• PLAYDAY

The 5 Best Afterschool Programs in NYC [According to Parents]

Every child should ‌enrich their world with extra-curricular activities. We have compiled a list of five of the best afterschool programs in New York City that help children enrich their world


These highly recommended programs help children explore the world through art and music, martial arts, engineering, and performing arts.


1. PLAYDAY

PLAYDAY is an art-focused afterschool program with Cobble Hill and Long Island City locations. PLAYDAY gives parents opportunities to immerse their children in artistic exploration.


PLAYDAY's team of highly trained arts educators is constantly working to improve and expand the program's class offerings to provide the most engaging experiences for children. PLAYDAY's classes seamlessly interweave artistic activities with relevant art history and social references.


In PLAYDAY's Grown Up and Me classes for children under 4, parents are encouraged to explore the arts and music alongside their little ones.


With over twenty artistic classes for children under 12, PLAYDAY teaches children new skills and ways to express themselves and helps them develop a skill set that will serve them well throughout their lives.


What Parents Say:


"We are truly grateful for PLAYDAY to be part of our child’s learning experience during these difficult times. All of the instructors have been super accommodating, providing a wonderful, safe environment to show their inner creativity." -Tony H.

"I took my daughter to an Arts Class, and she had an amazing time. The teachers were great and the classroom had a wonderful creative atmosphere! I highly recommend it!" -Brian B.


2. Unity Jiu-Jitsu School


Unity Jiu-Jitsu in Manhattan teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to children ages 12 and under. Children of all levels and teams are welcome. At Unity Jiu-Jitsu, accomplished Jiu-Jitsu competitors teach the highest level of Jiu-Jitsu technique and skill.


What Parents Say:


"Friendly environment, great instruction, and if you're looking to start training, enrolling your kids into their kid's program, or switching schools, it's worth checking this place out first." - Ted C.

"My son, who is 5, started the kids' class a month ago, and he loves it! Ana and the other kids in the class are great. Very positive environment for learning, exercise, and fun!" - Al B.


3. SongLab at KeyLab


Songlab is a dynamic, weekly afterschool program for second to fifth graders. At SongLab, professional musicians teach children about music theory, music composition, and production. In addition, children gain experience in group music-making using digital piano, synthesizer, guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and computer-based recording & live performance tools.


What Parents Say:


"I enrolled my 5-year-old daughter in Keylab's afterschool program, unsure of what her commitment level would be. Actually, I was 90% sure she would want to quit. [...] After her first day there, she came beaming out of a studio telling me how much she loved the programming at Keylab. Not only that, she has been saying this continuously for the past four months." - Vidya

"My 7-year-old son loves playing the piano, thanks to Adrian. Adrian is very patient, thoughtful, and really understands kids. I am very happy with him and couldn't ask for more." - Susan Y.


4. Engineering for Kids


Engineering for Kids encourages children ages 4 to 14 to develop a passion for science. It is the only afterschool STEM program where students are taught a Cognia-certified STEM-centric curriculum. In addition, Engineering for Kids offers interactive engineering, robotics, technology and coding, and Minecraft activities that help students develop their problem-solving skills, attention to detail, team-building skills, and organizational skills which will help them succeed in STEM.


What Parents Say:

"It’s fun and educational. It provides opportunities to kids and teaches them about life." - Jo P.


5. Brooklyn Acting Lab


Brooklyn Acting Lab is an indoor, outdoor, and online afterschool program offering acting and theater classes for children in kindergarten through ninth grade.

All of Brooklyn Acting Lab's afterschool programs — indoor, outdoor, and online — are immersive theatrical adventures. Brooklyn Acting Lab gives children an opportunity to play outdoors, dance and move, and engage in guided dramatic play and improvisation.


What Parents Say:


"Brooklyn Acting Lab's outdoor classes have been an incredible outlet for my children, ages 6 and 10. Being able to sing and dance in glorious Prospect Park with such warm and energetic teachers has been just what they've needed during this unusual year of remote/hybrid learning. I have also been comforted by Brooklyn Acting Lab's organized and efficient safety protocols. They are an incredible organization, and I recommend them wholeheartedly!" - Lia W.


"Brooklyn Acting Lab helped our daughter become an astronaut, robot, an ancient goddess, a monkey-singer, designer, a comedian, and an all-around flexible, collaborative, brave, and honest part of a team. All of that is cool, but what I love the most is that it helped her find and love her own voice." - Heather

Enrich your child’s world. Enroll them in an afterschool program today.

The programs listed here are only a fraction of NYC's afterschool programs. Research the afterschool programs that are offered in your neighborhood or your child’s school to find the perfect afterschool program for them.

No matter what your child is passionate about, New York City has afterschool programs that will nurture their passion and enrich their world.


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