The 10 Best Kids Afterschool Programs and Activities in Manhattan

The 10 Best Kids Afterschool Programs and Activities in Manhattan
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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!

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Monster Mini Golf

<p>Upon entering Monster Mini Golf, all perceptions of traditional mini golf will be spirited away by the indoor, 18-hole, monster-theme, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course! The locations in <a href="https://monsterminigolf.com/deerpark/">Deer Park</a>, and <a href="https://monsterminigolf.com/gardencity/">Garden City, NY</a> invite guests to experience a host of family-oriented fun activities. Whether visiting for the first time or the one hundredth, mini golfers feel the excitement and adventure of playing mini golf amidst spooktacular monsters and custom, glow-in-the-dark, hand-painted artwork. While testing their skill on the fairways, lively music flows over the course from the unique “WEIRD Radio” station” and an interactive DJ entertains golfers with contests, awarding cool prizes for the wackiest reasons. While the course is challenging enough for adults, it is also quite playable for children. Monster Mini Golf is open year-round and frightfully fun for the entire family. In addition to miniature golf and thrilling arcade and redemption games, the locations offer additional attractions. <a href="https://monsterminigolf.com/deerpark/">Monster Mini Golf in Deer Park, NY</a> offers a Laser Maze and a Virtual Reality experience. The Garden City location offers a Laser Maze, Bowling, and a Virtual Reality Experience. Two very posh, private party rooms are also available and are perfect for any event. Monster Mini Golf looks forward to making it a monstrous success. Monster Mini Golf is indoors, ensuring that the event will always take place, regardless of the weather. It is a climate-controlled, affordable source of family entertainment. For more details please visit <a href="http://monsterminigolf.com">monsterminigolf.com</a> or find them on Facebook.</p>

Dedimus Potestatem

<p>Dedimus Potestatem provides fun, engaging, academically challenging programs to students in primary, middle, and high school. Programs include Leadership, Debate, Model United Nations, Computer Programming, Financial Literacy, Filmmaking, Philosophy, Model Congress, Mock Trial, Etiquette, Bioethics, Stem and Bioethics, and more. We currently offer both virtual and in-person private, semi-private, and group sessions and after-school programs. Contact us to bring us to your school today!</p> <p>Sessions</p> <p>We currently offer both virtual and in-person private, semi-private, and group sessions as well as after-school programs. To register, visit <a href="https://www.potestatem.co/bookclassesnow" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://www.potestatem.co/bookclassesnow </a>or email us at <a href="mailto:[email protected]?subject=REGISTER" target="_blank" rel="noopener">[email protected]</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/leadership" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Leadership: Middle School ages 10-13, High School ages 14-18</a></p> <p>This is a unique leadership course that gives students the skills they need to succeed in life. Using an activity-based syllabus centered around character traits most sought and admired in leaders (initiative, honesty, self-control, adaptability, empathy, persuasiveness, resourcefulness, diligence, tolerance, determination, generosity, punctuality, courage, reliability, endurance, deference, creativity and integrity) students learn how to deal with situations they encounter in life. These building blocks will ensure they grow to become the leaders so sought after by our burgeoning society. Our grading rubric was adapted with the permission of Neil Mercer, the Director of research and Head of Faculty at The University of Cambridge.</p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/little-leaders-prek-and-kindergarten" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Little Leaders: Primary School Ages 6-9</a></p> <p>Developed by former pre-school and elementary teachers, this ethics-centered program utilizes a play-based method to encourage students to explore and apply soft skills in their daily lives. While cultivating the skills they will need to build strong, successful relationships, they will learn how to find their voice and showcase themselves in the best way. Students will learn to communicate and negotiate so they can be better team leaders and team players. Students will learn how to deal with situations they encounter in life, such as bullying, cheating, conflicts between two or more parties, and more. The inculcation of these values in our children's formative years will ensure they grow to become the leaders so sought after by our burgeoning society.</p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/classes/beginnersdebate" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Speech & Debate</a> (competitive and non-competitive programs available)</p> <p>This online after-school program prepares students for formal and informal presentations. Participants learn to craft and present arguments and inform, persuade, and motivate an audience in a variety of ways. According to the English Speaking Union, debate is a natural fit for students and compliments common core standards. Debate builds literacy and multi-media research skills, fosters critical thinking and expanded perspectives, enhances public speaking skills, increases confidence, trains students to listen effectively, supports diverse learners and strengthens civil engagement and discourse. </p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/model-un" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Model United Nations (Ages 11-18)</a></p> <p>Model UN simulates the six major organs of the United Nations. Students role play as delegates from a country of their choosing and learn to write and present resolutions based on topics they are passionate about-just as if they were representing member states of the United Nations. We utilize materials from National Model UN and video tutorials to teach students how to write and present position papers, working papers, and draft resolutions. Students use debate and negotiation to enlist the support of other delegates for their resolution. Model UN is a great way to teach students leadership skills like communication, conflict resolution, negotiation, and delegation.</p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/self-defense-classes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Self Defense and Empowerment</a></p> <p>Developed by a veteran Krav Maga specialist, this self-defense program will focus on the principle of healthy minds in healthy bodies. Students will focus on de-escalation techniques as well as safe and active means of self-defense. Through active games and fun drills, students will learn the disciplined focus, critical thinking, adaptability, and resilience necessary to achieve goals, as well as gain valuable social insights into leadership and teamwork. Students will expend energy and reduce stress while learning to stand and present confidently.</p> <p>Mock Trial (<a href="https://www.potestatem.co/classes/mock-trial-classes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Fairy Tale Mock Trial for ages 7-9</a>, regular <a href="https://www.potestatem.co/mock-trial-classes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mock Trial Ages 10-18</a>)</p> <p>Mock trial is a hands-on simulation of the American judicial system. The goal is to help participants acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, display leadership in a court of law, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society. Materials for this course are provided by The American Bar Association.</p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/model-congress" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Model Congress: Ages 10-18</a></p> <p>This civics course simulates the legislative process. Students will learn about the electoral process, lobby for issues they are passionate about, draft and deliver bills, amend legislation, debate international policy, and learn how to effectively represent a constituent body of their choosing. We utilize materials from The Constitutional Rights Foundation, ICivics (founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor) and the National Model U.S. Congress. These resources have been proven to improve students’ civic knowledge, presentation, and core literacy skills. New research has also shown that the use of the aforementioned materials has also led to increased participation in the democratic process. Our objective in this course is to educate the next generation, nurture and inculcate a passion for civics and history and encourage young people to advocate for themselves.</p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/philosophy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Philosophy</a></p> <p>The focus of the Philosophy class is to examine and understand the ideas behind the most popular philosophies embraced throughout the world. To do this, students examine ethical situations through the lens of these philosophies and engage in a Socratic style debate. Students are presented with an ethical question and they must identify stakeholders and players within the dilemma, discuss the key moral issues and present opposing viewpoints. This class was built for students who wish to <a href="https://nhseb.unc.edu/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">compete in the middle or high school Ethics Bowl</a>. </p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/classes/money-matters-financial-literacy-for-kids-afterschool">Money Matters: Financial Literacy for Students</a></p> <p>The Money Matters course is built to help students manage their personal finances, from building credit and loan applications to interest rates and investing strategies. This class will cover the basics of financial health, savings, spending habits, and budgeting. After learning how to store, track, and spend responsibly, students will learn about risk management, APRs, and tax preparation. This class will use real-life examples and teach students how to set and achieve financial goals. This course is ideal for middle and high school students.</p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/stem-dna-ethics" target="_blank" rel="noopener">STEM and Bioethics: (Ages 10-18)</a></p> <p>Our STEM program will give kids the opportunity to think critically about science and society, and to practice communicating scientific topics in ways everyone can understand. To be a successful scientist in our modern world, one must not only have a broad understanding of scientific material learned at school, but also the ability to communicate effectively and share that knowledge with others. Each week of this program will build on the previous while also introducing new scientific topics for discussion.</p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/classes/virtual-after-school-etiquette" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Etiquette (Ages 5 and up)</a></p> <p>Due to increasing popular demand from groups and individuals, we have decided to offer our etiquette course as an eight week after-school class. Students will not only learn how to introduce themselves and their friends, they will explore appropriate language for quotidian and special occasions, how to enter and leave conversations, proper table behavior for different scenarios, effective strategies for conflict resolution and negotiation, the importance of tone, expression, and body language in every social interaction and why manners and soft skills are essential to a successful life.</p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/classes/essay-writing" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Speech and Essay Writing: Ages 10-18</a></p> <p>This group class includes eight one-hour online sessions focused on the creation, development, and delivery of informative and persuasive speeches. This program is tailored to the needs of the individual(s) in question and can include essay writing, use of stylistic devices, and persuasive rhetoric and/or instructions on how to craft and deliver a persuasive or informative multidimensional presentation with compelling slides, audio, and videos.</p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/classes/visual-storytelling" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Visual Storytelling</a></p> <p>Multimedia platforms have increasingly become more popular for educators, artists and businesses. Young people all over the world have begun using media to amplify initiatives, educate, share science, poetry, art, movement, culture and more. In this class students will learn to capture brief videos that share their voice and vision with the world.</p> <p>College application course </p> <p>Discover the fundamentals of style, narrative, and theme for the ideal college application essays! In these sessions, you will begin by examining outstanding Personal Statements and by brainstorming your own. Then, move on to draft and edit the specialized supplemental essays for each college on your list. Space is limited to ensure personalized attention.</p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/classes/essay-writing" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Academic writing</a> </p> <p>These are sessions focused on academic writing. Our tutors have years of experience in drafting, editing, and teaching essay writing. Each package will include a consultation with our tutors to assess individual needs. </p> <p><a href="https://www.potestatem.co/classes/test-prep-sat-shsat-act-gre-gmat-asvab-tachs-more">Test Prep: SAT, SHSAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, ASVAB, TACHS + more</a></p> <p>These classes are focused on identifying the quickest and most efficient path toward improving students' standardized test scores. Starting with a diagnostic practice exam, this program will target the key subject matter your students need to master while integrating timing, triage, and practice strategies. We aim to regularly emulate the real-life conditions of tests until students are comfortable working quickly, accurately, and efficiently. Sessions can be one hour or two hours in length, as needed.</p> <p>Computer Programming: Coding for Kids</p> <p>In these sessions, we start by discussing the basics of computer programming, what it is, what it can do, and what it was built on. Then we will begin experimenting with block-based programming languages. Students will learn the basics of computer architecture, binary code, compilers, and algorithms. By the end of the course, students will be able to produce small programs of their own. The cost of materials is not included. This class is available to younger students (Ages K-1) and middle and high school students. </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

Manhattan Mandarin

<p>Manhattan Mandarin runs the Mandarin after-school programs at over 40 schools</p> <p>nationwide, including St. Bernard's, Chapin, Allen-Stevenson, and Buckley. Whether</p> <p>in schools, students' homes, in the office, online, or on our beloved China trips, our</p> <p>teachers and tutors have helped hundreds of students of all ages master the Mandarin</p> <p>language on their own unique paths to fluency. Our philosophy has always been to</p> <p>make private lessons and classes perfectly tailored for each individual student. We</p> <p>look forward to working with you.</p> <p>- Jamie Keyte, Founder</p>