Parents: After-School Programs

Athletics/Outdoor Activities

Be social. Have some fun. Boston has a rich supply of programs, activities, and events for students to keep fit. Explore some of the resources below to find out more.

Boston Youth Zone – From baseball to paintball, this City of Boston site provides a searchable database as well as a clickable events calendar that covers public, private and non-profit sports organizations in Boston neighborhoods. Includes information on leagues, facilities, activities, programs and sports-related links.

Inline Club of Boston (ICB) – Lists cool places to skate, organized geographically for Boston/Cambridge residents and the surrounding communities North, South, and West.

Squashbusters – Provides squash instruction and competition for urban Boston middle and high school students, along with academic tutoring, mentoring, and community service.

Tenacity – A year-round youth development organization that offers free tennis instruction and academic enrichment to over 2,000 Boston youth in the summer and intensive after-school programs that combine tennis instruction/competition and academic support with a focus on life-skills.

Greater Boston YMCA
The Greater Boston branches of the YMCA provide a combination of athletic, spiritual, and after-school enrichment programs based on ideals of the Judeo-Christian heritage. Branch memberships are not restricted by gender. Learn more about programs and facilities of individual centers through the links provided below or contact any of the 2,400 plus national YMCA branches at YMCA of USA.

Black Achievers – A youth program linking partners in business and industry, employees who have been recognized as Black Achievers, and youth in a community effort to develop the educational, career and leadership potential of young people.

Burbank – Serves the communities of Reading, Wakefield, North Reading, Wilmington, and Stoneham with a wide variety of programs for children as young as six weeks.

Camping – Provides outstanding overnight camping for boys and girls ages 8 to 18 at North Woods Camp for Boys and Pleasant Valley for Girls on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Central – A flagship branch of the YMCA of Greater Boston with a variety of programs for teens, children and families. It is also home to City on a Hill Charter School, the Black Achievers Branch, Camping Branch and the International Learning Center.

Charles River – Serves the needs of Needham residents in two locations: a branch on Great Plain Avenue and the Active Family Center on Chestnut Street. The Active Family Center is an ideal location for the whole family to work out and play together.

Dorchester Family – Hosts a busy child care site both at the branch and at Linking Hands on the corner of Columbia and Washington Streets. Offers excellent workout facilities, summer camp, a computer learning center, and programming for all ages.

East Boston – Operates a number of full-day care programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers as well as many after school programs. The staff is certified and trained in CPR, first aid and emergency procedures. Financial assistance is available.

Egleston Square Youth Center – Offers structured programs and activities for area youth and teens. Has cardiovascular, weight training and Nautilius equipment. Financial assistance is available.

Hyde Park – Provides structured programs for youth and teens, and fitness activities in an environment that encourages socializing.

North Suburban – Offers an extensive childcare program, excellent workout facilities, and innovative programs for the entire family.

Oak Square – Has a new $8 million dollar facility that features a barrier-free design, and over 43,000 square feet. Offers programs for children.

Roxbury Family – Offers programs for infant, toddlers, preschool and kindergarten as well as many after school programs. In addition, teens may take advantage of both recreational programs and leadership development opportunities.

Wakefield – See comments under Burbank.

Walpole – Provides services such as after-school care, preschool enrichment classes, swimming lessons, a kid's gym, fitness classes, and a fully equipped fitness center for adults and teens, with special hours for teen users.

Waltham – Has organized basketball, volleyball, and group swim lessons. Programs are designed to teach young people the importance of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

Wang YMCA of Chinatown – This renovated facility features state-of-the-art equipment, a beautiful gymnasium and 25-yard lap pool. Offers many programs for children.

West Roxbury/Roslindale Family – A large provider of after-school care that works with the schools in both West Roxbury and Dedham.

For the outdoorsy type, try some of the out-of-the-ordinary activities listed below. All are inexpensive or free. Some are seasonal. If in doubt, call first to inquire.

  • Rent a canoe or kayak on the Charles River 617-965-5110
  • Row or sail across Jamaica Pond 617-522-6258
  • Go to the zoo 617-442-2002
  • Take a walk at the Boston Nature Center in Mattapan 617-983-8500
  • Take a walk on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail
  • Visit or camp at the Boston Harbor Islands National Park 617-223-8666
  • Take a youth-led walking tour of the South End with MYTOWN 617-536-8696