(Photo: ABC Kids Climbing).

By now we understand the isolation our kids have faced in the past two years because of the pandemic. Now kids are back in-seat at school, taking precautions, and as a result academic, social, and emotional performance and wellness have improved, not to mention that home life is more balanced and stable now. We are starting to normalize again. Now is a perfect time to sign your kids up for many excellent & safe, in-person, after school programs and classes in the Boulder, Larimer & Weld county areas. Some top programs are ABC Kids Climbing, Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance, Production Company Dance Centre and YMCA of Northern Colorado.

ABC Kids Climbing is a great, engaging option for after school activities for any kid ages 4-1/2-18. This family-owned business was founded twenty years ago by Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou, a 4-time world champion climber. The Boulder location was opened almost ten years ago and has been impacting kids’ lives exponentially. “We have such a wonderful staff and community of clientele. We really feel they are the real key to providing enriching climbing experiences for children here on the Front Range…we have a full range of climbing options and our gym is designed specifically for kids and we’re really proud of that because we feel we provide a comfortable and safe place for kids to explore & thrive.” The classes run throughout the day and after school classes start as early as 1:30 p.m. and the peak hours are between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The bulk of students are between ages 8-12 but ages 4-1/2-18 are welcome. If you’d like to sign your child up and learn more about ABC Kids Climbing, go to abckidsboulder.com. Register online starting Nov. 8, for a wide range of Winter classes or clubs at abckidsboulder.com/classes-clubs. If a class is full or if you have questions, please email them at info@abckidsclimbing.com. You can also call them at 303.443.5437.

(Photo: Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance).

Another amazing movement oriented after school program is at Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance in Boulder. The form of movement, referred to as “aerial dance” is unique and has a twist but is so fun and engaging, your kids will love it! Registration for Session 3 classes running Nov. 1 through Dec. 19, is open now. Ages 5 to 17 are welcome for after school youth classes and classes are split between ages 5 to 7, 8 to 11 and 12 to 17, go online at frequentflyers.org and you can register until Nov. 14 for winter classes. Challenging movement, creative expression and working as a team is all part of the program.

For an excellent dance studio after school option, a top-notch option is Production Company Dance Centre in Longmont. Owner and Artistic Director, Stephanie Odenbach founded the studio in 2012. She trained and worked as a massage therapist and was a competitive gymnast and dancer growing up and then she transitioned into teaching dance and has been a dance teacher since 2004. Stephanie offers many after school classes, “We start at age 2 and go to 18. We start at 4:15 p.m. and go until about 8:30 p.m. at night. We offer ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, acro and tumbling, and contemporary. We do a couple shows a year too, a holiday recital on stage locally and also a mid-June recital. We also have a local and national team that performs.” To find out more, you can call or text Production Company Dance Centre at 303.682.8842 or go on their website at productioncompanydance.com.

Another great after school program in Northern Colorado is the YMCA of Northern Colorado. This organization offers after school care and program activities for kids ages Kindergarten through 5th grade throughout Boulder County and into Larimer and Weld counties. The Y conveniently busses kids from select schools to after school care at YMCA facilities in Boulder, Longmont and Lafayette. “In Y after school care, we support students with homework help and active play as well as STEM activities, group games and sports, arts and crafts and more,” said Andra Coberly Webster, YMCA of Northern Colorado spokesperson. “There are also school day off camps with special themed programming and activities like swimming, ice skating (only at the Arapahoe Y) and much more.” The YMCA of Northern Colorado also offers after school programs in several select Larimer and Weld county schools, providing after school programs in 4 school districts. It’s convenient for parents because kids can also do swim lessons and participate in specialty clubs as part of their after school care and programming. The Y is a non-profit and accepts CCAP (Colorado Childcare Assistance Program) and offers financial assistance for families that qualify. They make sure all children have access to YMCA after school programs, no matter a family’s ability to pay. To find out all the specifics of the several programs, go to their website at ymcanoco.org or call 303.664.5455. Or stop in at one of their locations, all addresses are listed on their website.

By Katie Feindel, Raised in the Rockies