In our busy household, the family calendar is everything. When it’s overloaded, or if something unexpected pops up, our collective balance is thrown off. People get spread thin, cranky, stressed. Sometimes people are me.
But when the family calendar is thoughtfully planned and masterfully executed, there is no greater triumph.
This is my Everest.
Which is why I’m now seeking activities that my kids can do at the same time. Activities that work for me, let’s be honest, and that fit neatly onto the family calendar. I mean, I like to let my girls try different things, but within reason. I’m not a chauffeur service, and I’m not going crazy so they can dabble in cello, weaving, and water polo by the time they’re 6. And don’t forget the Russian Math. Always the Russian Math.
Finding Boston classes that accommodate different age groups — or a facility that offers classes to different age groups at the same time — is no easy feat. Especially if your kids, like mine, are more than one or two years apart. But there are a few such gems out there, and with a bit of effort and ingenuity (and some diagramming of complex flowcharts), you, too, can sync up classes for your kids.
Village Dance Studio :: Brookline
My three daughters (ages 3, 6, and 8) are currently taking dance classes at Village Dance Studio in Brookline Village at the same time. Tumbling for the big two while the youngest takes pre-ballet. (One of my daughters was actually outside the recommended age range for her class, but the studio was flexible, and she fits in just fine.) This is the first time this little scheduling miracle has ever occurred. And I sit very still and quiet for a full 45 minutes. It’s heaven.
Tinkergarten :: Multiple Locations
Tinkergarten offers outdoor classes focused on playing and problem-solving in nature. Tinkergarten is a national organization; around here, you’ll find them everywhere from Woburn to Wakefield. The best part? Kids 18 months to 8 years can participate together. Because when you’re playing outside, there really is something for all ages.
Little Groove Music and Groovy Baby Music :: Multiple Locations
Like outdoor play, music is a natural way to bring kids together. And there are two organizations that do this especially well. (Their only fault is that their too-similar names have confused sleep-deprived moms for ages.) Both Little Groove Music and Groovy Baby Music (the parent organization for Music Together) offer classes for a variety of ages. The quality of such classes is largely teacher-dependent, so ask around before committing. (I happen to adore Dylan with Little Groove.)
Kids in Sports :: Walpole
Kids in Sports offers specific “Sibling Sports” classes on the weekend, one for kids 1–5 and another for kids 3–6. These multi-sport classes allow parents one drop-off but still challenge kids appropriately, as they get separated according to age within the class.
Broderick Gymnastics (Hyde Park and Walpole), Energy Fitness (Natick and Newton), and Exxcel Gymnastics (Newton)
These gyms all host a variety of classes for different ages, especially on Saturday mornings, when the floor of each looks like a well-built freeway system, blurred lines of spandex zooming past each other. If you have a very young gymnast, Broderick offers some parent/tot classes at the same time as classes for older kids. If your kids are all drop-off age, Energy features cardio equipment for parents to work out while they watch their gymnasts in action.
The Gold School :: Brockton
With four classes running at the same time, there’s a good chance you can sync up sib schedules at the highly-regarded Gold School. Ballet for your son while your middle daughter tries hip-hop and the oldest takes modern dance. And you read a good book.
YMCA :: Multiple Locations
And let’s not forget about the YMCA. With childcare services for the youngest members and fitness classes for the grown-ups, the Y has something for the whole family. For the kids, there are swim classes, as well as karate clinics, flag football leagues, group exercise classes, and more. Check out your local Y’s roundup, and imagine the scheduling possibilities. Your family calendar will thank you.
Any other good ones? What Boston classes have your kids taken together?