Open play gymnastics sessions at the PG Sports & Learning Complex are listed among my recommendations for places to let kids burn energy, but seeing as it’s been among our regular Tuesday activities for years, I wanted to give the pursuit its own post.
The Gymnastics Center at the Complex is incredible. Elite competitions are often held there, so the venue is huge and equipped with every kind of gymnastics apparatus imaginable. And gymnasts of all abilities also take classes and train there, so there is equipment to accommodate the youngest tumblers, from soft mats and trampolines to easy swings and a foam pit to low balance beams and even a mat slide.
It’s these soft, safe parts that guests have access to during open play sessions. And it’s nothing short of a blast for kids. Much of the fun is centered around the big foam pit, which you can jump into from a springboard or balance beam, swing into from a dangling rope or gymnastics rings, or slide into down a mat set on an incline. Nearby are low parallel bars where kids can dangle, big trampolines and a narrow in-ground one where they can bounce, and big, soft colorful “blocks” and boards set up like obstacle courses to be navigated. You really have to see the place to comprehend how truly impressive — and insanely fun! — it is.
Open play sessions during the school year are Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11:30am – 12:30pm, Fridays 4:30-5:30pm, and Saturdays 1:30-2:30pm. Be sure to call ahead, especially on the weekends, to make sure a session isn’t preempted by another program being held there. Admission is $7/child. The Complex is located at 8001 Sheriff Road in Landover, Md.
*July 2012 update: There is different schedule for the summer. Open Play will be on Wednesdays, 11:30am – 12:30pm on July 11, 18, & 25 and August 1, 8, & 15 11:30am – 12pm, and on Fridays, 6-7pm on July 6, 13, 20, & 27, and August 3, 10, 17, 24.
Oh, and a bonus: PG Sports & Learning is about a two minute drive from the new Wegman’s and Costco. I usually plan to do a little shopping and grab lunch after open play — Wegman’s has a huge selection of freshly prepared foods and a special kids’ eating area.