University Village Youth Recreation

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I don’t know if the class is still the same, but the gymnastics class at UC village used to be really great for this. Coach Matt ran it when my kids were little. It was fun and inclusive but still a great chance to improve coordination and physical confidence. In general, the classes at UC Village were perfect for my less athletic kids — ABSC and that type of thing are better for more naturally athletic kids IMHO. You might also look at a pre-ballet class for preschool kids. I know people sometimes don’t think of this for boys, but dance is a great way to develop coordination and physicality. Often, the classes for the youngest kids use a lot make-believe in the dancing and it‘s not strict yet. So kids have fun but also get nudged into trying new skills — can you try to skip, now let’s hop, etc.? 

Prior to covid my son was in a skateboard class through the UC Rec. Department that met on Saturdays, close to UC Village. I would check with them as they were very affordable. He also did the weekly summer camp every year through Berkeley Park and Rec. at the Gilman skate park. 


You might want to try UC Village Skateboard classes. They meet once a week on Tue or Saturday and you pay around 90 dollars for the whole session. The instructor is great and they bring out all kinds of ramps to practice on. 

There are fun gymnastics classes"with UC Rec at Albany Village. It is mostly playtime with some guidance. Mostly exposure with some group circle time involving parents which was a blast when my kiddo was enrolled years ago.

I visited the new after school program at the University Village because I heard great things. I really liked what I saw and the director is very engaged. It's a project-based S.T.E.A.M. enrichment program serving K to 5th graders.They wil pick up children from Cornell and Marine next year. Very structured. Here's the link:

I have experience with Albany Villiage and El Cerrito.Both were good but I stopped going to the University one in Albany for a few reasons.There is just a porta potty and no sink,there are just metal bleachers which are horrible to sit on for 45 minutes and I did not like that the kids had to ask permission to go to their water bottles-why not just keep them closer?This keeps them from drinking water when they need to.El Cerrito was more enjoyable.

UC Village in Albany has a skateboard camp staring at 6 years old. I think it's 1/2 day but you can probably combine it with one of their other camps if you need full day. My kids haven't tried any of their camps yet but I know lots of people that love their rec programs. 


Toddler gymnastics classes at the Albany Village Community Center (on Monroe) were pretty good for both my kids at that age. 

The UC Village recreation facility has a gymnastics class on Saturday mornings for children that age. I don't know if there are any more open spots for this session but in about a month or so there will be a new session starting. We go to a class during the week and my 23 month old daughter loves it.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

July 2011

I have a 9 year old boy and am looking for good summer camp options in Berkeley. I already have experience with Cal's camps (mixed feelings about those). Was curious to know if anyone has had children in the art and sports camps held at University Village. John

Too late for this summer, but my son had a good time at the half-day basketball camp at UC Village. The coach, with two teenage assistants, taught the campers plays, and they played a lot of games. There was a big age range, but the boys were divided into teams by age to make the games balanced and fun. Jenny


Re: Afternoon Mom & Toddler Classes (Dec 2002)
You might check out the classes offered by the recreation program at University Village in Albany. Thhe classes can fill up quickly, but there are many different weekday afternoon classes that my daugher has enjoyed off & on over the years. You can also check out the Albany library--they have at least a ballet and tap class on friday afternoons. A final source: No Sweat dance studio on solano in berkeley--they have some daytime kids' beginning dance classes. jessica


April 2006

Re: Fun gym for 13-month-old
The gym class at UC Berkeley Village is great and affordable, much more reasonably priced than Gymboree. anon

August 2004

Re: Low-cost tumbling class for 3-year-old
Albany Village has very affordable gymnastic classes w/ classes for ages 18 months to 4 years. We just signed up for the first time so I can't tell you first hand what they're like, but others have given me rave reviews. I hear they fill up quickly so call to see what's available.

Re: Tumbling classes for 2-year-old (June 2004)
I wholeheartedly recommend the UCB Village Recreation Center Gymnastics Plus classes for your child. My daughter has attended classes at the ''Village'' since she was 18 months, and she loves them. Many of her friends also take the classes, so we have built a social life around the weekly visit. We've met new friends there as well. Just as important, the director, Dawn Rugo, is very concerned with safety and staff training. The Village is located in the SW quadrant near the corner of San Pablo and Marin Ave (Buchanan St.). Signups for fall start on August 1. Maria

My son really enjoyed Linda and Pablo at the UC Albany Village Community Center. The prices are reasonable and the children are gently engaged. We had previously tried Windmill and the YMCA. Neither place had skilled teachers, able to speak the language of children 3-5 years old.

From: Bruce
The University Village Recreation program is about to start its first fall session.

We got our younger daughter in their gym classes three months ago, when she was 18 months, and we were extremely happy we did. It gave her physical confidence, made her more agile, gave her a lot of fun, and started her socialization with other kids.

They spend about half an hour on the various (very basic) apparatus, then get together for circle time.

I _highly_ recommend these classes to anyone with toddlers. We've now signed our daughter up for classes 3 days a week this session, she (and we) loved it so much! Seriously, this is one of the things we feel best about that we've done for her.

Cost is about $4 a class, less than the $6 (?) a class for Kindergym at the Albany YMCA (we tried that for one class only, when the Village program was closed for vacation; we were very dissappointed in the YMCA program, which we felt was poorly supervised and dangerous, and had lots of older siblings shoving their way in).

Phone number to call is 524-4926. University Village is off of San Pablo Ave just north of Berkeley (turn left onto Monroe after McDonalds, turn left again at the end of Monroe).

At the moment, they still have room in all of their classes, I think... but it goes fast.

Best to all, Bruce

From: Harald

Our daughter, now 18 months, has attended two sessions of this program and loves it. It is structured in two parts - open time for children to play on different equipment (ladders, tunnels, beams, slides, rings, mats, etc) and circle time with songs.

She responds differently every time - sometimes she is very outgoing and eager to try out all the equipment, other times she seems just to want to observe the other children. But whatever her mood, there is no doubt of her enjoyment. In fact, everytime we walk past the recreation hall these days, she calls out excitedly and wants to go in. I think it has helped her physical agility. Her caregiver has commented that she is much more confident about climbing and running than other children her age. But honestly, we go for the fun rather than it's developmental importance!

I think they allow one free trial session - give them a call and see. The inquiries number is 524-4926.

Thanks for the great advertising for our gymnastics classes! I manage the Village and also think we have pretty good classes for kids at a reasonable price. Dawn Martin-Rugo, our Rec Director, has been instrumental in developing the gymnastics+ classes. I have attended 2 parent participation gymnastics sessions with my 2 year old daughter on Saturdays and they were great fun--even more fun if you get other parents you know to go.


May 1999

My 8-year-old son is returning to University Village camp this year, at his request. Last year he was in their Spanish camp -- he didn't learn a lot of Spanish, but he liked the field trip to Picante, swimming at Albany Pool, and just hanging out there in general. It's more low-key than some of the run-around-the-woods-all-day camps (like Berkeley Day Camp, which he also enjoys).