Whether your little one is a budding Picasso, tiny dancer, curious scientist or likes to coo and jam to music, we’ve rounded up a bunch of classes from North to South San Diego we know your babes will love! Scroll down for where to foster their curiosity during this super fun stage of their life!

Tutu School

It's time to twirl and jump. Let baby ballerinas prance the class away in the Tutu Toddler class. Tiny dancers will learn the art of ballet and use their creativity and movement during these classes. Also, they'll get plenty of exercise before nap time! Tutu Toddler classes encourage aspiring dancers to be imaginative and move to the beat. Free trial classes available.

6996 El Camino Real, #107
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Online: tutuschool.com

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Art Play at Pachis Art Studio

Join in one of Pachis Art Studio's most popular classes—Art Play with your little art explorer. You'll find four to six art play and exploration stations that promote both fine and gross motor skills development, art, play, hand-eye coordination and more. You and your tot can discover the world of color and texture together in this 11 class series where each class lasts an hour and thirty minutes.

Cost: $320 for 8 classes
Ages: 18 months-3 years-old

Liberty Station
2820 Roosevelt Rd., Ste. 102
San Diego, CA 92111
Online: mypachis.com

First Steps

The mission at First Steps Dance Program is to create a fun, welcoming, and educational space for your young dancers (ages 2-7) to be introduced to the world of dance! They provide small class sizes (8-10 dancers) to ensure each dancer is getting the attention and direction they need. Whether that be a big hug from Miss Lizzy or some one-on-one help with a new dance skill, First Steps is dedicated to each and every child. Their classes are designed to teach proper technique and classroom etiquette in a fun and engaging way that will be sure to have your child laughing, learning, and loving every minute of their dance class.

First Steps offers a variety of classes: ballet-tap combo, hippity-hop, jazz, and a parent participation class. Classes are held at Mary Murphy's Champion Ballroom Academy in the Kearny Mesa area. Check out their website here for the class schedule and more information regarding First Steps Dance Program. Email them at firststepsdanceprogram@gmail.com if you would like to try a free class this fall.

Monthly tuition: $64/month for one class per week
One time registration fee of $20/student (or $25/family)

4255 Ruffin Rd., Unit 200
San Diego, CA 92123
630-849-7849
Online: firststepsdanceprogram.com/classes

photo: San Diego Air and Space Museum

Little Engineers at San Diego Air & Space Museum

Future astronauts will have a blast at the Air and Space Museum's Little Engineer class. With all the creativity and fun, kids enjoy the STEM enrichment program and learn about science. From fun forces and bursting energy to exploring space and airplane adventures, you'll find a class that piques your toddler's interest. Sign-up and head out to Balboa Park today.

Dates: Wednesdays and Saturdays (ages 3-5 years old)

Balboa Park
2001 Pan America Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: sandiegoairandspace.org

Blossom Music Tree Classes

Move to the music! Babies and toddlers love playing along to tunes during class, and caregivers join in being part of their child's growth into confident music-makers. Everyone loves the toe-tapping great songs played in class. From newborn to four years-old there's a Mixed Ages class where everyone sings and plays together.

Cost: $190 for 10 weeks

Tree of Life Birth Center
617 Saxony Place, Suite 104
Encinitas, CA 92024

Trilogy Ballroom
16769 Bernardo Center Dr. #26
San Diego, CA 92128
Online: blossommt.com

San Diego Music Academy Kindermusik

A perfect mix of learning and playing. You and your littles will sing, move, play instruments and hear stories, while developing social skills, math skills and a foundation for reading. There are four different classes to choose from based on age, Level 1 (up to 18 months), Level 2 (18 months-3 years-old), Level 3 (3-5 years), and Mixed-Age (0-5 years) that will inspire kids to learn while having tons of fun!

Free Demo Classes with ages ranging from newborn to 5-year olds.

14027 Midland Rd.
Poway, CA 92064
858-218-6488
Online: sdmusicacademy.com

photo: Good Vibe Tribe Studio

Good Vibe Tribe Studio

Mini-dancers will be moving and grooving to the music at the Good Vibe Tribe Studio Toddler Breakdancing or Hip-Hop class. You'll find even more options for little ones who love tropical dances––there's a Hawaiian Dance class (ages two and older), and a Hula class. Check the schedule (or call) to see what classes are going down!

Cost: $15/class (packages available too)

4228 Bonita Rd.
Bonita, CA 91902
619-995-9598
Online: good-vibe-tribe-studios.site

photo: New Children's Museum

Little Movers at The New Children's Museum

Get your move on! Explore dance, music and movement with your babe, plus discover instrument-making together during this cool (and fun!) Little Movers class. This is the newest Little Learners series at The New Children’s Museum. Classes will be led by dancer and educator Kristina “Miss Piggy Rock", also known as dance instructor Kristina Mananquil. This early childhood enrichment class for toddlers (18 months-3 years-old) plus caregivers will strengthen fine motor skills and teach new music movement. Even more, look for other Little Learner classes coming up from Little Chef to Toddler Yoga.

Cost: Free with $14 per person entry fee ages 1 and over
Hours: Daily, 10:30-11:30 a.m. (except Fridays)

200 West Island Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
619-233-8792
Online: thinkplaycreate.org

photo: Birch Aquarium

Birch Aquarium's Toddler Time

Little guppies will love dancing along to the live music and listening to fun interactive stories. The Birch Aquarium Toddler Time also includes saying "hi" to sea animals, crafts your little ones can take home, and more. Guests including Kathryn the Great, Little Aquarium Artists, Seed & Song Yoga, Hullabaloo, and others will have your mini goldfish singing to the beat.

Sessions are every other Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Information here. Included with admission to Birch Aquarium.

Toddler Tuesdays With Seed & Song Music + Yoga

Om your way to a more peaceful state of being at Toddler Tuesdays with Seed & Song Music + Yoga classes. This hour-long morning class includes live music, mindful movement, active music making and enriching experiences designed to promote the development of your little one's social, physical and language skills and emotional well-being. The classes' curriculum is designed by board-certified music therapists, yoga teachers and mothers, to allow you a family space to grow together. 

Classes are for kids ages six weeks-three-years-old and they take place at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga in Normal Heights on Tuesdays from 10-11 a.m. 

$145 for all 8 classes + Guest Pass + Free Egg Shaker. Register here. Drop-in classes/$20

photo: San Diego Youth Symphony

San Diego Youth Symphony ChIMES Program

The ChIMES program by the San Diego Youth Symphony is playing your little one's tune! ChIMES stands for: Childhood Introduction to Music Education, with Smiles, and it's designed for kids from infants to age 5. Classes provide meaningful music-making experiences that encourage family bonding, at-home learning and pave the way for future musical development. These interactive classes develop motor and aural skills by incorporating singing, movement, rhythm activities, hands-on instrument play and lots of fun. Classes often feature guest musicians and families might learn about the French Horn one week (and get up close to touch it and see how it works) and the next week they might watch a young violinist or cellist come in to demonstrate their instrument and play a few tunes. 

Good to know: Babies are welcome! Although this program welcomes all young kids up to age 5, it's extremely popular with the “baby crowd.” ChIMES is one of the only music classes around that allows and encourages participation from families with very young babies. It offers a great way for new moms to get out, bond with their baby and meet other parents.

Seasonal sessions (6-8 weeks) of 45-minute classes are offered in Balboa Park for parents/caregivers and their 0-5 year olds.

Info on upcoming classes and current sessions can be found at: sdys.org/chimes

Free Forest School of San Diego

There's no greater teacher than Mother Nature and little kids absolutely love basking in the splendor of the great outdoors. Join in the fun of San Diego's Free Forest School so your tots can unplug and enjoy some carefree childhood moments reminiscent of the good ol' days of your youth.

Click here to read our full story on the Free Forest School for more info.

Tinkergarden

Spending time with your toddler can be a walk in the park, literally. Your kiddo will love classes like mud play or bubble time. Even more, you'll love that it's at your local park. Led by a group leader these classes encourage meeting friends, exploring nature and just plain old fun. Let your little one tinker in the outdoors today.

Cost: $135+ for 6-8 week sessions

Classes available in various locations throughout San Diego. Check online for a class near you.
Online: tinkergarten.com

photo: If I Was a Bird Yoga

If I Was a Bird Toddler Yoga

Put a little om in your outing with your budding yogi with a class at this kid-friendly yoga studio. Classes for tots warm up with an art project, continue with yoga poses, song and movement. Then wind up with a healthy snack. Your tot leaves happy, calm and full.

Cost: Introductory class, $20

Locations: Flower Hill Promenade, Uptown Hillcrest, and Liberty Station
Online: ifiwasabirdyoga.com

Baby Sign Language Class

For wee ones just walking, but not quite talking, sign language is great to learn. Classes are fun and interactive with reading, songs and playtime to help you and your little learn sign language. Even more, there are tips and tricks about incorporating signing outside of class. Further, little ones meet new friends who inspire learning. If you want to check it out before signing up for a class, attend a library storytime for free!

Cost: From $156+/child for 7 weeks of signing

1947 30th St.
San Diego, CA 92102 
619-987-4834
Online: babysignlanguage.net

photo: Lenya McGrath

Parent & Child Gymnastics

The Dan McKinney Family YMCA offers parent & child gymnastics classes on weekday mornings. Your minikins can have the run of the gym at this toddler only session. While Disney classics play overhead, they’ll be able to jump, roll, swing, climb, balance and dance through activity stations like the trampoline, obstacle course, mini balance beam and swinging rope. With a bouncy floor, staff on hand and moms and dads playing with their kiddos, you’ll be assured your kids have a fun and safe time. 

Cost: Free with membership
Hours: Weekdays, 10-10:40 a.m. (in the gym)

8355 Cliffridge Ave.
La Jolla, CA 92037
858-453-3483
Online: ymca.org

Young Scientist Program at The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

If you have a budding scientist on your hands, then the Young Scientist Program at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center may just be the thing for you. This four-week program is designed to help mini science lovers (and an accompanying mom or dad) check out the scientific wonders of the world. Sessions are held around the museum and include an hour-long exploration into earth checking out water, plants, seeds, rocks and landforms. There’s also an adventure into astronomy investigating planets, moons, stars and rockets, a mighty meteorologist breakdown where you will learn about measuring weather and wet, sunny and winter weather. Lastly, there’s a cool kids chemistry lesson with radical reactions, states of matters and mixtures. Classes include access to the Fleet’s awesome exhibits and galleries so you can stay and play after the formal learning ends. The program is best suited to mini Einsteins, ages 3-5 years-old.

Cost: $75/session for members, $85/session for non-members
Hours: schedule changes; check online

1875 El Prado
Balboa Park
San Diego, CA 92101
619-238-1233
Online: rhfleet.org/events/young-scientists

YMCA Pee Wee Sports

The YMCA loves working with kids, but don’t just think that means your school-aged kiddos. The YMCA Pee Wee Sports Clinics and Leagues are especially designed for toddlers 3 and up. Held at more than 10 locations from East County, up north, all the way to the sea and down south, you can choose from a variety of classes like basketball, soccer, t-ball, football and track and field. Your active little ones will discover the basics of the sport all the while learning about sportsmanship, building confidence and of course having some good old-fashioned fun! You’ll love that participation is the name of the game, effort is praised over ability and it is most definitely a competitive free zone. Classes are separated by age and held at a variety of times and days so you’ll be able to choose what’s best for you. Non-members are able to participate but you’ll need to pay a slightly different rate. Check individual class listings for age recommendations, times and costs.

Cost: From $42/members and $56/non-members for one month
Hours: Mon. – Sun.

Various YMCA locations
Online: ymca.org/branchprograms

Dance Classes at Dance to Evolve

For some toddlers, there's nothing better than shaking to the beat, twirling those arms in the air and spinning those tootsies around. So if dancing is their thing, then check out the dance classes at Dance to Evolve. Classes range in dancing styles from a combination of ballet and tap to a parent participation class to an urban hit of hip hop. Lessons are a short-attention-span friendly 45 minutes and include a mixture of games and exercises to make learning fun. There are locations throughout San Diego County, including Point Loma, UTC, Poway, Tierrasanta and Scripps Ranch and they’re scheduled at a range of times so you’ll be sure to find something that works with your nap/school/making it work with siblings schedule! If you aren’t sure if your tiny dancer is going to want to get into the groove, you can schedule a free trial lesson before you enroll for a term.

Cost: From $100 per session (varies by location and schedule)
Hours: Check website for class schedules

Various locations
Online: dancetoevolve.com/san-diego

photo: Dove Library

Story time at The Library

Your local library is a treasure trove of free classes, activities and resources––perfect for keeping busy toddlers minds and bodies active. Take for example the baby or toddler story time at the Allied Gardens/Benjamin Branch library. Baby story time is for tykes (birth to one year) and their caregivers to enjoy songs, lap-sits and rhymes that foster early literacy skills. Toddler story time is for active little ones and their caregivers will have fun singing songs, dancing and reading while laying the foundation for future reading success.

Cost: Free

5188 Zion Ave.
San Diego, CA 92120
619-533-3970
Online: sandiego.gov/allied-gardens-benjamin-library

Music Fun for Little Ones at Nightingale Music School

What tot doesn’t love dancing around to fun music, playing with puppets, jamming with instruments and playing with bubbles? Nightingale Music combines all those awesome elements into an 8-week class for toddlers (they also have classes for infants and preschoolers too). Each week, class participants learn new songs, play instruments, participate in games and dance together, all while enjoying the magical world of music. Each session is themed differently. “Hooray for the Holidays” is a theme from Oct. – Dec. Other themes include “Spring Has Sprung,” “Mother Goose Rock-N-Rhyme,” “Splash Into Summer” and “Jungle Jive.” The session fee includes all classes (and a make-up day), CD, songbook and final gift.

Cost: From $178+/session (they prorate too)
Hours: Varies by location

La Jolla
5631-C La Jolla Blvd.
La Jolla, CA 92037
858-488-3244

La Mesa
8060 La Mesa Blvd.
La Mesa, CA 91942
858-488-3244

South Park
1947 30th St.
San Diego, CA 92102
858-488-3244
Online: nightingalemusicschool.com

––Beth Shea & Nikki Walsh

featured image via Raw Pixel

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