When my almost-7-year-old daughter was invited to a birthday party at Hills Gymnastics, I could not wait to take her. Hills Gymnastics is home to many accomplished gymnasts, including several Olympians. This is evident by the numerous trophies decorating the entire facility and the extensive gymnastics equipment in the gym.
The entire party time is 90 minutes — 60 minutes of supervised gymnastic activities and games and 30 minutes for refreshments in the party room. For an additional cost, the first party of the day can secure an extra 30 minutes of party room access for guests. Parties are only on Sundays.
Two instructors were assigned to the party of eleven girls. They began with a warm-up and then led them through a variety of activities using several pieces of gymnastic equipment. All activities were age appropriate and the instructors did not push the girls into doing anything they were uncomfortable trying. My daughter had the time of her life. Her favorite part was swinging on a rope and landing into a pit of foam blocks. While waiting, I heard laughing and happy screams. The girls had clearly been active throughout the session. At the end of the session, parents were invited into the gym to take a group photo of these very happy children.
Parents and grandparents of the birthday child are allowed inside the gym but parents of guests staying for the duration of the party must remain in the waiting area. The waiting area has several chairs and a bathroom with a changing table. Adjacent to the waiting area is the party room. Both the waiting area and party room have several large windows allowing parents and children to see each other.
During the last half hour of gym time, the birthday child’s family can set-up and decorate the party room. This time frame is due to back-to-back scheduled parties. The party room is large, has several rectangular folding tables, a refrigerator with a freezer that is available for party guests, and a bathroom. Do not expect the staff to take control of the refreshments as you might find at other birthday party venues. The birthday child’s family is responsible for serving the guests. A staff member was present to help serve refreshments and clean, but it seemed to take awhile before she offered to help the host.
One minor downside is that the only locations to store gifts until you are allowed access to the party room are the chairs and floor in the lobby area. It would have been nice to have some sort of bin made available to parents to gather and transport the gifts.
The birthday party at Hills Gymnastics proved to be a unique and fun-filled experience for the party guests. Several of the parents, including myself, wished we were allowed to play in the gym. Expect your child to be a bit tired on the drive home.
In addition to birthday parties, Hills Gymnastics provides programs for Girls and Boys recreational gymnastics, tumbling and trampoline for Cheerleaders, Adult and Child Toddler Classes, Preschool Classes, Women’s Junior Olympics Competitive Levels 1 – 10 as well as Elite gymnasts trained for National, World’s and the Olympics. They offer open gym, field trips, summer camps, and Kids Day Outs during Montgomery County school days off with half-day and full-day options. Further details are available on the website.
Party Planning Details
- Party participants (boys or girls) must be at least 3 years old. An optional parent participation party is available where each child has a parent with them to help participate in the activities. It is limited to 20 children and children under three are welcome.
- Costs are as follows: 1-12 children: $195; 13-20 children: $260; 21-28 children: $320; 29-36 children: $385.
- A non-refundable deposit of $75 is needed to book a slot.
- Price includes invitations, empty goodie bags, and helium balloons.
- The refreshments and paper products are supplied by the family of the birthday child.
- Parties are available only on Sundays at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm or 3:30pm.
- The entire party time is 90 minutes. 60 minutes of supervised gymnastic activities and games and 30 minutes for refreshments in the party room. Parties does not have exclusive rental of the gym. Extended party room time is available for the first party only and can begin at 10:00am to allow extra time in the party room. The cost is $60 additional, in advance.
- Parents are responsible for decorating the room, and setting-up and serving refreshments. A staff member is available to help serve and clean-up.
- Cash, check, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Hills Gymnastics can take online payment using PayPal. Details are under “payment” at the very top right hand corner on the website. It is advisable to call first to confirm availability before submitting online payment.
Good to Know
- Dress your child in comfortable gym clothing. Shoes, socks and jewelry are not allowed in the gym. There are cubby holes to store shoes and socks.
- Bring hand sanitizer gel for your guests. The gym does not provide any before the children eat.
- Parents and grandparents of the birthday child are welcome in the gym. If the parents of your guests stay, they must remain in the lobby area.
- The gym is located in an industrial park and may seem dark and deserted on weekends and in the evenings.
- Hills Gymnastics is serious about safety. In fact, there must be a signed release for each child participating in the party.
- There is a small store in the lobby where you can purchase gymnastic clothing.
Photos courtesy of the Hills Gymnastics website.