Being a parent can often make working out difficult. Not only can it be hard to fit your exercise routine into your weekly schedule, but childcare is also an issue. The YMCA makes getting to the gym easier with great spaces for children of all ages to play and a qualified staff to watch your children while you work out. Through their Y-Play and Youth Activity Center, the YMCA offers designated places for different age groups with age-appropriate activities and toys.
Y-Play is essentially a drop-in daycare for parents to use while they workout. Parents, with children up to 6 years old, can use it for a maximum of 2 hours per a day or 9 hours per week, and they must stay inside the YMCA. Children need socks to play throughout the space as shoes and bare feet are not allowed for safety reasons. If your child is sick, YMCA does ask you to keep them home, but the Y-play center is open for children 6 weeks to 6 years old. Besides general play, they also participate in arts, crafts, and music activities appropriate for their age group.
Recently, the Y-Play area at the Franklin YMCA has received some great updates, including a new adventure area (see photo above and to the right). It features slides and fort-like areas that promote children’s imaginations. The children’s time in this area is rotated out according to age group so that all the children have an opportunity to play with children their age.
Y-Play hours are generally 8 am to 1pm Monday through Saturday, with afternoon hours Monday through Thursday from 4-8 pm, Friday 4-7 pm, and Sunday 1-4pm.
Youth Activity Center
For older children, the YMCA offers a Youth Activity center. This is for children 6-12 years old. They do many of the same things like play, arts and crafts, music, games, and outdoor activities, but more appropriate for their age. It also holds the same policies and hour restrictions as Y-Play.
Being a parent doesn’t mean you can’t go to the gym. Bring your children along for their own adventure and enjoy your workout and a few minutes of peace and quiet. For more information about youth and teen programming, feel free to visit a YMCA location or check out their website.
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