Gymboree Music & Play DC
I’m a little embarrassed to admit how long it took me to try Gymboree. With it’s ever changing playscape, well designed classes, and primo location next to the National Zoo the Woodley Park Gymboree is a solid playspace option in Washington DC.
Notable about this Gymboree are the wide variety of classes. You can easily sort through the course offerings online by age and topic. Classes range from art and music to school readiness and a newly introduced STEAM playlab. The classes are age appropriate and content grows with your child. (As a bonus, classes for ages 3+ are drop off)
Ooey is the type of toddler that DOES NOT sit still and we’ve abandoned most activities that require her to sit and focus. Admittedly I was worried that she wouldn’t have the attention span for a class. I was pleasantly surprised by our first experience. We showed up early for playlab, a STEAM (science technology engineering art math) class led by Ms. Lisa.
Playlab, a fast paced engaging class
As the class started Lisa drew all the toddlers into her circle time, an impressive feat pulling them away from the playscape that takes up most of the space. The class moved quickly and the pace kept children, Ooey included, very interested. There were bubbles, a parachute, boxes, a tunnel to crawl through, story time and before I knew it class was over. Parents and caregivers mingled a bit after class as the kids were now free to explore the playscape which had been rearranged from the past day.
An ever changing playscape
The playscapes in the main room at Gymboree are redesigned on a weekly basis. The two playgrounds are both are low to the ground, designed for babies and toddlers. Slides, tunnels and ramps stay dynamic and new to the location’s tiniest visitors. Members can bring their children in for open play or stay after class and play as we did. I ended up prying Ooey away from the equipment because I was getting hungry, not because she was bored.
Located near great lunch spots and the National Zoo
Parents said their goodbyes and took off to shop at the nearby CVS or meet up with friends at the National Zoo. Ooey and I popped into the Nando’s next door for a quick lunch, I resisted the urge to go to Baskin Robbins After. I made a mental note to stop at the Dunkin Donuts for a coffee treat before our next visit.
Art Class, all the projects you’re happy to do elsewhere
Our next class was an art class, held in a room to the side of the main playspace. The enclosed area provided a space for the messy types of arts and crafts that don’t happen at home anymore. We were presented with glues, paints, pipecleaners and the children had a blast creating. Seamlessly, the class transitioned to snack and story time and once again I was amazed at how the time had flown by.
Music classes are always a hit with us, and this one was no exception. The class featured different types of instruments, a conga line and dancing. About halfway through Ooey wandered off to do her own thing, and it was ok. As I mentioned earlier, this is kind of her signature move but this time no one was cajoling her to do what all the other kids were doing, something that I always find personally embarrassing. Left alone for a few moments she re-joined the dance party.
Play and Learn
Of all the classes we took, the Play and Learn seemed to be Ooey’s favorite. This is the perfect class for a kid that can’t sit still, she danced, popped bubbles and played along as our instructor Mr. Rickey pretended a giant inflatable tube was giant dinosaur tail.
Instructors know and care about your kids
At each of our visits to Gymboree the children were always super excited to see their teachers. The kids knew the routine of the class structure and were eager to participate. Some classes have body stamps at the end, others have a visit from Gymbo the clown (a stuffed doll that is not as creepy as it sounds).
Make Gymboree part of your routine
I’m not sure why Gymboree hasn’t been on my radar until now, but I don’t want you to make the same mistake. The space offers programs that stimulate and engage children and acts as a community gathering space. Owner Marisa Flowers says “We want to be a part of families’ larger community. We have families become friends, have playdates, take first steps, transition from toddlers to “big kids”. It’s great to be a small part of that.”
Call (202) 627-2450 to ask about scheduling your child’s birthday party at this location
Gymboree Play and Learn is located next to Nandos on Connecticut Avenue, only minutes from the National Zoo
2639 Connecticut Avenue NW #113
Washington DC 20008
The Class Schedule can be found online, here.
All memberships include unlimited access to open gym 7 days a week
buy a 10 class pass, good for six months for any class or open gym, $220
An additional $45/month for a second child
An additional $33/month for every additional child after that
Your first class is free!
Until September 30th the $60 initiaition fee will be waived
- Bring socks, no shoes are allowed in the play area
- Make a day of it and go to the zoo after
- Plenty of lunch spots nearby, I like Nandos
- Street parking only, I recommend taking public transportation
- Nearest metro is Woodley Park (red line)
- Memberships make for great gifts
Connect with Gymboree Play & Music DC
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Gymboree Play & Music DC and I have been compensated for my participation. All opinions stated here are my own.
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