The elliptical is calling your name. But so is your kiddo (in fact, he or she might be screaming at you as you read this). Slip in time to exercise and keep your little sidekick entertained at a local gym that has childcare. And not just any childcare. Click through for those gyms that keep watchful eyes on your tot and also have engaging kids’ rooms with activities and extras.
This spot focuses on medical fitness (meaning you'll get workouts tailored to you, plus a more holistic approach) and partners with medical professionals at Swedish Covenant Hospital. Your kiddos get the star treatment, too, in the KidCenter, where care is available for children 12 weeks up to age ten. The clean, bright area offers story time, art projects, puzzles and table games, sensory tables, sing-a-longs, musical instruments and an infant play area.
Childcare Cost: Single visit $5 for members/$10 for nonmembers; discounted packages available. Each purchased visit is valid for an hour-and-a-half and children may stay for a maximum of three hours.
5157 N. Francisco Ave.
Fitness Formula Clubs
The Kid's Clubs at this local empire feel like a cross between classrooms and play spaces. Chalkboard art, games and toys keep little bodies busy. Some even have indoor pools with dedicated family swim times and mixed martial arts classes to get the kids in on the fitness game.
Childcare Cost: $29.95 per month or $10 per child each visit.
10 Chicago locations, including:
1151 S. State St.
and one coming soon:
140 N. Addison Ave.
Chicago Athletic Clubs
Depending on where you live, you probably have a favorite location, because there are 8 citywide. But, you have to be a member of the Evanston location to take advantage of Kids Club perks. The friendly staff of the Kids Club makes an effort to get to know your child, identifying their interests and building a relationship that makes drop off a breeze. A variety of developmental toys and engaging activities offer a wide range of learning experiences for your child. They also have frequent Parents Night Out opportunities, camps offered during summer and winter breaks and host birthday parties for littles.
Childcare Cost: $12/visit or $190 for a 20-pack
8 locations citywide, including:
1723 Benson Ave
Cheetah Gym - Andersonville
This neighborhood favorite has a dedicated kids' gym available for children aged from newborn to 11 years old. The facility offers infant care, a reading room, and active climbing structures suited for all age groups. Additionally, the gym space is monitored via video cameras. So while you're gunning it on the treadmill, you can tune into the kids room channel and keep an eye on your kiddos.
Childcare Cost: Free with select membership. In case you’re wondering if you’re reading that correctly, we’ll say it again - Free!
5248 N. Clark Street
The Bar Method
While you’re working on plies, pikes and planks, your sidekick can hone his or her social skills in the cheerful, game- and toy-filled space across the hall. As your kids make new friends, you might end up with a few new mom friends in the process! While there are 7 Bar Method locations in Illinois, only the Naperville, Lakeview and South Loop offer childcare at this time. Childcare Cost: $6 per visit; discounted packages available at some locations 3144 N. Sheffield Ave. Lakeview 773-935-2150 Online: barmethod.com & 1271 N. Milwaukee Ave. Wicker Park 773-384-3150 Online: barmethod.com & 55 S. Main St. Naperville 630-544-3431 Online: barmethod.com
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness
Singing, story time and rooftop mingling are some of the activities for tots at this swanky urban gym. It doesn’t offer just one kids' area — it has three, each catering to a different age group. The Play Room has songs and stories for the youngest ones (starting at six weeks old). The Kids Corner is for ages 2-6 and is known for interactive games and playtime. Ted's Treehouse is for ages 6 and up and has space for climbing and romping around. Other perks include various fitness classes for children, a Kids Night Out program and School Days Out camps.
In need of a date night? The (seasonal) rooftop restaurant, Harvest, allows parents to drop the kiddos off while they indulge in adult conversation and a sensational skyline view.
Childcare cost: $8 drop in for 2 hours or $45 unlimited monthly pass.
1320 W. Fullerton Ave.
Just like the chic gyms they're burrowed in, Equinox's Kids Clubs are little gardens of delight. Surrounded by colorful floral wall art, the play space is organized into four learning stations: technology, movement, arts and crafts, and imaginative play. Group activities and interactive story times are organized. Please note: The Loop and Gold Coast locations of Equinox do not have a Kids' Club.
Childcare Cost: $10 for 2 hours; discounted packages available.
1760 N. Clark St.
799 Central Ave.
With 30 locations across the city and 'burbs, you're bound to find an XSport near you. And be happy when you do: each facility has a "Child's Play" room that's equipped with closed-circuit TV monitors so you can watch your tyke while you work out. Each play area is staffed with attendants, and there are plenty of activities to keep the kids active and entertained. They can scurry in the climbing gym, watch videos, tinker with toys and color.
Childcare cost: prices vary at each location.
For a list of Chicago-area locations, click here.
Photo: XSport Lombard via Yelp
This fitness and wellness center for moms, babies and kids has a workout room, spa-like lounge space and studios where classes keep everybody moving — even some classes to include your tot, too! With a focus on overall wellness, this center also has workshops and consultants to offer support in areas like lactation, child safety and infant sleep. Its colorful padded childcare room is well stocked with toys and games. Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance, however you can try calling day-of to see if there is space available for your child. Care is provided by kGrace, a well regarded placement agency for experienced baby sitters. One cool option is if you have mom friends who also want to work out, you can switch off watching the kids and use their child care space free of charge.
Childcare cost: $6 per child, per hour; $2 per additional child, per hour.
409 W. Huron St.
What is YOUR favorite gym with childcare? Let us know in the Comments!
— Nicole Morris & Kelly Aiglon