TLC Dance

Website: http://www.teachinglittlechildren.com

Cost: Around $50/month for weekly 50-minute classes; see website for details

Times: Vary. TLC offers dance classes at numerous East Cobb daycares, and they also have classes in their studio, generally on Monday-Thursday evenings and Friday-Saturday mornings.

Location: TLC Dance Studio, 850 Old Piedmont Road, Suite 1, Marietta, GA 30066

Kelly’s Comments: My daughter took ballet for almost 3 years through TLC. Her teacher, Ms. Kim (love ya!) has some of the best classroom management and dance teaching skills that I’ve ever seen. It was so convenient for my lil’ one to take ballet at her preschool, but TLC also offers several classes at its Marietta studio. In fact, the company provides dance and fitness classes for older kids and adults, too, so its name is somewhat of a misnomer. TLC hosts its annual recitals at the Southern Polytechnic theater or the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, and the studio is a great place to have little girls’ birthday parties.

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Johnson Ferry Baptist Church classes & camps

Image courtesy of www.johnsonferry.org

Image courtesy of http://www.johnsonferry.org

Website: http://www.johnsonferry.org

Cost: Varies. Classes and the preschool are very reasonable, and sports/camps are middle-of-the-road priced.

Times: Varies. Music classes and sports offered year-round; preschool and MMO during school months; various summer camps.

Location: Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, 955 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA 30068

Kelly’s Comments: As one of the largest churches in Cobb County, JFBC has a ton of offerings for all age groups, not just kids. While I have not yet enrolled my children in their programs (although I’m eyeing their sports camps for next summer), I have friends who have been quite satisfied with the classes their children have taken. The church offers competitive sports including baseball, softball, soccer, dance, basketball, cheerleading, and football; sign your kids up for summer camps in these areas, plus volleyball and tennis. (The church has numerous athletic fields on-site.) If your little ones prefer music, there are classes for babies through 5th grade. If you need a preschool or Mother’s Morning Out (although you know I prefer the term Parents’ Morning Out–yay SAHDs!) program, JFBC’s got you covered. You don’t have to be a member of the church (or for that matter, religious) to utilize the church’s offerings.

Champion Kids

Image courtesy of http://www.championkids.net

Image courtesy of http://www.championkids.net

Websitehttp://www.championkids.net/

Cost: Open play, $6 first child, $4 siblings, $4 crawlers; prices vary for dance and music lessons

Times: Open bounce times vary depending on birthday party and class schedules; check website for details. (Generally closed on the weekends for private parties.)

Location: Champion Kids, 1465 Canton Road NW, Suite 100, Marietta, GA 30066

Kelly’s Comments: Champion Kids is a kid-pleasing mixture of inflatables and gymnastics equipment, including a foam pit and trampolines. The center offers a variety of dance, cheerleading, music, gymnastics, parkour, and special needs classes, as well as camps, clinics, and rockin’ birthday parties. Whether your little angels need to get the crazies out on a rainy day or need a structured class environment, they’re sure to have fun!

McCleskey-East Cobb Family YMCA

Image courtesy of http://www.ymcaatlanta.org/

Image courtesy of http://www.ymcaatlanta.org/

Websitehttp://www.ymcaatlanta.org/locations/facility/branches/mcy/mcy.shtml

Cost: Varies. See http://www.ymcaatlanta.org/metro/pdfs/rates.pdf for details. Alternately, become a “Program Member” for $35/year, which allows you to take classes at the YMCA at the non-member price (usually a surcharge of 25%-50%).

Times: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 am to 10 pm; Friday, 5:30 am to 9 pm; Saturday, 8 am to 6 pm; Sunday, 1 pm to 6 pm

Location: McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA, 1055 E. Piedmont Rd., Marietta, GA 30062

Kelly’s Comments: Although I have never actually joined the YMCA, I’ve made use of its Program Membership classes over the years. The McCleskey-East Cobb YMCA has some of the best infant/toddler swim classes that I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been to quite a few). In addition, kids can participate in camps, after-school programs, parents’ day out, art, dance, gymnastics, tennis, basketball, soccer…and the list goes on. There are several classes, leagues, and programs for adults, too (in fact, my sister-in-law teaches a mean Zumba class at this very location..she will put a hurt on you).

Curtain Call Youth Players

Image courtesy of www.ccyp.org

Image courtesy of http://www.ccyp.org

Website: http://www.ccyp.org

Cost: Varies. $55 to $215 for summer camps.

Times: Varies. Plays are performed year-round, and numerous camps and workshops are available during the summer.

Location: Curtain Call Place, 2800 Canton Road, Marietta, GA, 30066

Kelly’s Comments: My daughter recently finished a summer camp with CCYP, and I was very pleased with the quality of the program. The campers learned an adorable musical play, which they presented to parents at the end of the week. They even helped design the costumes and set. There are four levels of summer camp–rising Kindergarten through 2nd grade, 3rd grade through 5th grade, Middle School, and High School Workshops. During the school year, children in 5th through 12th grades can audition for parts in musicals and non-musical plays, as well as take on roles such as stage manager and assistant production manager.

The Music Class

Cost: About $18/class; sibling discounts available.

Times: Vary. Usually have morning classes during the week; weekend classes also available.

Location: East Cobb music classes are located at Chestnut Ridge Christian Church, 2663 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA 30062. Several other Atlanta-area centers including Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, etc.

Kelly’s Comments: Oh, Music Class, how I love thee. This is the 6th year in a row that I’ve had one or both of my kids in their classes. The teachers are top-notch (love ya, Miss Anna!) and the music education is first-class. Students ages birth-4 (and even a tad older in the summer…I’m bringing my 6-year old with my 3-year old this year) dance, sing, play instruments, and learn about music terms, styles, etc. You don’t just sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider…you do songs from Africa, Latin America, folk songs, you name it. My kids adore these classes. I will be the first to admit, they’re not cheap…but sometimes, you get what you pay for, and The Music Class is well worth the money. They also have keyboarding classes for older kids, albeit not at the East Cobb location.

Roswell Puppet Shows

Website: http://roswellpuppets.com/

Cost: Under 2, Free; Ages 2-12, $5; 13 and up, $6

Times: Monday through Saturday at 10:00 am; Wednesday and Friday at 1:00 pm

Location: Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest Street, Roswell, GA 30075

Seasonal: Every summer; shows change weekly

Kelly’s Comments: I’ve taken my kids to these puppet shows several times, and they never disappoint! The 2013 season features titles such as The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, and The Velveteen Rabbit. Shows last approximately one hour, and most seats in this small-ish theater have great views. Don’t worry about bringing your little ones–since shows are intended to be for children, no one will glare at you if your 18-month old feels like laying in the aisle instead of watching the show. (Not that I know anything about that particular situation. Nooooo.) After the show, you can purchase a puppet-making kit for the kids. Parking is plentiful and free.