It’s time to beat the heat this summer with our Indoor Play Series!

I’m a girl who loves to play and stay busy but I hate the heat. The same is true for my boys. My two year old is very active, so physical activity is a must. However, in the hot summer months, playgrounds are meltdown city (both physically and emotionally). To beat the heat, we love finding new indoor play places where we can bask in that sweet, sweet air-conditioning.

This week I’m going to tell you about membership-only gyms. In the Charlotte-area, we have Gymboree, My Gym, the Little Gym, and the YMCA, just to name a few. We’ve been fortunate enough to belong to three of the above options (at different times), but today I’m just going to give you a quick overview of what you might expect from Gymboree and My Gym.

Beat the Heat


This is not for the faint of heart. Both gyms require a one-time, lifetime membership/enrollment fee as well as a monthly fee. Many times they run specials or coupons so ask before signing up. For the locations we’ve attended, we were lucky to sign up at times when they waived the enrollment fee. Typically the enrollment fee is between $50-$75. My Gym’s current monthly rate is $79 and Gymboree is $68 (although this goes down to $51 once you’ve been enrolled for 6 months). Again, ALWAYS make sure to ask about specials or promotions that they might currently be running.

What you get for the price:

The monthly membership fee generally includes (1) class per week as well as access to their gym during “open gym” or “free play” times which are unstructured and great for hot afternoons. In addition to movement classes for younger children, both places offer art instruction and basic sports instruction. Gymboree also has music classes while My Gym offers gymnastics and karate.

Which program is best for your child(ren) based on age-appropriateness:

Gymboree offers classes from ages 0-5 years. My Gym’s programs are for children 6 weeks – 13 years. When my son was younger, we attended Gymboree. At around 20 months, I decided that he had outgrown their equipment and classes so we moved to My Gym. Gymboree is a safe environment for crawlers and new walkers. My Gym has more advanced structures and equipment which are excellent for children who are comfortable walking, running, jumping, swinging, etc.

What your child(ren) will do in class:

Both programs offer classes with predictable structure, songs, and activities. They begin with greetings/circle time, and then move into instruction of a new skill, followed by free play, imaginative play, story/song, and then good-byes. Gymboree has fun parachute activities while My Gym has more gross motor, gymnastics-type skills.


My Gym has locations in Ballantyne/Blakeney and SouthPark. Gymboree is also located in Ballantyne with their second Charlotte-area location in LakeNorman.


Try before you buy! Many of these membership-only gyms offer a free trial class. Some also offer open gym times for groups, where you pay for an hour or two of playtime.

Joining a gym can be a very rewarding experience for both you and your child. It’s a great way to beat the heat but also an amazing way to make friends and have a little fun. For my son, it was a place where he was able to safely play, grow, learn and develop his body and mind; definitely worth a little extra money!

Indoor PlayUp Next:

The summer Indoor Play series continues with inexpensive pay-to-play options and FREE play places.