Being an NYC kid offers a wealth of opportunities to engage in a variety of classes, so your little one can become a complete Renaissance man or woman by age 2. Because when it comes to classes for city kids of all ages, there are more options in NYC than on many college campuses. From music and dance to science and sports, and much, much more, our classes guide will ensure you don’t miss a single opportunity to enrich your child.
For a full web directory of the classes listed below, click HERE!
Build Your Baby’s Brain for Preschool
Getting your little one ready for preschool can be as easy as ABC. Let the Art Farm’s Farm Friends program engage your child in school concepts with a grown-up at their side. From art projects to the petting zoo, the animal fun is endless! Getting ready for preschool? The Diller-Quaile School of Music offers ages 2-3 a preschool preparatory experience via music and art in a classroom environment that promotes school readiness. NY Kids Club’s Preschool Prep Combo pairs gym time with preschool prep with you right by their side. Be sure to also check out their newest location on the Upper East Side, opening this July. Did your child just miss the cut-off age for preschool but is ready for a quasi-preschool experience? Check out Pre-Pre-School (PPS) at MAGIC Activity Center, which readies kids for preschool by teaching them key skills like following the lead of a teacher, transitioning between activities, and sharing resources and space with other children. Poppyseed Prenursery’s Poppin’ Tots program has it all—amazing art, musical extravaganzas with instruments, story circles, dancing, tumbling, and more—for babies, toddlers, and 2s, grouped by age and accompanied by adults.
Make Masterpieces with Your Mini Monet…
Let your little one’s creative genius out with these artistic expression classes. Head to the Craft Studio for Toddler Art! Each week, little artists learn a new technique, continue exploring their creativity, practice their skills in a mess-welcome zone, and top it off with a dance party in true Craft Studio fashion! At the Children’s Museum of the Arts’ WEE Arts Drop-In, ages 1-5 can join an art-filled drop-in session when the museum is closed for general hours. With no worries about making a mess in the specially designed art studio, children are encouraged to unleash their artistic talents. Kids at Art explores the basics of art as children learn to use various mediums—paint, pencil, cray pas, watercolor—and learn about collage, printmaking, sculpture, plaster, and papier mâché. At Private Picassos’ Triangles, Squares and Circles, Oh My! artists from 18-48 months will explore shapes, color, and strengthen their fine motor skills through a variety of 2- and 3- dimensional art materials. Color me bad!
…And Music with Your Baby Beethoven
Music is known to stimulate little minds, and these classes will have you singing all the way home. Applause New York’s parent & me programs let you explore different Broadway shows and rock bands each class, keeping everyone entertained! At Eastside Westside Music Together, the love of music will deepen the love between you and baby in their classes for little ones under 6 months. The Prenatal Yoga Center’s baby and me class incorporates themes focusing on legendary artists while exploring basic musical concepts, playing age-appropriate instruments, and sharing the joy of music. Take a cross-country musical journey with TLB Music this spring and summer. Students will travel to find a new genre of music—from rock to country, to classical to hula—and then meet the instruments and explore the music of the USA. songs for seeds encourages children ages 0-6 to sing, dance, and play along with a live, three-piece band. Kids rock out with children’s instruments, as well as real drums, guitars, keyboards and instruments from around the world. The familial atmosphere of the mixed-age music class at the 92Y provides a warm learning environment for little ones ages 9 months-4 years to explore the many elements of music, including rhythm, pitch, tempo, and mixed meters, through singing, movement, and creative play.
Get Ready to Take the Stage
These wonderful classes will teach the aspiring performer to learn that practice makes perfect. The Lucy Moses School at the Kaufman Music Center’s Musical Theater Workshop highlights concentration, teamwork, and creativity while offering an active exploration of the dramatic arts for children ages 8-12. Musical theater classes at TADA! Youth Theater work to build self-confidence and challenge children ages 3-14 to be the very best they can be as they work toward a final performance for friends and family. Five, six, seven, eight! There’s a dynamic dance class for all those little ones who think they can dance. They’ll love the Hip-Hop Dance Class at JCC Manhattan, available for ages 4-10. This high-energy class develops students’ hip-hop skills, while pumping up their energy and confidence and developing body awareness, self-esteem, physical strength, coordination, and teamwork skills. For Boys Only, part of the Young Dancers Program at the School at Steps, is an innovative dance class for boys ages 4-5, designed to channel their natural energy into creative movement. Through the use of props, heroic character themes, and live percussive music, this class builds self-confidence and athletic coordination! For the best classical training at a young age, sign up your little ballerina for Ballet Academy East’s Pre Ballet Class. Children are introduced to the beginnings of ballet in a positive and creative environment, focusing on developing strength, flexibility, musicality, and the joy of dance complete with live piano music. At the Broadway Dance Center, ages 2.5-18 can receive elite training during the Children & Teen program, which runs September-June and culminates in a captivating showcase. At the Atlantic Acting School’s Musical Theater Performance Workshop (for ages 14-18), students develop musical theater skills by learning to apply the Atlantic acting technique to a musical performance. This workshop utilizes the tools of Practical Aesthetics and vocal coaching to develop the actor’s understanding of song selection, lyric interpretation, and more. Ballet Hispanico’s Los Pasitos: Early Childhood Program (Ages 2-5) focuses on developing coordination, spatial awareness and musicality, with an emphasis on each child’s unique self-expression. Children learn proper dance etiquette, explore the wide spectrum of Hispanic culture and build a solid foundation for dance training in a joyful environment! Shooting Stars NYC is introducing a brand-new competitive team in the fall of 2016! The Starlight Competitive Jazz Team will focus on technique, showmanship, and stunts, as dancers ages 9 – 12 will learn and compete exciting new choreography to popular music.
Take Young Athletes to the Field (or Pool) of Dreams
Channel your little tyke’s boundless energy into a super sports class. For a preschool alternative, take your tiny athlete to Kids in Sports for their Pre-School Athletes program, offering children ages 2.5-4 the opportunity to combine the best of the Kids In Sports athletic program with a classroom segment utilizing a curriculum designed to aid pre-school learners. Give your little athletes the chance to exercise both their bodies and minds with Fastbreak Kids’ Multi-Sport classes (ages 2-5). While learning a new sport every few weeks, the smallest athletes are introduced to basic skills through creative play and station-based learning, and older athletes improve their skills through mini-games and competition-style activities. Or, make a splash at the 14th Street Y’s Aquatics for Kids programs, where babies learn to swim with song and fun water activities. Ages 3 and up can dip their toes with the Learn to Swim program, which offers six levels of instruction. SwimJim’s SwimKids class teaches confidence in the water, breath control, buoyancy and diving, and is perfect for beginners 3 and older. Physique Swimming’s Me & My Shadow swim classes introduce aquatics to swimmers ages 6 months to 2.5 years. Children and parents participate together, guided by expert teachers using sing-along songs and group activities with a focus on water exploration and adjustment to the aquatic environment.
Asphalt Green offers martial arts classes that cover techniques from various styles including karate, boxing, taekwondo, jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai. The curriculum is based on Asphalt Green’s 12 pillars of a champion philosophy, which instills positive character traits such as self-discipline, determination, respect, sportsmanship, and accountability. Kids will learn the basic elements of Crossfit movements in Gymtime Rhythm & Glues’ newest program, Fitness Warriors. The exercises performed during class are suitable for any child between the ages of 3-4.11 with extra energy, athletic potential, and a thirst for fun! Gaga fans K-5 are invited to the Gaga Center’s one-hour afterschool gag sessions on Mondays from 3:30-4:30pm, which include a warm-up, instruction, music, and loads of time to play. Super Soccer Stars teaches soccer skills in a fun, non-competitive, and educational environment. Through their age-specific curriculum, they use soccer to nurture, build self-confidence, and develop teamwork.
Hit the Links & the Courts
Are you hoping your little golfer is in the pipeline to wear the famous green jacket? If so, take a golf cart ride to the Family Golf Clinic at Chelsea Piers. In this 4-week program, parents learn alongside their little birdies (ages 4-11) with instruction on all aspects of the sport, Each 1.5-hour Sunday clinic is designed to accommodate golfers of all skill levels. If you expect your tennis star to play in a Grand Slam someday, check out Gotham Tennis Academy, where certified pros teach the fundamentals while stressing sportsmanship, hard work, and fun in prime locations throughout Manhattan and the greater NYC metro area (including Stadium Tennis Center–NYC’s newest and largest indoor/outdoor tennis center). Or head to Tennis Innovators 10 & Under Tennis Academy (10&UTA) for a captivating experience delivering all aspects of tennis in an innovative and fun approach. Players will develop their hand-eye coordination, balance, mobility, tennis technique, and love of the game with lots of playing time. Make sure not to miss Advantage QuickStart Tennis, giving kids ages 3 and up a proven way to learn and love the game! They customize for age and ability, with specially-sized racquets and slower-bouncing balls.
Seek Scientific Discovery with STEM Classes
If your child is a math or science whiz (or you want them to be), don’t miss these super STEM classes. SciTech Kids’ SciTech Explorers allows preschoolers to discover and explore natural phenomena through observations, experimentation, storytelling, and creative play. Budding scientists learn about ecosystems, chemical reactions, biodiversity, magnetism, light, colors, dinosaurs, gravity, different forms of energy, and how to build simple robots. If they’re not sure what they want to be when they grow up, take them to Launch Math & Science Centers’ newly expanded Pre-K/K Program for the “I Wanna Be..!” series. This series engages young kids while having a blast and exploring foundational STEM topics, whether they want to be a coder or physicist! Math rangers should report to Mathnasium of Manhattan, offering year-round programs for students from elementary through high school. The programs teach using the “Mathnasium Method,” and each instructor works with 1-3 students every hour in a semi-private setting, combining individualized instruction with independent work. Students at the Coding Space created over 1,000 projects in the past two semesters, encouraging many to come see why the combination of project-based learning and the Socratic method of teaching make for the perfect environment for learning to code. For more computer fun, Zaniac Learning’s Web Design class has students in grades 2-8 create their own website, all the way from concept to functional, hosted site. RoboFun’s stop motion animation class teaches students in grades 3-6 the tricks of the trade, including cutout animation, Claymation, and puppetry, as they work in teams to draft scripts and storyboards, design characters and finally shoot and edit their work. Sign up for the Pixel Academy this fall and join a community of young makers and tech inventors! Their open makerspaces in Manhattan and Brooklyn encourage kids ages 7-12 to participate in workshops and activities and undertake projects of their own imaginations in programming, game development, 3D printing, Minecraft modding, digital arts, and much more.
Train a Future US Ambassador
If you’re the parent of a future UN or US Ambassador, you can’t start their worldly and language training too early. First, head to Italy—or at least Collina Italiana’s Girotondo (“circle”), their year-round kids’ program offering comprehensive Italian language learning through play and activities like games, songs, dances, arts, storytelling, and film. Travel to France via the French Institute Alliance Française’s (FIAF) French Workshops for Toddlers. Toddlers love FIAF’s hour-long fun and creative workshops where they will learn French while painting, singing, dancing, exploring nature, and more, with rotating themes each week. Next, you’re off to HudsonWay Immersion School’s afterschool language programs for a fun and effective way for children ages 2.5-12 to learn Mandarin or Spanish, and where all classes are conducted entirely in the target language and led by fluent and proficient language teachers. Kids ages 0-12 can learn Chinese language and culture through Planet Han’s group classes and cooking, science, music, and art programs—all taught in Mandarin! If you’re through with all the travel, try in-home private lessons with Bilingual Birdies. You simply choose your start date, ideal day and time, friends, and your favorite language and watch your living room or community room space transform into an unforgettable foreign language experience complete with live music, dance, and puppetry. Kindergartners can get a jump on their German at the German-American School’s new “Let’s Draw and Sing” class for ages 5-6, which teaches students the basics through German song.
Ace that Admissions Interview and Test
No need to stress about that admissions test! Book Nook’s classes for ages 18 months-6 years ensure that each child is sufficiently prepared for preschool and Kindergarten acceptance. The thoughtful curriculum is infused with the skills necessary for standardized tests taken for Kindergarten acceptance and placement. ibidPREP prepares children for the fall SHSAT (Specialized High School Admissions Test) to get them through it with flying colors. Each year they help students get into Specialized High Schools, thanks to their courses honed to the test and the young teenage mind. EBL Coaching will offer Executive Functioning skills classes for elementary and middle school students. Students will learn research-based, multi-sensory techniques to develop organization, planning, time management, test taking, and written language skills. Classes are offered both one-on-one and in a small group setting.
Flip Out over Exercise for the Heart, Body & Soul
At Jodi’s Gym, ages 5-12 will cartwheel with delight during Funtastic Gymnastics! Young gymnasts learn gymnastics in a positive, safe, and fun environment and gain strength, flexibility, focus, coordination and balance, building self-confidence all along the way. Run away with the circus at Karma Kids Yoga’s Circus Yoga class, which blends the consciousness of yoga with the communal celebration of circus. It fosters connection, play, and communication through circus skills (think juggling, spinning plates, and more), group games and invention, acrobatics, flying partner yoga, tightwire and balance, and creative movement. Looking for a more traditional yoga experience? At CitiBabes’ CitiYogis program, ages 2-6 quickly learn yoga is exercise for our minds, bodies, and hearts. Children learn age-appropriate poses in addition to guided mediations, and how to calm their minds, and control their breath. Rutgers Community Programs offers a Zumba class for ages 4-5, which gets kids moving in a party-like atmosphere while learning coordination, rhythm, teamwork, creative expression, different dance styles, and boosting self-esteem.
Try Something Totally New
Looking for a culinary experience? Head to Voilà Chocolat’s Chocolate Education Series, where kids can learn where chocolate comes from, how it’s made, and the difference between milk, white, or dark. Young cooks will also love Taste Buds Kitchen, which offers classes for ages 2 to teen with a caregiver, as well as summer camps for ages 4-13. Topics include Baking 101 and Urban Foodies! Venture to the Onassis Cultural Center NY, where master storytellers and educators will transport young explorers to the ancient city of Dion with lively and engaging activities, including interactive storytime where they will meet many characters along the way—maybe even a Greek god! At Baby Fingers, you and your child can dance together with the words of American Sign Language, activating formative links in your child’s developing brain, and teaching phonics, vocabulary, word recognition comprehension, and more. Construction Kids’ After School workshop at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a dynamic and creative afternoon where children learn to use various tools to build and construct projects to take home. Projects can range from puppets, animals, vehicles, and go-carts, to making toys and mazes and fantastic buildings. The Sutton Place Family Center is hosting its Grand Opening on May 22. It’s a community-based celebration designed for families with children ages 0-18, and there will be something for everyone! Their program includes classes for expectant families, infants and toddlers, preschool and school-aged afterschool programs, and more. Kids at Work is the only multi-subject center in NYC that features an all drop-in schedule, and features programming for ages infant – 4 years in music, sensory art, movement, dance, soccer, yoga, sign language, and cooking. If you’re not sure what your young ones are in the mood for, Green Ivy Enrichment brings the best of NYC kids’ programming to Lower Manhattan at their locations in the Financial District and Battery Park City. Class topics have covered everything from science to Brazilian capoeira!
For a full web directory of the classes listed below, click HERE!