We’ve rounded up the best extracurricular activities in the city, perfect for kids of all ages.
The kids are now well and truly back at school, so there’s no better time to help them brush up on extra skills (or try new experiences) by getting involved in extracurricular activities. Make it interesting by giving a volunteering opportunity a chance, or learning a new language. From art to sports, tech to the stage, you’re sure to find something to keep your toddlers, tweens and teens entertained and stimulated once the school bell has rung.
Technology and Coding
Empower your kids to become creators with technology at First Code Academy. Its regular coding course (The Core Program) starts from Tuesday, 3 September 2019, so your tech genius can get stuck in as soon as possible! With the progressive and holistic curriculum, kids will be assessed and recommended a class that fits their ability and experience – all taught by top MIT Master Trainers and the professional teaching team. The learning roadmap is suitable for ages 4 to 18 to develop future-proof skills. First Code Academy is also the first and only in Hong Kong that’s an Apple Authorised Training Partner (AATP), where certified trainers teach the Apple curriculum, enabling students to be Apple certified.
Kids can initiate their own projects with instructor assistance (project-based learning), develop digital and media literacy, STEM, critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving skills and more. Finally, they’ll get to show off their abilities at the End of Term Demo Day, where they’ll pitch projects in front of parents and friends, honing their presentation skills. Extracurricular study at this all-round learning programme will demonstrate strong self-initiative and commitment – and look great on those future college applications! Sign up ASAP to secure your spot and enjoy the final call offer, ending on Tuesday, 3 September 2019.
Sassy Mama readers can get an exclusive free trial session (valued at $250!). Register your interest and have your seat reserved. Plus, be the first in the know when it comes to news and updates at the First Code Academy info sessions.
First Code Academy, 5/F, Gee Tuck Building, 16-20 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
First Code Academy, Unit 11B, 11/F, KP Tower, 93-95 King’s Road, Fortress Hill, North Point, Hong Kong
“Build Something Different” BSD Education is dedicated to empowering the kids of today with the tools for tomorrow. Check out its autumn extracurricular activities, including STEAM coding camps for kids and teens, that offer in-depth workshops where your teens can design and build their own video game or get an intro to computer science, ideal for giving them a head start for university.
Cobo Academy’s innovative curriculum is the collective brainchild of experienced coders and educators – many of whom happen to be parents! Classes are small (typically between 4:1 to 8:1), fun and interactive, and embrace problem-based and project-based learning. Opt for a regular course from its autumn selection (September to December 2019) for ages 4 to 15+, with any level of experience. If you sign up before Saturday, 31 August 2019 you’ll receive a $400 discount off your total payment, or sign up together with a buddy and you will each receive a $200 discount off your total payment.
Coding 101 offers courses for primary right up to post-secondary students, covering everything from robotics to Minecraft programming and Python. Check out any of its regular classes, or if you want to dig deeper, commit to a holiday camp in Science Park (dates for later in the year to be announced).
If your kids get restless behind their school desk, they’ll love the change to let rip and stretch their legs at one of Minisport’s extracurricular offerings. Preparing children aged 1.5 to 8 years old for the world of sport since 2012, you’ll find a range of weekly classes (both mornings and afternoons), across Hong Kong starting from Monday, 26 August until Monday, 16 December 2019. With small class sizes that focus on fun and encouragement, your budding sports stars are guaranteed to get plenty of close attention and coaching.
Kids can try their hand at multiple sports (including tennis, football, coordination skills and more!) under the guidance of Minisport’s dedicated early year sports specialists – or, if you’re looking for a more personal approach, try the private classes that are available on request at a time and venue that suits you. The passionate coaching team will make sure your kids get the most out of every class, become well-rounded confident young athletes, and blow off enough steam that they’ll sleep soundly at the end of the day!
Based on the south side of Hong Kong Island, this all-inclusive club aims to introduce you to the great game of rugby. Its junior section youth teams are perfect for teenagers, offering professional coaching, guidance and mentoring at all levels – whether they’ve never played rugby or have played all their life. Club members pay an annual subscription fee.
HKU Sandy Bay RFC, Stanley Ho Sports Centre, Sha Wan Drive, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong, www.hkusandybayrfc.com
Located in Sai Kung’s stunning countryside, the Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy (HKGTA) offers tailored programmes that follow specialised philosophies and training methods. Sign up for one of the junior golf classes (based on the Jack Nicklaus approach) or join the tennis under 18 training programme (that makes use of the Bruguera Method). There is also the HKGTA Kids Academy where kids can learn at their own pace.
One of the oldest and largest sports clubs in Hong Kong, The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club provides comprehensive courses that cover everything from basic sailing skills to rowing, paddling, racing and more. Take advantage of the warmer weather and enjoy being out on the open sea – you can choose flexible dates based on your schedule.
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2832 2817, www.rhkyc.org.hk
26 Coaching’s team is made up of experienced and qualified triathlon (running, swimming and cycling) specialists and offers youth programmes that cover running, aquathlon, biking and development. Ideal if your youngster or teen has plenty of energy! The Youth Coaching caters for kids aged 6 to 18 who want to get involved in either track athletics or triathlon/multisport disciplines. You can book an individual or multiple session, or a training squad.
Want your little ones to get a head start on their Mandarin classes and have fun at the same time? Head over to Mini Mandarins Learning Centre and get those linguistic skills underway through interactive play, practice and other fun activities. From conversations to reading, writing and putting their learning into practice, all extracurricular programmes here are run in small groups of four to six children, giving maximum attention from the experienced native Mandarin-speaking teachers.
Winners of this year’s contact for details)!courses are set within a dynamic and immersive environment with real-world settings (think a mini supermarket, fire station and even an airport!) – your kids won’t be able to resist getting stuck in! The situational teaching method, which integrates learning, play and exercise, allows children to study with a relaxed and enjoyable setting, exactly what you want when learning a new skill. To celebrate this time of year, Mini Mandarins is now offering Back-to-School promotions of up to 50% off when enrolling before Monday, 23 September 2019 (
Sassy Mama readers can also enjoy a special deal of $800 for three trial lessons when quoting Sassymmbts19 (terms and conditions apply, ask for details when booking).
Mini Mandarins Learning Centre – Central Campus, Room 1703 17/F Universal Trade Centre, No. 3-5A Arbuthnot Road, Hong Kong, 2320 5208, [email protected]
Looking to perfect your child’s Putonghua? Start them young at Southside Mandarin which offers classes for babies right through to 12 years old. The new term is now underway (from August to December 2019), so take your pick from its range of back to school courses, all ready for you to enrol now! As the first fully licensed Putonghua centre in Wong Chuk Hang, it offers a progressive curriculum with an in-house developed programme that suits the needs of all levels of Chinese students. Your little learners can try their hand at Putonghua language, art, playgroups, homework tutoring and also take level up classes.
Teachers are all native speakers who promote full immersion into the Chinese language – ideal for local and international students alike. What’s more, if you sign up before Sunday, 15 September 2019, you can get a special 10% discount!
Sassy Mama readers can also get an additional 5% discount when using the code SSMSASSY2019 during the booking process.
If you’re looking for a language school that’s fun, fast-paced and takes place in a family-style atmosphere (the perfect ingredients for youngsters!) then The Spanish Academy is for you. Through games, crafts and other interactive methods, students learn in small groups using a communicative approach. There are enough pupils of a similar ability in each class to entertain lively discussions (in Spanish of course!), but small enough so that each child benefits from individualised teacher attention.
Toddlers as young as 2 years old can join in its special playgroup room, where little ones will be fully immersed in play-based learning through games, singing songs and crafts. For your tweens and teens – whether they’re looking for help in passing a class, tutoring for a specific exam, thinking about applying to an American university or are just curious about the language and culture – the extracurricular activities at The Spanish Academy are ideal for building up their confidence no matter what their goal. With a range of classes from the age of 2 right through to 17 and up, you’re sure to find one to suit your youngsters’ needs. Plus we all know language study looks great on those university applications!
Sassy Mama readers can use the discount code SASSYxTSA to get 5% off any course purchase.
Aiming to provide the best learning environment for its students, The Spanish Cultural Association has a team of over 15 qualified native speakers (all with a degree in teaching and five years of experience!) who will make sure you master the language. Its courses for teenagers make use of a range of materials and complement big curriculums, making it perfect for both beginners and those preparing for exams. It also has classes for kids.
The Spanish Cultural Association, Unit A, 13F, Eastern Flower Centre, 22-24 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Alliance Française’s extracurricular activities are taught in French in order to maximise exposure and give kids and teens the opportunity to discover the culture and really practice speaking the language. Courses complement school curriculums, with new activities and resources implemented so your child can put into practice what they’ve learnt at school, work around their difficulties and extend their knowledge of French.
Alliance Française, 1 & 2/F, 123 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, 2527 7825, [email protected]
Alliance Française, G/F-3/F, 52 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2730 3257
AF Alliance Française, Rm 817-19, Level 8, Tower 1, Grand Central Plaza, N138 Shatin Rural Committee Road, Northern Territories, Hong Kong, 2634 0861, [email protected], WhatsApp: 6153 8466, [email protected], www.afhongkong.org
What language are you looking for your little learner to get stuck into? German? Mandarin? Japanese? There’s all that and more at The Hong Kong Institute of Languages, which offers beginner, intermediate and intensive classes for teenagers to help with prep for exams such as GCSE and IB, and classes for kids as well. You’ll find locations in Central and Wong Chuk Hang.
Art and creative
If a strong imagination and sense of creativity are high up on your child’s radar, then the extracurricular activities at Lifelong Labs will be right up their street! This creative sanctuary pioneers learning experiences for family members both young and not-so-young! Led by artist-educator and tech expert Mo Kwok (M.Ed Harvard University), course offerings for the 2019-2020 school year start from Monday, 16 September 2019 and are designed for students to excel organically through a rigorous creative curriculum. Students will take on ambitious projects and create online portfolios to document their work, with final products showcased at the students’ curated exhibitions.
Registration is open for Creative Intensive (6 years and over, or 9 years and over), Professional Photo Intensive (9 years and over), Film Intensive (12 years and over), University Portfolio Intensive (16 years and over) and Boarding School Portfolio Intensive (9 years and over). Be sure to sign up soon, as the capacity for each is only four students per group. With a highly personalised teaching approach and mentorship, youngsters break away from their traditional curriculum and use the latest technology to produce creative work. Getting into dream schools has never been so competitive, let your child get ahead of the curve by discovering their passion and building their wow-worthy portfolio now.
Sassy Mama readers will get $400 off any of the five intensive courses using the code SASSY when registering.
Hong Kong’s only Russian art academy, Anastassia’s Art House incorporates a vast wealth of cultural heritage in fine art in its programmes and has a team of highly-qualified educators, all of whom are practising artists holding degrees from renowned institutions. For teenagers, you can join a draw and sketch class, that covers mixed media and drawing techniques, or even go for an art appreciation course. There is also a range of courses available for children aged 2.5 to 7 years old.
CreativeKids is committed to advancing creative development in children and teens, collaborating with schools, centres and corporations to bring you all kinds of art and design extracurricular activities! Its options cover everything from drawing to oil painting, 3D constructing and architecture for children aged 1.5 right through to 18 years old.
CreativeKids, Aspen Court, G/F, 46 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, 2530 4336
Whether your child is looking for extra help with their art coursework, trying to build a portfolio for university, or simply wanting to get involved, Hong Kong Art Tutoring is just the thing! It covers life drawing, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media and more with sessions taking place in its purpose-built studio.
If after the school bell has chimed your child still has energy to burn, they’ll be falling over themselves to get to ActiveKids Learning Center. Specialising in high-quality educational programmes to children of all ages in Hong Kong and Greater China, you’ll find a wide range of extracurricular courses to fit your youngsters’ interests. Click here for the full range of after-school activities, which are suitable for students from ages 3 to 17 and include: Science Adventures, The Chess Academy, Stormy Chefs, RoboCode, ArtCrafters and Mission Runway. With over 60-plus schools and club locations to choose from (with the main centre in Kennedy Town) you’re sure to find a place to suit you.
Since its origins back in 2004, ActiveKids’ fun and innovative approach has inspired thousands of children, with the mission of helping them develop a love of life-long learning. Students big or small will thrive with engaging educational programmes. Plus, chess fans are in for a real treat as it has not only one but two Grand Masters (there’s only around 1,500 in the world) at the helm of its The Chess Academy teaching the prodigies of tomorrow!
Aunty Lavina Education Centre (ALEC)‘s teaching philosophy strives to encourage growth, eliminate weaknesses, and provide holistic development for your children. The quality tutoring centre has a team of over 20 devoted tutors who all specialise in a variety of subjects and cover everything from IGCSEs to SATs, A levels, IB and HKDSE.
Aunty Lavina Education Centre (ALEC), 204 & 308 Chevalier House, 45-51 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Focusing on global knowledge, dynamic delivery, disciplined work, emotional intelligence and community engagement, this premiere learning centre offers intensive young author workshops and Model United Nations (MUN), as well as competitive debate, global thinking and critical writing classes.
Kelly Yang, Park Avenue Tower, 5/F, 5 Moreton Terrace, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
You just can’t escape mathematics! Make it easier on your child by building their skills up with Mathemagic, all in the comfort of your own home. Lessons are taught in either English or Cantonese and are perfect to help them prepare for major exams such as IGCSEs, IBs, SAT and A levels. With online or home tutoring, you can book in classes for students aged 3 years and over.
Founded by Irish-Chinese singing teacher and singer-songwriter Weisan Au Yeung and her Scottish drum teacher and musician partner, Dave Simpson, this contemporary music school is perfect for amateurs. Based in Wong Chuk Hang, it offers extracurricular activities in singing, guitar, keyboard, bass and drums in a friendly and welcoming environment, with classes geared to a range of ages. Make sure to check out its Teens Group Singing Classes, Band Camp and Karaoke Club!
Aspire Music, Anton Building, 10/F, Anton Building, 1 Anton Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Parkland Music promises to go beyond traditional music education for all ages, designing its courses around “5 Key Fields” that are comprised of Pop Music, Vocal, Digital Music, Theory and Classical Music. It offers everything from guitar lessons (fingerstyle, acoustic or electric) to classical instruments and digital sound mixing. While most lessons are in Cantonese, you can reach out to course consultants to learn more about classes that are conducted in English, Mandarin and Japanese.
Parsons Music Academy promotes music culture and nurtures talent, offering all kinds of extracurricular activities (for all ages) as well as organising concerts, recitals, master classes and music competitions. Learn to play everything from the piano to strings, woodwind and more, from tutors who have all obtained a Grade 8 or equivalent qualification. There are over 20 locations across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, making this an ideal and (hopefully!) convenient choice. Make sure to use the course search on the site to find the right class for you.
Pick up production tips and learn how to scratch and spin at Sol Passion Music! The centre’s team is composed of DJs, music producers, certified trainers, musicians, booking agents and event coordinators with years of professional experience in the industry. Check out the options for teenagers (up to 14-years-old) and kids’ courses.
If you’re looking to build your child’s confidence in English, this is a brilliant option that’ll help their communication and presentation skills. With over 15 education centres in Hong Kong, Dramatic English offers “actors” and “musical” courses that cover creative writing, interviewing, public speaking and more. Its annual charity musical is a Broadway-style production that follows an authentic process from auditioning right up to casting and rehearsals, and gives your child the chance to perform with professional actors.
Founded by Helen O’Grady in Perth, Australia in 1979, this academy aims to aid children’s development through drama. It promises to be a place where your child can creatively express themselves while improving their interpersonal and communication skills. Courses include Kindy Drama (ages 3 to 5), lower primary (ages 5 to 8), upper primary (ages 8 to 12) and there’s also a comprehensive youth theatre programme (for ages 13 to 17) covering everything from ad-libs and improv to radio plays, scripts, scene planning and more.
If you or your family are looking for volunteering extracurricular activities in Hong Kong, make sure to check out our round-up of all the nonprofits, charities and organisations that are definitely worth giving your time to! Not only will you be giving something back but it has great feel good factor, too.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 24, May 2019, by Sakina Abidi and updated by Alex Purcell Garcia on 27, August 2019.
Featured image Getty Images, image 1 courtesy of First Code Academy, image 2 courtesy of Minisport, image 3 courtesy of Mini Mandarins Learning Centre, image 4 courtesy of Southside Mandarin, image 5 courtesy of The Spanish Academy, image 6 courtesy of Lifelong Labs, image 7 courtesy of ActiveKids Learning Center, image 8 courtesy of Wes Hicks via Unsplash, image 9 courtesy of Dramatic English via Facebook, image 10 courtesy of Foodlink via Facebook.