It’s the time of year when you start setting up your kid’s schedule for the myriad activities that he is going to participate in during the school year.

It’s almost as if if you don't play traditional sports, there’s nothing else to do and you don’t fit in anywhere.

And what if your kid doesn’t like an after-school art class? Not every kid is the after-school basketball, soccer, or art class kind of kid, but that doesn’t mean they should sit home bored after school.

New Jersey specifically has tons of unique and cool after-school activities that will no doubt spark your child's interest.


I know it’s a sport. But not the kind they’re used to. Fencing is a great sport for those kids who maybe like their toy swords a little too much. The Hub City Fencing Academy in Edison has been highlighted as a great program for kids as young as 7 years old. They have a 10-week program that gives a full introduction to the sport so that your child can learn the proper way. It is also a great sport for those who may have more strategy-oriented children.


Also a sport. But one that appeals to the non-sporty type. Many kids are obsessed with different kinds of weapons at an early age and archery could be a fun way for them to get better at aim and have a little bit of competition. X-Ring Archers School of Archery, located in Lambertville is a popular program that has seen many kids off to the Junior Olympics.


If your kids are always nagging you to help out in the kitchen this is the perfect solution. Marlboro’s Young Chefs Academy is quite popular around New Jersey and teaches kids how to cook among other skills like kitchen safety, etiquette, and more.


Gymnastics is a great sport if you don’t like sports and you’re looking to build strength or even conquer a fear. Bright Stars Academy in Egg Harbor is one of many gyms in the Jersey area with great gymnastics programs for kids in addition to swimming and ninja zone classes. If you have children with different interests this may be a cool place to check out.

Rock Climbing

Who doesn’t love a challenge? Rock climbing is a great way to get over a fear of heights, learn coordination, and also have a little bit of competition. The NJ Rock Gym in Fairfield has rock climbing classes that also include important lessons like the art of knot-tying and other survival skills.


Take your kids to one of the local music centers like School of Rock or Lakehouse Music Academy. Not only will they learn an instrument but they can gain confidence and join a real rock and roll band. My kids did this and it was one of the best memories of their lives. And mine, too.


Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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