Classes & Clubs for Children from 5+ including after-school clubs

Art

Mini Picassos – I know this is not in St John’s Wood, but I have to mention Mini Picassos in Kensal Rise. Sarah who runs it puts on fantastic classes for children starting from 15 months (till teenagers). There are after school clubs, and she also offers adult classes. Bus no 187 runs all the way from St John’s Wood to Kensal Rise Station and Mini Picassos is 30 seconds away (or you can hop on the no 6 from Warwick Avenue and it takes you there too), so you can get there very easily. You can also go on the Overground from Finchley Road & Frognal and get off at Kensal Rise. Highly recommended!

Ballet/Dance/Drama

Rosy Thompson Academy of Dance is AMAZING! They offer after school classes every day including Saturdays. Tap, ballet, street dance, drama, music theatre, singing and more. They are located in Marylebone.

Creative Movements – Another lovely class. Many of my friends’ children go the their classes and love them! I have seen them in action at a friend’s birthday party and was very impressed. Classes in Primrose Hill and at 3 House Club and these are given by Ginny, the owner and creator.

Club

3 House Club – The lovely Anya runs this calm and beautiful private club in the heart of St John’s Wood (just behind the High Street). It is warm, open and welcoming. They have a cafe, soft play area and run classes for both children and parents. From art, chess, music and cooking to circus classes that I know many are very happy with. They also do yoga and capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) classes for children to name but a few. They do lots of after-school activities.

Languages

  • FrenchStella of Club Petit Pierrot is wonderful and her classes have been going for a very long time and they are very popular. As of the beginning of 2016, they offer classes in 3 House Club and St Mark’s Church Hall on Abercorn Place.
  • FrenchLa Jolie Ronde offers French playgroups from babies and up in Swiss Cottage, Hampstead and Maida Vale.
  • German – There is a German playgroup is situated in Lancaster Gate at the German YMCA. Bus 46 takes you there.
  • GermanThe German Saturday School in Hampstead offers classes from nursery age. Please contact them directly for more information.
  • SpanishLa Jolie Ronde offers Spanish playgroups from babies and up in Swiss Cottage, Hampstead and Maida Vale.
  • SpanishOle Kids offers classes in playgroups, nurseries and also for parties.
  • Swedish – On Tuesday afternoons between 1-3 pm, the Swedish Church in Marylebone offers a stay and play group in the downstairs main hall.
  • Swedish – There is the North London Swedish School in Marylebone on Saturday mornings, but it has a very long waitlist. If you are keen for your child to start, I suggest you register your child as early as you can. We had to wait for two years before we got a space.

Music

Wigmore Hall (in Marylebone) is best known as one of the world’s most famous chamber music venues, and they offer various musical events for the family (from birth and up). They have a variety of Family Concerts and other events. Most of their child/family events sell out very fast, so act quickly. Even though something is sold out, it can well be worth turning up on the day for returns (I know this well as I used to work in the Wigmore Hall Box Office right after leaving college).

North London Strings ClubIgnite your child’s love of music with award-winning weekly classes. North London Strings Club offer fun-filled and motivating tuition, developing their musicianship alongside their confidence, focus and social skills. Choose from Violin, Guitar, Ukulele or Cello – they offer hire of an instrument for £3/week, leaving the stresses of buying an instrument behind! Their 10-week courses coincide with school term-times and offer children the chance to learn an instrument in a fun and rewarding environment. Lessons incorporate their carefully-crafted curriculum, ensuring they develop a real understanding of music theory and performance. Plus, the end-of-term concert lets them show off what they’ve achieved! For more information and/or to book a class, call North London Strings Club on 0121 369 1950 or send an email to info@thestringsclub.org

Sports

There are many companies and venues that offer various types of sports and here are just a few.

Gymnastics can be done at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre (3+ years of age) and also at Talacre Sports Centre in Kentish Town.

Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre also offers a range of sports for children, but it does change from time to time so best to check with them if there is something specific you are looking for.

There are various companies that offer football classes in and around St John’s Wood. Kingswood Camps (formerly known as The Academies) have Sunday morning football classes at the UCS campus in Hampstead which is very easy to get to from St John’s Wood (you can take all double decker buses up Finchley Road; get off at Finchley Road & Frognal and walk up the hill, or take the 46 up Fitzjohn’s Avenue almost all the way up to the top of the hill, then walk down towards UCS, or drive).

Family yoga sessions with Milestones Baby Massage running on the first Saturday of the month in Swiss Cottage community centre for ages 4+ and their mums/dads at 11 am-12 noon. They also run family yoga sessions in Gracelands Yard in Kensal Rise on Fridays at 3.45-4.25 pm for children of 3-4 years, and at 4.30-5.15 pm for children of 4-8 years.

Swimming
Here are some swimming companies. I have heard good things about all of them, so probably the best thing would be to investigate it yourself and talk to your friends to see which one they prefer.
Magic Swimming School – My daughter does swimming lessons with Magic Swimming School on the recommendation of good friends whose children have had lessons for a few years with them. They are simply fantastic!
Writing
Chelsea Young Writers runs after-school and holiday creative writing courses and workshops for children aged 7 to 12 years, led by award-winning children’s authors.
With unique and inspiring outlines CYW club aims to encourage and improve children’s creative writing skills, critical perceptions and imaginative faculties as a form of expression.
They have been running children’s creative writing workshops for the last 3 years – mainly in Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea and Fulham areas. They closely collaborate with primary schools predominantly from the private sector.  Their first branch in NW London is opening in spring 2016.