Gyms & Fitness Studios with Childcare

Parent Q&A

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  • Gyms that offer childcare

    (4 replies)

    Hi, I've been looking for a gym that offers childcare but it seems like many of the childcare amenities were shut down for covid. I've been to the YMCA in Berkeley and also the Equinox in Berkeley and both of them said they don't offer it anymore. I know the Bay Club in Walnut Creek offers it but I was hoping to find something closer. Also, I'm not looking for just a yoga or barre class but to go to the actual gym.

    I go to the YMCA - and I’ve been told that the do plan to re-open childcare once they have additional staff.  They also recommended I keep checking in/emailing so that there continues to be proof of demand/desire on the pet of patrons.  Good luck!! I also want my gym childcare options again

    Probably not as close as you are hoping, but closer than Walnut Creek…the Oakwood in Lafayette has childcare that is currently operational (we use it weekly). 

    I work out at City Sports on San Pablo in Berk (although there're other ones around in our area too, which is great - you can go to any of them) and they have a kids club. Now that my kids don't need it anymore I didn't really notice if it's open... But I think it is. Good luck!

    ~Mailisha 

    I asked at City Sports last week and they said their childcare is open! I think it's open in the morning every day and also late afternoons/evenings (something like 4-8pm) on weekdays. I looked at the space and it looked pretty bare bones, but I was there when it wasn't open so maybe there are toys and stuff that they get out when it's actually open.

  • Hello, I am equidistant to both the Berkeley and Albany YMCA. I am debating about joining one of them. Albany is about half of the membership fee of Berkeley. I was wondering if anyone has experience with, for example, lifting weights and using the elliptical at these facilities? Are there long wait times or limited equipment? Also, I'm wondering if anyone has any experience using the drop-in childcare at these locations? I would be looking to go 1-3 times per week with my toddler. Thanks!

    We have used the downtown Berkeley Y for childcare and I really like them.  I’ve been using the care there since my daughter was a baby and it’s great.  I love the women’s only floor, and the access to the pools.  The locker rooms are great too!  
      
    The Albany Y doesn’t have towel service which is a pain for me when I’m trying to multitask exercise showering and I forget my towel.

    I haven’t used their child watch at Albany, but FYI depending on the day of the week it is either held at the gym or up the street at their other facility, which doesn’t work for my new baby or my toddler as she wouldn’t like to be that far away from (& neither would I).

    i guess I prefer the downtown Y!

    Hi,

    I can speak for the Albany Y. There isn’t usually a wait to use equipment or weights. The childcare is great. You can use both locations as a member. Your home branch, the one you pay your membership dues to, you should use at least 51% of the time. Feel free to schedule tours at both to see which one you want your home branch to be. You can only bring guests to your home branch. Hope that all helps! 

    I've only used the Berkeley YMCA but I've very rarely had any problems with needing to wait for weights or other equipment. I haven't tried the drop off childcare but I hope to when my baby is a little bigger.

    Hi, I’ve been going to the Berkeley Y and using child watch for my toddler for about a year and a half. We go weekday mornings.  The caregivers are all really great and the kid’s area is very spacious and plenty stimulating for the kids. I’ve never had to wait for a space for my toddler (though I’ve seen a waitlist for under 2s now and again). I usually exercise in the women’s fitness area and I’ve never had to wait for cardio or strength training equipment (although it’s older equipment compared to the co-ed exercise areas, it works fine). I highly recommend the berk Y because there is also the large kindergym play area. The only issues I’ve run into are parents sending their sick kids to childcare - I’m not sure how strongly they enforce any rules about sick children attending child watch.

    Hello!

    I belong to the Albany Y and brought my then 2-3 month-old with me several times during maternity leave. I still bring him now, but less often. My sister brings her 4- and 7-year-olds almost every weekend. ChildWatch (as they call it) is super affordable ($3/hour, I believe) and my baby, niece, and nephew all seem to enjoy it. During the week, they have the kids in a small room on-site so you're always close-by; on the weekends, they have the kids at their bigger site on Solano between Talbot and Cornell, just a block up Solano. My sister has had one of the ChildWatch people babysit her kids too, which is great since they know her.

    In terms of the facilities, it's a very small gym, but unless you're going at the usual peak hours, you'll always get the machine you want or just use another one until the one you want opens up, which is quick. The classes and personal training are good too.

    I typically have no issues finding parking on a side street. And it's free since it's in Albany.

    Hope this helps!

    Lydia

    My sessions at the Berkeley Y are once or twice a week, swimming or upstairs weight room There is no waiting. Women come and go from the machine room (elliptical, stairmaster, etc.) which seems to have plenty of empty machines. I just added my grandtwins (five) to my membership and looked in on the child care facilities. i was impressed. Also there are family swim times almost every day.  There is also a room where kids can play while parents watch. There are always lots of little children around, and once a month or so they have "Kids Night OUt."

    At the Albany Y, there is rarely a wait for equipment (though it will depend a bit on when you are there and how choosy you are about getting a particular machine), and everyone is pretty low-key.

    I didn't realize that weekend child care they sent kids up the street (babies, too?) Weekdays, the child watch services while the parent works are definitely in a small room on site at the gym.  It does seem to be a pretty small room, but I don't think there are often many kids there at a time (I guess on weekdays, most of them are at school or child care). Which days will you be there?  Do you have another adult at home to watch the kid on weekends? Child watch isn't offered at all times the gym is open, so check the hours and consider when you expect to be there.  It's been years since I used it, so I can't comment specifically on the quality.

    If you are female, you should know that unlike Berkeley, Albany doesn't  have a women-only workout area, if that is important to you (though as I said, people at the Albany Y seem pretty low-key, and as a woman, I've never felt uncomfortable working out there in a co-ed environment).

    Parking is MUCH easier at Albany, (if you will be driving).

    I love that I can use any Y in the area without an extra fee (though I think you have to complete a waiver form).

    The towel issue hasn't been a problem for me since I just go home to shower, but again, consider how you plan to use the facility.

    I went to the Berkeley Y for many years, and the first few years after becoming a parent. Then realized the Albany Y was much closer to my house, and switched to that as my home Y about 5 years ago. We now go regularly on Saturday and my kids go to the childwatch down the street (but in the same building as the yoga classes on weekends). It really just depends on what's more convenient for you personally, because that will get you there. Parking is easier in Albany for sure, except maybe at Cornell School pickup time. I now go to the Berkeley Y maybe once a month, because one of my kids really likes the big-kid childwatch there, because it has foosball and a wii. The other one hates it, because the helpers aren't very warm, unlike her favorite at the Albany Y childwatch. Personal preference.

  • Has anyone done the drop-off childcare at City Sports Berkeley on San Pablo, just south of Ashby? I went with my two year old and took a look at the child space when it was closed, and it looked pristine -- like, almost concerningly so, like nobody's actually brought their kid in. The whole gym is pretty new, I should say, so maybe it's just actually clean! I'm not a member but am looking for someplace nearby to join, and no childcare / bad childcare is a dealbreaker.

    Also, I couldn't find any information online about their childcare hours, but the guy at the desk let me snap a picture of the schedule. So, if anyone else is starting from zero like I was, the hours are:

    M-F 9am-noon / 5pm-9pm

    Sat 830am-noon

    Sun closed

    One person on staff -- I assume a gym employee, not necessarily a childcare specialist -- and they don't change diapers, which is pretty standard. I believe it's $6/hour but I neglected to write that down.

    Any insight is appreciated, or any recommendations on North Oakland / South Berkeley / Emeryville area gyms that offer childcare. Both East Bay YMCAs have it, but they're a bit far for us.

    Thanks!

    We used to go to the City Sports on San Pablo (within the last 2 years). We actually became members because they offer childcare at reasonable hours, and our local 24 Hour Fitness did not. When we took our son to their childcare center and the first time, I was a little concerned because they had a very young (definitely under 20, and possibly under 18 year old) customer service type employee working in the center and he was not very engaging with us or the kids. Your assumptions are correct that the attendants are not childcare specialists. A few other times we took him, there was a female staff member present who was more attentive and communicative with us, but not really engaging with the kids. I never felt that comfortable, and my son was not too keen on going. For entertainment, they have a kids basketball hoop, a Little Tykes type car, and a television with cartoons. If your child enjoys those things, or independent play, like coloring, they might do well. At that time, my son was too young to enjoy that type of thing. Age groups can vary a lot and your child might be there alone or with a child much older/younger, or with no other children at all. I had always hoped to find my child a buddy there, but it never happened. The price we paid was a flat monthly rate, and I believe it was $20. Not too much info, but hope it's helpful. Please feel free to reach out with any questions. 

  • Crossfit with childcare

    (4 replies)

    Hi,

    My husband is starting law school at Boalt in a few weeks. I am taking the first semester off work to get familiar with the area, meet some new friends, and hang with my 18 month old. I think that a fitness routine will really help with this transition and establishing a routine.

    I am interested in trying crossfit because of the community element. I am also open to other gyms in the area that provide a sense of community with other mamas, etc... The big thing is the childcare. Please let me know if you have recs on crossfit with childcare specifically or other options w childcare ! Thank you!

    Hi, I don't have kids but I have trained at some crossfit gyms in the area. I went to Grassroots Crossfit for two years, and have always seen new parents bringing in their babies and leaving them aside when they do the 1-hour classes. One mom did her movements with her baby on her back when possible (rowing, pushups, running, etc), and just let the baby crawl around with the gym owner's dogs when she's doing other movements. Another weightlifting coach left his baby next to his weightlifting platform and put a tiny noise-cancelling earphone on the baby's head while he does his weightlifting reps. 

    Other gyms are similar to Grassroots Crossfit in the sense that you CAN bring your babies there and other people always watch out for them when they do their heavy workouts. The babies seem happy and the parents get their precious workout time. 

    There are other non-crossfit gyms that have childcare option. For instance, Bar Method in North Berkeley provides childcare at additional cost. 

    Good luck, mama!

    I don't know about crossfit, but the local YMCA (Berkeley & Albany) both have drop-in childcare. 

    The timing never worked out for me while I was on leave, but I heard really good things about mama army. http://mamaarmy.com/about

    There's no childcare per se, but kids are allowed and you can work out with your kid. 

    Ironworks has childcare, but only at certain hours, and I don't think any are during the weekdays. 

    Highly recommend downtown Berkeley YMCA. My kids loved their child watch. 

    Good luck. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Questions

Pilates Studio with Childcare services

Jan 2008

Does anyone know of a pilates studio or course at a facility that offers childcare? My husband and I would like to take a class together on weekends but need care for our 20 months old toddler. Sandy


The Downtown Berkeley YMCA offers pilates on Saturday mornings at 9am, a time when Childwatch services are available. The YMCA Childwatch has low ratios and well trained staff. For questions about the Childwatch, contact Heather at 510-665-3241 or hcunningham [at] baymca.org. For questions about the Saturday morning pilates class, or other ones, that are offered at the Y, contact Noel at 510-665-3245 or npanganiban [at] baymca.org. Eden


Try The Dailey Method www.thedaileymethod.com ! Not strictly pilates, but rather a hybrid of pilates, strength training, yoga -- all set to contemporary music -- seriously, the most amazing one-hour work out you've ever had. And, YES, men are welcome and do attend (albeit occasionally). Childcare is available on Saturday mornings at 8:30a and 9:45am as well as throughout the week - check out the website for more info -- and look at the reviews on yelp.com - Happy Healthy New Year! happy customer


Pool and gym with childcare

Sept 2006

Hi, I'm in my last trimester and have been physically active. I'd like to continue that after my baby is born and am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a pool/gym with childcare, preferably in the Oakland/Berkeley area. Has anyone used the Berkeley YMCA's childcare? How was it? Any thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated anon


We've been very happy with the Kidwatch program at the downtown Berkeley Y . Lots of other good programs for kids, too. Only complaint I've heard is that sometimes there are too many kids and you have to wait for someone to leave before your kid can go it. But mine are older and that's never been a problem for us. We're huge fans of the Y and its youth programs. Dad


The downtown Berkeley YMCA 's childcare is great! It's always staffed by great people, my son always has a good time there, and at $3.00/hr, you can't beat the price. Anon


I attend Club One at City Center in Oakland. The staff is great and I have no worries about my child. The cost is $2.00 per hour if you are a member and a max of 2 hours at a time. They take from infant to 4 yr olds. You need to reserve time the day before. Cannot do more than 24 hours in advance. az


 

Gym in Oakland that provides infant care

Dec 2005

Hi All, I'd like a recommendation for a gym in the Oakland area that provides infant care. The past recommendations are a few years old. Thanks a bunch! Elaine



I go to the Courthouse Athletic Club on Telegraph Avenue near Summit Hospital. -another mom


Try Club One at City Center in downtown Oakland. They have a great child care area, and they take infants at 6-8 weeks old and older children till 5 years old. I used it for both my kids and loved it. The club is nice and clean, tons of great classes, open till 10 pm (childcare goes until 8 pm) and on weekends. There is a pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room and massage services. I have been a member since 1992 and continue to enjoy the facilities. And there are great restuarants within walking distance, the farmer's market on Fridays, city center, the post office etc. The club sells parking stickers for 2.5 hours for $1-2. Maya



Club One at City Center in Oakland has childcare. We've never used it, so can't vouch for it personally. It has windows facing the street, and just about every time I walk by and look in there are a couple kids inside. I think it's fairly reasonably priced, too.


 

Gym where I'd feel comfortable leaving my 6-month-old?

Nov 2003

 

I've read the couple of postings dating a few years back about childcare at the Berkeley YMCA that did not sound very promising as a place I'd feel comfortable leaving my 6 month old daughter while I work out. But, I am desperate to resume an exercise program, so can anyone recommend a gym that does offer trustworthy childcare where I could exercise without worrying about the safety of my daughter? Has anyone had experience at Club One in Oakland? Or, better yet, does anyone know of classes that I could do with my daughter? Anne

Recommended:

  • Berkeley YMCA (4)
  • Club One (3)
  • Courthouse Gym (1)
  • Oakland YMCA (1)
     

    Has anyone used childcare at local gyms?

    Jan 2003

    Has anyone used the child care at local gyms? The Berkeley Parents website has many postings about Berkeley Y, but little about other gyms. I'm particularly interested in Courthouse, but would love to hear about any others. schackmermin

    Recommended:

  • Club One (3)
  • Courthouse Gym (2)
     

    Childcare at Yoga classes

    I'm looking for a relaxing yet tone-shaping yoga class in the Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito area that has a child watch on spot. I've tried the one in the Berkeley YMCA, but it didn't work for me...(small space, too many strollers in and crying babies..). Any ideas?

    You didn't say how old your baby was, but Saraswathi Devi at Yogalayam has a couple of baby/mom classes with childcare providers at hand. On Monday mornings at 9:30 to 11:00, she has a class for moms and toddlers (over a year). The kids are in the same room as the moms, but an adjoining room has toys and scarves and a childcare person, so the babies stay with mom or go off and play as they please. Her post-partum yoga class is for babies under a year and I believe it is on Thursdays from 10:00 to noon. -- Ilana