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Best After School Programs in Orange County

December 22, 2010 11:28 PM

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Our best OC picks for ways to keep the kids occupied in the hours between school letting out and dinner.

765618 Best After School Programs in Orange County

(credit: AP)

Almost every parent faces the challenge of how to keep the kids occupied in the hours between school letting out and dinner. Here is a sampling of some of the options available in The OC.

afterschool prgm Best After School Programs in Orange County

(credit: ymcaoc.org)

YMCA of Orange County

Locations throughout Orange County

The YMCA Afterschool Program serves children ages 5-12 and is offered at fifty-one elementary school campuses in Orange County. The program is designed to give kids a safe and structured environment while exploring a variety of academic and enrichment activities. A sampling of activities offered includes: sports, photography and gardening. Among the program’s goals is “the development of the inner-strength and character of young people”.

edu srjbgroup Best After School Programs in Orange County

(credit: ymcaoc.org)

Starr Ranch Sanctuary

100 Bell Canyon Road
Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679
(949) 858-0309

Located on 4,000 acres in Trabuco Canyon, Starr Ranch Sanctuary offers “After School with Starr Ranch Biologists” each February. Children ages 8-12 are invited to learn how the sanctuary’s biologists conduct research on their wildlife and habitats. Past topics have included: Reptiles & Amphibians and Cougars, Bobcats & Coyotes. Each session ends with a special Nature Walk with Biologists. Offered over 3 consecutive Thursdays or Fridays from 3:30-5:00pm, this popular program fills up well in advance. Dates for 2011 are February 10, 17, 24 and February 11, 18, 25. Cost is $30 per child.

zot1 girlsmaller Best After School Programs in Orange County

(credit: teamunify.com)

Aquazot Swim Club

Crawford Hall, UC Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697
(949) 824-6011

Orange County is a breeding ground for world class swimmers—climate and geography make knowing how to swim practically a requirement for residency. Aquazot Swim Club, with locations in Irvine and San Juan Capistrano, offers kids year round training and coaching as well as the opportunity to compete on their swim teams. Teaching groups are divided by age group as well as experience. The coaches are all members of the American Swim Coaches Association and are focused on providing each child the opportunity to improve their swimming skills and achieve success. Monthly rates start at $110 per child.

oc dance Best After School Programs in Orange County

(credit: ockidsballroom.com)

OC Dancing - Ballroom for Children

2014 Quail Street
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 861-8444

Specializing in competitive and social Latin and Ballroom dancing for children, this Newport Beach studio draws students from all over Orange County. With TV programs like Dancing with The Stars showing how dance is very much a sport, dancing lessons for kids are increasing in popularity. Classes are offered for children as young as 3 with prices starting at $10 per class. The first group class is free.

ownerphoto Best After School Programs in Orange County

(credit: youngchefsacademy.com)

Young Chef’s Academy

2014 Quail Street
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 861-8444

Offering after school classes for kids ages 5.5 - teens, the Irvine location definitely gets kids cooking. The setting is a real kitchen so that skills learned are easily transferred to home. Each week a new menu is presented often including seasonal themes. The staff is made up of teachers, chefs and nutritionists all sharing the goal of instilling a lifelong appreciation of the culinary arts in the kids participating in the programs. Trial classes are $20, individual classes $35 and monthly tuition is $109.

Elizabeth Peterson traded her BMV for a minivan, and writes about it at TradedMyBMWforaMinivan.com

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