Baby and early childhood movement and music classes for kids 5 and younger. Kids love this stuff. It’s just the right balance of structure and creative free play. Go to the free trial class! Ask for a promotion if you sign up. The classes are a little pricey, but if you use a lot of the open gym time it could be well worth your money.
$65 to $105 a month, depending on the class you choose
$40 one-time registration fee
1550 N Green Valley Pkwy Suite 315
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Gyboree is an international company with local franchises. They offer classes that are described best as “play.” It’s dancing and music and climbing structures and slides and uber-enthusiastic teachers. It’s a little less traditional “gymnastics” than some other similar places, but definitely focuses on developing gross motor skills. When you arrive everyone gathers in the middle for introductions and things get going pretty quick with silly songs and movement, then you might be taken on some sort of directed “adventure” around some of the structures (pretend you’re sliding down into the water!), then there is some free play and exploration. At the end everyone comes back for more crazy songs and crazy dancing and bubbles, maybe some parachute. The whole thing is one big slightly-structured playtime.
Parents are involved in every class. You are asked not to have your phone with you and to stay near your child in the play area. The classes are divided up by specific age group 0-6mos//6-10mos//10-16mos//16-22mos//22-28mos//28-42mos. There is also a preschool class for 2-3, and school skills for 3-5. On Saturdays you can go to a family class for mobile babies up to 5 years. In addition to the class you choose to take, there are times that the gym is open for everyone with a membership to come play. You are asked not to bring siblings to class.
Gymboree offers a free trial class that you would be crazy not to try! Of course you will be given the talk about enrolling, and you will have to give some information that results in receiving emails that you will need to unsubscribe from if you don’t want them. If you are okay with that, then go do the free trial, even if it’s just a fun thing to do one time. Your kids will love it. You can go on the website and print off a free trial class coupon, but you don’t really need to. I would call ahead to schedule your free class. I’ve never seen them turn away someone who just showed up, but to have the best experience you will want to be in a class that isn’t over-crowded.
You can also have birthday parties here.
WHAT TO TAKE
You (the adult) must wear socks. Kids do not wear socks or shoes. Comfortable clothes are best. I try to remember to bring a drink and a snack because afterwards Kyler (2) always wants something.
We paid a little extra and did the Preschool Steps class. This was an interesting setup, we went to class together for 15 minutes, then I left Kyler there for 45 minutes, then we did 15 minutes together again. During the separation parents are supposed to stay nearby, so I would head to Smith’s to get some groceries. Other moms went to the next door Starbucks or Jamba Juice. There are other eating places nearby too, and this class is held right at lunch time.
Kyler REALLY enjoyed the class. He does a lot better with following instructions when I am not there (or so they tell me). On the third and fourth time we went to this class he put up a little bit of a fight about me leaving, but all I had to do was tell him I was going to Jamba to get him a smoothie and he was cool with it. Some of the other kids fuss a little, but the instructors are good about helping them. The preschool class had a little part where they learned about a letter and went in the back and colored.
I would bring Korbin (7 months) in the Ergo baby carrier for the parts of the class I was there for (technically you’re not supposed to, but I wasn’t the only one with a little guy, and nobody cared).
We used the open gym time a lot and enjoyed that almost more than the classes. We only did the one month, but I hope to do another month soon. The information you’re given talks about being charged $10 a month to “freeze” your account, but I have never been charged anything like that. If you decide to sign up be sure to do it during a promotion, or just ask for one. I had my registration fee waived. There are company policies, but the place is owned by a person who is franchising it, so they get to decide how they want to run things a little bit.
WHAT WE LIKED
The place is new and super clean. The environment is fun, the instructors are especially interactive, engaging, and hilarious. Maurice does this thing where he puts himself in the tunnel and the kids feed him alphabet letters because he’s the alligator. We are still playing that one at home. I like how the franchise is run. I felt like I got my money’s worth and I liked that I could bring my baby even though it wasn’t really allowed. I love that it’s a place my little guy can explore and play and be safe. My favorite part is the playfulness that it encourages between parents and kids. I really appreciated that there weren’t any sneaky withdrawal fees or advanced notices required. I just paid for a month, we did a month, and that was it.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
It IS quite pricey. If you don’t go to a lot of the open gym times, I feel like you would be paying way too much for just the classes. Also, I wish there were more and longer open gym times. There were several days that were during times we couldn’t make it and I would have liked more options.
WILL WE GO AGAIN
I would like to do another month. The only issue I have is now that Korbin is older (almost 1!) I can’t really be taking him with me to Kyler’s class, and vice versa. There is the family class option, but that’s only on Saturday. (It’s mainly during the week that I’m looking for things for us to do, ya know?) I think I may end up signing up for that one anyway, so we can do all the open gym with both the boys during the week. (update: I did sign up for the family class and it was worth it and so fun)