The 10 Best Kids Afterschool Programs and Activities in Manhattan

The 10 Best Kids Afterschool Programs and Activities in Manhattan
Getty Images

The 10 Best Kids Afterschool Programs and Activities in Manhattan

Listings are in alphabetical order

Parents know that finding an afterschool program can be challenging. It is all-important. We want the activity portion, the hours, and most significantly, to be an enriching experience for our kids. 

There are many reasons, some personal and others obvious (our workload, afterschool stimulation is beneficial for kids), that a parent chooses to place their child in an afterschool program. Thankfully, we live in New York where we have amazing resources. But let’s get uber-focus on the Manhattan area. As you prepare for the upcoming school year, we have the 10 Best Activity and Afterschool programs standouts for you to choose from that not only will you be happy, but most notably, your child will!

Advantage QuickStart Tennis 

Multiple Locations
[email protected]
Advantage QuickStart Tennis is customized for age, ability and fun. Kids as young as age 4 who are new to Advantage can enroll now or check it out free on KidsDays in September at six locations in Manhattan. Little players love the kid-sized racquets, smaller play areas and slower-bouncing balls. All Advantage QuickStart pros are specially trained in a PTR and USTA NetGen-based curriculum, so parents can always count on a friendly, positive atmosphere and engaging drills and games. The 2023 QuickStart fall program offers classes after school and on weekends, on a schedule that works for families. Receive 10% off if enrolling in the fall session on KidsDay or 5% off if enrolling within 3 days of attending KidsDay.


The 10 Best Kids Afterschool Programs and Activities in Manhattan

The Ailey School

First Steps and Bounding Boys Program (ages 3-6)
405 W 55th Street, New York, NY
In The Ailey School’s First Steps and Bounding Boys program, children ages 3 to 6 develop physical strength and muscle memory through a weekly series of creative movement classes.With an emphasis on musicality, body and spatial awareness, and movement skill, children explore their own creativity and develop an understanding of basic dance vocabulary. Classes include live musical accompaniment and are taught by an instructional team that is dedicated to fostering fun and helping children discover the joy of dance. Auditions are not required for the First Steps and Bounding Boys program. The Ailey School also offers classes, by audition, for the Pre-Professional training program for students ages 7-17.


Ballet Academy East

1651 3rd Ave 3rd Fl
Ballet Academy East is home to aspiring dancers of all ages in its Young Dancer, Pre-Professional, Children & Teen, Adaptive Dance, and Adult Divisions. The Young Dancer Division instills in each child the joy of dance within an environment focused on developing individual potential. Children ages 18 months to 6 years develop physical coordination, self-confidence, musicality, focus and creativity through age appropriate, structured classes. The Pre-Professional Division’s comprehensive curriculum and professional-caliber performance opportunities prepare students for success in the dance world and beyond. The Children and Teen Division offer inspiring and enriching dance classes to kids ages 7-15, with no audition required. The Adaptive Dance Division gives children with autism spectrum disorders, down syndrome, developmental delays, or sensory sensitivities an accessible, empowering and fun dance experience. The Adult Division offers drop-in classes in dance and fitness for teen enthusiasts and adult beginners to seasoned dancers and athletes. Ballet classes have live piano accompaniment and are held in Ballet Academy East’s beautiful, light-filled studios.


The 10 Best Kids Afterschool Programs and Activities in Manhattan

Bloomingdale School of Music 

323 West 108th St.
Bloomingdale School of Music, serving the UWS since 1964, offers a variety of music classes for students of all ages in their beloved brownstone and online. Bloomingdale classes aim to educate students and instill a sense of passion and fun for self-expression through music. The school offers private lessons and classes seven days a week for over 20 instruments and for every type of student at all skill levels. Multiple genres from classical and jazz, to Broadway and pop music, are available. Private lessons at Bloomingdale offer individual attention, customization and a personalized curriculum. Students and teachers are strategically matched based on teaching style, experience, and schedules. Other options include beginner group classes, string orchestras, vocal ensembles, guitar orchestras, jazz ensembles, music theory classes, and a comprehensive college prep program. Most classes and lessons take place weekdays afterschool and on weekends.


Dedimus Potestatem 

[email protected]
Dedimus Potestatem provides fun, engaging academic programs that teach and integrate leadership skills most sought in today’s society. Founded by an educator who has worked with local and national governments, UN-affiliated organizations, and grassroots nonprofits worldwide, the company is creating the next generation of world leaders. Their students have competed and won awards at local and national tournaments. The company also proudly showcases students and alums who have created national nonprofits, practical applications, and educational programs in the United States and abroad. Their offerings include Leadership, Model United Nations, Debate, STEM & Bioethics, Mock Trial, Philosophy, Model Congress, Computer Programming, Academic Writing, a Little Leaders program for kindergartners, Etiquette, Financial Literacy, Self-Defense, and more. All programs are student-focused, taught by seasoned educators specializing in each program. Dedimus Potestatem offers programs to elementary, middle, and high school students in schools nationwide, both in-person and online. They also offer private group classes and private lessons in New York.


The 10 Best Kids Afterschool Programs and Activities in Manhattan

The Diller Quaile School of Music 

24 East 95th Street
The Diller-Quaile School of Music offers a full range of in-person and online music classes and lessons for children of all ages. The Instrumental and Vocal Department provides beginning to advanced instrument and voice study for students 4 years old and up through comprehensive programs and weekly classes and ensembles. Diller-Quaile’s dedicated and skilled faculty guide students in a vibrant and nurturing environment, developing the emerging artistry in each student. Both in-person and live remote programs are available. The Early Childhood Program for children 3 months to 5 years fosters the musical, intellectual, social-emotional and physical development of young children by introducing them to the joys of music and visual art. Each class session is a unique musical experience, where your child will be immersed in collaborative music making with their peers and professional musicians. Classes also include a pianist who accompanies each class in a variety of styles, in response to the children’s singing and expressive movement.


The 8 Best Kids Afterschool Programs and Activities in Brooklyn

Golf v.2 

130 Clinton St, Brooklyn
‘The Future of Golf’ is the latest and most fun way you can learn how to play golf in a city setting, where certified coaches will help you improve your game. They have the largest year-round junior program with over 65+ active juniors. The Brooklyn Heights facility is built with three state-of-the-art simulators that can act as a driving range or give you access to over 200+ courses like Pebble Beach. Golf v.2 will allow you to improve your golf even when it’s raining or snowing outside. Locations are opening soon in Tribeca and Midtown West. Check their website for opening updates.


The 10 Best Kids Afterschool Programs and Activities in Manhattan


LingoCircle is an online language school providing an innovative approach to language learning. They specialize in connecting bilingual children from around the world. Their classes help children develop appreciation for their heritage language and culture. They offer virtual classes in French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and English. LingoCircle’s bilingual immersion programs follow the traditional curricula of the language’s origin country. For beginners, they also offer classes following the CEFR program from the A1 to C2 level. LingoCircles classes are small – five students max – to give each student ample attention. Their certified, native speaking teachers also ensure each class is engaging and a lot of fun! Classes include songs, games, stories, and more. LingoCircle’s class schedules are also convenient. Each class is 45-minutes. Classes are on weekdays after school and on weekends; the first lesson is free.


Play On! Studios

263 West 86th Street, New York, NY
Play On! Studios offers theater classes after school and on Saturdays on the UWS that are guaranteed to give kids a great experience full of acting, music, and fun they won’t soon forget. Young actors will rehearse and perform in a showcase or full production, work with professional NYC actors/teaching artists, build up their skills in a nurturing, non-competitive environment and play lots of drama games. Classes are for beginners or more experienced actors to sing, dance, and put on a play! Whether your child is just starting out, or ready for Broadway, there is a class for them. Creative Drama, Theater Lab, Musical Theater Revue, and Musical Theater Performance classes all offer different levels of commitment for kids of all ages. Classes are available for grades pre-K through 8th grade, after school or on Saturdays. 


Steps on Broadway

2121 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
[email protected]
The Steps Youth Program is housed within Steps on Broadway, the epicenter of dance training on the Upper West Side of New York City. The Youth Programs nurture creativity and explore the world of dance in a comprehensive approach that benefits both the physical and emotional wellbeing. Students will have the unique opportunity to train with a diverse and professional faculty, choreographers, and fellow dancers in various dance styles– ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, theater dance, and modern – along with performance skills and opportunities. Graduates of the program are among the top picks for elite college dance programs. Whether your child wants to dance once a week or aspires to become a professional dancer, there are classes for everyone. Split into three divisions, the Steps Youth Programs include the Pre-Professional & Academy Divisions (Ages 10-18), Kids and Teens (Ages 7 & 18), and First Steps (ages 2-6). Class observations, performances, community nights, and receptions give parents and dancers opportunities to celebrate throughout the year. Visit Steps on Broadway, September 12-18, for a free Open House!

Relevant Directory Listings

See More

Athletic Association of Yorkville Youths

<p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{" data-sheets-userformat="{">Serving the families and children of NYC for over 50 years with high-quality recreational activities that foster life-lessons which empower young people to succeed beyond sports. Our programs encourage positive attitudes and growth through teamwork and sportsmanship, attendance, fair play, respect, hard work, integrity and fun. Your child can participate in clinics and leagues in such sports as baseball, basketball, flag-football, lacrosse, soccer, hockey, wrestling, track, and tennis. We also offer weekly dodgeball tournaments, drama and musical theater workshops, and after school programs.</span></p>

New York Society of Play Summer Camp and Classes

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Summer Game Camp</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">There are many who do not feel safe sending their children back out into the world with summer camp, this year. To serve those parents and keep the children connected and stimulated during this challenging time, we are offering NYSP Digital Summer Camp. The name of the game with NYSP Summer Camp is community. We have made a large effort to make our camp feel like a living space, with features including –</p> <p dir="ltr">- Role-Playing games familiar and new, led by our master storytellers!</p> <p dir="ltr">- Enriching electives such as Chess, World Building, Character Acting, Crafts, Drawing, and more!</p> <p dir="ltr">- Discussion and media screening rooms during lunch!</p> <p dir="ltr">- A digital campus!</p> <p dir="ltr">- Moderated chat hours!</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Join us for a summer of games, friends, and more!</p> <p dir="ltr">Mon - Fri 10am - 2:30pm</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Roleplay Expeditions: Dungeons & Dragons</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">No experience is required to join one of our Dungeons & Dragons games. Our game masters have pre-made character sheets, so you'll be able to start playing the game right away! We adapt the rules of traditional Dungeons & Dragons to make them more approachable to children of various ages. Battle in dungeons, search for relics, and make new friends in our one-of-a-kind Dungeons & Dragons workshop! </p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Public games meet once per week, with different groups every time. Private games meet 1 to 2 times per week with the same group of kids. Since the players and the storyteller in the group are consistent, this enables us to tell epic tales of adventure together!</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Dungeons & Dragons Junior</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">No experience is required to join one of our drop-in Dungeons & Dragons games. Our Dungeons & Dragons Jr. game provides a D&D storytelling experience without character sheets. Battle in dungeons, search for relics, and make new friends in our one-of-a-kind Dungeons & Dragons workshop! A great way to introduce young children to D&D so they can eventually move onto the main game.</p>

CK Kids

<p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{" data-sheets-userformat="{">CK Kids offers various classes and programs, including Afterschool Program, Lil Chefs, Boys Hip-Hop, Ninja Starz, Lil Artists, CK Kids Athletic Programs, Acrobatics, Dance and Drama, and Karate. </span></p>