Parents.  It's always a concern. Something in the back of our minds. Worry. Are our kids in a safe environment? Are they behaving themselves? Are they being poorly influenced? I’d love to say those nagging feelings go away, but as a parent of 3 with a soon to be teenager, I sometimes wonder. Now I trust my kids, but that’s NOT what this article is about. Rather, what it IS about, is the fact that parents may not know of after school activities that are available in our Dubuque area. One great place to start is the Multicultural Family Center in Dubuque. It’s perfect for families who need a buffer zone between when kids get off school and when parents get home from work.

The Multicultural Family Center or MFC partners with many different people and organizations to form a solid foundation of understanding and collaboration across racial, ethnic, age, and socioeconomic groups, with the ultimate goal being a greater level of inclusivity, engagement, and harmony that will give everyone, one more reason to love Dubuque.

Teens (or parents of teens) there’s a special program designed specifically for you, with a full calendar of events. The Multicultural Family Center’s Teen After-School Hang Out is free for ages 13 and up and no registration is required to attend. Located at 157 Central Ave in Dubuque, take a look at a few of the programs and events available to take advantage of in April.

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Monday April 4th and Monday May 2nd, teens can enjoy cooking with Claire from 3 to 5:30pm. If you have a passion for cooking and baking you can join the fun in the MFC Kitchen with AmeriCorps Member Claire Mendez. You’ll learn new skills and be exposed to a variety of techniques in the kitchen you can then take home with you.

Monday April 11th and Monday April 29th stop by the Go Green event from 3 to 5:30pm. Hang out with Olivia Dove from Green Iowa AmeriCorps for sustainable activities. You’ll also have a chance to meet her collection of animal friends. It’s a great way for teens to be exposed to nature and the wide world around them.

Friday April 15th is the Anime watch party from 3 to 5:30pm. Sign me up for this one as I am a HUGE anime fan, DBZ, Naruto, Bleach, MHA; who knows what you could be watching there! Enjoy your favorite anime movies or episodes on the big screen with other like-minded peers!

Wednesday April 27th check out the large MFC Room for a nerf war and pizza party! This is the big one! Bring your own or use the nerf collection at the MFC for a nerf battle royal from 3 to 5pm, with pizza from 5 to 6. Nerf wars and a pizza party to boot!? I’m sold on this one.

Again, these events are absolutely free with no registration required and available for kids 13 and up. More information and other great activities can be found at or you can visit their Facebook for the latest updates on nights, events, and programs. Parents and teens; take advantage of not only the experience that’s available to you, but a chance to meet new friends and grow socially. You’ll be glad you did. And hey parents, it’s a win-win, you know where they are and that your teen is doing something constructive with their afternoon.

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