During the Soviet era, children’s after school activities were kind of very popular. Almost every Soviet kid attended some kind of a group where he was being trained in some kind of activity. Here are some photos and examples of what those activities were (the first one is airplane modelling for kids from the USSR).
A group for rocket construction for middle school kids
Boat and ship modeling section
Robot building group
Electronics and radio construction group
Programming section (girls attended too)
Advanced geography section
Wood artwork section (burning pictures on wood)
Wood cutting art section
And wood painting artwork section
Sewing and clothes modelling section for girls (mainly)
Soft toy creation section
Different types of choirs
Dramatic art sections
Painting artwork groups
Also “young railway workers” group
Young film directors and directors of photography section
And even young cosmonauts sections.
Practically every kid could find something to his liking, many attended a few of them. They usually happened 1-3 times a week in after-school hours in nearby public schools or “houses of culture” or “houses of pioneers” clubs. Most were free of charge, of course.
What was banned however is any kind of Western and Eastern martial arts – our usual Karate or Jiu-Jitsu sections were non existent in USSR. One exception was a Judo which was legal and even Vladimir Putin attended.
Nowadays the variety is different, karate and other sections are abundant, however it is pretty doubtful that you can find any “young cosmonaut” or “young railway worker” section.
Also everything costs money now, and sometimes it’s pretty expensive.