Boston area resources
- YMCA of Greater Boston: Multiples locations in Boston offer a wide range of programming and facilities, including fitness center, aquatics programs/swim team, group exercise, after school programs, sports programs, group exercise, camps, and much more.
- Salvation Army Kroc Center: Located in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, the 90,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility features cutting-edge fitness facilities, Boston’s largest indoor aquatics park, a gymnasium with an NCAA-regulation-size basketball court, a 250-seat chapel, and a performing arts center. Financial aid is available.
- Boys and Girls Clubs throughout Boston, Waltham, and other communities: Activities include flag football, basketball, soccer, boxing, bootcamp fitness, running clubs, and aquatics. Annual memberships to access programs are very affordable. Sometimes there is a fee for sports/organized recreational programs, such as swim lessons. At some locations, programs are free with an annual membership (usually $20 to $30 a year).
- Boston Center for Youth and Families: Locations throughout Boston, offering affordable exercise and recreational opportunities, including aquatics, sports programs, fitness centers, camps, and after-school programs. Annual memberships are generally $15 to $30. Programs usually include a small fee.
- Healthworks Community Fitness (Dorchester): Healthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing high-quality fitness opportunities and health education for women and children in Boston neighborhoods in order to prevent and treat chronic diseases, improve health and fitness, and promote well-being and empowerment. Healthworks Community Fitness believes all women deserve access to fitness and health. Its center in Dorchester has served more than 20,000 women and children in the community since 2002. Financial assistance is available.
- Community Health Centers: DotHouse Health, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, and Whittier Street Health Center offer patients fitness programming and facilities.
- Hill House: Hill House is a team of passionate administrators, instructors, board members, and volunteers working to fund and execute service activities in order to meet the diverse social, educational, cultural, and recreational needs of individuals and families residing in Boston’s downtown neighborhoods. Located in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood.
- Soccer Without Borders (East Boston): Soccer Without Borders' mission is to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing underserved youth with a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success.
- All Dorchester Sports & Leadership: ADSL offers a number of programs for families in Dorchester and surrounding communities. Very generous financial assistance is available to families.
- Jamaica Plain Youth Baseball League
- Boston Area Youth Volleyball: This local, family oriented group of volleyball enthusiasts wants to build a program that children can love and use for personal growth. Volunteers want to give back to the sport that has given us so much.
- Elevate Youth Outdoors: Elevate's mission is to empower youth from underserved neighborhoods through regular outdoor experiences with the support of positive adult role models.
- Youth Enrichment Services Youth & Families – Youth Enrichment Services for Boston's Kids: YES offers year-round outdoor and enrichment programs for Boston youth.
- Tenacity: Closing the opportunity and achievement gaps in Boston, Tenacity programs meet a critical need for positive, enriching after-school, in-school, and summer programs for Boston youth. Tennis and fitness activities are the magnets, drawing interest from kids who might otherwise have few athletic outlets. These athletic activities are closely integrated with literacy, tutoring, and mentoring programs to help build academic motivation and achievement. Tenacity puts special emphasis on helping students navigate the pivotal transition periods between middle school and high school and high school and post-secondary pursuits like college, joining the military, or learning a trade.
- Boston Area Youth Soccer League
- Warrior Ice Arena: From skating lessons to public hockey, Warrior Ice Arena has something for everyone. Learn to play and skate where the Bruins dominate on the ice. The 200-foot-by-85-foot arena complex hosts college, high school, youth, and amateur hockey with seating for more than 500 spectators
- The Ultimate Guide to Gyms Around Boston
- DCR ice skating rink schedules
Other Massachusetts resources
- Suburban YMCA networks: Need-based financial assistance is available through all YMCA locations. Contact your local branch or check their website for more information.
- Jewish Community Centers (JCC) Greater Boston: The JCC offers a number of recreational, fitness, and camp programs for children and families. It also offers a number of adaptive exercise programs, including swimming, through its special needs program. The JCC also operates a location on the North Shore. The JCC offers generous financial assistance to those in need.
- Viking Sports: Viking Sports' mission is to create an all-inclusive community in which fun through physical activity is recognized as crucial to a well-rounded lifestyle.
- Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association: Massachusetts Youth Soccer supports US Soccer’s efforts to make soccer the preeminent sport for all children, creating a lifelong passion and love for the game. Includes links to 14 separate and autonomous youth soccer leagues in Massachusetts
- Massachusetts Youth Basketball Association: MYBA promotes the growth of youth basketball in Massachusetts and provides the best possible experience for all participants by encouraging, developing, advancing, and administering the sport.
- Beyond Soccer Lawrence/Beyond Volley Merrimack Valley: This sports-based youth development organization uses soccer and volleyball to connect Lawrence area youth to new experiences that build confidence and create opportunities for leadership, healthy living, and academic achievement.
- Massachusetts Hockey
- City and town athletics: Most cities and towns also offer their own organized sports leagues
- Town recreation departments: Most towns have their own recreation departments with pools, recreational programs, sports programs, fitness centers, camps, and other programming for children and families. Just Google the town name and “recreation department” to find programming in your community.
- Waltham Recreation Department
- School programs: Check with your child’s school for after-school programs, recreational opportunities, and athletic programs. School department websites often have guides for recreational programming and summer camps/programs.
- Massachusetts Parks and Recreation
In-home and virtual resources
Local gym and studio online classes
- The Boks Program: offering live-streaming classes for kids and adolescents at noon Monday to Friday
- Planet Fitness: free online fitness classes
- Healthworks Fitness: free archived Instagram classes
- JP Centre Yoga: offering “pay what you can” yoga via livestream
- Core Power Yoga: offering free on-demand classes
- YCMA of Greater Boston (app): YMCA members can access free livestreaming exercise classes. Access to limited library of on-demand and live classes for non-members at https://ymcago.org.
- Merrimack Valley YMCA: full library of free on-demand and live-streaming classes
- Beyond Soccer: on-demand skills challenge videos
For families with younger kids
- Paul Eugene YouTube Channel: exercise videos for children and adults of all abilities
- GoNoodle: videos that encourage physical activity.
- NFL Play 60: The NFL just got in on the educational resource game. These are general physical activity and football specific activities.
- Open PhysEd: Under the Active Home section there are calendars for PA options geared toward primary grades.
- PE E-Learn: great set of resources for students with no internet and limited equipment; from Jason Denk
- Walkabouts: This early elementary program provides math and literacy lessons integrated with physical activity. Walkabouts is providing temporary free access for parents and teachers. Lessons are also available in Spanish.
- Together Counts - At Home: resources for family wellness; includes Spanish translations
- Monkey Spot Scavenger Hunt: encourages exploration and creative play
- Geocaching: a fun activity for the whole family; can be used to find “caches” in your neighborhood.
- Photo/Voice Wellness Journal Activity: six weeks of activities for kids (and adults) to track eight dimensions of wellness; from Shelly Ellis
- Collection of video activities: fun collection of videos, including many “Minute to Win It” ideas; most of these require equipment
- SHAPE America: This page is focused mainly on PE teachers teaching at home, but it also has resources for families (many are translated) and is a clearinghouse for great information on physical education in general.
- Playworks: Games you can play anywhere, anytime. Resources available in several languages, including Spanish.
- Coach Meger Fitness Games on YouTube
- Glenn Higgins Fitness on YouTube
- Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube
Adaptive and inclusive resources
- Exercise Buddy: It is not free, but offers a 14-day free trial.
- Heartland Area Education Agency: resources for adaptive PE and PA activities; focused for teachers, but also useful for families.
- National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability: a broad range of physical activity videos, including for youth in wheelchairs and with autism.
- AllTrails: Wheelchair accessible: A good source for finding walking and hiking trails, with a filter for wheelchair-accessible trails.
- Special Olympics Fit 5 Resources: five different levels of fitness videos; resources translated into four languages
- Physical Activity & Motor Development for Kids by Pink Oatmeal: Facebook page with resources and activities for teachers, parents, and physical therapists.
Free physical activity apps and videos (good for teens and pre-teens)
- Jefit: free sports-specific or general workouts
- Freeletics: a custom training program
- Seven: a collection of research-based seven-minute workouts
- Pocket Yoga: yoga workouts that can be done anywhere
- Down Dog: a collection of apps including seven-minute workouts, HIIT, and beginner yoga
- YMCA 360: a diverse collection of short (about 15 minute) workout videos for all ages
Social media with daily workout or wellness posts
Credit to King County Play Equity Coalition for in-home resources.
- SPED Child Mass: lists events, programs (recreation/camps), and support groups for families in the Greater Massachusetts area
- Autism Alliance: Resource directory for Massachusetts families caring for those with autism. Can filter to narrow search by region, resource type, or age.
- MA Youth Soccer (TOPSoccer): training and team placement for youth athletes with disabilities
- Cape Cod Challenger Club: The mission of the Cape Cod Challenger Club is to enrich the quality of life for children and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities by providing them with the opportunity to participate in a variety of athletic, recreational and social activities that are most often not available to them under typical circumstances.
- Little League Challenger Program: adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges
- Autism Speaks: educational resources for families, educators, and providers of those with autism
- Massachuetts Resource Directory: Resource directory for support programs, providers, and services for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Filter by zip code.
- Ability Path: Provides a wide range of programs designed to nurture and support a child’s development in a compassionate, inclusive, and fun environment. Offer children’s classes, caregiver-child classes, therapy, early intervention, and free developmental screening.
- Autism Resource Central: Offer education resources and events for families of those with autism. Can filter by age under the “SERVICES” page in the top menu.
- JCC Greater Boston: Jewish Community Center with camps, classes, and events.
- The Arc of Massachusetts: Services and opportunities that foster independence, community inclusion, and advocacy for families and individuals with disabilities.
- Family Ties: Provides information and referral services, emotional support, and training to parents of children and youth with special needs. Driven and staffed by parents of children with special needs.
- Special Olympics Massachusetts: Information and support for families of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Also offer at-home resources (but live fitness class link on page is inactive).