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My son was enrolled in a multi-sport class when he was 2. I signed up through a local sports school and didn’t think twice about the cost. I was excited about my little man learning something new. I’ve always valued the importance of developing and discovering interests and talents, so investing in this was a total no-brainer.

When I called the company to ask a question about the next session of classes, the administrator mentioned a “city class schedule”. This peaked my curiosity and she explained that the instructors also taught at city locations. These were the same classes, however, they were taught at public places owned by the city like community centers and parks. These classes were also offered at a subsidized rate. I decided to go directly on my city’s website to see what other classes were offered.

It turns out that my city offered dozens and dozens of classes that range anywhere from art, sports, science, cooking, to pretty much you name it. There are classes for preschoolers, youth and even adults.

Benefits of signing up for these classes through the city:

  1. The obvious one here is the cost. I paid $132 for 8 classes when I signed up directly and only $65 for 6 classes when I signed up through the city. $16.50 per class vs. $10.83 per class. Same coach, same class, different location.
  2. There are dozens of classes on a single website which makes class selection and enrollment easier. This is a time saver. Also, there are classes offered by the city that I wouldn’t even know where to look for elsewhere. For example, “Donuts with Daddy” is a class where kids and dads can bake, decorate and eat donuts together on a Saturday morning. That’s just plain cool.
  3. You are bound to meet people who live in relatively close proximity. You don’t have to be a resident of that particular city to sign up for classes, but there is a resident and non-resident fee for classes; residents get a discount. The likelihood that your son’s bestie in class lives within a few miles away is pretty good, which can make play-dates outside of class easier to coordinate. Also, you and your little one are more likely to see a few familiar faces as you try out new classes. This can help alleviate some nervousness.

Masala Mommy Tip: Before I enroll my kids in any class, I ask about the current enrollees: number of students, age of each, and sometimes even gender. Some classes have a larger age range, so it’s helpful to know where my guys are in the spectrum. Smaller class size means more focus on my guy. And lastly, in rare instances, it’s helpful to know gender. For example, my dude likes to break it down so I enrolled him in a hip hop dance class. Not many boys attend dance classes so it was nice to know there was one other boy in the class to help role model that boys can dance too! Is it a deal breaker? No. Is it helpful sometimes? Yes.

Most cities have a government operated website that has information ranging from public safety and transportation to events and recreation. The websites are typically the name of the city with a .gov or .org extension; however, use a search engine like Google to find the exact web address.  Take some time to look around the website because you’ll probably find a schedule of classes and will be surprised by how many fun activities are at your disposal for your little one at a fraction of the cost you’d normally pay.

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