You were probably able to surmise from my last post that I am deeply invested in my children’s education and well-being. I would imagine most parents are! Here are an assortment of the best places to keep your kids engaged and enriched this school year.
291 Broadway between Duane and Reade Streets, fourth and fifth floors
This Tribeca studio has a bourgeoning boys’ hip-hop program that’s drawn in more than 100 young men in its four years of existence. Other classes, from ballet and tap to jazz and lyrical, range from those aimed at the preschool set to invitation-only technique sessions for experienced students. Ages 2 and up.
154 Christopher Street between Greenwich and Washington Street
Kids don’t just learn how to do running flaps here; they’re also immersed in the rich history of tap, from the Nicholas Brothers to contemporary tap dancers like Michelle Dorrance and Derick K. Grant (whom you may even catch rehearsing at the studios). Ages 3 and up.
126 E 13th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues
Kids as young as 18 months can develop their motor skills while learning the moves of various dance styles, including ballet, jazz, salsa and hip-hop. Ages 18 months and up.
84 Franklin Street between Church Street and Franklin Place
Trainers lead kids in bodyweight-based workouts to increase fitness, athletic skills, and general health. Little ones are separated from older kids to ensure age-appropriate exercises. Ages 3 to 10.
225 West 39th Street between Seventh and Eighth Aves, second floor
Kids in the center’s introductory courses learn fencing basics while improving hand-eye coordination and overall fitness. Plus, kids are in good hands: This facility has trained more fencers for the 2012 Olympic games than any other school in the country. Ages 4 to 18.
74 Warren Street between Greenwich Street and West Broadway
For more than 20 years this not-for-profit institution has provided a range of arts programming. Toddlers and preschoolers can take general classes in music and movement or visual arts, while school-age children dive into more-specific studies in piano, drumming, solfege and eurhythmics and more. The school also offers private and group lessons on any instrument, as well as a band program for tweens and teens and several drop-in classes.). Fall classes begin Sept 9. Single class $10-$45, eighteen classes $612 and up. Ages 16 months and up.
636 Broadway at Bleecker Street, suite 516
Kids of all ages work together to whip up a healthy dish in themed classes like Palette-Palate and Brunch-N-Munch. Parents can also join in during a Family Dinner class, where everyone works together to create a nutritious meal. Ages 2 to 12.
134 West 29th Street between Sixth and Seventh Aves
A professional teaching artist leads these musical theater workshops. Classes are broken into two age groups: Mini Stage Stars (ages 5 to 8) and Broadway Bound Players (ages 9 and up). At the end of each session the younger players perform a series of shows they help create, while the older set mounts a full musical review. Ages 5 to 14.
18 West 18th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
Through dance, drama and vocal training, children ready themselves to put on a well-known musical at Under St. Marks Theatre in the East Village. Experience is less of a requirement than enthusiasm, energy and the ability to cooperate with peers. Ages 6 to 16.
Raising kids in downtown Manhattan can be a challenge – I’m well aware of that. Fortunately, the City has so many programs and venues to keep children engaged and active. If you have any other recommendations for the best kids activities, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.