques drawing from longsword and kendo practices. This class is for kids ages 5-12. Lightsabers will be provided for the kids, but participants are welcome to bring their own!
1944 Madison Ave.
Become Scientists with Carmelo the Science Fellow and Kiddie Science
Carmelo the Science Fellow and Kiddie Science are on a mission to remind us all how cool science is. Budding scientists who attend classes at either science hotspot will get hands-on and elbow-deep in science and all the gooey fun that comes with it. Classes lead kids through experiments revolving around a theme, designed to teach kids as young as two key scientific concepts.
Carmelo the Science Fellow:
Various times and prices
300 Atlantic Ave.
Various times and prices
509 Rogers Ave.
Play Board Games Like a Pro with Brooklyn Game Lab
If your kid's board game experience doesn't extend beyond Sorry! or Monopoly, the Brooklyn Game Lab has a lot to teach them. Board games are a fun way to learn critical thinking, strategizing, and teamwork. Through four unique after-school programs, kids at the Game Lab will learn to play, analyze, and even design board games, as well as learn history and role-play. The recommended age is 7-14.
School days, 3:30-6 p.m.
Afterschool programs: $250/week, discounted after 1st week
310 7th Ave. and 479 7th Ave.
Weave a Tapestry with Loop of the Loom
Why buy scarves when it's so much more fun to make your own? Kids of any skill level can learn to weave, spin, sew, and felt with instruction from Loop of the Loom's skilled weavers. Make it a relaxing family day: kids ages 5 and up are welcome to the SAORI weaving sessions as well. In these classes, kids can make scarves, tapestries, bags, and even clothes while learning new skills and techniques. Proud of your creation? Kid works can be put on display at the Loop of the Loom exhibits and fashion shows.
Various times and prices
227 E 87th St. #E (Lower level)
Upper East Side