Every year, my twins would celebrate their joint birthday celebration at my parents’ house. It was always just family, and being born in March, it was never guaranteed that backyard play would be included. This year, we decided to try something different, and chose to host the party at A Gym Tale in Barrhaven.
At A Gym Tale, you can host different themed parties. We chose a pirate theme for my son, Seth, and a mermaid theme for my daughter, Rayna. I didn’t really see much of a theme at the party, though they did gear some of their private play games toward pirates (maybe I wasn’t paying that close attention, but I have no recollection of any mermaids. I will chalk that up to it being a double party and the boys were far more rambunctious).
For $169, you can invite eight children, with thirty minutes play in the indoor playground, another thirty minutes in the private themed area, and one hour in the private party room where lunch is served (hot dogs or pizza). You have to bring your own cake, but the staff will serve it.
The staff are VERY patient and knowledgeable. As the parent, however, you are in charge of making sure that the group behaves. That aspect can be a little trying, as it is a very busy place and children just love to scream. It was a little chaotic in the beginning with kids trickling in, but everything was sorted out once everyone arrived. Normally with a jungle gym atmosphere, you might encounter some nasty mystery puddles, but I found the place to be very clean.
The climbers are part of a big pirate ship, complete with slides and multi-level play structures. The private play area is in the centre of the place, fenced off with crash mats, a trampoline, and plenty of things to play with. I’ll admit the kids would have preferred to have played on the structures, but they still had fun in the private play area. After the kids were done in there, we were brought to the private party room to enjoy a slice of pizza, some lemonade, and finally, cake.
We all had a very good time! You can also check out A Gym Tale's drop-in playtime, special “Kids Night Out” events, as well as nursery school and school-age care. This place is perfect for children ages 6 and under, and I would recommend it for your little one’s party - especially if they have a lot of energy to burn!
Andrea is a freelance writer and mom of twins, and resides in Barrhaven.