We know, we know, it feels like summer just started, but fall and the first day of school are quickly approaching which means it’s time to start thinking of ways to fill the hours between when school gets out and dinnertime. With so many awesome places around Seattle to spend extracurricular time it’s hard to pick just a few, but we’ve rounded up eight of our faves. From LEGO building to swimming to dancing, these after-school activities are sure to get your kiddos excited about going back to school.

Back to School

Play-Well TEKnologies
There’s something about LEGOs that makes kids (and adults) feel like belting out “Everything is Awesome!” when sitting down to create. So what better way for your LEGO lovers to spend their free time than doing the thing they love most, creating with LEGOs at Play-Well Teknologies.

Here’s How It Works: Play-Well offers camps for kids ages 5 and up and meets once per week before or after school for 90 minutes. Anyone with a LEGO enthusiast in the fam knows there are countless LEGO building themes and Play-Well offers so many your LEGO lover will have a tough time deciding which one to choose. Prices vary depending on the class and the location, check their website for all the details.

Good to Know: Little engineers won’t be able to take any LEGOs home with them, but they will leave with all the skills they’ll need to build creations of their own.

Play-Well TEKnologies
Online: play-well.org
Online program locator: play-well.org/course-finder/#/Seattle,_WA

Play-Well Teknologies

Illumination Learning Studio
For little music and art lovers, Illumination Learning Studio in Greenwood is a perfect place to spend those after school hours. Kids love the variety of activities offered and parents love the educational and interactive approach to learning.

Here’s How It Works: Illumination Learning Studio offers before and after school classes for ages 5-11. Classes consist of a snack, sharing time, movement, piano and drama labs as well as hands-on learning. Before school classes meet Mon.-Fri. at 7 a.m. and cost $225/month or $150/month if also enrolled in after-school classes. After-school classes meet Mon.-Fri. from 3 p.m.-5:45 p.m. and cost $310/month plus a $20 material fee.

Good to Know: Classes run the duration of the school year and enrollment is allowed at any time as long as there is availability. Illumination Learning Studio also offers daily van pick-ups from West Woodland and Daniel Bagley and walking groups from Greenwood and St. Johns. If your kiddo attends Whittier, Broadview, or Salmon Bay, feel free to contact Seattle Public Schools Transportation at 206-252-0900 to request a drop-off.

Illumination Learning Studio
7720 Greenwood Ave. N., Suite 101
Seattle, Wa 98103
Online: illuminationlearningstudio.com

illumination learning

American Dance Institute
There’s something about dancing that invigorates the soul and makes kids feel free and happy. If you find your little one busting a move whenever music plays, it’s probably time to think about enrolling her in an official class. The American Dance Institute has been teaching the fine art of dancing since 1989 and offers many classes for whatever inspires your tiny dancer—Ballet, Tap, Irish, Flamenco, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Irish Step Dancing and Break Dance.

Here’s How It Works: There are four things you need to do to enroll in a class. One, love to dance. Two, check their website for a list of classes and times. Three, pick a class and sign up. Four, dance to your heart’s content. It’s really that easy!

Good to Know: The American Dance Institute asks its dancers to follow the dress code outlined for each class. Visit their website for the specifics. Parents and caregivers are allowed to stay and watch the dancers through the observation window or leave them to learn and go snag a much-needed cuppa joe.

American Dance Institute
8001 Greenwood Ave N.
Seattle, Wa 98103
Online: americandanceinstitute.com

Kids Dance Class

The YMCA is an awesome option when it comes to after-school programs for kids. And with so many locations, you’re bound to find one that works with your schedule. At the Y, kiddos can read, get help with homework, burn off energy in the gym, play games and learn new skills through a variety of hands-on activities.

Here’s How It Works: The YMCA offers after school care from when school gets out until 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m, depending on the location. Check their website to view the locations and options that works best for your fam. Pricing also varies depending on each location so it is best to consult their website or give the location nearest you a call.

Good to Know: Some locations offer transportation from school. Once you have determined the location that best suits your child, check the YMCA website to see if transportation is provided. If you are not a member of the YMCA, you must sign up for a program membership in order to enroll your kids in before or after school care.

Online: seattleymca.org
Online location finder: seattleymca.org/Pages/Locations.aspx

YMCA After School Program

Washington Karate Association Ballard Dojo
If you are hearing lots of hiyahs around the house these days, it’s probably time to find your little fighter a sensei and a karate class. Located in Ballard, Washington Karate Association is an excellent place to send your kiddo after school. After all, having their doors open in the Ballard neighborhood for over 35 years definitely proves they know a thing or two about karate and kids.

Here’s How It Works: The after-school program is offered Mon.-Fri. from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. A light snack is provided, followed by homework lab and then karate class. To enroll in the program, call 206-784-3171 or send an email to ballard_dojo@washingtonkarate.com.

Good to Know: Transportation is offered from some Seattle schools. Check their website for all the details and to see if your kiddo’s school is included. Enrollment has begun, so don’t delay signing up.

Washington Karate Association
8618 3rd Ave N.W.
Seattle, Wa 98117
Online: washingtonkarate.com

washington karate

Safe N Sound Swimming
If your little one loves swimming and arts and crafts, you’ve gotta check out the splash-tastic after-school program at the Safe N Sound Swimming location on Westlake Ave. Best part? Kids don’t need any previous swimming experience, life jackets and a swimmin’ good time are provided.

Here’s How It Works: Before and after school care is provided for ages 6-10. Before school care is available Tues.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. After school care is available Mon.-Fri. from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. and both are $8/hour. This is a members only location, so in addition to the cost of before and after school programs, Safe N Sound charges an annual membership fee of $50/child and $100/family.

Good to Know: Online registration is closed, but feel free to contact them via email at info@snsswim.com to get your little swimmer signed up.

Safe N Sound Swimming
2040 Westlake Ave N.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Online: snsswim.com

Safe N Sound Swimming

Thrive Art School
Constantly buying markers, crayons, paint, glue, and tape? If your walls are filled with masterpieces, it’s no secret you have an art lover in the fam. Let your little Van Gogh take his or her skills up a notch at a Thrive Art Studio after-school class.

Here’s How It Works: Thrive offers a variety of art classes for all skill levels. Pricing varies depending on how many days a week and which class your artist attends. Check their online schedule for specific times. Psst! Their website is super-easy to navigate, making online registration a snap!

Good to Know: Enrollment is always ongoing, so it is best to not delay. Before you enroll, feel free to call and schedule a free introductory class.

Thrive Art Studio – Ravenna Location
6329 Ravenna Ave N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98115
Online: drawingschool.com

Thrive Art Studio – Madison Location
2900 E. Madison St. Suite 200
Seattle, Wa 98112
Online: drawingschool.com

Thrive Art School

Seattle Parks and Recreation
Seattle Parks and Rec offers lots of great classes and workshops, so of course after-school programs are no exception. From art and culture to environmental activities to fitness and sports, you are sure to find something that makes your kiddo’s heart go pitter pat.

Here’s How It Works: Find the closest location to your ‘hood, click on the brochure, and view the activities the center offers. It’s easy to enroll online or by visiting the center in person. Can’t decide which class to enroll your child in? Stop by the center and take a tour.

Good to Know: Make sure to choose a couple of different options in case your kiddo’s first choice is full. Pricing varies depending on what you choose and how often your child participates. If you are looking for after-school child care, registration has begun and the program starts on Sept. 3, 2014. A penny saved is a penny earned so don’t forget to ask about sibling discounts!

Seattle Parks and Recreation
Online: seattle.gov
Online location finder: seattle.gov/parks/centers.asp

Are you planning on signing your kiddo up for after school activities? What are some of your faves? Let us know in the comment section below.

-Allison Rasmussen

Photos courtesy of: Allison Rasmussen, Nicki Dugan Pogue via Flickr, Illumination Learning Studios, Rain0975 via Flickr, West Seattle Family YMCA via Yelp, Washington Karate Facebook page, Safe N Sound Swimming, Play-Well TEKnologies & Thrive Art School