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South Mountain YMCA
13 Jefferson Ave, Maplewood, NJ 07040

Since 1970, the South Mountain YMCA, a branch of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, has been one of the largestMore providers of youth sports programs, summer day camps and childcare in the region. This sizable and bustling facility, full of enthusiastic hands-on instructors, serves residents of Maplewood, Millburn, Union and the Oranges as well as a few children from Newark.

Kids from K-5 public schools in the district are bussed to the facility for after-school care (including half days), which provides activities, homework assistance and snacks. It offers 65 specialty classes; take your pick from Picasso Painting, drama, dance (ranging from South African dance to creative ballet), Crazy Cooks or the vast array of youth sports, including basketball, tennis, Street Devils Floor Hockey, lacrosse and "kinder" sports.

Adult fitness and family programs (many of which are free) are available as well. Gymnastics is serious business here, with classes for parents and tots, preschoolers and elementary graders. The institution also has a girls’ team—The Aces—which competes throughout the state.

The facility may be booked for parties (birthdays, sports or teen dances, DJ provided). In the summer, YMCA hosts a 9-week day camp; activities include sports, creative dramatics, arts, science, swim instruction and field trips. Preschooler and teen adventure camps are available. No one is turned away due to an inability to pay.

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