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Best After-School Enrichment Activities For Kids In New York

Parents know how important it is to keep their children engaged in positive, safe activities outside of school. This is never more important than during a child's formative years. New York's after-school programs abound, but the best set themselves apart by going above and beyond for each kid.
Brooklyn Strategist
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Brooklyn Strategist After School Program
333 Court St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 576-3035

Price: $30, long term service at a reduced rate

Board games have made a comeback, and with good reason. They offer a chance for kids to socialize face to face instead of interacting through the impersonal medium of Internet video gaming. The Strategist's after-school program includes supervised activities and homemade desserts and drinks. Its program includes card games and adventures, and history, mystery and role-playing games.

Charles A. Dana Discovery
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Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at the Harlem Meer
106 to 110 Streets, east side of Central Park
New York, NY 10029
(212) 860-1370

Price: $20 fishing rod deposit, returned upon receipt of equipment

The Discovery Center offers a fishing instruction program for children ages 5 and older. Groups of five or more children must make a reservation in advance. The Center practices catch and release with provided bait to keep wildlife safer. This is a great way to give kids a taste of the outdoors that they would otherwise only experience by going upstate. Call for an appointment from April through October.

Boys & Girls Club
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Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club of America
550 Balcolm Ave.
Bronx, NY 10465
(718) 824-9090

Price: $5 annually

The Boys and Girls Club has helped the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Denzel Washington during their youth, offering after-school programming that truly keeps kids engaged. The club boasts a fun variety of programs including health and fitness, Internet safety, education and drug prevention. The Kips Bay chapter in Throgs Neck in the Bronx offers an after-school program that operates from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. including activities such as reading, arts and crafts, and physical fitness. It also provides dinner and healthy snack to the children.

Related: Best After-School Programs In Manhattan

Children's Aid Society
Photo Credit: childrensaid/

Children's Aid Society
Frederick Douglass Center
885 Columbus Ave.
New York, NY 10025
(212) 865 - 6337

The Children's Aid Society is a New York-based program with a long history of helping young children with both school and life issues and introducing them to healthy and fun activities in all five boroughs and Westchester County. Located on the Upper West Side, the Frederick Douglass Center features programs including a gym, full-service library, outdoor playground, a computer clubhouse, and after-school and nursery classrooms. Homework help and a healthy snack make this a great program to take pressure off of busy parents before dinner time. The Center serves more than 600 students and is an excellent resource for single-parent or families in which both parents work past traditional school hours.

Manhattan Youth
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Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center
120 Warren St.
New York, NY 10007
(212) 766-1104

Click here for programs and registration

Helping kids burn off that extra energy after school often means more work for parents at the end of the day, but Manhattan Youth's Community Center offers a cure-all for any kid's interests. Classes here include ceramics, cooking, swimming, tae kwon do, theater, dance, music making, textiles, filmmaking, art, yoga, woodworking, robotics and outdoors playtime. Programs are catered toward children from kindergarten through fifth grade. Parents must arrange drop-off, and should pick up kids before 5:50 p.m. daily.

Related: 4 Sports and Fitness Activities for NYC Kids

Nick Gauthier is a freelance writer and lives in the Bronx. His work can be found at

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