With two young, energetic boys, I’ve spent my share of time in various indoor gymnastic places. When it’s too cold to run around outside, the next best thing is a giant padded room with trampolines and foam pits.
We have frequented various places in the Annapolis/Washington, D.C., area, but based on our preschool and nap schedules, our favorites include Rolly Pollies in Crofton and Silver Star Gymnastics in Bowie. I’ve also had great experiences at My Gym and Gymboree, but class enrollment is required to attend the “open play” sessions.
So here is why Rolly Pollies and Silver Star DO work for our little monkeys:
- Multiple open play times available every weekday. Tuesday and Thursdays have specific times only for children younger than 3 years old.
- Option to drop off children for a maximum of two hours (must be potty trained).
- Friendly helpful staff who assist the children on the climbing equipment, in the large foam pit, inflatable bounce house and balance beam, to name a few.
- A second location in Severna Park has similar open play times.
- No registration fee and multi-pass packages available for discounted cost.
- My boys LOVE the inflatable bounce house with its slide and the rope swing over the foam pit (but try to avoid climbing into it if you can, because your socks will come right off).
- Can be pricey, especially if you have more than one child. One hour of open play costs $10 per child. Buying the packages or monthly passes can help, but still adds up quickly and expires after 30 days.
- Can get very crowded! I call ahead to reserve a spot and then try to get there right at opening.
- Two-level play area with the upper area designed for preschool age and lower area for older children on no-school days.Unique play equipment, such as a flat swing for multiple kids to sit on together, two large trampolines and fun ride-on bouncy toys for even the youngest gymnasts.
- A second location in Silver Spring has similar open play times, but includes Mondays. It also has two different bounce houses used on different days.
- Not very crowded, unless it’s a holiday or no-school day.
- More affordable at $8 an hour per child and no charge for children not walking yet. Multi-pass packages available with no expiration.
- No open play on Mondays at the Bowie location, and other open play times tend to fall during nap time.
- No drop-offs available. Parents must stay with their child at all times, and staff is not usually on the gym floor to assist children, but come in to remind children of the rules.
So as the forecast starts to show flakes and negative degree numbers, I will be running to the closest open gym to try and have these kids burn off as much energy as possible before we’re snowed in!
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.