Hills Gymnastics has been in the business of providing fitness and fun for kids for almost 30 years. While the gym has had great success in turning out 4 Olympians over the years, they still have many recreational classes and opportunities for kids just looking for a place to play and learn.
Open Gym Supervised Free Play
The open gym is supervised by two Hills staff members. The rules of open gym state that use of some equipment is by approval of the staff only. For instance, they did not think it was wise for my 4-year-old to be on a high balance beam.
The staff did a good job keeping an eye out and all of the kids seemed to be safe. Children 7 and under need to have an adult supervising them at all times. Older kids can be dropped off and parents can leave an emergency contact number at the front or they can wait in the spacious lobby to watch (or not) from a distance.
What to Expect
I knew the gym had been around a while and was a place that trained serious gymnasts so I was not sure what to expect in terms of what would be available to play with at open gym for little ones. My kids are NOT very skilled in gymnastics.
There was preschool equipment laid out in an obstacle course on the floor, 8 low beams placed in a rectangle shape for them to walk on, a toddler sized bar to swing on, a tumble track and the biggest hit, a foam pit. The pit is like an in ground pool but instead of water it is filled with hundreds of red and blue colored foam blocks.
The pit can be accessed from a tumbling strip (which my girls used to run down and jump in), a single bar, a vaulting table or even a little tykes slide. My older daughter spent roughly half of our time at Hill’s swinging out on a rope over the pit and falling in. They loved it.
On the night of our visit there were about 15 kids in the gym. My kids appeared to be the youngest and the mix of kids included elementary age boys and girls, a few serious gymnastics students and a couple of teenage girls practicing back handsprings and jumping on the trampoline.
We were told that this was a relatively small crowd for a Sunday night.
When to Go & Cost
Open Gym at Hills is held weekdays from 12:15 to 1:15 and on Sunday evenings from 5:30 to 7:00pm. Cost for the weekday session is $8 per child and Sunday’s session rings up at $13 each.
Cash or credit card are both accepted for payment. Minimum age for open gym was not stated anywhere but when asked the staff said 18 months.
We visited the facility on a Sunday night. My four and six year olds were excited to put on their leotards and get some physical activity after a relatively boring Sunday at home of cleaning and running errands.
What to Bring
All kids are required to have bare feet and “gym clothes” but leotards are not necessary for girls.
Hill’s Gymnastic Classes
In addition to Open Gym, Hills offers classes for kids from ages 1 and up. They also offer summer and winter break camp with half and full day options for potty trained children ages 3 to 10.
Visit their website for more information on these programs as well as birthday parties and private lessons.
Know Before You Go
- As with most gymnastics facilities, Hills is located in an industrial/office park which can be quite dark at night.
- Also as with most gyms there is a lot of chalk dust in the air and mats of all sizes laying around. If you are going in to supervise your child wear sneakers and yoga type pants for maneuvering yourself around the equipment.
- There are two restrooms, one inside the gym and one in the lobby area. The lobby bathroom does have a changing table.
- Drinks are available for purchase from two soda machines, they even take credit cards.
Photos by Hills’ Gymnastics