Maintaining a work-life balance is difficult; add fitness to the mix, and things get even more complex. New or single parents with kids between the ages of 1 and 12 generally have to give up their fitness routine to be with their kids. The only time they can manage a workout is when the kids are at school. However, most people have work during those hours.
You’ll often hear people say that the gym is their me-time. That’s not the case with new parents. Even if you somehow convince yourself to leave your little kids at home while you get a quick pump in at the gym, you’ll probably not have a productive training session.
You could take your kids to the gym (if your gym allows it), but gyms can be a dangerous place for children. You don’t want your kids to be near 300-pound bros while they are clanging and banging heavy iron. Conversely, you don’t want to spend your training session running after your kids, especially after taking a potent pre-workout supplement.
The only ray of hope in this situation is a gym that handles your kids while you handle your business — a gym with childcare. Some gyms have a kid’s section that is equivalent to a mini-prison, but you don’t want that for your kids, at least not always. You want a childcare section where your kids are engaged, productive, and learn something new.
In this article, I will take you over the 15 best gyms with childcare across North America. However, the facilities offered by each gym might change depending on the location, size of the gym, and personnel availability. If you have any of these 15 gyms in your vicinity, you must call them to check if they have an active childcare program.
15 Best Gyms with Childcare
You are more likely to find a childcare program in an established big-chain gym chain than a mom-and-pop local gym. However, the facilities might differ depending on the available space and customer demand. Without further ado, here are the 15 gyms with the best childcare:
Life Time Fitness
Life Time Fitness is unlike any other big-ticket Globo gym. It is a large, resort-like facility focusing on ‘healthy living, healthy aging, healthy entertainment destinations, programs, and services.’ As you’ve probably noticed, there is a lot of ‘healthy’ in Life Time Fitness.
Life Time Fitness offers an elaborate childcare facility called the Kids Academy. The program comprises qualified and certified teachers and trainers who follow a curriculum focusing on education and physical activity. Plus, Life Time Fitness offers childcare services in most locations.
Kids Academy takes children from 3 months through 11 years and offers daily age-appropriate sessions ranging between 30 minutes to 2.5 hours. They offer four types of services, which include:
- Sensory & Story Time (3 months to 2 years) — Tummy time, storytime, musical exploration, dance parties, and building-block fun
- Academy Activities (3 months to 2 years) — Arts & crafts, games & puzzles, reading & music, and weekly themes
- Learning Activities (1 to 11 years) — S.T.E.A.M. activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), and everything in the academy activities
- Progressive Lessons (3 years and up) — Dance, martial arts, or gymnastics based on the kid’s experience level
As you might have guessed, the childcare services at Life Time Fitness come at a premium. However, the best deal you can get that offers complimentary childcare is their ‘Dynamic Package,’ which costs $289 per month. Life Time Fitness is as popular for networking as it is for exercise.
The Kids Academy has an elaborate signing-up process, which makes you feel safe and confident. Furthermore, the facilities have everything your kid might need. Life Time Fitness also runs summer camps to keep your kids busy during non-school weeks so you can get your fitness on in peace.
The childcare facility at Life Time Fitness is unlike anything you will ever experience. I would go as far as to say that don’t take your children to the Life Time Fitness Kids Academy unless you are willing to pay for their monthly membership; believe me, your kids will make you pay for it. I know I would have if my parents had taken me to this paradise.
24 Hour Fitness
Like most gyms on this list, 24 Hour Fitness is a nationwide chain. Its childcare service, Kid’s Club, is popular among parents for its safe and engaging environment. You can expect age-appropriate activities and a dedicated staff at each 24 Hours Fitness center. The Kid’s Club accepts children between 6 months and 11 years for a pay-per-visit or monthly fee.
Although most 24 Hour Fitness centers offered the Kid’s Club services initially, it changed during the 2019 pandemic when the gym chain discontinued the childcare centers in many gyms across North America.
I highly recommend checking out the 24 Hour Fitness in your vicinity, as their services and facilities are the best in the industry. The Kid’s Club staff is experienced and qualified to keep the kids safe and entertained while the parents complete their workouts.
Although the Kid’s Club price might vary depending on the location, it is one of the most cost-effective and feature-rich facilities. Your kids will never complain about being bored inside a 24 Hour Fitness childcare facility. Plus, the staff is receptive to feedback and is open to adding new games and activities.
Gold’s Gym is one of the oldest gym chains in the world. One of the reasons it has been so successful over the years is that it has continued to evolve and add new facilities and features; the Kid’s Club is one of them.
Gold’s Gym Kid’s Club is available to children between 1 and 11 years old. A Kid’s Club membership can be combined with the parents’ pass. You have two options to choose from — an unlimited monthly $30 per child or $10 per child for each visit. However, the rates might vary depending on the locations and facilities offered.
A typical Kid’s Club session lasts two hours, and an extra $5 is charged for every 15 minutes over the time limit. This is another motivation to end your workout on time, or you might end up footing a hefty bill.
Since the Gold’s Gym Kid’s Club is priced right, it is usually full. You must make an appointment a day in advance to avoid being turned away.
Gold’s Gym offers the Kid’s Club facilities in select locations. Check with your local Gold’s Gym if they can mind your kids while you take care of your fitness. Also, most Kid’s Clubs run on a fixed schedule, and you must ensure that your workout timings align with the Kid’s Club timings.
The YMCA is a leading nonprofit that caters to people of all ages and, among other things, works toward improving their health and well-being. They also have a wide network of gyms and childcare centers across North America. Most YMCA gyms have a childcare section that focuses on the kids’ social, emotional, and academic needs.
Besides the childcare facilities, the ‘Y’ offers out-of-school programs that are staffed with qualified and experienced people who understand kids’ cognitive, physical, and social development.
Children between 12 and 16 can use the gym facility if supervised by an adult. Most YMCAs offer a family membership for two adults and children under 27 years old for $99 per month, which is pretty cost-effective.
The services each YMCA offers can differ based on the location, so you must confirm the childcare facilities provided by the Y in your vicinity before signing up.
Pro Tip: If you don’t like the services offered by your local YMCA gym but it has a decent childcare facility, you can check in your kids at the Y and train at a fully-equipped gym nearby. You can rest assured your kids will be in good hands.
Crunch Fitness is another popular US-based multinational gym chain that offers a childcare program. That said, its childcare program, Kid’s Crunch, is only available at a select few locations, and you must check with your local gym and the services they offer before signing the membership form.
Crunch Fitness doesn’t have set childcare facility guidelines for its franchisees, as the services (and prices) vary significantly from one location to another. That said, as per the US law, each childcare facility is managed by qualified staff to ensure your kid’s safety.
The Kid’s Crunch facilities offer monthly and pay-per-visit plans. You can pick the one that best suits your needs. Also, most facilities don’t cap the amount of time your kids can spend in the facility, which is excellent for hardcore exercisers who spend north of 2 hours inside the weight room.
Crunch Fitness has different types of gyms and facilities, depending on the location size. Crunch Signature Gyms are the fully-decked-out training centers with the best facilities, and you’re most likely to find a Kid’s Crunch in one such facility.
Equinox is one of the most high-end gym chains around the world. It is popular for its prime locations and luxurioseness. If you want your gym to have boutique studio vibes, Equinox gyms are for you.
Most gyms position themselves to be accessible to a wide demographic; Equinox Gyms is not one of them. Equinox gyms are as good for making business contacts as they are for building a chiseled physique. This is another reason why you need a childcare facility in the gym; you might end up drawing up a business plan at the gym, which can take a lot of time.
Children from 4 months to 7 years of age can use the Equinox Kids Club spaces during their normal operating hours, subject to availability. You can book a Kids Club spot or check availability through the EQX+ app.
Each Kids Club session is two hours long and allows only one reservation daily. However, each reservation can include up to five children. The services offered by the Kids Club and the operational hours can vary depending on the location. You must ensure your local Equinox Gym has everything you and your kid need.
Most memberships offer complimentary Kids Club access. However, you must confirm this with the front desk. Base Equinox memberships that only grant you access to one club can cost $2,200 a year ($183 monthly) plus a $500 initiation fee. If you opt for an “all access” membership that gets you access to multiple Equinox locations in the US, you’ll have to shell out $3,120 a year ($260 monthly).
However, some Equinox gyms might charge you an extra fee for childcare services. Most Equinox gyms offer a trial; make sure you use it to determine if it is the right choice for you.
LA Fitness is among the largest gym chains in North America. Its childcare service, called the Kids Klub, is an excellent solution for parents who want to train but can’t leave their kids unsupervised at home.
Most LA Fitness Kids Klub facilities are equipped with swings and slides, which will keep your kids active and entertained for hours. Most LA Fitness gyms offer childcare services for kids between 1 and 11.
That said, LA Fitness offers childcare services as an add-on, meaning you will have to shell out some money for them. Kids Klub services are economical and cost between $10-15 a month or $5 per visit, depending on the location.
However, the monthly payment structure is more budget-friendly if you will be bringing your kids to the gym more than once a month. You can keep your kids in the Kids Klub for two hours at a time. You will have to pay extra if you overshoot this limit.
Most Kids Klub facilities are open for specific hours during the day. You must tally the facility’s timings with your gym schedule to determine if it is the right match.
Children above 16 can sign up for their own gym membership at LA Fitness. On the other hand, some LA Fitness gyms allow kids between 13 and 15 to use the gym equipment under adult supervision.
Fit4Mom is not your typical gym. Instead of leaving your kids in a stroller, these gyms promote involving your kids in your workouts. However, most of these workouts are stroller-based, meaning they include infants and kids up to four years.
Here are some of the Fit4Mom workouts that involve training with your kids:
- Stroller Strides®: This 60-minute total-body workout involves strength, cardio, and core training with your kids in a stroller.
- Strides 360®: This with or without stroller 60-minute workout focuses on boosting your endurance and speed.
- Stroller Barre®: It is a 60-minute stroller workout focusing on improving your posture, stability, and mobility and building overall strength.
- Run Club+®: This program is perfect for women who love running and want to get back into it. Fit4Mom offers an 8-week guided training program for 5K, 10K, or half marathon distance runs. You could do these runs on your own or with a stroller.
Fit4Mom also offers ‘Our Village’ community service, which helps moms connect and support each other during group workouts and playgroups and plan Moms Night Outs, community events, and more.
If you are a new mom and have been struggling with getting back into your fitness routine, you should check out Fit4Mom. An all-access Fit4Mom monthly membership costs $100. They also give you a free resistance band when you sign up.
As awesome as the Fit4Mom community is, there is a big drawback you must consider if you’re looking specifically for a gym with childcare. Most Fit4Mom with-baby workouts include strollers, making them unsuitable for women with kids older than 4 years. Nonetheless, it is an excellent opportunity for women to socialize.
Many Powerhouse Gyms offer childcare services to ensure you can stick to your training routine without worrying about your kid’s safety. Best of all, most locations provide complimentary and unlimited childcare.
The facilities you can expect at a free service will obviously be limited. That said, they have qualified and trained staff and offer enough age-appropriate activities to keep your children engaged for the 1–2 hours you spend in the iron paradise. Most Powerhouse Gyms allow kids over 14 to enter the workout area under adult supervision.
I highly recommend Powerhouse Gyms to parents who want their kids to have a headstart in the fitness and bodybuilding realm. Most Powerhouse Gyms are frequented by hardcore bodybuilders, which can be an intriguing sight for your children.
Since childcare in Powerhouse Gyms is usually free, they are generally overbooked. Make sure you get an appointment to ensure they can accommodate you. A monthly Powerhouse Gym membership can set you back by $49.99, but it can vary depending on the location.
Fitness 19 is a fast-growing gym chain in North America. This affordable, family-friendly facility offers the latest cardio, strength, and free weight equipment, including childcare services called Kids Room.
The Kids Room at Fitness 19 accepts children between the ages of 3 and 11. The facilities have qualified professionals to supervise your kids and keep them engaged. Most Fitness 19 locations offer complimentary childcare. However, make sure you make an appointment before taking your kids to the gym. Fitness 19 gyms tend to get crowded during the rush hours.
Although most gyms with childcare offer monthly or pay-per-visit pricing, you must sign a contract for your own membership, which can be expensive if you want to switch gyms or are not a gym regular. Fitness 19, on the other hand, offers month-to-month memberships that are flexible and convenient.
A Fitness 19 gym membership costs a nominal $20 for one-club access and $28 for multi-club access. Fitness 19 is a great gym if you like gym hopping every week. Check out the Fitness 19 gyms in your locality and the facilities they offer before signing up for multi-gym access.
With nearly 1,000 gyms worldwide, Snap Fitness gyms are on the rise. They offer different programming, machines, and equipment to help meet your fitness goals. Since Snap Fitness gyms are open around the clock, only a few franchisees offer childcare.
The Snap Fitness gyms that provide childcare have a fixed schedule, and you must check with your local gym to ensure your timings align. These facilities usually accept kids between 1 and 11 years old and offer multiple age-appropriate activities to keep your kids happy.
Some locations allow kids between 12 and 16 to use the training facility, given an adult accompanies them. Children above 16 can be added to their guardians’ gym membership and are allowed unsupervised access to the gym.
A Snap Fitness monthly membership can cost you $39.95/month, but it can vary depending on the location. A Snap Fitness membership allows you to use any of their training facilities worldwide. It is an excellent advantage for working professionals who travel a lot with their kids.
Many gyms treat childcare as an afterthought, but YouFit is not one of them. YouFit’s childcare program is called the Tot Spot and is available at most locations as an add-on to your membership. YouFit Tot Spot accepts children between 1 and 12 years old. Kids above 13 can use the training facility under adult supervision.
YouFit is one of the few gyms that offer childcare for kids with special needs. However, you must check with your local facility if they can handle your requests, as different cases usually require specialized care.
You can use the childcare facility for two hours each day. YouFit follows stringent rules to ensure your kid’s safety, including only the same parent who checked in the kid is allowed to check their child out, and no foods and snacks are permitted in the facility. Plus, the parent cannot leave the gym when their child is in childcare.
The basic YouFit gym membership for adults begins at an affordable $9.99 per month. The Tot Spot membership costs an extra $7-10 a month, giving you unlimited access to the childcare program. At $20 monthly for you and your kid, the YouFit membership is totally worth it.
World Gym’s childcare program is called Prospect Kids World, which is a free service for its members. It is one of the few gyms with childcare that doesn’t require you to make a booking before bringing your kids.
That said, not all World Gyms offer childcare and the ones that do have a fixed schedule. Check with your local World Gym about their timings before taking your kid to the gym.
Since most World Gyms are independently owned, the membership prices can vary depending on the location and services offered. A monthly World Gym membership can cost you $125, depending on the location. Also, some World Gyms might charge you an extra monthly or per-visit fee for using the Kids World services.
World Gym Kids World employs trained and qualified professionals, and your kids will enjoy their time there. Most Kids World allows your kids to carry their toys, electronics, and food, which will help keep them busy while you complete your workout.
Most World Gym franchisees allow kids between 14 and 16 to use their training facility, provided an adult supervises them. However, you must check with your local World Gym if you have any specific requests or needs.
GoodLife Fitness is a popular gym chain in Canada that runs a childcare program called JUMP! Its child minding services are a hit among its members, and most facilities run at full capacity throughout the week.
You must check with the GoodLife Fitness facility in your vicinity if you plan to use its childcare service. Each JUMP! facility offers two hours of childcare each day, which is ample for most people who train in the gym.
GoodLife Fitness’s child minding services accept kids between the ages of 1 and 12. However, it is one of the few gyms that allows children above 12 to use the training facility, provided their guardian signs a waiver. The gym also offers a starter program for kids under 18.
A monthly subscription at GoodLife Fitness can set you back by $30. However, most packages include family add-ons, which allow you to use their childcare service for free. The actual membership cost might vary depending on the location and the facilities offered by the gym.
Some GoodLife Fitness centers also offer summer camps for kids between 12 and 17, but will cost you extra. It is worth the investment if you have nothing else planned for your kids during the summer break.
Onelife Fitness’s childcare service is called the Kid’s Club. It will keep your kid engaged and safe while you get your sweat on. The Kid’s Club offers a playroom and age-appropriate fitness activities, making your child’s experience enjoyable. Plus, the activities are tailored to promote an active lifestyle.
The Kid’s Club is available in selected locations, so you must call and inquire whether your local Onelife Fitness gym can accommodate your kid. Furthermore, the rules and timings of each Kid’s Club might vary, and you must check with your local club before signing a long-term contract.
The Kid’s Club also offers a one-day free pass to check if it is the right fit for you. The professional staff will make you feel comfortable about your kid’s safety and ensure they enjoy their time in the facility. The Kid’s Club is open to kids between 1 and 11. Kids above 11 can use the gym under an adult’s supervision.
Onelife Fitness monthly membership can cost between $30 to $55, depending on the location and the services provided. Most Onelife Fitness clubs charge an additional $17 monthly or per-visit fee for the Kid’s Club service.
Benefits of Gyms With Childcare
Childcare services in a gym offer the following benefits:
Helps You Stick To Your Routine
Let’s be honest: childcare services in a gym is a genius idea. Many parents regularly miss training sessions because they must be at home to watch over their kids. A kid’s section in the gym ensures your children are in the right hands while you get your sweat on.
Childcare at the gym is one of those services you didn’t know you needed until you tried it. People who train at a gym that offers childcare services never have to worry about leaving their kids unattended at home for 1–2 hours each day.
Some high-end gyms also have a weight training section for older kids with light weights and experienced staff. It is the perfect place for the kids to begin their resistance training journey.
Depending on where you live, a babysitter or daycare might cost you an arm and a leg. Also, if you don’t have a fixed schedule and tend to train at different times each day, you might have to pay a premium to hire a babysitter.
A gym with childcare can be a budget-friendly option, as most training facilities charge between $10 and $20 monthly. Some gyms also offer a pay-as-you-go option, which is excellent for people who don’t plan to bring their kids to the gym daily.
Inculcates the Importance of Fitness in Children
Your kids are more likely to follow in your footsteps rather than internalize your idealistic opinions. Folks who never exercise shouldn’t expect their kids to follow a healthy lifestyle. On the other hand, taking your kids to the gym regularly will set a healthy example. Don’t be surprised if your kids ask you when they can start working out, just like you.
What To Expect From Childcare in Gyms
Here are the things you can expect from the best gyms with childcare:
Childcare facilities in gyms should have robust safety measures, such as streamlined check-in and check-out procedures so that the kids cannot leave the facility without permission. The kids should only be allowed to leave with their guardians. Furthermore, the gym’s childcare section should have functional AED units and CPR-trained staff. Gyms in North America are required to run a background test before hiring childcare facility staff.
Kid’s sections in gyms are usually strategically placed. They are far from the equipment section and closer to the reception, ensuring the children don’t get dangerously close to the training equipment.
You must check whether your gym has childproofed play areas. New childcare gym facilities usually begin with a basic setup and expand over time. Ensure that the kid’s section has everything your kid might need.
If you thought the gyms with childcare would take care of your kids for free while you train, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Most gyms offer childcare as an add-on to your gym membership. That said, some gyms offer complementary childcare services. If your gym is one of them, I envy you.
Most gyms offer childcare services on a per-session or monthly basis, which is great news if you plan on bringing the kids to the gym a few times each month. However, some gyms require you to book in advance. Review the intricacies of your gym’s childcare service to avoid inconveniences.
I know people who have switched gyms because a different gym offered better childcare services even though the new gym was further from their home, cost more, and they didn’t plan on taking their kids to the gym with them more than twice weekly. So, if you thought childcare in gyms was no big deal, think again.
Most gyms with childcare have board games, arts and crafts, swings, and play areas. Notably, all gyms in North America with childcare must meet legal safety standards to get their license. Each gym offers different facilities depending on the fees and kids’ and parent’s demands. Most gym childcare centers are open to suggestions and adding new equipment.
You must ensure that your gym’s childcare program offers age-appropriate activities and learning opportunities for your kids. Also, check whether the gym’s childcare services align with your workout schedule.
Most gyms have trained, qualified, and licensed staff to cater to the children. Enquire about the staff’s qualifications while hunting for a gym with childcare. In my experience, gyms with staff that previously worked in daycares are the best.
Although some gyms have excellent daycare programs, the staff doesn’t usually focus on each kid. Unlike in a daycare or school, children’s ages in a gym’s childcare can vary greatly. The activities running at one particular time in the class might not be suitable for children of all ages. However, it might change depending on when you visit the gym and staff availability.
How much do the childcare services cost in a gym?
The price of the childcare services can vary depending on the facilities provided. Furthermore, some gyms might offer it for free along with your gym membership. That said, most gyms charge between $10 to $20 monthly for childcare services.
Is there a time limit per session on the childcare services offered by a gym?
It can vary for each gym. The gyms that require you to pre-book a session usually have time slots. On the flip side, some gyms will allow you to use the childcare services for as long as you are in the training facility.
Are gym childcare services worth it?
Childcare services at gyms are incredibly helpful if you cannot leave your kids unattended at home. The $20 price tag is worth it, in my opinion, if it keeps you from skipping even one training session. And believe me, your kids will love the experience, too.
What type of facilities or activities do gyms with childcare programs offer?
Each gym might offer different facilities, depending on space and staff availability. However, age-appropriate board games, arts and crafts, and educational games are a few facilities you can expect in each gym childcare facility. Remember, gym childcare facilities are not designed to ensure your kid’s overall development. They are meant to keep your kids busy while you complete your workout.
Which of the most popular gym chains don’t offer childcare?
Although some gyms offer complimentary childcare, it is a premium service and can cost the gyms a lot of money to run, as they must adhere to all the state and federal laws and employ trained and qualified staff. Many affordable gym chains don’t offer childcare to keep their costs low. Some of the most popular budget gym chains that don’t have childcare programs are Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and Blink Fitness.
Who should not use childcare in gyms?
While childcare in gyms is a great facility, it is not for everyone. You should skip the childcare facility if your kid is under 12 months old. That said, most gyms accept kids older than 12 months.
You should also avoid checking in your kids in a gym’s childcare facility if they are sick or need special attention. Not only can it deteriorate their condition, but it also puts the health of other kids at risk.
If you are a family man (or woman), joining a gym with childcare can be incredibly valuable. Plus, being in an environment that prioritizes exercise increases the likelihood that your kids will take a liking to the fit lifestyle, which is invaluable.
This article lists the 15 best gyms in North America with the finest childcare services. The prices and facilities offered can change depending on the location and demand. Make sure you survey all the gyms in your neighborhood if you plan on using the childcare services before signing a long-term contract. Best of luck!