7 Outstanding After-School Activities This Fall

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School’s out but the fun has just started. Giving kids something to look forward after a day of learning are these seven dynamic, adventurous, and stimulating after-school programs (some are before school too!). From stretching out summer vacation activities to setting kids up for a memorable new school year–we’ve got them all. As you scroll through we guarantee it’ll be a tough choice as to where you pick up your scholar from each day.

campfire columbia

Campfire Columbia

Known for their fireside fun at Camp Namanu, Campfire Columbia takes their summer camp explorations to before and after school care at many sites across the metro area. Designed for adventurers 5 to 12 years old, they offer a morning care program that starts as early as 7 a.m. and extending after school until 6 p.m., kids will enjoy a loosely structured place to finish up homework, develop leadership skills, and get involved in activities like creative arts, sports, and experiential learning. Campfire aim is to help all kids “find their spark.”

Starts at $283/monthly
Various school locations
Online: https://campfirecolumbia.org/

the children’s gym via yelp

The Children’s Gym

With gymnastics classes for the littlest to the biggest kids, The Children’s Gym knows how to get your kids moving. Their after school program offers pick up from four Portland-area schools, and runs until 6pm every night. While there, your kids will jump into a movement or gymnastics class to work out all their energy, and also have some downtime for homework, snacks, and quieter activities. Offered for ages 5/kindergarten  and up, you can also choose 1-5 days a week..  

Starting at 1 day per week: $194/month
1625 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97232
Online: childrensgym.com/after-school-care/

tim via flickr

Portland Rock Gym

If your little one has been climbing the furniture since they could crawl, it might be time to give them a bigger (and safer!) challenge at the Portland Rock Gym. The gym’s after-school program is designed for kids ages 6-17, giving them the chance to learn and improve their skills while making friends. A fun supportive environment encourages kids to try while challenging them. And for climbers who are all-in, they can join the competitive team! If you’re a member check out their discounts.

Ages 6-8 as well as 9-11: start at 1 day/ week monthly enrollment:  $120

21 NE 12th Ave.
Portland, OR
Online: portlandrockgym.com/afterschool/

trackers earth

Trackers Earth

Your kids will get a healthy dose of wild adventure with Trackers Earth–dedicated to teaching kids outdoor skills like archery, woodworking, blacksmithing, ceramics and even wilderness survival. They’ll get the mentorship they need with excellent instructor-to-student ratios, while you’ll enjoy the flexible options like school pick up or drop off and 1-5 days a week. These classes range in age from as young as kindergarten up to 10th.

Starting at $135/mo
4617 SE Milwaukie Ave.
Portland, OR
Online: trackerspdx.com/youth/after-school.php

ethos music center

Ethos Music Center

This nonprofit music center has been named one of the top 50 after-school arts programs in the U.S. six times since 2003! With those shining accolades, your budding musicians will shine at this supportive and creative place that brings music to all kids across socioeconomic barriers. Group classes are a collaborative 10-week introduction involving 4-6 students, and individual offerings cover an A-Z range of instruments, from Accordion to Ukulele (ok, A-U).

Group classes start at $120, with discounts offered for student who qualify for their school’s reduced lunch programs
2 N Killingsworth St.
Portland, OR
Online: ethos.org

one with heart

One With Heart

One With Heart

This studio provides martial arts for all ages (including parents), but they shine in their after-school care. Focusing on self-esteem and respect, they teach skills that carry throughout life. The after-school care program is a daily offering that includes school pick-up, snack, homework time, and a variety of martial art classes for different skill levels. Students in grades 1-5 learn self-defense, focus, coordination and balance in a safe environment.

$449/month, Mon.-Fri., 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
4231 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR
Online: onewithheart.com/afterschool-program

kids like languages

Kids Like Languages

Holding class in over 50 schools around Portland, this after-school program makes it easy on working parents by cutting down the travel and bringing up the fun. Teaching languages like Spanish, French, Mandarin, American Sign Language, or more (whatever the school requests, actually!) the classes combine top-notch teaching with native speakers, fun activities, and lots of enthusiasm. It’s well-researched that school age is one of the best times to learn a new language, so why not sign your kinder or niños up now?

Around $17/class, 25 classes/term
Classes in over 50 Portland area schools
Online: kidslikelanguages.com/pages/after-school-classes

—Kris Wilhelmy


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