The best after-school programmes for kids in Shanghai

From fashion creative workshops to outdoor activities, find and afternoon or weekend programme your little scholar will love

Photograph: courtesy Five-Star Sports
Looking for something to keep your little ones busy after the bell rings? From online coding classes and fashion design workshops to Mandarin lessons and horse-riding classes, find an afternoon or weekend programme your little scholar will love.

By Yu Zhiming, with Emily Aspinall and Rupert Hohwieler

Museum Programmes

Kids Museum of Glass

Aiming to inspire curiosity in city kids with the natural world, KMoG’s G Researcher Program invites experts from various fields to give fun lectures designed especially for the little explorers. Topics span from natural history to botany to glass art and the series runs twice a month through the end of the year.

AGES Seven to nine.
MORE INFO Follow ‘glassmuseum’ on WeChat.

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685 Changjiang Xi Lu


Let your little Picasso’s imagination run wild at UCCA Kids. Affiliated with Beijing’s UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, the arts education programme offers a slew of workshops and courses tailored for kids. This autumn, they will be able to study the Elizabeth Peyton: Practice exhibition currently on display at UCCA in Beijing and learn from the modern-day portrait master. The course, which runs until the end of November, includes four classes and kids are expected to complete a portrait painting at the end of each class.

AGES Seven and up.
PRICE 480RMB (per class); 1,920RMB (four classes).
MORE INFO Call 6445 9616 or follow ‘UCCA Kids上海’ on WeChat.

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262 Jianguo Xi Lu
Passing Through at West Bund Museum

Passing Through at West Bund Museum

More of a one-off than a full-on programme, let your little Da Vinci play hide and seek at West Bund Museum’s new exhibition. Coming directly from Centre Pompidou of Paris and designed by Françoise Pétrovitch, Passing Through invites children (and parents) into a world of magic forests filled with large-scale drawings of animals and plants. Free guided tours and workshops available to book. Until Sun 27 Dec (closed Mon).

AGES Every young-at-heart visitor. 
PRICE Free (book for admission). 
MORE INFO Visit or follow ‘artwestbund’ on WeChat.

Arts and Crafts

Oogie Art

Is your teen looking to hone their painting skills while putting together a killer portfolio for art school applications? The internationally operated portfolio school offers an individualised curriculum and guidance to spark creativity and develop techniques. There aren’t scheduled classes to follow and the length of the course depends on the goal of each student. Classes are available on weeknights, weekends and during holiday breaks.

AGES 12 and up.
PRICE 250RMB to 330RMB per hour.
MORE INFO Visit, call 6135 2686 or follow ‘OogieArt’ on WeChat.

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546 Changning Lu

The Pottery Workshop Shanghai

Where better to fine-tune your young artist’s motor skills and creative thinking than at the wheel? Pottery studio PWS encourages kids to get hands on (and messy) while making something from scratch on weekend mornings. Your little potters are able to see their ceramic work develop over the sessions and bring their works home.

AGES Five to 13.
PRICE From 1,200RMB for four sessions to 14,400RMB for 48 sessions.
MORE INFO  Visit, follow ‘psw-sh’ on WeChat or add WeChat ID ‘13564377882’. 

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Lane 180 Shaanxi Nan Lu

Craft'd Shanghai

Mecca of all things crafty, this Xuhui studio offers classes for big and little people covering everything from calligraphy to slime-making. This season the Craft’d Fashion and Sewing Autumn/Winter Camp (Oct 21-Dec 2) offers future fashion designers seven weeks of sewing classes. Kids will tailor their own winter pinafores, hoodies and skirts with a bit of holiday glam. A show at the end of the camp will showcase the burgeoning designers’ works.

AGES Six to 12.
MORE INFO Visit or follow ‘craftd’ on WeChat.

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1F, Building 3, 1288 Fuxing Zhong Lu

STEM and Coding

Code Academy 123

Code Academy 123

Coding might seem like a foreign language, but Code Academy 123 is here to help kids learn more about the digital world. This fall semester, get your lil’ computer whiz into their online coding classes via Classin. The courses may be online but the class size is small with a cap of six students. Choose from the Python Crash Course (Oct 10-Dec 19) or the Mobile Android Development Class (Oct 10-Dec 12).

AGES Ten to 14.
PRICE 4,600RMB for 11 two-hour sessions; 3,450RMB for 11 90-minute sessions. 
Follow ‘codeacademy123’ on WeChat or add WeChat ID ‘royam0820’.

Awesome Kids Club

Awesome Kids Club has a mix of after-school programming every day of the
week, offering everything from kungfu to toddler’s gym courses to beginner’s Chinese reading classes. Feeling experimental? Encourage the curiosity, creativity, hands-on ability and critical thinking of your small scientists with the club’s experiment course which covers 20 scientific principles, including sound, light, electricity and air pressure, and is taught in both Chinese and English.

AGES Three to six.
PRICE 150RMB per class; 1,950RMB for 13 classes.
MORE INFO Visit or follow ‘awesomekidsclub’ on WeChat.

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940 Changde Lu


Little Kickers

Little Kickers

Is your superstar the next Lionel Messi? Allow Little Kickers to get your young ones scoring goals in no time. As the world’s largest football programme for kids, they offer a range of sessions in a fun and engaging environment. Programmes are guided by qualified coaches and sorted by age and player level.

AGES 18 months to seven.
PRICE Class packages from 1,600RMB to 5,600RMB (one-time trial class 100RMB). 
MORE INFO Visit or add WeChat ID ‘lkshlovekids’.

Capital Sportz

Capital Sportz

Youngsters with NBA goals will find their niche at Capital Sportz’s after-school basketball programmes with activities designed for both the experienced and not-so-experienced hooper. There’s an academy for developing players to hone their skills, age-based club teams and a cheer squad that focuses on dance-based routines.

AGES Nine to 13 (basketball); five to 12 (cheer). 
PRICE 3,500RMB to 5,000RMB (basketball); 2,000RMB (cheer).
MORE INFO Add WeChat IDs ‘kris10hu1’ or ‘lstanley82’.

Five-Star Sports

Five-Star Sports

Let your future Michael Jordan learn American- style basketball from a team of full-time certified coaches at Five-Star. Courses follow a professional curriculum and are available after school or at weekends.

AGES Four to 17.
PRICE 180RMB to 270RMB per 60- to 90-minute session.
MORE INFO Call 187 2171 2836 or 400 990 9500.

Shanghai BJJ Academy

Shanghai BJJ Academy

If team sports aren’t your child’s cup of tea they can still get physical at this Brazilian jiujitsu school. A variety of different class packages are offered and programmes cater to children up to 11. Your kids will learn the ins and outs of BJJ along with the character-building skills that come with it, like respect and resilience.

AGES Four to 11.
PRICE 200RMB per class; monthly class packages available from 1,700RMB to 12,800RMB.
MORE INFO Visit, call 150 0019 9962, add WeChat ID ‘missfool002’.

Community Center Shanghai (Jinqiao)

These CISCA Ballet courses are based on the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Children’s Graded Examinations Syllabus and are suitable for all tiny dancers from beginner to advanced. Emphasis will be placed on artistry, musicality and classical techniques with a teacher trained across dance forms including ballet, jazz and modern.

AGE Five to 12.
PRICE 3,000RMB to 7,800RMB (14 sessions).
MORE INFO Follow WeChat ID ‘CCSShanghai’.

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Lane 418 Jinxiu Dong Lu


A great starting point for future chess whizzes, these online courses group kids according to ability, from beginner to advanced. Children will develop memory and critical thinking skills under the guidance of professional coaches.

AGES Six to 18.
PRICE 3,750RMB to 7,500RMB for a 15-week course.
Add WeChat ID ‘charlottesunjing’ or visit

Green Valley Riding Club

This dressage-based equestrian riding club in Changning district gives kids the opportunity to get away from the crowds and saddle up for a gallop around a five-star stable. They provide both group and individual courses that will teach budding riders how to care for, groom and ride horses.

AGES Five-and-half to 18.
PRICE From 9,500RMB for ten classes.
MORE INFO Call 6209 5877 or add WeChat ID ‘GreenValleyHorse-kf’.

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1 Xiehu Lu

Language courses

The Hutong School

The sooner young minds embrace a new language the better, and the after-school Mandarin classes at The Hutong School are a solid way to get the ball rolling. Lessons three times a week cover the fundamentals that lead to basic conversations and there are activities like calligraphy and mooncake decorating available for further immersion.

AGES Six to 17.
PRICE 180RMB per hour.
MORE INFO Visit or add WeChat ID ‘JudyYe1103’.

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16, Lane 76 Wuyuan Lu

That's Mandarin

Boost your small polyglot’s Chinese skills at after-school private one-on-one and custom group classes with That’s Mandarin. Lessons are personalised to meet your kiddo’s learning needs and are taught by professional native Chinese teachers. There are also lively cultural activities for holidays conducted in Mandarin for an immersive experience. 

AGES Seven to 18.
PRICE 300RMB (one-on-one); 200RMB (private group).
MORE INFO Visit or add WeChat ID ‘nihaothatsmandarin’.

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Lane 881 Wuding Lu

Eco activities & Volunteer opportunities

Green Steps

Green Steps

Every weekend embark on an outdoor adventure in a different location, exploring Shanghai parks and discovering local wildlife. Green Steps runs four parallel environmental education programmes for ages from 18 months to 12 years old focused on a hands-on approach to natural science. Through nature walks or kayaking as well as creative games and clean-ups, kids nurture a love and stewardship for the environment by using their knowledge about the local ecosystem and developing basic survival skills – from simple agriculture to cooking in the wild.

AGES 18 months to 12 years.
PRICE 400RMB per session (10 percent off the full programme, 15 percent off pre-booking the Spring 2021 programme).


This local organic farm is a great place to let urban tots understand how the food they eat is grown. BIOFarm’s autumn workshop is all about pumpkins (kids will also learn to make cream cheese pumpkin pies). Apart from the workshop, there are regular pick-your-own fruit and veggie sessions and farm-fresh meals available. Activities are usually conducted in Mandarin, however, English tours can be arranged for groups (30 maximum).

AGES Five to 12 years old (under-fives should be accompanied by a parent). 
PRICE 30RMB (farm ticket; 45RMB after Thu 1 Oct); 90RMB (workshop).
MORE INFO Visit or follow ‘BIOFarmerskitchen’ on WeChat.

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8019 Chuansha Lu

Stepping Stones China

Give teens the chance to get involved with less privileged communities. With online orientation and training provided, volunteers teach English classes of ten to 30 students on the weekends. Students of 16 and above can apply with parental consent.

AGES 16 and up.

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75 Leshan Lu

Shanghai Roots & Shoots

Non-profit organisation Roots & Shoots unites those who hold the common values: love for animals, care for the community, and devotion to protecting the environment. They run programmes designed to educate the youth, working within schools and companies. Roots & Shoots are always welcoming volunteers to be part of their programmes and activities.

AGES All ages depending on event. 

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550 Yanan Dong Lu

HandsOn Shanghai

Lend a helping hand with HandsOn Shanghai, who establish relationships with charities throughout China and organise projects for volunteers. They offer a wide variety of opportunities, from reading at the hospital to painting a school library to playing bingo at the elderly daycare centre.

AGES 16 and up.

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Shanghai Young Bakers Baking Center

Shanghai Young Bakers is a charity programme that offers fully sponsored culinary education in French bakery and pastry to marginalised Chinese youth. They are always on the lookout for volunteers to support with everything from translating and IT troubleshooting to fundraising and design.

AGES Ten and up (under-18s should be accompanied by an adult).

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Gear up for school

These A-plus shops will have everything your student needs no matter their grade


A go-to for the cheap and cheerful, it’s hard to beat Daiso for price. They sell a variety of everyday products – maybe not the highest in quality but will get the job done.

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755 Huaihai Zhong Lu
Civillita Art Supplies

Civillita Art Supplies

From pens to painting oils, find anything you need for getting creative at this WeChat shop. (You can also book yourself in for lessons at the studio if you’re feeling a little rusty.) Search for WeChat mini program Civillita.


Japanese lifestyle store The Loft has a range of heart-melting products. The stationery section is decked out with plenty to make your kids’ life a little more kawaii

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1111 Zhaojiabang Lu