I remember when Owen was a baby and started to achieve real mobility — walking, climbing, rolling, crawling — any means of movement that could take him where he wanted to go. That was when I began to look into play classes for him. And given that it was my first time ever doing that kind of research, my first instinct was to Google “Gymboree,” because even though I’d never been to one (the play space, that is; I’d done plenty of shopping at the store), that was the one name I’d heard of and associated with tumbling sessions for babies and toddlers. Kudos to them on branding.
So, I was surprised to learn there was no Gymboree here in the city. Sure, there were a few in the ‘burbs, in both Maryland and Virginia, but not a single one actually existed in the District. I guess I just figured big company, big city…surely the two had to connect. But, alas, they did not. We ended up finding another place — the only place in the city — for those play classes, and while we enjoyed it, I recall thinking that DC really needed more options.
Several years later, Marisa Flowers thought the same thing. The DC mom of a 2.5 year old wondered why she had to take her daughter out of the city for those kinds of activities and for parties so often. After taking her to Gymboree Play & Music for over a year in Maryland, she decided to explore becoming an owner/operator herself.
Fast forward many months, and she’s on her way to opening the first Gymboree in Washington, DC! With a convenient location right across from the Woodley Park Metro station, it’s slated to open in late June, offering a variety of classes for children from birth to 5 years old, as well as birthday parties.
There will be core Play & Learn classes for children from birth to 3 years old, School Skills classes for 3- and 4-year-olds, and Art and Music for ages 6 months to 5 years. And kids turning 1-4 years will be able to celebrate their birthdays there as well.
The opening date is still over a month away (and tentative) and class dates have not yet been set, but you can join the email list by emailing [email protected] or check the website for updates on the opening date, class schedules, as well as info about grand opening events and specials.
Gymboree of Washington, DC, is located at 2639 Connecticut Avenue NW #113 in Woodley Park. Along with the convenience to Metro, the building also offers parking Monday – Friday (for a fee).