• First Class

    With New Venues And Programs Popping Up All Over The City, The Choice Is Yours For What Class Best Suits Your Child

    By Celene McDermott

    One of the best ways to help kids make the city their own is to sign them up for an extracurricular class that they can attend on a regular basis. A weekly class will allow children to get to know a teacher outside of an academic setting, to cooperate with others in a creative atmosphere and to see the fruits of their labor (and learning!)—whether they choose to attend a pottery class or a soccer clinic.

     

    14th Street Y

    This community center located on the East Side in Gramercy offers a number of programs for families with kids of all ages. For babies and toddlers, classes are offered in movement, art and music. Ages 3-12 can sign up for sports like baseball and soccer or for dance like ballet and Capoeira. There are also children’s swim classes, tumbling and gymnastics as well as courses for children with special needs. 14streety.org

     

    74th St. MAGIC

    74th St. MAGIC offers one of NYC’s most comprehensive enrichment programs, with a wide array of classes in its Mini MAP program (early preschool enrichment), MAP program (preschool alternative classes) and MAGIC program (music, art, gymnastics and cooking classes). Sharing a building with Epiphany Community Nursery School, children will find state-of-the-art classrooms, a baby- and a fully-equipped full-size gym as well as an outdoor rooftop playground. Its mission is to help children gain confidence and independence while cultivating their curiosity and talents. Fall semester begins Monday, September 10. 74magic.com

     

    92nd Street Y

    This special gem on the Upper East Side offers so much for families and kids of all ages, including a nursery school, Wonderplay early childhood programs and a parenting center. Afterschool classes in dance, art, music, aquatics and sports are offered for all ages. There is also a variety of family performances and holiday celebrations throughout the year, as well as a rooftop playground and an indoor GymMaze. 92Y.org

     

    ABC Do-Re-ME!

    Music and movement classes for infants up to six years old are offered in several locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Astoria, Queens. Programs include the drop-in Musical Playdate with guitar-playing and children’s song-singing teachers; Musical Stories which feature animal songs, children’s stories and funny instruments like nose flutes; Classical Playdate introducing kids to classical music; and Boogey Baby, a special dance class for moms and their babies in baby carriers. abcdoreme.com

     

    Ailey Extension

    Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Extension in Midtown West offers a recreational series and pre-professional dance training for ages 2-17. In Tiny Steps, little ones learn the connection between dance, rhythm and music. Ages 7-11 can sign up for hip hop, while older kids 12 and up will explore ballet or contemporary jazz. aileyextension.com 

     

    American Museum of Natural History

    This iconic museum on the Upper West Side offers classes for kids ages 2 through high school, including special workshops, camps and institutes. A Science and Nature Program offers weekday morning and afterschool classes that let kids explore artifacts and specimens, live animal habitats and more. The Early Adventures Program, for preschoolers beginning at age 2, offers classes on observing and handling live animals and taking part in science-based art projects. amnh.org

     

    Applause NYC

    The home of Rock ‘n Roll Babies, Broadway Babies and Broadway SuperStars, Applause Theatrical Workshops are designed for kids who love to perform, whether they’re newborns or in the 12th grade. Theater games, improvisation, musical theater performance, acting and dancing are offered. Workshops are located on the Upper East Side. applauseny.com

     

    apple seeds 

    apple seeds is an all-in-one play space for families with children newborn to 5 years. Their flagship location is in the Chelsea/Flatiron neighborhood, and a second location on the Upper West Side has just opened in July 2012. Both locations feature a state-of-the-art indoor playground with museum-quality exhibits, 100 different children’s classes per week, unique birthday parties and an award-winning day camp. apple seeds is a clean, safe and fun space where parents and caregivers can bring their children to play, learn and just hang out! UWS coming soon! appleseedsplay.com

     

    The Art Farm in The City

    Come enjoy the award-winning petting zoo and experience a variety of classes and programs. Rocks, Smocks & Animals (adult & me): Meet a new animal each week, sing/dance to the guitar, & do arts & crafts! Animal Care class: Your child spends quality time with live animals/gains unique science skills! Mini-Chef class: New, yummy recipes every time! M-F drop-ins: Playroom/toys, a fun art project, cooking & live animals! Birthday Parties: 9 themes ranging from farm animals to mini-chef to mad science! theartfarms.org

     

    ArtXplorers 

    Kids 3 ½-12 years old can sign up for live tours of over 25 museums and art galleries in New York City with ArtXplorers at Art Muse, located on the Upper East Side. Special themes offered include Egyptian art, African masks and storytelling, Greek gods, shapes and colors and more. Each tour includes an art project, props and objects for kids to touch. Little ones younger than 5 must be accompanied by an adult. artxplorers.com

     

    Asphalt Green

    Active kids can head to this sports center on the Upper East Side for all their swimming, fitness and sports needs. All ages can sign up for gymnastics, flag football, martial arts, soccer, baseball and more. There’s also a Speed, Agility, Quickness (SAQ) Academy for ages 7-14 for improving fitness and core strengthening. asphaltgreen.org 

     

    Atlantic Acting School

    Home to famous alumni like Felicity Huffman and Jessica Alba, this acting school gets kids and teens started with a variety of afterschool and summer programs. Kids get an introduction to writing, acting, storytelling and improvisation. Ages pre-K to 6 years create stories through play and improvisational exercises, while older students learn the Practical Aesthetics technique created by David Mamet and William H. Macy. All classes culminate with a performance. atlanticactingschool.org

     

    Baby Fingers

    Based on extensive research, Baby Fingers offers a combination of American Sign Language instruction, music, games, stories and dramatic play to promote family communication. American Sign Language is offered to babies and toddlers, while kids 2-6 can take Creative Play and Sign to improve speech and language and further develop literacy skills. For all ages, Sign and Stretch combines sign language with yoga. Baby Fingers is available at multiple locations throughout Manhattan. mybabyfingers.com

     

    Ballet Academy East

    Located on the Upper East Side, Ballet Academy East offers ballet classes for all ages, including mother and child classes for the littlest dancers and pre-ballet for ages 3-6. Tap is offered for ages 3.5-6 to develop musicality, while drama classes for ages 4-6 incorporate group improvisations and theater games. There’s also a modern dance class offered for ages 3-5as well as primary ballet and enrichment classes for ages 6 and up. Teens can take ballet, tap, jazz and zumba. baenyc.com

     

    The Ballet Club

    This dance studio on the Upper East Side offers ballet classes and a children’s Creative Dance Club for all ages. A ballet club class introduces little ones to ballet techniques, classical ballet and the history of ballet through a special story time. The Creative Dance Club focuses on modern dance, jazz, folk dance and natural movement. theballetclub.com 

     

    Ballet Hispanico

    This ballet studio on the Upper West Side adds Hispanic culture and dance styles to traditional ballet. A special Adventures in Dance is offered for the 1-5 crowd; the general program for ages 6-18 offers over 30 classes a week in ballet, flamenco, hip-hop and salsa, as well as training in varied Latin American dance traditions. ballethispanico.org

     

    Bija Kids

    Through their yoga classes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Bija Kids teaches children the basics of physical postures, breathing practices and age-appropriate meditation techniques. In an energetic and creative setting, groups of children (crawling through tweens) and families can work on improving strength, coordination and flexibility, while focusing on relaxation through meditation. bijakids.com

     

    Bilingual Birdies

    The foreign language and live music curriculum at Bilingual Birdies features interactive songs, movement, dance, puppetry and theater-based games. The program is designed to teach children of all ages French, Mandarin, Hebrew and Spanish vocabulary alongside respective cultures. You’ll find Bilingual Birdies at community centers, preschools and indoor playgrounds throughout the city. bilingualbirdies.com

     

    Bilingual Buds

    Programs are offered in Mandarin and Spanish at this immersion school located on the Upper West Side. Classes after school feature science, technology, the arts and culture, as well as a mommy-and-me bonding for ages 1-3. Another supplemental program for enrolled pre-schoolers and summer camps are also available. bilingualbuds.com

     

    Broadway Dance Center

    Young dancers receive elite training from leading dance teachers and choreographers in state-of-the-art studios located in the Theater District. The Children’s and Teen Program (ages 3-18) offers 32 weeks of instruction in creative movement, pre-dance, ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, Triple Threat, Latin, jazz, modern, African, contemporary, jumps & turns and lyrical dancing. Shorter workshops in a variety of styles and levels are also offered. broadwaydancecenter.com

     

    Carousel of Languages

    Kids 6 months-12 years can learn a foreign language, including Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin and Russian at The Carousel of Languages, located on both the Upper East and West Sides. An afterschool program for kids to continue their linguistic studies, as well as a summer program that incorporates games, music and art, is also offered. carousellanguages.com

     

    Chelsea Piers

    Sports enthusiasts of all ages love this Chelsea complex, which features classes in every sport imaginable, including golf, baseball, basketball, bowling, boxing, dance and gymnastics. Also on the menu: ice hockey and ice skating at the Sky Rink, fitness classes, running, soccer, sailing, rock climbing, yoga, swimming and volleyball. chelseapiers.com

     

    Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA)

    A team of professional teaching artists leads age-appropriate classes in fine art and media-making at The Children’s Museum of the Arts in SoHo. WeeArt classes are offered for babies up to age 5 to have a multi-sensory experience with art that develops fine and gross motor skills. Kids 5-15 can sign up for afterschool classes like drawing, sculpting, learning about art history, animation, film making and more. A teen program also offers a more intensive art curriculum that helps students build their portfolios. cmany.org

     

    Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)

    CMOM’s popular enrollment classes offered all year long! Sign up now! Intimate classes, expertly trained teachers and unique classroom spaces—a combination offered nowhere else in New York City. CMOM’s enrollment classes are designed to support the many ways children learn and to help parents understand and guide their child’s development. For a list of seasonal classes or to enroll, please call 212-721-1223 x 225.cmom.org

     

    Children’s Tumbling

    Starting at 16 months old, children can learn the gymnastics behind tumbling at Children’s Tumbling. With a non-competitive approach, music, storytelling and imagination are incorporated into active classes for kids in Lower Manhattan. For kids 6 years and older, Stiltwalking, trapeze amd circus silk classes are available. childrentumbling.com

     

    Child’s Play NY

    Budding thespians learn the craft of acting by re-interpreting classic and contemporary children’s literature at Child’s Play NY in Carroll Gardens and Brooklyn Heights. Afterschool classes for ages 3-5 are offered alongside summer intensives and in-school residencies for both 3-5 and 6-9, in which kids explore story-telling, song, creative movement, theater games and improvisation. childsplayny.com

     

    Church Street School for Music and Art

    This non-profit school for the arts in Lower Manhattan focuses on music and art classes for ages 16 months up to teens and adults. An Afterschool Arts Academy features classes in: comics and illustration, art foundations, hip hop dance, digital photography, CSS choristers, digital animation/sound effects, drawing, painting, sculpture, wellness and yoga. churchstreetschool.org

     

    Citibabes

    Located in SoHo, this family membership club offers age-appropriate classes for little ones 2 months to 10 years. Besides its renowned preschool program, CitiSchool, kids can also enroll in enriching classes focusing on science, art, cooking, music, ballet and creative movement, foreign languages like French and Spanish, American Sign Language and family yoga. Combination classes for babies and toddlers are also offered. citibabes.com

     

    Collina Italiana

    Italian language and culture programs are offered at this Upper East Side location as well as off-site. Children’s programming, developed for toddlers through teens (2 and above), includes singing, dancing, theater, storytelling, games and Disney films in Italian. Kids ages 5-12 will even create a play and perform it all in Italian on stage. collinaitaliana.com

     

    Columbus Gym 

    Active tots and school-aged children can sign up for classes at Columbus Gym, the largest gym on the Upper West Side. Classes feature age-appropriate activities for ages 6-12 months up to 12 years old. The 3,000-square-foot gymnasium features tumbling mats, a soft jungle gym, a trampoline, beams, rings and bars, where kids can test their gymnastics, movement, motor skills, balance and coordination. columbusgymnyc.com

     

    Cook With Class

    Chef Rob Endelman teaches cooking classes for ages 5 and up. All classes use organic, local and seasonal ingredients. Kids learn how to make over their favorite junk foods using various cooking techniques. Classes are offered throughout New York City. cookwithclass.net

     

    The Craft Studio

    Due to popular demand The Craft Studio is pleased to announce we now offer crafting classes. Let your kids create uninhibitedly with the most fun, creative and trendy art supplies. From neon wrap bracelets to designing wallets and pocketbooks to multi-media self portraits and so much more. With our supportive and caring instructors and our famous fun philosophies, your kids will be begging for more Craft Studio classes! From rowdy boys to girly girls, we have something for every child ages 3 and up! Available in studio, and in your school or space! Call to inquire or set up your own class! craftstudionyc.com

     

    Creative Play for Kids

    This music, movement and play program for babies 3 months old to toddlers 3 years old is offered at several locations throughout Manhattan. Little ones will enjoy singing, dancing, open play, stories and instrument playing. Drop-in classes and music-and-art combo classes are also available. creativeplayforkids.com

     

    DanceSport

    Located on West 34th Street, the largest ballroom and Latin dance studio in New York offers a Made4Kids music and dance education program. Little Learners, for ages 3-5, encourages individual expression and communication, free style dance, partner dance and the fundamentals of sign language. Pre-school alternative music and dance classes are also offered. Children 6-12 will learn dances from different cultures, including salsa, merengue, swing, ballroom, hip hop and more. dancesport.com 

     

    Dean Street

    This Brooklyn restaurant’s weekly children’s events include everything from arts and crafts to story time to sing-alongs with kid-favorite musicians and bands. All programs begin at 10:30am—so stick around after for a family lunch! deanstreetbrooklyn.com

     

    The Diller-Quaile School of Music

    Since 1920, Diller-Quaile has been developing the innate musicality in each individual, inspiring participation for a lifetime. The School is comprised of Early Childhood, Instrumental & Vocal, Adult, Teacher Training, and Outreach Departments. Rug Concerts, master classes and faculty concerts occur throughout the year. Classes begin 9/18/12. diller-quaile.org

     

    Discovery Programs

    This early childhood institution on the Upper West Side hosts year-round special events, classes, camps and programs for ages 19 months to 10 years. At each age, kids have a variety of activities to choose from. Classes include Art for Tots, ballet and jazz, gymnastics (including Baby Gym and Gym for Tots), Sumo Samurai, soccer, a Musical Theater Club and more. There’s also an open gym and art studio. discoveryprograms.com

     

    The Early Ear

    A variety of music classes are offered at The Early Ear, designed to introduce musical concepts to young children. Classes are grouped by age (4-12 months, 1-2 years, 2-3 years, 3-4 years and 4-5 years) and range from sing-alongs to introducing musical instruments. The classes are designed to help students decide which musical instrument they want to study for private lessons. Located throughout the Upper East and West Sides. theearlyear.com

     

    East Side Tae Kwon Do

    At this Upper East Side gym, kids ages 2-12 learn martial arts training in tae kwon do. Cardio kickboxing, warrior yoga classes, Parent/Child Tae Kwon Do and Bully Self-Defense workshops (for ages 5-7 and 8-12) are also offered. eastsidetaekwondo.com

     

    Eastside Westside Music Together

    Eastside Westside Music Together, an internationally recognized childhood music program for babies, toddlers and children up to age seven, is located on both the Upper East and West Sides. Baby and mixed age groups encourage each child to move, chant, sing and explore musical instruments with lots of parent participation. Older kids ages 5-7 will learn basic music literacy combined with play, laying the foundation for school or private instruction. eswsmusictogether.com

     

    East Side Yoga 

    Designed to build body awareness in a non-competitive environment, this kids’ yoga school on the Upper East Side offers age-appropriate classes that teach proper form, poses and even meditation. Classes are available for kids 2-12. eastsideyoganyc.com

     

    Fastbreak Kids

    Kids in K-5th grade can sign up for Fastbreak Kids afterschool small group instruction in baseball, basketball and flag football, to be played at various gyms and parks throughout Manhattan. In addition, weekend programs in these sports as well as dodgeball and indoor soccer are offered for older kids. fastbreakkids.com

     

    French Institute Alliance Française

    FIAF, located on the Upper East Side, offers education and arts classes for exploring French culture. Classes are designed for toddlers, kids and teens to learn the French language. Kids and family events and story hours are held in the library, and other performing arts events are held during the year. fiaf.org

     

    German American School

    Since 1892, teachers have been educating children of all races and cultures in German at the German-American School. Meeting once weekly, classes prepare students for a variety of tests up to college level. german-american-school.org

     

    Gymboree Play & Music

    At several locations throughout Manhattan, kids can sign up for music, art, sports, family fun and school skills classes for up to age 5. Gymboree Play & Learn, one of the most popular classes, encourages development through play, from sensory stimulation to problem-solving games and storytelling. The class is offered in a variety of age groups. gymboreeclasses.com

     

    Gymtime Rhythm & Glues

    There’s so much for kids to get involved in at this Upper East Side facility, from early enrichment and preschool alternative classes, to creative art and cooking, to gymnastics, sports and tae kwon do. Classes are broken up into age groups for ages 6 months to 12 years. While babies and toddlers learn to play, move and explore using gross motor and early language skills, older kids can create crafts or learn about nutrition and organic ingredients in a class like Fabulous Foodies. gymtime.net

     

    Hands On!

    Using a special instrument-based curriculum, this music studio (in four Manhattan locations) introduces infants, toddlers and preschoolers to popular folk tunes, nursery rhymes and lullabies in the Hands On Musical Experience. Classes feature stories narrated by hand puppets, music, instrument exploration and movement. An introductory keyboard class is also offered for budding pianists. handson4music.com

     

    HiArt!

    This art studio in Chelsea features a variety of classes that inspire kids. Ages 2 -12 can sign up for Opera ‘N Art, which incorporates visits to New York City museums, art galleries and operas with mixed media art projects. Other classes for older kids include writing, painting and collage-making. Holiday camps and mini-camps are also offered. hiartkids.com

     

    ¡HOLA! A Playgroup in Spanish

    Available in multiple locations throughout Manhattan, kids are taught Spanish using original and traditional music, movement, art, games and props. Classes are offered for ages 12 months to 9 years. Besides reinforcing vocabulary in the language classes, kids can also take culture & movement classes in yoga, ballet and flamenco classes taught entirely in Spanish. holaplaygroup.com

     

    Jazz at Lincoln Center

    Kids and families can participate in the family concert series, Jazz for Young People, in which they go behind the scenes and learn about famous jazz performers and jazz styles at Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side. WeBop, an early childhood jazz education program for ages 8 months to five years and their parents, teaches improvisation and styles and lets kids jam with a live quartet, swing to nursery rhymes and more. jalc.org

     

    JCC in Manhattan

    This 14-story community center on the Upper West Side serves families with a variety of classes and programs for members of all ages and abilities. The health club offers swimming lessons as well as sports and wellness classes. Other classes cover art, science, cooking, gymnastics, Russian language, dance, music, acting and performing arts. Programming is also available for children with special needs.jccmanhattan.org

     

    Jodi’s Gym

    Jodi’s Gym has been providing NYC kids (9 months-12 years) with the highest level of fun and fitness for 30 years! Our step by step, positive approach ensures that every child feels a sense of accomplishment, improves his or her skills, and has tons of FUN! At Jodi’s, children develop a love for movement, exercise, and fitness that will last a lifetime. From the tiniest tumblers to the more advanced gymnast—there are so many class options to choose from. Class offerings include mommy and me gymnastics, gym and music combos, preschool gymnastics, gymnastics for K-6th grade, dance, fitness, lunch bunch, science, holiday and school break camps, open play, play groups, private lessons, and the best birthdays ever! jodisgym.com

     

    Joffrey Ballet School

    Kids who sign up for ballet at Joffrey Ballet School in the West Village are trained in classical and contemporary ballet as well as other forms of dance, including modern, jazz, hip-hop and character dance. A Children’s Program (ages 2-9) also offers Dance with Me (which includes parents or caregivers as the dance partner). A Young Dancer’s Program is offered for ages 10 and up. joffreyballetschool.com

     

    Karma Kids Yoga

    Karma Kids Yoga offers a fun and creative approach for infants through teenagers! We’ll take magical yoga adventures with puppets, songs, stories and games to keep young kids engaged and interested. As they grow, classes always include simple and challenging poses, which help to increase strength, coordination, balance, focus and confidence. We’ll also include kid-friendly music, fun yoga games and activities, and relaxation time with foot rubs. Glow-in-the-Dark Yoga, Pajama Yoga, CircusYoga and Yoga Birthday Parties are also available. Come Play Yoga! karmakidsyoga.com

     

    Kick & Play 

    Introduce your toddler, 12-24 months, to the basics of soccer and fun-filled movement. From the creators of Super Soccer Stars, this pre-soccer program engages toddlers’ natural development with the help of puppet friends. Parents and children stretch to a song, enjoy a soccer warm-up and upper body activity, learn soccer skills and play educational games. Offered at several locations. kickandplay.com

     

    Kidberry

    This music and education center in South Harlem introduces songs, movement, rhythmic rhymes and instrument play to babies up to kindergarteners with their Music Together class. The center also offers a “preschool in 90 minutes” concept with My Mini School, which offers circle time, art, music, dance, games, free play and snack time for toddlers and preschoolers. Dance classes incorporating ballet, hip hop and Latin rhythms are also offered, as are foreign language classes that introduce kids to French and Mandarin Chinese.kidberrynyc.com

     

    Kids at Art 

    Kids at Art is the premiere Art Studio for Children in NYC! We focus on the basics of visual arts, with age-appropriate projects for each group from 2 to 11 years of age: painting, drawing, collage and much more, in a nurturing environment. BIG NEWS! Opening in September: Our fabulous NEW studio at 1412 Second Ave. (73-74) kidsatartnyc.com

     

    Kids at Work

    A variety of drop-off classes are offered for babies and tots up to age five at this center in Chelsea, which focuses on educational policies taken from Bank Street and Montessori systems. Try a sensory music or art class, learn how to play soccer with Super Soccer Stars, whip up some goodies with Taste Buds Kitchen, or toddle around a toddler ballet class. Sun Sessions are also offered at a local park, incorporating music, movement, stories and songs. kidsatworknyc.com

     

    Kids In Sports

    Located throughout Manhattan, kids can sign up for this specialized sports program for ages 12 months through 12 years old. They will learn the fundamentals of baseball, basketball, flag football, floor hockey, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball through multi-sport or sport-specific classes. In addition to basic skills, kids are taught sportsmanship. Kids In Sports offers camps for two different age groups, both indoors. The program for boys and girls ages 2.5-3 years old runs from 9am until 12:30pm. The older camp for ages 4-6 years old runs from 9am until 1pm. These camps run in July and August. kisnyc.com

     

    Kidville

    Child Development specialists designed a variety of creative classes to stimulate, engage and entertain babies up to age 6 at this favorite kid center, located throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Choose from cooking, gym, art, enrichment, and music and dance classes like Rockin’ Railroad, which features a train conductor who takes tots on a journey through tempo, rhythm, word recognition and sound identification. Not sure if your child is ready for preschool? The Kidville University program offers a pre-school alternative. kidville.com

     

    Language Workshop for Children

    Stimulating language lessons are offered for babies, toddlers and children in elementary school. At the Language Workshop for Children, original music, action games, visual aids and vocabulary-building songs help students learn language immersion in Spanish, French, Chinese and Italian. The program is internationally recognized, using The Thibaut Technique, a whole language approach using both sides of the brain. Locations are on the Upper East Side or Upper West Side at the Lucy Moses School. languageworkshopforchildren.com

     

    Launch Math Achievement Center

    This center on the Upper West Side teaches basic math concepts to young children, using objects and themes they encounter every day. Through small group activities, little ones 6 months-5 years will learn counting, geometric designs, math vocabulary, math attributes, measuring, estimation, probability, patterns, time and more. Kids in grades K-8 also learn in a fun class using computer-based instructional methods, hands-on teaching tools, and problem-solving techniques. launchmath.com

     

    Lil Yogi’s NYC

    The fundamentals of yoga are introduced to kids ages 12 months through the teen years in this playful, non-competitive program, which is held at studios throughout the Upper West Side and in Central Park in late spring and summer. Classes are designed to help kids feel stronger and more relaxed, engaging their imaginations with pictures, music, stories, interactive games and traditional poses. lilyogisnyc.com

     

    Little Maestros

    This award-winning infant and toddler music program, available in several Manhattan locations, offers little ones an introduction to music with instruments, age-appropriate movement exercises, pretend play and interactive activities, original music performances, bubbles, musical storytime, puppet shows and more. littlemaestros.com

     

    Loop of the Loom

    This hand-weaving studio on the Upper East Side offers afterschool classes for ages 5-14. Using the award-winning SAORI weaving program from Japan, kids of different levels produce their own projects with semi-private instruction. They’ll learn spinning and felting from natural fiber, as well as dyeing, sewing, knitting and crochet to create belts, hats, ponchos, bags, dresses and more. A family class for homeschoolers ages 8 and up is also available. loopoftheloom.com

     

    Lucy Moses School

    This Hebrew arts school located at the Kaufman Center on the Upper West Side offers dance, music and theater classes for children from preschoolers to teens. Preschoolers develop dance techniques through ballet, creative dance, rhythmic games, songs and stories, while older kids learn modern dance and jazz combinations to music from Broadway and children’s theater. Music classes range from instrument instruction to composition to advanced music theory, and theater classes bring favorite storybooks and fairy tales to life. kaufman-center.org/lms

     

    Make Meaning

    Make Meaning is a first-of-its-kind destination for kids and adults to have fun with creativity. We offer over 50 activities featuring popular mediums including Cake Decorating, Candles, Soap, Glass, Ceramics, Paper, Jewelry and more! Something to celebrate? Get creative with your crew in one of our stunningly designed private party spaces where your customized event promises the ultimate in interactive fun for all ages. We have locations on the Upper East and West Sides. makemeaning.com

     

    Mathnasium

    Located on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Brooklyn, this learning center helps increase your child’s math skills, understanding of concepts and overall school performance. Kids attend two or three times a week for about an hour. mathnasium.com

     

    Moey’s Music Party

    This award-winning Off Broadway songwriter and mom rocker and her band perform children’s concerts throughout New York City playgrounds and for birthday parties throughout the New York Metro area. Summer classes are also offered in Central Park, featuring songs, dances, instruments, musical fairy tales, weekly themes and lessons in counting and phonics for mixed ages, infants through preschoolers. moeysmusicparty.com

     

    Moonsoup

    Babies from 2-12 months, toddlers and preschoolers up to age 5 can get a feel for sensory play, including music, art and even American Sign Language at this early childhood learning center in multiple locations in Manhattan and Astoria. Classes incorporate messy art projects, dress up costumes, puppets, drumming, dancing and more, as children work on taking turns and sharing. moonsoup.net

     

    Musical Kids International

    Interested in teaching your child another language? Musical Kids International on the Upper East Side teaches kids Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Hebrew and English through interactive activities that incorporate music, dance, art and movement. Professional educators who are native speakers work with materials imported from around the world and with their own award-winning products, including reading rugs filled with multicultural materials and play areas. musicalkids.net

     

    Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals

    Children 6 months to 5 years will enjoy singing, dancing, musical story telling, instrument jam sessions and puppet play at this music class featuring original music that reflects growing up in an urban environment. Classes are held at multiple locations. musicforaardvarks.com

     

    My Gym UES

    At My Gym on the Upper East Side, little ones ages 6 weeks to 11 years learn sports skills, gain fine and gross motor proficiency and strengthen manipulative skills. In all age groups, teaching physical skills is a top priority, but children also develop social skills as they become good listeners, follow directions and cooperate. my-gym.com/manhattan.aspx

     

    My Gym UWS

    My Gym on the Upper West Side has spent 25 years building children’s self-esteem and nurturing a love of fitness and activity. Gym, yoga and martial arts classes are offered in a clean, safe and fun environment for children 6 weeks to 10 years. Member benefits include unlimited summer classes and free plays as well as exclusive savings on parent’s night out, summer camp and birthday parties! Whether working on fine motor skills or core strength, My Gym wraps it all up in fun activities, so your child is laughing and smiling while learning and developing. my-gym.com/nyc.aspx

     

    National Academy Museum & School

    The Academy’s art classes for young students incorporate drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and mixed media in a learning environment that encourages creativity and self-expression. With classes taught indoors and outside, young students explore Museum Mile and Central Park as well as the newly redesigned Academy. nationalacademy.org

     

    New York Jazz Academy

    This fast-growing music school offers an introduction to jazz curriculum in locations throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island. Ages 9-13 can audition for a Junior Jazz Workshop, which introduces improvisation and styles while teaching note-reading skills, music theory, instrument technique ensemble performance and more. Even infants and preschoolers can get an introduction to jazz with Jelly Jamz in Jackson Heights, Queens. nyjazzacademy.com

     

    New York Theatre Ballet

    Ballet School NY, in Murray Hill, is the official training school of New York Theatre Ballet, offering graded classes from pre-ballet (ages 4-7), Ballet I and Ballet II (ages 8-11) and advanced classes in Ballet III and Young Artists Program (ages 11 and up). The Children’s Division performs its Once Upon A Ballet series at Florence Gould Hall and is by audition only. Ballet is taught as an art form, with strong technical skill and discipline. nytb.org

     

    NYChessKids

    One of the largest youth chess programs, NYChessKids spreads its love for the game through organizing tournaments, after school programs and chess camps. Instructors also host classes at the New York Public Library and offer private lessons. nychesskids.com

     

    NY City Explorers

    This team of educators and artists offers enrichment classes, preschool programs and adventure camps for kids of all ages. Five-hour walking adventures to each of the five boroughs are available for 2-16 year olds to explore parks, museums and attractions with the Daytrippers program. nycityexplorers.com

     

    NY Kids Club

    Sign your child up for classes at one of these six children’s enrichment centers, located throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. There are baby fitness and music classes for infants 2-5 months old plus a variety of classes for pre-schoolers as well as school-age children. Choose from art, music, dance, gymnastics, fitness, cooking, preschool learning or combo classes that let kids explore more than one activity. nykidsclub.com

     

    Peridance Capezio Center

    The School at Peridance with its renowned PeriChild Program was established in 1983 and has been recognized as a pioneer in dance education within the New York dance community. Offering classes and training for students ranging from 18 months to 18 years, The School at Peridance features a progressive interdisciplinary approach to dance training, emphasizing a thorough understanding of various dance techniques, while promoting self-expression and creativity. Offering classes in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Musical Theater, Salsa and African. peridance.com

     

    Physique Swim School

    Physique Swimming offers classes year-round, at all skill-levels, starting at 6 months. In addition to swim lessons, Physique Swimming offers a Summer Camp in Battery Park City, Gateway Plaza with swim instructions, an educational art program and exciting sports activities every day. Six locations throughout Manhattan. Register online and receive 10% off. physiqueswimming.com

     

    Planet Han

    Mandarin for all! Learning. Fun. Confidence! Planet Han teaches Mandarin to kids and adults through our group classes, afterschool programs and private tutoring. It sends you MP3 files after each class to recap what the children have learned. Planet Han is moving in September to: 410 West End Ave (79th Street) 212-724-2421 planethanchinese.com

     

    Playgarden

    Offering classes in ballet, hip hop, sports, karate, music and more, Playgarden enriches growing minds and bodies in the early years. This indoor playground and activity center located in Tribeca is geared toward children ages 0-6. playgardennyc.com

     

    Poppyseed Pre-Nursery

    Meeting two or three times a week, tots & two’s with adults, enjoy frequent contact and a daily routine of singing & dancing, playing with toys, arts & crafts, mini-gym, snack & story time. Poppyseed – the perfect bridge between home and nursery school. poppyseedprenursery.com

     

    Private Picassos

    Kids ages 18 months and up can learn all about fine art with this group of weekly classes at a variety of locations around New York City. Customized, in-home art lessons or arranged museum and gallery tours also let kids explore legendary artists. Kids get involved with interactive projects that increase fine motor skills, such as crafting their own jewelry or making their own books. privatepicassos.com

     

    The School at Steps

    The School at Steps is a training ground for students, ages 2-18, offering year-round programs with classes in ballet, modern, tap, jazz, theater dance, hip hop and pilates. Beginning with the Young Dancers Program and continuing through Technique classes and the Pre-Professional Program, The School at Steps provides young dancers with an opportunity to explore the world of dance, to learn and experiment with technique, and to enrich their appreciation for the various forms of the art. (Ages 2-18) stepsnyc.com/the-school-at-steps

     

    Scribble Press

    This make-your-own-book store on the Upper East Side invites kids to write and illustrate their own books and get them bound as a softcover or board book—or create an e-book the same day. Storytelling, art and writing classes are also offered for ages 2 through eighth grade. While the little ones create art and act out their own stories, older kids participate in creative writing. Each child leaves the class with a book they created themselves. scribblepress.com

     

    Simply Sports

    This athletic program in Manhattan, for ages 3-13, offers boys and girls a range of age-appropriate sports that are scheduled after school, on weekends and on school holidays at various locations. Kids can choose to play baseball, basketball, flag football or soccer in clinics, leagues and competitions. Events like capture the flag, miniature golf and other fun sports are also organized throughout the year. simplysports.net

     

    Soccer by Coach Fher

    The well-known and much-respected Coach Fher offers a specialized development program to bring out the best soccer skills in kids ages 2.5-10. Classes are offered year-round throughout New York’s boroughs in both indoor and outdoor settings with a low coach to child radio. coachfher.com

     

    socialsklz:-)

    Fun, interactive workshops teach children more than basic manners; this organization on the Upper West Side also teaches fundamental social skills and etiquette. Lessons include making good first impressions, introducing oneself, starting conversations, dining and phone skills, making a toast at a party and safe Internet use. Classes are divided into age groups (4-7, 8-12, 13-17). socialsklz.com

     

    SocRoc

    A former soccer professional and certified strength and conditioning specialist teaches soccer and fitness classes year-round throughout Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. Kids ages 2-12 will develop core, upper and lower body strength, learn soccer basics as well as enhance flexibility and endurance. jcsocroc.com

     

    SPORTIME Randall’s Island

    At SPORTIME Randall’s Island, kids have a variety of classes to choose from. Besides tennis clinics, they can sign up for inline skating, roller hockey, basketball, football, multi-sport, baseball and lacrosse. Leagues, clinics, tournaments and open play are available throughout the year. Dance classes like Broadway Babes, Kinder Combo, TeenyBop Hip-Hop (featuring tap) and Citidance are also offered. sportimeny.com/manhattan

     

    StageCoach Theatre Arts

    Singing, drama/acting and dance classes are offered for budding thespians (ages 4-18) at this Upper East Side part-time performing arts school. Kids learn vocal articulation and modulation, acting techniques, characterization and advanced choreography. stagecoachschools.com/uppereastside

     

    Super Soccer Stars and Super Soccer Stars Premier

    Super Soccer Stars teaches soccer skills in a fun, non-competitive and educational environment. Though our age-specific curriculum, we use soccer to nurture, build self-confidence and develop teamwork. Kick & Play, our parent-child pre-soccer program, is perfect for tots ages 12-24 months. For our advanced young soccer stars, inquire about Super Soccer Stars Premier development classes as well as NY Stars Premier, our competitive travel teams. Classes offered at 250+ locations throughout the tri-state area. supersoccerstars.com; starspremier.com

     

    SwimJim

    SwimJim classes are a fun way to learn swimming and water safety year-round. We believe children learn best in a friendly, loving environment where they feel safe and at ease; this enables them to learn basic and advanced swimming skills, and will help parents feel comfortable when their children are learning water safety and to swim. With 6 NYC locations and classes ranging from infants to adult, SwimJim has a class for everyone. 212-749-7335swimjim.com

     

    TADA! Youth Theater

    Sing! Dance! Act! TADA! Youth Theater runs weekly musical theater classes, and whenever school is out, TADA! is in with 1-Day and Week-Long camps. Toddlers through 8th graders build performing skills with original TADA! music. 15 West 28th Street, 3rd floor, For more info: 212-252-1619 /tadatheater.com

     

    Take Two Film Academy

    Aspiring movie makers will love this filmmaking and film-acting program, available after school, on weekends and over the summer for kids and teens ages 8-15. The Upper West Side facility invites students to write, act, shoot and edit their own film and submit to the New York International Children’s Film Festival. Cameras, audio and editing software and other equipment are provided. taketwofilmacademy.com

     

    Taste Buds Kitchen

    Kids ages 2 through teens can sign up for weekly cooking classes and have a new culinary adventure each week at Taste Buds Kitchen, located in the Fashion District. They’ll learn to make everything from cupcakes to mac and cheese to special cuisine from around the world. Sign up to learn how to cook with the whole family. Special summer camps and day-long or week-long camps are also available during school holidays. tastebudskitchen.com

     

    TLB Music

    TLB Music, formerly Three Little Birds Music, is a music studio and playspace located on the Upper East Side. TLB Music’s group classes for children ages 4 months to 6 years are designed to enhance development while introducing children to all genres of music and 20 classical and folk instruments. Its eco-friendly Playroom for children ages 10 months to 6 years is perfect for playdates and birthday parties. Beginning Fall 2012, TLB will also offer drama and art classes. tlbmusic.com

     

    West Side Taekwondo

    This martial arts center on the Upper West Side offers taekwondo training for kids of all ages. Age-appropriate classes include Pee Pods (ages 3-4), Pee Wee (ages 4-5), children’s program for beginners, intermediate and advanced (ages 6-11), teens and adults. westsidetkd.com

     

    YMCA

    Located throughout New York City, local branches of the Y offer a variety of programs for kids of all ages, from Pre-K through teen. There are traditional sport clinics, parent/child and group swimming lessons, fitness, art, music, dance, performing arts and visual art classes to choose from. Older kids can also take martial arts training or sign up for academic enrichment classes. ymcanyc.org

     

    Yogi Beans

    This Upper East Side yoga studio for kids offers flexible drop-in classes for babies, toddlers, children and teens year-round. Age-appropriate classes help kids with breathing exercises and proper poses, while props like storybooks, songs and games will keep them entertained. yogibeans.com

     

    For more classes in the city, visit our Classes Directory at newyorkfamily.com.

     

    BIG TIP: What’s Hot In Classes

    Some of the hottest new classes for kids are geared toward helping them become mini adults. Think: calming yoga instruction, cooking international cuisine and learning a second language. These classes present children with opportunities to broaden their horizons.

     

    • Bilingualism: When it comes to learning a new language, it seems the current mindset is: the younger, the better. Many programs have ways of introducing new languages to kids as young as infants! The big question for your child and your family is whether to opt for total immersion or a less intense curriculum.

     

    • Cooking: Kiddies are learning how to whip up nutritious, organic fare—perhaps better than their parents! Some things you may want to consider: The expertise of the instructor, dietary restrictions and whether the class offers an interesting mix of food, fun and cultural experiences.

     

    • Yoga: The incredible popularity of Mommy & Me classes has found its way onto the yoga mats. And now older kids are also saying “namaste” at these relaxing yet fun movement classes for focused exercise and a healthy dose of quiet.

     

    BIG TIP: How Young Is Too Young?

    In the world of extracurriculars, there is increasing pressure for kids to specialize in an activity they are passionate about, even if that means cutting out or cutting way down on other areas of interest. Whether it’s sports, art, music or chess, kids are faced with the choice of going deep and often getting competitive at younger and younger ages. What’s a concerned parent to do? Let’s start with this important tidbit: As Dr. Paul Weiss, Chief Program Officer at Asphalt Green, who has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, noted to us, parents should realize that, in sports at least, there really isn’t a connection between early triumphs and later success at the highest levels. “There is evidence that success in sports at the age of 10 or 11 generally has little correlation with later success when athletes are 17 or 18—the critical years for many athletes in terms of their physical development, capacity for performance and timing to participate in college athletics.”

     

    • Moreover, if your goal is to raise a child with a lifetime attachment to physical activity (or any other passion), here’s what Dr. Weiss recommends:
      • Make participation in sports and physical fitness a priority in your family, at a comparable priority level as music, art, reading and other pursuits.
      • Let your child prioritize “fun” in his or her sport choices.
      • The first goal should be mastery of skills, not objective performance.
    • As children’s bodies change and develop, particularly with the onset of puberty, their physical abilities may similarly morph. Exposure to multiple sports throughout elementary and middle school can ease these transitions by providing the child with the broadest possible athletic skill set and the confidence to refocus on a sport that better suits them.
    • When your child crosses the threshold into the tween years, it’s time to start thinking about sport specialization. However, the focus should still be on mastery of skills.
    • The most important advice: raise the whole child and make sports a critical part of this whole.

     

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