Tons of fun programming is coming for kids this summer and beyond

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

As summer approaches, the neighborhood is buzzing with exciting opportunities for kids to engage in enriching activities that will ensure a memorable season.

KidsArts, an organization on Eliot Street that provides kids with space to explore the arts, has plans for eight weeks of summer programming.

As part of the program, kids ages 5-12 can participate in the arts through workshops, field trips, and even swimming at the Curtis Hall Community Center.

Through these workshops, kids work on various types of arts, such as dance, acting, visual art, and more, during the week leading up to a showcase at the end of the week, where they can show off their work to their families.

As mentioned, each week of programming includes a field trip on Wednesday. While Lara Brennan, KidsArts’ Program Manager, and Jenna Figueiredo, the organization’s Director of Operations, indicated that planning for this year’s field trips is still in progress, some examples of past field trips were given.

For example, kids in previous programs have visited the Franklin Park Zoo, The Museum of Science, and Spectacle Island.

During each week, programming is from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. The eight-week program schedule is as follows:

Week 1: July 1st-3rd

Week 2: July 8th-12th

Week 3: July 15th-19th

Week 4: July 22nd-26th

Week 5: July 29th-August 2nd

Week 6: August 5th-9th

Week 7: August 12th-16th

Week 8: August 19th-23rd

The cost for participating is $490 a week, though it should be noted that week one has a discounted rate due to being shortened by the Fourth of July.

Not only does KidsArts offer a 5% sibling discount and sliding-scale tuition, but they also accept Child Care Choices of Boston Vouchers.

While most spaces in weeks two through eight are taken up, there are spots open for week one of the program for those interested. To sign up for a spot in week one or get on the waiting list for a potential spot in weeks two through eight, visit

Once again, Tony Williams Dance Center (TWDC) is offering its five-week Summer Fun Dance Camp this summer.

The program, which goes on for two weeks in July and three weeks in August, allows kids to familiarize themselves with and learn different types of dances while participating in other activities.

According to TWDC’s website, “Each Dance Camp will offer Ballet in the a.m. with Tap or Modern, break for a long lunch at the park/splash pad, and later come back to the studio to try different elective classes.”

According to the center’s website, some elective classes include tutu making, tiara making, pantomime, and more.

Additionally, as part of the program, kids will have the opportunity to learn certain dance styles taught by professional teachers each week. This culminates in a recital at the end of the week, where families can see their children perform.

For example, Tony Williams, Founder and Artistic Director of TWDC, spoke about the dance styles offered in past years.

“One year, we had a Mexican folkloric teacher, and so the kids got to — during the day, they would do a Mexican folk dance, and then it would be followed by a tap class and then a hip-hop class, and then you would have a ballet class,” said Williams.

“From week to week, it will revolve, like one week, we might have a certain style that we won’t have the next week, so if a kid did come for more than one or two weeks, they’re not getting the same thing every week,” he added.

Not only do the kids learn the dances they will perform, but they also get to make their own costumes for the recital.

“They really enjoy that, so it’s not just dance,” said Williams.

The schedule for the program, which is offered to kids ages 5-14, is as follows:

Week 1: July 22nd-26th (ages 5-8 only)

Week 2: July 29th-August 2nd

Week 3: August 12th-16th

Week 4: August 19th-23rd

Week 5: August 26th-30th

The camp costs $450 per week, and those interested in learning more or signing up can visit

In addition to the camp mentioned above, there are some significant events related to TWDC coming up soon. For example, the City Ballet of Boston—founded by Williams—and TWDC are presenting a Ballet Banquet at the Strand Theatre from April 26th to 28th.

For more information about the event, visit Williams also mentioned that some free tickets are available for community groups. For more information about free tickets, email [email protected].

Lastly, TWDC will perform at the Public Garden on May 12th for Duckling Day. For more information, visit

The Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts is holding its six-week summer program for children, which Angela Lett, the Eliot School’s Interim Director of Development and Communications, described as “art intensive.”

As part of the program, morning and afternoon classes are offered to kids ages 6-8 and 9-12.

“We offer general art classes — we call those art zone — we have mixed media, woodworking, sewing, and fiber art,” said Lett. A Lego workshop is even being offered through a partnership with DEILab.

Additionally, each week has a theme. For example, one week is entitled “Stories We Love,” where kids “will gain inspiration for their art from global tales in books, movies, television, video games, and more,” according to the school’s website.

Moreover, there is a showcase where kids can present their work to friends and family each week.

The dates for the Eliot School program are as follows:

Week 1: July 8th-12th

Week 2: July 15th-19th

Week 3: July 22nd-26th

Week 4: July 29th-August 2nd

Week 5: August 5th-9th

Week 6: August 12th-16th

Regarding pricing, it is $499 for a week of full days and $315 for a week of half days. It is important to note that Lett indicated that the program is full but encouraged folks to join the waitlist.

“We do have waitlists that people can join, and every year, people’s plans change, so we do have some kids on the waitlist who usually are able to get in, so if people missed it, I still encourage them to sign up for the waitlist,” said Lett.

Additionally, Lett encouraged those interested in the programs to check out other classes that the Eliot School has that are separate from the summer program.

To join a waitlist and learn more about the summer program or anything else the Eliot School offers, visit Lett also mentioned that folks who want to know about future programs earlier should join the mailing list.

Kids Together in the Arts is also offering a six-week summer art program beginning in June, with each week having its own theme.

“Every week is based on a different theme. It could be the four elements; it could be witches, wizards, and magic,” said Mary Ellen Ehrenreich, Kids Together in the Arts’Art Director.

Through the art program, the kids participate in four different disciplines daily: visual art, dance, theater, and music. Then, at the end of the week, a show is put on for families.

In addition to the activities mentioned above, the kids get to go to Stony Brook Park and play games like capture the flag.

Ehrenreich, who has run this program for over 20 years, indicated that kids love it, and many campers end up becoming counselors when they get older.

“It’s very well received. I’ve been very fortunate — to be honest with you — it’s been such a great thing in JP for so many years,” said Ehrenreich.

The schedule for the program, which is for kids ages 6-13, is as follows:

Week 1: June 24th-28th

Week 2: July 1st-5th (No Camp on July 4th)

Week 3: July 8th-12th

Week 4: July 15th-19th

Week 5: July 22nd-26th

Week 6: July 29th-August 2nd

The program costs $450 per week, except for week two, which is $360. In addition to the discount for siblings, Ehrenreich says she also offers scholarships for those who need it.

For more information and to sign up, visit

Finally, although Jamaica Plain Children’s Soccer does not have a summer program, registration will soon be open for its fall program.

Jamaica Plain Children’s Soccer offers kids ages 3.5-6.5 an opportunity to get active through a soccer practice held once a week for about an hour.

“It’s not really about soccer; it’s more about just getting the kids active and an introduction to active lifestyles,” said Phil Hall, President of Jamaica Plain Children’s Soccer.

Registration for the fall season — which usually begins in September — is set to open by mid-May. For more information about Jamaica Plain Children’s soccer, visit

“Our objective is to kind of get anyone and everyone who wants to come out, out on the field,” said Hall.

​Ultimately, there are several organizations in the neighborhood looking to offer summer fun for kids this year.

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