Newcomers' Guide‎ > ‎Family‎ > ‎

Extracurricular Activities

In this section:
  • After-School Programs
  • Summer Camps
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Martial Arts & Self-Defense
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Gymnastics & Drop-In Classes
  • Yoga
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Youth Clubs

This section is dedicated to extracurricular activities such as ballet, and music classes for children; hobby shops, after school programs, and summer camps. We also list yoga classes for parents and infants. You can also check public library bulletin boards for information on classes for children.

After-School Programs

For the most current information about after school programs, you should check with the school your child attends at the beginning of the term.

Cambridge Public Schools
After school programs are available for children from junior kindergarten through high school. Programs that are held in the Cambridge Public Schools are run by the Community Schools.

Cambridge YMCA
820 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge 02139 (Central Square)
Phone: 617-661-9622 

More Cambridge After-School Listings
A wide variety of programs are held at youth centers, and private organizations. Programs range from various sports to arts and sciences.

Summer Camps

Many summer camps hold open houses and start registration in April. However, you may need to register your child in the beginning of the year (January/February) for the more popular summer programs.

On-campus camps include the popular MIT Day Camp. Another camp held at MIT (but is not run by MIT) is the iD Tech Camp. For further MIT-affiliated programs, visit the MIT K-12 Educational Outreach Programs page.

The MIT Center for Work, Family & Personal Life offers information on summer camps as well as summer camps briefings during the spring semester. 

The Boston Parents’ Paper magazine (published monthly and available for free at many locations, including bookstores and supermarkets) also has a list of summer camps. You can register at their website to access the digital version of the magazine.

Sports and Recreation for Children

The Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER) at MIT offers swimming classes for infants and older, ice-skating lessons in the winter, and sometimes tennis lessons in the summer. If you purchase a family membership to the athletics facility, the cost of classes will be cheaper. While younger children are not allowed on the exercise floors, they do have access to the swimming facilities.

You can also contact the different sports clubs in the Cambridge and Boston areas and ask if they have programs for children.

Many cities have a recreation department that offers activities for all ages. They may offer weekly classes, seasonal camps, and organize annual races. You can also find out where sports facilities are located, such as pools, tennis courts, ice rinks, and even playgrounds.

Every city has its own YMCA. If you live outside of Cambridge you can contact the local YMCA regarding classes for children.

820 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge 02139 (Central Square)
Phone: 617-661-9622

Youth leagues are available in many towns, providing a place for children to learn sporting skills as well as compete in teams. Sports offered may include baseball, soccer and basketball. For youth leagues in the Cambridge area, check out the links below.

Martial Arts and Self-Defense Classes for Children

There is a variety of martial arts studios which offer classes for children, usually for ages 4 and up.

Red Dragons Martial Arts
614 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge 02139 (Central Square)
Phone: 617-868-2275

This is one of the few martial arts schools that offer classes for children who are at least 2.5 years old.

CW Taekwondo
285 Green St, Cambridge 02139 (Central Square)
Phone: 617-876-4853

Cambridge Tang Soo Do Karate
215 First St, Cambridge 02139 (Kendall Square)
Phone: 617-687-9156

Davis Square Martial Arts
408 Highland Ave, Somerville 02144
Phone: 617-591-9656

Wu Dao Kung Fu
675 Concord Ave, Cambridge 02138
Phone: 617-812-2180

Bay State Fencing
561 Windsor St, Suite A401, Somerville 02143
Phone: 617-591-0101

Dance Schools for Children

If you are interested in teaching creative movement, dance or ballet to your children, there are several dance studios in the Boston area. We list a few here.

The Dance Complex
536 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge (Central Square)
Phone: 617-547-9363

Phone: 617-354-5780

They offer hip-hop dance and gymnastics classes for children ages 5 and up. Class locations vary. 

Fresh Pond Ballet
1798A Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge (Porter Square)
Phone: 617-491-5865

Boston Ballet School
19 Clarendon Street, Boston
Phone: 617-456-6264

Gymboree Play & Music
109 Oak Street, Newton
Phone: 617-244-2988

Gymboree has classes for babies, toddlers, and children up to 5 years old. Besides age-appropriate gym classes, they also have art, music and school skills classes. 

Green Street Studios
185 Green Street, Cambridge 02139 (Central Square)
Phone: 617-864-3191

Music Classes for Children

This is a very popular movement and dance class for babies, toddlers, and children up to 7 years old. The classes are run by licensed teachers who follow the kindermusik curricula and learning aids to teach music to children. To find a class near you visit their website.

Music Together
This is similar to Kindermusik. Their emphasis is more on musical instruments.

New School of Music
25 Lowell Street, Cambridge
Phone: 617-492-8105

The school has Music Together classes for infants through children aged 4. They offer a variety of classes for children and adults of all ages.

Longy School of Music
1 Follen Street, Cambridge (Harvard Square)
Phone: 617-876-0956

This highly-regarded conservatory offers music classes for ages 1 and up.

Gymnastics & Drop-In Classes

Some gymnastics schools provide drop-in sessions or open gym, so your child can get a work out without having to commit to weekly classes.

1065 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston (on Green Line-B)
Phone: 617-789-3669

Gymnastic Academy of Boston
128 Smith Place, Cambridge
Phone: 617-441-9700

They have drop-in classes Sundays through Fridays, 11:30am-1pm.

Together in Motion
1 Broadway, Arlington
Phone: 781-643-1377

Energy Fitness and Gymnastics
70 Jaconnet St, Newton 02461
Phone: 617-795-7177

They have a free open gym program for children who are crawling up to age 5.

Trapeze School
50 Walkers Brook Dr, Reading (inside Jordan's Furniture store)
Phone: 781-942-7800

They have open flying times and weekly classes. Children ages 4 and up are welcome, although it is recommended they attend open flying sessions instead of going through a 2-hour class.


New for Summer 2010 are yoga classes for children, right here at MIT.

The Shops at Prudential Center
800 Boylston St, Boston (Prudential Station, Green Line)
Phone: 781-429-1500

They have locations in Brookline, Arlington and Boston. Yoga classes for infants and children up to 24 months.

369 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington
Phone: 781-316-0282

They have yoga classes for infants and children.

Art Classes and Hobby Shops

Brookline Arts Center
86 Monmouth Street, Brookline (
Green Line C-D)

Phone: 617-566-5715

This center offers a variety of art classes for ages 2 to adult.

Harvard Coop
1400 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge (
Harvard Square)

Phone: 617-499-2000

The Harvard Coop for Kids has a Storytime & Craft hour which is free. Check out their website’s calendar for days and times.

1685 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Phone: 617-354-8111

Paint-your-own-pottery studio where you can decorate your own mugs, piggy banks and more.

23 Church Street, Cambridge (
Harvard Square)

Phone: 617-868-9777

Older children who enjoy beading will love this store.

17 Mystic View Road, Everett
Phone: 617-381-8103

A chain of craft stores that organizes crafting events for kids or the whole family. Visit their website for details.

Play Time
283 Broadway, Arlington
Phone: 781-648-3230

Craft store with party favors and art supplies galore.

Youth Clubs

Youth clubs are known for their mission to develop leadership and life skills in young people.