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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to do some research on something, and I need to know what those places are called that are like "gyms" you pay to go to with babies and kids. You know, they're indoors, have mats, toys, stuff to climb.

We don't have one here, but I've seen them in other cities. What they heck are they called?
If I look up baby gym, I get consumer reviews of those mat things with arches.

Also, out of curiousity, have you or would you use one of these places? Are they evil or useful?
 

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We started going to Gymboree when dd was 11 months old, and have gone almost continuously since then! She's 4 now, and we've taken the play classes, as well as art and music classes there (thank goodness her dad pays for it, they're not cheap!) She still loves it.

We took a break just a little while ago, but we started up again so that my 10-month-old can enjoy it too. He walked and climbed at 8.5 months, so I knew he would love having a safe place to do that. Plus it's great on rainy days! And I hope to meet some kids of similar age there- Lula's best friends are the ones we met there when she was a toddler.

Things I don't love: the music is WAY TOO LOUD. It gives me a headache sometimes. The other moms are generally not so AP, but I have met a couple who are very good friends now. They try to keep it clean, but of course it can be pretty germy. I just kind of say
about that; what can you do? And it can be expensive, like I said, but I think they still have the deal where you can go unlimited times if you sign up for 6 months. And... their mascot is a clown. I don't like clowns.

I think it's great. Keep in mind that, while they have activities they try to engage the children in during class, the kids are not required to participate at all. They can just run around on the equipment the whole class if they want to.
 

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I take Ben to 2 places that are kind of similar, but aimed at older children. They are "indoor playspaces". One is at the minigolf/gokart place. It has a bouncy house, 2 huge slides (like 30 feet tall) and a big ball pit/ climbing structure. The other one was designed by an OT specializing in sensory integration disorders. She does her therapy there, and offers all day play for anyone. I LOVE it. It's very clean, and there's a ton of wooden playground equipment, a fabulous swing on a pulley system-flying disk, hammocks, cylinder, etc., a trampoline, baby toys, lots of cool sensory experiences like watermattresses, oodles of toys, which are frequently rotated, a slide and a very deep ball pit. I have as much fun there as ben does.

Here is louisiana, it is absolutely necessary to have a place to go when it rains, because it rains like 4 days out of the week most of the time, and the ground stays wet for days--like 2 foot deep puddles under the swings at the park.
 

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Yeah, they are "indoor playspaces" here, too. My 6 year old really enjoys them, I don't think they're evil at all. It gives her a place to run around and play with other kids during the scorchingly hot summer days, and the frigid winter days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much for your responses!

I've been taking Jonah to an activity at our local YMCA called Mother Goose, which is singing songs and playing. He just loves it. I know he would enjoy going to an indoor play space. The winters where we live are brutal, I can't imagine why we don't have one.

Definitely awakening the entrepreneur in me...
 

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Hi There,
I don't know if this will help you but here in Washington, a lot of the community centers have "toddler time" at the center where one or 2 days a week a room is open that's filled with little toys, cars, balls, ect. for small children. I am sure it's got something to do with the fact that it rains so much here. They are drop in and usually cost about $2 to stay as long as you like. Nothing structured, just come and play. they are great and a lifesaver around here. But it may be a regional thing. Worth looking into, perhaps??

Patti
 
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