What to do After School? - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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What to do After School?

What to do After School?

Explore the many after-school programs available to children and their families — it just might lead to a lifelong passion, hobby or valuable skill

After-school programs provide a wide variety of opportunities for children of all ages. Not only do they provide a safe and secure place while their parents are at work, but they also offer opportunities for kids to explore their passions, develop a new hobby, develop their skillsets and make new friends. The benefits are endless, and there are numerous options in Greater Tampa Bay that accommodate various student interests and parent schedules. 

Looking for an after-school program that is school sponsored? All three of GTB’s school districts, including Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties, offer programs. From tutoring programs to chess clubs, or an after-school sport, there are hundreds of activities to choose from. 

For the Mover and Shaker 

Got moves? The Frank Rey Dance Studio offers a wide variety of dance styles and has more than 56 years of experience among its highly qualified instructors. Children will learn how to master dance styles while gaining confidence with the help of the tight-knit dance family.  

For the kicky kiddos in Lutz, the Contempo School of Dance offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and more. In the 2019-2020 season, the school earned the ADCC Studio of Excellence Award for best exemplifying the value of working together and striving for excellence. Classes are available from ages three to teens, for beginners to pre-professional. 

Swimming and tumbling are two ways for children to burn off energy and exercise after school. Tampa Bay Turners offers both, with recreational classes for boys and girls ages 3 to 14. They have a beautiful, full-sized lap pool and swimming lessons for all ages.  

Looking for a place where children can not only play a sport they love, but gain character-building experiences? The Tim McCahan After School Sports Family Life Center fosters coordination, concentration, confidence and character at its 18,000-square-foot facility. 

For the Brainiac 

Challenge Island is an award-winning STEAM after-school program, where kids put their imaginations and problem-solving skills to the test to complete challenges as a team — all without any screens or devices.  

The Museum of Science and Industry offers a creative environment that is sure to stimulate young minds. Children can attend MOSI’s aftercare program on weekdays and will participate in recreational games, outdoor activities and guided tours. Homework assistance and snacks are also provided. 

With nine schools offering three STEM pathways, it is no wonder Pasco County has plenty of programs that help children excel outside of the classroom. STAR Academy offers elementary schoolers activities in STEM led by a certified teaching staff and teaches healthy habits, like exercising and sports. 

For the Performer  

The piano is an excellent instrument for children to tap into their musical abilities and develop lifelong skills. With lessons offered for every age, The Musical Arts Piano Conservatory teaches children how to read sheet music and play the piano from a master pianist.  

The Patel Conservatory after-school program at the Straz Center allows children to take the stage and perform. Elementary-aged children in second through eighth grade can enroll in a musical theater class, which offers techniques for being on the scene and basic theater terminology. 

In the age of the world wide web, learning has faced new opportunities challenges. The ARTZ 4 Life Academy students learn how to navigate the constantly changing world. This program familiarizes them with STEM and the arts as ways to think critically and creatively, and learn to express themselves.  

See Also

For the Artist and the Adventurer 

Primrose’s Explorers Club is an excellent choice for a well-rounded after-school program. Located at the Primrose School of Tampa, the program focuses on technology, several applied arts and guided homework assistance. 

For those who need preschool-aged after-school care, consider the No. 1 family zoo in the country. Tampa’s own Lowry Park Zoo hosts a unique Zoo School for children ages 4 and under. Through this program, children will have the fantastic opportunity to meet some animals and learn zoological facts.  

Those of raised on Bill Nye know science is cool. The best way to pass that on is through The Art of Science afterschool programs. Students can learn about the migrations of birds and butterflies, how plants and animals adapt or everything that makes Florida special.  

Visit a GTB Metro YMCA to find an ideal after-school care option for the family. Many YMCA locations offer tutoring, crafting, swim lessons and classes ranging from the arts to karate. 

Options for everyone  

There is an afterschool program for every child and every family in Greater Tampa Bay. The region is full of options sure to stimulate every young mind while having fun and ensuring safety.  

By Meredith Biesinger.

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