Running, jumping and tumbling. That pretty much sums up the life of most kids in TOw. So when we come across a location that inspires and encourages the little guys to do just that, we’re in.
GymKats, a gymnastic studio in Leaside for kids 8 months to 10 years old, isn’t just a space with mats, balls and a mini-trampoline. Nor is it a locale exclusive to future competitive gymnasts. What blew us away about this bright, spacious and clean second-floor studio is the real kid-sized gymnastics equipment. We’re talking mini balance beams, rings and uneven bars for kids, plus all the fun add-on’s that get little ones moving while practicing balance, learning new skills and building confidence.
We visited earlier this summer for a Playdate Paradise (an hour long drop-in session) and met GymKats Director Ashley Adler, a former gymnast and coach. Whether you have a future gymnast in TOw or one that may be a little less coordinated, you are in good hands. While Playdate Paradise is an “open gym” concept, Ashley is always nearby to break down the skills and help kids (and parents) learn the proper gymnasts progressions in a safe and fun way.
Fall classes are under way (and there’s a new one for Mini Cubs 8 to 18 months) and registration is ongoing. For those loving the drop in option, Playdate Paradise starts up October 4 (stay tuned for more sessions during the colder months.)
Getting there: GymKats is located on Bayview, just south of Eglinton Ave. Paid parking along Bayview Ave ($2.25 per hour) and free parking on neighbouring residential streets. Ask for assistance to bring strollers upstairs. On TTC, the 56 Leaside bus passes Bayview Ave along Eglinton. The 11 Bayview bus travels along Bayview.
Low-down: Registration for classes is ongoing. New GymKats are permitted one Free Trail Class. (If you sign up for a class or camp, there is an annual GymKats registration fee $30 – this is a Gymnastics Ontario Membership.) Playdate Paradise is for kids 8 months to 4 years old (with parents/caregivers) from 10 am to 11 a.m. on Sundays starting October 4, 2015. ($15 per session. No free trial.) They also do camps and parties.
Food: There is a small area at the entrance with a table for snacking and drinking. Bring your own snacks.
Potty time: Yes, bathroom within the studio.
1659 Bayview Avenue – Unit 200, Toronto ON
(2nd Floor; Located in the Bayview Business Centre)