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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Excel Gymnastics in Batavia And St. Charles

Place: Excel Gymnastics
Location: 2301 Main Street in Batavia, or 3N800 Peck Rd in St. Charles.
Type of Place: Gymnastics academy
Secret: This place has a trapeze bar that kids will love! Also, they've created a very cool tunnel underneath the foam block pit with the trapeze bar, for kids to crawl through!
Appropriate ages: toddler and up.
Cost: Special open gyms for kids under 6 are $5.00 per kid. Open gyms for older kids are $8.00 for members and $10.00 for nonmembers.

Quite a long time ago, I used to bring Little Bear and Pufferfish, along with their cousin Tigerlily, to this gymnastics place with a trapeze bar. They really loved it, especially Tigerlily, who used to swing on the trapeze for hours! Somehow I forgot where it was, and Pufferfish and I have been visiting all sorts of open gyms in search of this very cool one. Well, we finally found it! Yesterday, we went back there to check it out. Monkeyboy, who had the day off from school for some reason, came with us.
The first thing Pufferfish wanted to check out was this spot where little kids can slide down the slide and land in a pit of foam blocks! You can also jump off mats and into the blocks. It is a little bit like swimming!

They have a balance beam suspended across the other end of this foam pit, which is the perfect place to practice on the balance beam. If you fall off, you just land in foam! Pufferfish loved it as long as Monkeyboy held her hand... but she preferred just saving time and jumping off of it!

Here is Pufferfish trying out a lower balance beam with no foam pit underneath.

There was some other fun equipment scattered around too, like this barrel that Monkeyboy rolled Pufferfish around in...

...and this thing that helps kids do a flip onto a mat!

I was most excited about the trapeze bar, but Pufferfish didn't enjoy it as much as I thought she would. She's actually less brave now than she was the last time I brought her there, when she was only a year old! I couldn't get her to try out the trapeze bar. So I took a picture of it anyway, just in case you didn't believe me about it being there. Can you see it? The yellow rectangle is around the trapeze bar, and the blue one is around the rope swing. Kids can swing on these things and then drop into the foam pit!

Another thing that I liked about Excel, more so than other places, was that they had some employees in the gym. The kids still had to be supervised by parents, and the employees weren't teaching them or coaching them or anything, but they were there, and they were very friendly. They would smile and say cheerful things to the children, like, "Look at you jumping!" and "Are you having fun?" It was more of a welcoming atmosphere, instead of the feeling of, "What are you civilians doing in our gym?" that I've gotten in some other gymnastics open gyms.
When school gets out for the summer, I will be taking my whole crew there as often as I can. I know this one isn't exactly in DuPage, but its on the border... and even if you live forty-five minutes away from it, like we do, I think it is worth the drive!


Christine said... [Reply to comment]

We might have to check this one out. Now that E is out of school, I don't think I will be taking M to mygym anymore. We went this week and E cried the whole time and we left early. They have a sibling class but it only goes to age 4. I like that they would both be able to participate at this place.

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