In my continuing quest for fun indoor activities to help Lucas burn energy during these cold, cold winter days, my mother-in-law and I took him to open gymnastics at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex last week.
It was the best $6 I have ever spent.
This is a competition-grade gymnastics complex which also has child-sized equipment. They open the floor up to kids for open play several times a week. I've been hearing about it for months from other parents and wanted to go. I finally got my act together last week and let me tell you, it was definitely the first of many, many visits to come.
From the moment we walked into the gymnastics area Lucas was literally chomping at the bit to be released. We removed our socks and shoes (I kept my socks on, actually) and off we went. He was a wild man. I don't think he stopped moving for 50 minutes. There was jumping, running, climbing, pushing, balancing, swinging, sliding, hanging and any other action verb you can think of. It was truly amazing. He was rosy cheeked and sweaty and I'll admit I worked up a bit of sweat just trying to keep up with him!
The only downside was that it was a bit of a zoo. The website says they limit it to 30 kids but I think there were many more than 30 there. Include a ratio of about one parent per kid (some had two and others were one parent to two kids) and the place was packed.
Open play lasts for an hour but at about 45 minutes I could tell Lucas was running on fumes. I gave him a 5 minute, 3 minute and 2 minute warning that we were leaving. It protested a bit but was truly exhausted. We got our shoes, coats and hats on and were out of there before the masses and I was able to keep him awake on the drive home.
A quick bite to eat and he was down for the count--a count of 3 hours, that is.
I'm already planning to go back this Tuesday!